The Easter Snake

“You know, when I was a girl,” Mom said over Easter breakfast, “after we got home from church, we’d have an Easter egg hunt in the backyard.”

“That sounds nice,” I commented.  “We’d spend the day before Easter coloring eggs with the kids and then hide them all around the house and the yard for them to find the next day.”

“Well, I think it’s a shame that no one can do that anymore,” she replied through a mouthful of waffles and syrup.

“What do you mean no one can do that?” I asked.  “I think Dana and Allen are doing it for Amber and Jack.  In fact, Jack’s fingers were all purple when we saw him at Amber’s volleyball game yesterday.  He said it was from dying Easter eggs.”

“Then you better call them and tell them not to hide eggs outside,” she said, sounding somewhat alarmed.

“Why not?” asked Bill as he pulled another hot waffle from the waffle maker.  “That’s what you do with your kids on Easter.  Force them to go to church by promising them an Easter egg hunt and chocolate bunnies if they sit through the service without talking or humming or laughing or fighting or making you crazy.”

“Been there,” I said.

“Done that,” he answered.

“Well you can’t do that anymore because there’s too many rattlesnakes now and they’ll get bit,” she said.  “I saw it on the news last night.  You can’t hunt for eggs outside anymore because we’re overrun with Easter rattlesnakes.  So call them to make sure they’re only hiding the eggs inside the house,” she ordered with a nod of finality.  “Call right now!”

I left my breakfast cooling on the table and retrieved my cell phone from the office, where I sat to call my daughter.

Ten minutes later I returned to cold waffles, cold bacon, cold coffee, and lukewarm orange juice.  “Too late,” I announced as I sat down.

“Oh no, did one of them get bit.  See, I told you.  I warned you. And now look what’s happened,” she exclaimed, scooping up her morning pills and gulping them down with the last of her OJ.

“Mom, no one got bit.  Everyone’s fine.  I’m sure the six foot block fence around their yard helped protect them from the herd of rattlesnakes roaming through the streets of Mesa,” I commented drily.

“Oh, well, that’s a relief.  Now call Ryan and tell him not to let Olivia look for eggs outside,” she instructed.

“I did.  He didn’t.  They hid the eggs inside.  But the first egg she found she threw at the dog because she thought it was a ball, so that pretty much ended the Easter egg hunt.”

“Why on earth would she think it’s a ball?”

“Because she isn’t even two yet!”

“Oh, I suppose you’re right.  And be sure to stay out of the yard today,” she said.

“Why?  We’re not looking for eggs.”

“I know, but the rattlesnakes are out and they apparently won’t be going back into their holes until after Easter.  That’s why they’re Easter rattlesnakes.  That’s what they news story was all about.  And happy Easter.”

“Happy Easter to you too, Mom.”

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