Year after year, as long as I can remember, my large extended family has had an Easter Egg Hunt for all the children. Each household brings some colored eggs, the adults and older kids “help the Easter Bunny” hide all of them before the mothers and younger children come down. It is usually innocent enough, but there always seems to be someone who climbs a tree just to put a brightly painted egg in plain sight, completely out of reach.
Let me go back to the start… that is the starting line. The children were split into three groups, the little little kids, the little kids, and the big little kids. The lineup does change from year to year. Like a goat that might eat its feed, or jump the fence to eat the roses, it all depends on the mood. The zero to three-ish year-olds had a head head start. Then the four-ish to six-ish year-olds were off with a head start. After about five or so seconds later, the seven-ish to twelve year olds were let off their leash. Yes, there is a cut-off age for the Easter Egg Hunt. We do have some culture.
Now, perhaps I should have mentioned before, the big oak at the back of the field was within the egg-hiding-boundaries. Unfortunately, a great deal of stinging nettle and thistle had become intimate friends with that oak. But that did not stop the boys from hiding eggs within nettle, or the tree.
Children carefully picked their way into stinging nettle as high as their chest, all to find hidden eggs. Those in shorts, and girls in skirts, were more eager to avoid the thistle all together. But that did not stop them from skirting around the edge, and looking all the same.
Then #4 spotted a bright red egg high up on one of the oak’s limbs. But she, girly girl as she was, had chosen to wear a skirt that day. So, she called to her older sister for help. Once she had pointed it out, #2 strode into the stinging nettle without a worry… she was wearing long pants.
The nearly nine year-old climbed up the thick boat rope without trouble, but then realized that her arms were not long enough to reach the egg. She then did what any little girl in her situation would do, she called down to #4 to go and get daddy.
So, there she was, fifteen feet up a rope, grinning like she had been caught doing something silly. With our combined efforts, her reaching and me pulling the rope toward it, the egg was secured. She dropped it down for me to catch, which I did not, and #4 scooped it up and added it to her bucket.
There were few eggs left to find once she had slid down the rope, but she did not feel like she had missed anything. She was beaming with pride that she had retrieved one of the eggs that the big boys had hidden. Obviously one of my younger brothers or cousins had hidden that one. You can always tell who hid the eggs by where they are hidden. The young ladies tend to hide eggs in within their reach. Fathers hide eggs within the reach of their specific children. When an egg is hidden inexplicably well, or completely out of reach… that was done by a bachelor.