Disclaimer: Daria and associated characters are owned by MTV. This is fan fiction written for entertainment only. No money or other negotiable currency or goods have been exchanged.

Richard Lobinske

Easter Encounter

"Heh, heh. Got it first!" The young boy yelled as he snatched away a brightly painted egg that eight-year old Daria Morgendorffer was reaching for.

She watched in frustration as the brown-haired boy ran over to his blond friend and said, "Heh. Diarrhea's still too slow, got another one."

The blond boy laughed and said, "Cool, Beevis."

On a predatory prowl, both returned to shadow Daria. She looked in the small wicker basket she carried and the one lonely egg in it. While better able to notice the hidden eggs than the two dim-witted boys, her new glasses were still causing a problem with depth perception and she felt the need to move slowly. So, when she began to reach for an egg, one of the boys would run in and grab it first.

Oblivious to staining the frilly Easter dress her mother had insisted on her wearing, Daria sat cross-legged against a tree next to a dense shrub and frowned. She saw her almost seven-year old sister sitting on a bench near the middle of the city park, her basket already overflowing from the efforts of several boys to find eggs for her.

She looked around more for any of the neighborhood parents. None were in sight. Most were scattered along the park perimeter to keep the kids from wandering away or any of the local oddities from wandering in. Highland Texas had many local oddities. Most had some kind of criminal record.

She looked at the one egg and felt tears trying to get out. It's not fair. Little in her life seemed fair. The other children in school teased or insulted her, when they talked to her at all. Even after her parents had that big fight two years ago. Daria had really tried to talk to the other children, so her Daddy wouldn't run away again. All the others did was call her egg-head and laugh at her glasses. Always a little clumsy, they tripped her when nobody was looking.

She picked up the egg and tapped it against the basket handle to crack the shell. "Maybe if I eat it now, nobody will steal this one." She slowly peeled the egg and watched the colored fragments scatter on the grass beside her.

Her two tormentors had wandered away, their short attention span tired of the waiting. She watched them try to bully another pair of boys out of their eggs. Daria munched on her egg as she watched her tormentors get pummeled and their eggs, no, her eggs, get taken from them. At least they won't enjoy them.

Her mood blackened more when the boys presented the eggs to Quinn. Daria finished eating her egg and allowed her head to drop. "You'll have fun Daria." her mother had said. "Come on, Kiddo. You'll have a great time." Fun. Right. Great time. When?

Daria didn't like to cry. Every time she did, she swore she wouldn't let it happen again. Each time, a little, she was able to hold off longer when she was hurt. Someday, she would learn not to cry. But today was not the day and the tears came through.

After a couple minutes, she felt something press against her right leg. She opened her eyes to see a young rabbit, barely weaned, sniffing at her leg. Daria held still and watched it. The long ears and grey/tan color marked it as a wild. The rabbit poked around a couple more times, and hopped onto Daria's lap. She fought the urge to jump herself and let it. The rabbit moved around a little for comfort and settled down to rest.

Daria smiled at the warm creature in her lap. After several minutes, she slowly moved her hand to touch it. The rabbit wiggled at the touch, but settled back down. The fur was very soft and smooth. Daria' smile widened as she carefully petted it.

I wish we could have a pet. She didn't understand why. Her parents would agree, but always seemed to forget afterward. The rabbit moved to face her. They won't let me take you home, but you can stay with me for now. The rabbit nuzzled her stomach, as if in understanding. Softly petting it, Daria leaned back and closed her eyes. Soon she was asleep.

Helen Morgendorffer felt her panic drop away when she spotted Daria asleep against a tree. Helen worried about the hardness that her daughter had developed so young. However, she was always relieved to see the hardness drop away when the girl was asleep and her darling beauty shown through. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised your dress is dirty. But you look like you had a good time. Helen looked at the full basket. And successful. I wonder who made those eggs? They're magnificent.

She motioned her husband, Jake, to come over. He rushed over and stopped when he saw Daria. Relief crossing his face. Helen pointed to Jake's camera and then at Daria. Jake nodded and snapped a photo of Daria asleep against the tree.

Helen picked up the basket, Jake carefully picked up his sleeping daughter and they walked to their car to go home.

A single rabbit chewed on some grass and watched them leave. As the car pulled away, it hopped back into the bushes.

March 2005