Last night, after the kids had finally gone to bed, Victoria and I began discussing our Easter preparations. After we divvied up the spoils and put the baskets together, we then had to settle on where the Easter Bunny would leave them to be discovered. DsS15 has his game console set up in the living room, and usually heads straight there upon waking. DsD10 gravitates to the TV set early on, while DsS10′s whirlwind of activity courses through every room in the house. Owing to their different waking times, and also that Victoria wanted the kids to wait until after Sunday Mass before they broke into their gifts, we settled on using our mid-day sun-filled front yard so as to equalize the time of discovery.
After settling on that last important detail, I couldn’t help but be reminded of an Easter morning from my own childhood. The day before Easter, my mother boiled up one, or maybe two, dozen eggs, that my three siblings and I could decorate. After this was complete, all eggs were put back inside their cartons.
My parents were also fond of sleeping in on holiday mornings. We had strict instructions not to leave our bedrooms before they got up, and to help keep us quiet, they left an Easter basket at the foot of each of our beds. These eagerly-awaited offerings not only kept us busy, but ensured that my parents enjoyed some precious time for shut-eye in the early morning.
After what seemed like an eternity to us, we were finally allowed out to start the frenzied egg-hunt. Our faces dripping with melted chocolate, we scrambled downstairs and scurried around the living room in search of the hidden eggs. Each egg that was found was returned to our mother, before we headed off in search of another. Mom carefully placed the eggs in the cartons and kept count of the remaining undiscovered eggs.
In the year of this particular Easter memory, we came up short on the total. There were some empty spots left in the cartons, yet no more eggs could be found. Emotions ran high with accusations of cheating, followed by vehement denials that someone sneaked out of his or her bedroom early and cheated on the hunt. The accused loudly proclaimed their innocence.
Three eggs were missing. Broken eggshell remains were found. Nobody was seen eating any eggs during the hunt. The conclusion was clear: one of us had undertaken an early search, and destroyed the proceeds of the crime so as to hide our tracks.
It was at this point that one of us noticed that our mother’s dog was chewing on something. This was unusual, since the dog had not yet been fed that morning, and he did not have any chew-toys in the house. Finally, it was observed that the dog was spitting up pieces of eggshells between bites.
The culprit had been found. We had each failed to see that the dog was also participating in the hunt, but not yielding the eggs he had discovered!
Apologies were made and accepted, and we all headed off the the kitchen for a hard-boiled egg breakfast – minus the dog. He was banished to the backyard until the sulphur-containing components of the eggs had long passed through his intestinal tract.