The story has been told before in this column, but it is one that is timely. It could be called “The Runaway Bunny.”
More than 25 years ago, Aunt Diana’s Fudge Shop in Riverside was located at 51 E. Burlington St., where Athletico is now. It was Easter time and the proprietor of the store, the late Gerry Gits, was preparing some of the chocolate delights for the season.
It had been a tradition to have a large chocolate bunny in the window. The rabbit was made of solid chocolate, and like most of the candy items at the store, it was made in a mold.
Most of the molds are in two pieces. The mold is fastened together and filled with chocolate, which is left to set inside the mold. On the fateful day in question, Gits put the chocolate-filled mold at the back of the store, and left it there to cool with the shop door open.
It was then the heist took place. Two young men spotted the large mold, which was not light in weight, grabbed it and took off, attempting to steal it, for what purpose we will never know.
Seeing the fleeing thieves, Gits and his helper, Bob Krause, took off after the perpetrators in an attempt to save the rabbit. They caught the would-be thieves and retrieved the rabbit. The story ends with Gits not pressing charges and the chocolate rabbit serving as a window display throughout the Easter season.
Since that time, many a chocolate bunny has been made in the store — all made from the same delicious chocolate recipe that has been used for many years, placed in molds, cooled and wrapped for purchase.
They come in white chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate (which they say is good for you, there’s an excuse). You can get a chocolate rabbit riding a motorcycle, playing the drums or a saxophone, pushing a baby buggy and many other activities that live rabbits can’t actually perform. That is the magic of the molds. They are also in all sizes to satisfy chocolate lovers of all ages.
So that is the story of the rabbit that almost got away. Now get yourself a chocolate rabbit, you deserve a treat today. By the way, which part of the rabbit do you eat first and what does that say about you? Happy Easter!