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The Easter Egg Hunt That Backfired

The Easter Egg Hunt That Backfired

Annual Easter egg hunts have always been a treasured tradition in my family. For generations, children have hopped like bunnies through backyards and basements (depending on the weather) to pick up multicolored plastic eggs, filled with candy and coins.

As a young mother, I found myself far from home for Easter one year. My first child had just turned two. Finally, she was old enough to enjoy holiday festivities. Her father was out of town for a technical conference, so the two of us were on our own.

My neighbor invited us to accompany her family to the local Easter egg hunt at the park district playing fields. Together we loaded my daughter’s car safety seat into my friend’s minivan, right between two of her own.

Arriving about 45 minutes before the start of the Easter egg hunt, we still had to park several blocks away from the park. We hiked to the soccer fields, trimmed with staked streamers and balloons. Each field was marked for a specific age group, so we scanned the horizon for the toddler area.

The grass was covered with thousands of colorful plastic eggshells. Parents and children lined the perimeter of the field, holding small paper sacks and eagerly waiting for the starting gunshot.

Ready, Set, Go!

We set the children in place, along the chalked outlines of the playing field. Parents everywhere did their level best to hold their kids back from the waiting loot.

“I heard there are golden eggs out there with free bike tickets!” one child exclaimed.

“Head for the golden Easter egg, son,” a father muttered to his offspring.

Just then, the Easter Bunny himself arrived. He strutted back and forth between the various age-specific gatherings of children.

“Happy Easter!” he shouted. But none of the children approached the holiday hare. Apparently, they did not want to lose their strategic starting positions by the Easter egg fields.

Suddenly, a big bang was heard. The crowd of kids exploded onto the grass. Boys and girls shouted, stumbled and shoved past one another to gather the plastic eggs.

Parents clicked photographs and recorded videotapes of the minor mayhem.

It was all over in less than five minutes. Once the plastic eggs were gathered, I glanced at my watch. It was ten minutes to eleven. The hunt was not scheduled to begin until 11. Why had they started early?

As children sorted their sweet bounty, additional families continued to arrive. But they were too late. They had missed the Easter egg hunt.

Before long, the word began to travel through the crowd.

Across the street from the park was an automotive repair shop. Apparently, a car engine had backfired at precisely 10:45 a.m. Hearing the big bang, the crowd had launched into action.

We learned a few valuable lessons at that Easter egg hunt, although the organizers’ plans had backfired:

  • The early bunny catches the eggs!
  • An egg on time loses nine.
  • Don’t count your eggs before they’re snatched.

Love poetry? Click here to visit Linda Ann Nickerson’s poetry and humor blog, Nickers and Ink.

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