Chickie and Bunny were last year's Easter gifts to Sooby and Pooh. They are battery-operated, animated plush creatures snatched from the shelves of Walgreen's amid a mob of other day-after-Easter shoppers nearly two years ago. Because the kids' parents consider these toys loud and obnoxious and because they sometimes exhibit abolutely no sense of humor, Chickie and Bunny have resided for the past year on a shelf in the toy closet at my house. I don't admit this to many people, but sometimes I get them out and play with them even when the kids are not here.
Chickie, as his nickname suggests, appears at first glance to be an innocent yellow baby chick hatching from a lovely, pastel-striped egg. However, when you push a button hidden inside his wing, he begins to crow, flap his wings, light up, and waddle around in a circle to the syncopated rhythm of "The Chicken Dance." The longer the song plays, the faster it goes, and the faster Chickie waddles. It is one of the cutest, funniest things I have ever seen.
Bunny is a light blue and white Kenny G wannabe complete with sunglasses and a saxophone (which Pooh calls a "sackophone"). Push Bunny's little foot, and he becomes a musical prodigy, swaying masterfully from side to side and belting out sixteen measures of the jazziest brass you've ever heard. Bunny and Chickie are especially effective when played simultaneously, which often happens when Sooby and Pooh have them out. The word cacophony comes to mind, but theirs is a discordant duet I never tire of.
You see my problem. I am going to have to work really hard this year to top the joy and musical finesse of Chickie and Bunny. So rather than shopping at random, thus trusting any chance of success to serendipity, I have narrowed my search to three specific items that I think just might top Chickie and Bunny for originality and musical genius. Here they are:
- a kangaroo that thumps her tail and juggles Easter eggs while the baby in her pouch sings "Put on Your Easter Bonnet";
- a chicken that, to the theme song of Breakfast at Tiffany's, lays an egg, scrambles it, and serves it on a pastel Fiestaware platter with bacon and toast; and
- a pair of toothless ducks, dressed in bib overalls, that play the banjo duet from Deliverance. (These should be especially easy to find, since all ducks are basically toothless.)