Dec. 24, 2001 Who ever saw the Easter Bunny decorated with thousands of tiny lights munching a bright orange carrot on somebody's roof in Frenchtown?
Well, actually a lot of people. Anyone who drives up Rue Honduras right around the corner from what used to be the Bar Normandie.
"Everybody stops and looks," smiles Ralston Newman Farrington, alias "Rabbit."
"They call it Disneyland, Little Disneyland, that's what they say."
And Disneyland would be hard put to erect so much color in so little space. Farrington's yard spans about 40 feet.
Rabbit can frequently be seen standing across from his small home observing his handiwork, deciding if the lighting is just right, or if the rabbit shows up enough. Sunday night he decided the rabbit needed a boat, and Monday he erected lines of lights between the rabbit and the star at the other end of the roof. "See, it's a boat, the rabbit is in the bow," he points out with pride.
Neighbors stop by. "Hey, Rabbit, just look at that. That's what we need here." Or, "We're so glad you did it again; it's so pretty." And, always, "How many lights? How do you do it?"
"I have no idea how many lights," Rabbit says. "I just put them up until they look right."
He has been brightening the neighborhood with his Christmas decorations since 1993, almost. In 1999, he declared he was tired of doing it and went on strike for two years. "They all got after me this year," he says. "Everybody said I had to do it, so I went all the way."
Rabbit, who with his wife, Anne, comes from Tortola, started decorating at his family home there. "My brothers and I would always do it. We had a three-story house, and I would do the top story, and we won prizes."
And, how about the nickname? "When we would run the 100-meter relay races, everybody would pass me until about the 75-meter mark. Then, they said, I just took off 'like a rabbit.'"
Next year the roof will get another animal, Rabbit says, albeit a more traditional one. The rabbit will have a reindeer for company.