Easter was always a stressful time for kids on the farm.
Imagine, if you will, lying in bed on Easter eve wondering whether the Easter bunny will make it safely to your house. Your immediate concern isn’t that he will fill the baskets you and your sisters laid out only hours earlier. No, you’re thinking of owls and hawks and foxes and coyotes and snakes that live in the woods. If that magical rabbit meets an untimely demise while hopping down the gravel road to your house, you’ve effectively ruined Easter for kids all over the world. It’s more responsibility than you can bear.
You go upstairs to your parents’ room and tell them you have a tummy ache. Your mom snaps at you to go back to bed. You do, but you sleep fitfully, seized by dreams of sinister hasenpfeffer.
When you wake up in the morning, you find that the Easter bunny did make it safely to your home. Your baskets are overflowing with chocolate bunnies and Peeps and Cadbury eggs and jelly beans. You and your sisters shove as many confections into your mouths as you can manage before your mom takes the baskets away, hands each of you an egg crate and shoves you out the door.
But as you scramble along the lawn, you find nary an egg. You check all the usual hiding spots — in the treads of the tractor tires, in the seat of the lawn mower, in the horses’ feed buckets, in the bed of the pickup truck — but there’s nothing. Finally, you find a confetti spray of colored shell crumbs next to where the Border collies lie sleeping and flatulent.
So you go back inside, where your dad is watching the History Channel and your mom is frying ham and eggs. The phone rings. It’s the neighbor boy, asking if you can come help him find a final egg. Your mom says you can go, but only if you take your sisters with you.
When you get there, the neighbor boy explains that he had dunked one egg into each of the vats of dye his mom had set out before him, resulting in something that looked vaguely like camouflage. It was, of course, his favorite egg, but now he can’t find it. You and your sisters help him look, but give up after a few hours. The stinky orb reemerges months later during an especially involved game of hide and seek.
That’s why Easter never officially ended until some time in July.