Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Egg Hunt

Easter eggs (Latin name Ovum easterialis) are one of the most sought-after items of the Easter holiday. But where did this tradition of hunting Easter Eggs come from, and how did it become so big in America? The Tantrum spent its Easter finding out.

I traveled to one of the first sites of an Easter Egg Hunt: the backyard. Here I had a chance to speak with a family that has been hunting Easter Eggs for more than 50 years. They explained to me how there are various species of Easter Eggs, which can usually be told apart by their various colors and patterns. The solid pink Easter Eggs, for example, have the ability to grow salmonella in very little time, which is a good defense when Easter Eggs are out in the wild. And light blue Easter Eggs with the word "Bobby" marked on them in colored dye have eggshells like armor, and are very difficult to crack.

We kept all of these things in mind as we gathered our baskets, nets and rifles and set out to hunt some Easter Eggs. Kids, do not try this at home without adult supervision.

We first moved silently behind a bush in the backyard. Silence is the key when hunting Easter Eggs, lest they hear you and disguise themselves in the shrubbery. We then used hand signals to split into teams, each taking a different part of the backyard. I went with a person whom I will call "Jane" (all names changed for protection of the innocent) and we hunkered down in between a swing set and a slide.

"There! In the flower bed! Do you see it?" Jane whispered to me. I raised my binoculars to where she was pointing.

"Crikey!" I exclaimed. "She's a beaut!" The Easter Egg was green on top, red in the middle and purple on the bottom. It also had polka dots on it, which I deduced to be some sort of camouflage for when it hides amongst the flowers.

Jane and I split apart and circled around the flower bed. Our plan was for Jane to ambush the Easter Egg and flush it out into my awaiting net. It worked perfectly! Until...

"Argh!" I shouted. "It shot yolk into my eye!"

I wrestled with the venomous Easter Egg for what seemed to be ten minutes. It had the better of me until I jammed my thumb into its cloaca. As it squealed in pain, Jane shot it in the neck with a tranquilizer dart. Success!

All in all we caught ourselves fifteen Easter Eggs. Not bad for a day's work.

So when did this tradition start and how did it become so big in America? Who cares?! As long as all Easter Eggs are annihilated. Hunting season ends this week so let's get on it, America!

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