It's the former; let's set the Wayback Machine to 1981 as we watch Mike try to finesse his way out of getting punished for eating Lizzie's candy:
Panel 1: We start off with the scene that Lynn used to make the seasonal banner: Mike and Lizzie messily eating the candy in their Easter baskets.
Panel 2: Since he's a bit of a creep, Mike turns to Lizzie and asks her if she's willing to trade one of her chocolate eggs for a real hard-boiled one.
Panel 3: The real story begins when Elly makes the scene; it seems that she thought that Mike had bought Lizzie a chocolate bunny for Easter and wants to know what happened to it.
Panel 4: Mike says that he wanted to make sure it was a good one so he pulled a Sally Forth and ate the ears.
Panel 5: Having realized it looked kinda dumb that way, he next bit off the head.
Panel 6: He gets all whiny as he says that he didn't mean to eat the body but something came over him.
Panel 7: He almost saved her the feet but since that would have been a dumb present, he ate them too.
Panel 8: He next tells a gobsmacked Elly that he thought that it was the thought that counts.
Summary: I know that in the original version of events, Mike was being a greedy little creep who ate Lizzie's bunny just to be mean; the problem is that Lynn failed to realize what sticking this strip next to one in which Elly told him to sit quietly and ignore his hunger while she decided what to cook for supper would make reasonable people think: Mike didn't want to do this but he didn't actually have a choice.