Hunt for the Easter (Pâques) Tree

Les T became the destination of the Easter rabbit for off loading an outrageous pile of chocolate eggs this Sunday. With a little help from some of us adults, the hamlet became the grounds for dozens of concealed chocolate eggs. In amongst the search for the eggs was another game, barely noticeable at first, the Quest to find the Easter Tree (where the more significant stash of chocolate could be found).
easter egg hunt
The day began with an egg painting workshop in the garden of Graham and Michelle. Thanks to Jackie who organized it, the kids made egg faces with cress seed heads that will one day sprout lovely green mops of hair. That gave the adults the opportunity, with some help from the teenagers, to lay the eggs. The kids, at the mention of a workshop, were incredulous. ‘What about the chocolate egg hunt?’ Soon however, they were all absorbed in their individual artistic worlds.
egg painting
egg cress painting
egg cress painting easter
The hunt began. Some eggs were easy to find – an advantage for the young ones, three and four year olds. We still had to restrain the older ones at times to prevent them hoovering up that could be seen. Still, there were so many eggs that everyone came away content.
egg hunt
egg hunt
easter egg hunt
Gradually the jigsaw puzzle pieces were discovered. These played a role in the Quest. Each one had a clue leading to the next puzzle piece. ‘White rabbit posts a letter’ (Postbox), ‘White rabbit drives her tractor’ (tractor!). Once all the pieces to the puzzle were uncovered the kids had to assemble the puzzle. This took time and cooperation in a group environment. I noticed it also helped to break up the frenzy of egg hunting – provide some focus again. There was a riddle on the puzzle, leading to the next stage…

I am more precious than Gold
Clearer than Diamonds
Or so I am told,

I come out of the ground,
To pleasure your horse,
With my babbling sound,

A home to the spawn,
Held in by walls,
I wish to go run free.

Reach down and you will find me.

rabbit jigsaw

This took some brain crunching. At last, some of the older kids got it. Frog spawn, the Lavoir (stone trough fed by a spring). Sure enough, down at the bottom of the trough was a hand drawn map of the area around the hamlet. Deep into the gardens, past the play house, past the raspberries, past the big oak with its tire swing, across the rickety bridge, is the Easter Tree.

Decked out with chocolate eggs wrapped in aluminium so they shine, hanging from the branches, the tree stood out from the others. And sure enough, at the foot of its trunk, was a basket filled with chocolate eggs.
Paques Tree
One of the ironies, given the obscene amount of chocolate, was that the basket handle broke just as it was being carried back over the rickety bridge. Children cried out in distress as chocolate eggs wrapped in colourful foil floated down the stream.

It was a great day!

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