A Short Post About A Serendipitous Tradition


Okay, you might not believe me when I say this, but truly, we TRY to find each and every plastic Easter Egg each year at our outdoor Easter Egg hunts…but somehow, every year, one or two get lost and then a year or so later we find them, bitten by animals, grubby, abandoned, lying in plain sight beneath a tree or a bush. We love this “tradition” – even if it happens purely by serendipity and never by design.


The first time it happened, 8 years ago when we moved out to our acreage, we weren’t too surprised. We had hidden over 200 eggs that year, and, though we didn’t count them all afterwards, we were pretty sure that there were some unaccounted for.

Searching high and low!
Searching high and low!

“Did you guys search in the way back?”

“No, that was too far.”

The hunt begins.  Seven 5 & 6 year olds having fun.
The hunt begins. Seven 5 & 6 year olds having fun.

We went back to look and found about a dozen. BUT…we still didn’t find them all. In fact, it took us three years to find all of those, we know because that was the only year we hid little erasers in some of the eggs and, sure enough, when the lawn-mower found an egg three years later, it had a butterfly eraser inside it…and the marks of some creature’s teeth all over the egg’s smooth, plastic, ovoid exterior.

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Mostly they’re found in the spring, when the long grasses have died back and the new ones haven’t yet taken their place. It’s as if the snow has rooted out the eggs, shoved them forward like icebergs shoved rocks across the plains, and they wait to be found, little mountains of color in our prairie lawn.


Ironically, it’s not green eggs that we tend to find, but pink or purple or orange – colors, in other words, that you’d expect would be easy to spot beneath a tree. But, as Carl Sandburg so poignantly reminds us, “I am the grass; I cover all“.

A few weeks ago, the kids and my husband took a walk in the back yard, despite the March wind and snow. When they came in, cheeks red and noses running, some twenty minutes later, Boo proudly held up the egg they had found.

And then, with a grin, she opened it.

Lovely. Was it a malted egg? That’s my guess. Though, to be sure, it’s an educated guess more than an obvious match for said candy. The remains of it could fool an archeologist.

The interior.  Not too appetizing one year later.
The interior. Not too appetizing one year later.

I burst out laughing, loving the grubby egg, the continuing tradition.

The lucky finder of the Golden Egg one year ago.
The lucky finder of the Golden Egg one year ago.

Anyone care to hazard a guess on how many eggs we’ll find a year from now? If the seven five and six year-olds who came to hunt eggs at Boo’s party have anything to say about it, it will be zero. I, however, as the realistic mom…I’m guessing two or three.

Or, should I say, that’s what I’m hoping for. After all, it would be a shame to let a good tradition die.

I love dying eggs!
I love dying eggs!

PS – Sure enough, there’s at least one that we couldn’t find this year. Boo says that the leprechaun took it. Could be she’s right. How else can we explain their total disappearance?!

Not eggs...but a egg-like welcome to a party!
Not eggs…but a egg-like welcome to a party!

PPS – ON EASTER DAY Boo found one from last year – nice and grubby and innocently hiding all year long near the well. What a hoot.

A tradition continues.
A tradition continues.