*Scarecrow and Mrs. King is the property of Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Enterprises, no copyright infringement is intended. All other characters and situations are the copyrighted property of the author and may not be used without permission of the author. A special thanks to Ermintrude, Jan, Kim C, Lydia, Tera, Adda, Charlie, Monica, Lynda PattiJ and Polly for their support--so glad you enjoy these stories. And another thanks goes to SugarMuffin4392 for all the free publicity--I truly never realized how popular the series was before this. Enjoy :)*

Easter Daddy

4247 Maplewood Dr

Saturday, April 10, 1993

9:30 AM

Amanda sat in bed, looking at the closed bathroom door. "Lee, come on—don't be ridiculous."

From behind the door came the slightly muffled-sounding voice of her husband. "I think it's a little late for that, Amanda—we're way past ridiculous here."

"You volunteered, remember?"

"Thank you so much for pointing that out. I know I volunteered for this—I just didn't realize how this getup was going to look on me."

"What? You thought it would look dignified?"

A long pause. "Very funny."

"It can't be any worse than the time you dressed up as a sheep, remember?"

The door opened a crack, the hinges creaking slightly— Lee poked his head out.

"You promised to never mention that again," he said accusingly. "That was over six years ago, and anyway, that was different—it was business."

"And you paid Francine back for it."

Satisfaction filled Lee's voice. "Yes, I most certainly did."

"You know, I never did figure out how you got all those live sheep into her office."

"Ahh—well that's strictly need to know."

"I have ways of making people talk, Stetson."

"I'm well aware of that." The door shut once more and Amanda sighed in exasperation.

"Aren't you ever coming out of that bathroom?"

"Do you know how warm it's going to be today? I almost think I should go naked underneath this. I'm already sweating—the first thing I want when I get home is a shower."

"Lee, honestly—"

"I'm just saying."

"Look, if it's really bothering you all that much, I'll go."

"No. Now you're still getting over the flu, remember? You need to rest—there's no sense in making yourself worse."

"Just please come out of the bathroom."

"You promise not to laugh?"

Amanda held up her hand. "I swear—no laughing."

"Okay." Slowly the door opened and Lee stepped out—the head of the costume held under one arm.

"Oh my—gosh—" Amanda had to put her hand over her mouth—looking at her husband in a fur-covered bunny outfit was just—she pressed her hand tighter against her mouth, but she despite her best efforts she couldn't quell the sound that escaped from her nose.

"That was a laugh, Amanda. You promised not to do that—"

"I know, I did—I know—but you have to admit that it's—"

"It's what?"

"Could you just maybe turn around for a minute?"

Lee frowned. "Why? Is there something wrong?"

"Not exactly, Lee--I just want to check out your tail, that's all."

His face reddened. "A-man-da I--"

"Daddy!"

Jenna barreled into the room and wrapped her arms tightly around him.

"You look really great," she said. "Happy Easter, Daddy."

Amanda watched as Lee's expression softened. Bending down, he scooped his four-year old daughter into his arms.

"Actually, Easter is tomorrow, munchkin—you get to wear your new dress and hat to church, and you get your Easter basket tomorrow morning."

"With chocolate? Aunt Francine says chocolate is the best."

"Well, if anybody should know about chocolate, it's Francine—and you're definitely getting some chocolate. So, you really think I look great, huh?"

"Uh-huh—you look cool." Jenna leaned her head against Lee's shoulder—he ruffled her hair and kissed the top of her head.

"And will there be jellybeans in the grass?" Jenna asked.

"Jellybeans in the—" Amanda could see confusion in her husband's eyes as he looked over at her.

"She means in the Easter grass in the basket, Lee."

"Oh—yes," Lee told Jenna. "You'll have plenty of jellybeans tomorrow, I promise."

Jenna grinned. "Good. Are you going to put the head on now, Daddy?"

"Well—um—you see, I can't put it on to drive to the egg hunt, munchkin—then Daddy wouldn't be able to see."

"Okay—but—but can you put it on just a for a minute? " Jenna asked plaintively. "Pretty please?"

Lee hesitated. Amanda watched the whole range of emotions play across his features—he really didn't want to do this, she knew. But on the other hand his daughter had him firmly wrapped around her little finger.

"Okay," he said finally. "But just for a second." He put the head on. "How's that?"

"You look good," Jenna told him. "Can you hop?"

"What you mean—like this?" Lee hopped with Jenna in his arms, making her squeal with laughter.

"Higher, Daddy!" Lee hopped again and Jenna shrieked.

"Wait a minute—" Amanda reached into the nightstand drawer, pulling out a polaroid camera.

Lee's head was covered, but she could hear the panic in his voice. "No, Amanda--please—"

She ignored him—she had to get this moment on film. "Look right this way, Lee—Jenna—very good. Now say cheese."

"Cheese!" Jenna yelled.

The flash went off as Amanda snapped the photo.

The End