Wesson woman brings Easter cheer
Hundreds of rabbits making themselves at home in the yard usually means a homeowner’s headache, but in the case of Agnes and Buck Ratliff, it means Easter has arrived.
For the past 30 years, the Ratliffs have displayed an Easter extravaganza in the front yard of their home on Timberlake Road in Wesson for the community to enjoy. Agnes said she began making cute critters from wood when her grandchildren were born.
“When I first started doing woodwork I started with small things around the house,” she said. “I wanted to do something bigger, so my husband taught me how to use the saw. Now I draw it, cut it out, sand it and paint it myself.”
She has created many pieces for the display including a bunny pilot mid-flight under a tree, bike-riding rabbits, waddling families of ducks, giant colored eggs, large flowers, a working carousel, Ferris wheel, complete with happy bunny passengers, and – in an Easter scene – a model church complete with real stained glass windows.
She adds a new element to the scenery each year, with help from Buck and a few found items, to execute her designs. This year there are around 18 new ducklings and a backdrop for taking photographs, delighting visitors.
“We had a senior group from a church in Brandon who came down and had the best time,” Agnes said. “They sat on that backdrop back there and had their pictures made. You would’ve thought they were 3 years old they were so happy, they loved it.”
Agnes said her yard sees between 300 and 400 people each year, many of which are families with young children, for whom Agnes makes a special gift.
“[I give out] miniature baskets with little Easter goodies in it. And I like to include a little pamphlet of the resurrection story too,” she said.
“And the kids love it, too. I had someone come by the other day with her grandkids, and she just had to pull them out of the yard to get them to go,” she said.
With a little help from their friends, Buck and Agnes Ratliff construct the display two weeks before Easter and leave it up for two weeks after to allow more people to enjoy it.
“The yard is lit up at night – we usually turn them off around 9 or 9:30,” she said. “One night around that time a little girl came through and said ‘My momma wants me to ask if you’ll turn the lights on again so we can see them.’”
The Ratliffs said it is a labor of love they enjoy, and that all are welcome to come explore their display.