Another memorable egg hunt

The glee was stacked as high as the pancakes and syrup they poked in around my table that morning before the hunt began.
Goals were shared about egg collection; theories on where to look cooked up like the crispy pieces of bacon that followed the forks full of pancake down the hatch.
Syrup dripped off plates, sticky napkins were everywhere, and half-empty glasses of apple juice sat cloudy with flecks of food floating within.
At the call to the hunt, little people had their coats and boots on without squabble—and guaranteed on faster than the ordinary “put on your coat” school day when a mother’s moustache grows an inch and her patience shrinks waiting for her kids to get dressed before the school bus drives away.
And like the sprinter at the crack of the starter’s pistol or the break shot after the eight ball, six little peppers tore from the start line in a burst of sonic energy and out in all directions for the annual Easter egg hunt in Granny’s big yard.
More than 80 colourful plastic eggs filled with chocolates had been placed carefully or tossed haphazardly (depending on who hid them, as I had a three-year-old helper) earlier that day in all manner of hiding places around here.
Charlie, my little farm hand, hid his share of the eggs in chipmunk burrows, under the woodpile, and in tree seedlings and then by the afternoon forgot where—when it was time to find them again.
Priceless.
My little hurricane tribe wasted no time terrorizing the outdoors, squealing with delight as they hauled their egg pails to where I was standing smiling, as the life around me flowered that April day.
I think I saw my old red barn stretch taller when fresh young minds poured through the door looking for eggs in there, too.
And then it was time to go inside and eat the chocolate prizes. And yes, I would be sending the kids home with their moms at that crucial juncture when the sugar-highs and “choco-caffeine” adrenaline turned them all into Tasmanian devils.
Afterwards, the two older boys went back outside to do “boy” stuff, like dig in the anthill and look for mouse skeletons.
No more than five minutes passed when I spotted the younger one, who is six, running across the yard from the barn carrying pieces of siding. Suddenly I imagined an outer wall of the barn I couldn’t see peeled to the core like an old birch tree.
“Where are you going with those?” I shouted, stopping him dead in his tracks, as his head drooped in being caught and the boards dropped from his arms to the ground.
I had to laugh. It was so funny to see his gestures mimic the defeat of a best-laid plan.
I don’t know where he was going with his loot, and I haven’t yet gone out to see where that little Tasmanian pepper lifted the boards from.
I’m smiling but I’m afraid to look.

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