The boy was tall for his age – he stood out more as the woman laid down the ground rules as dozens of younger, smaller children all milled around excitedly waiting for the whistle to be blown. And when it did the children surged forward, some led by parents, some tugging eagerly on their parents’ hands, some simply running full tilt to the furthest point. And there were eggs everywhere. On chairs, tables, bookshelves, keyboards, the floor, ledges, under hedges, in every nook and cranny. In many cases adults ran around picking up the eggs, dropping them into their child’s basket. And it started with such promise – almost immediately he found an egg, left alone after the crush had rushed through the opening.
But his luck turned. At every turn, he went to where the mob gathered, but he was a polite boy, and said “excuse me” and waited for his turn to look while the smaller children pushed him aside and pushed through and took the glory. The act was repeated over and over again – inside at the book shelves, outside in the hedgerow, on the playground, under the slide, amongst the rocks. At each instance, he came up empty-handed, while the smaller children filled their baskets.
But not all was lost, for he knew at home that he had his own basket, already full, awaiting him, that he did not have to compete for, that he had filled at his leisure that very morning. And the lone chocolate egg he had found was added to his bounty, then slowly, carefully savored over several minutes – letting it melt slowly in his mouth rather than simply chewing, reveling as the sun-softened chocolate melted in his hands, coating his lips and cheeks and chin.