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I Am the Easter Bunny

April 25, 2011
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I’ve never cared much about the religious side of holidays like Easter or Christmas. I’ve never cared about the whole gift-giving craze, either – OK, maybe when I was little, but for as long as I can remember, I’ve been happier with a book or two than with a whole pile of expensive toys or, I don’t know, clothes or something.

But what I’ve always loved about those holidays is everything that involves making things – I’ve always been the one who gave hand-made gifts and sent hand-made cards, who made her own wrapping paper… ever since I was old enough, I was the one who was in charge of baking Christmas cookies and painting and dyeing Easter eggs.

I don’t know about the rest of the world, but in my family, we’ve never painted an egg meant to eat – those are always dyed. We could avoid the whole mess and buy dyed eggs, of course, but that’s a.) nowhere near as much fun, and b.) I just don’t trust those eggs to be good.

Like everything else, we always put off dyeing the eggs until the last moment – and then late on Saturday night, out come the cookpots, the dye, water, vinegar and the dyeing jars… dye is splashed over the kitchen counters, and fingers turn red, blue and green… and finally there are Easter eggs:

I actually also love the dye-stained paper towel – it’s pretty! Accidental modern art!

What I like even better than the dyeing itself is pouring out the dye – colouring the kitchen sink for a moment!

My mother has a spectacularly ugly kitchen sink, but egg dye made even that one look pretty for a few seconds. A couple of years ago, I took this picture:

I love the colourfulness of the paint drops splashed up the side of the sink!

I even hid the eggs this year, for my mother and the Clown Brother who came over for lunch, but didn’t get any pictures of them in the balcony garden and houseplants because my family arrived before I was even done hiding the eggs!

***

Eggs for eating aren’t painted, but we still did a bit of egg-painting each year, for our Osterstrauch (‘Easter bush’): a couple of branches in a vase, decorated with blown-out and painted eggs. I don’t seem to have any pictures of the ones from the time when I was still living with my family – they were pretty large, with lots of branches full of flowers and young leaves, and lots of eggs painted by me and my brothers.

This year, mine is pretty modest – just a couple of pussy-willow branches, which I brought home when they were at that fuzzy-silvery-catkin stage weeks ago, and just five eggs:

And my mother doesn’t have one at all, even though she has all our old awesome eggs.

Most of them were rather ordinary kid-painted eggs – colourful patterns or paintings of Easter/spring stuff like bunnies and flowers… but there were a couple of pretty whacky ones. I think the oldest was from the time when the Carpenter Brother and I were pretty obsessed with Harry Potter – I don’t even know which of us painted the Golden Snitch on that egg! Then there was one with the logo for a ‘conspiracy’ I was involved in for a while, and the ‘dragon egg’, which has a dragon painted on it.

This year, I did not only have to paint a couple of eggs to have my own, I also had to blow them out myself – that’s something I’ve never done before. Blowing out eggs was always something that was done by our mother – because raw eggs are gross. I still think so – in fact, every time I have to crack open eggs when I’m cooking, I mutter, ‘ewww, egg slime!’ It’s something of a tradition.

But this year, I had to, so I got out my needles and poked some holes into some eggs, and got to blowing. Since I was doing this with my best friend, a lot of giggling was involved. I wonder what the neighbours thought about the calls that were heard from the open window – ‘my egg is peeing!’

And Saturday night, finally, out came the water colours – something I never use, except just before Easter. Out came the paintbrushes and jars for water and the paper towels, the pencil and opaque white, the egg cups and skewers…

The fruits of my labour:

One ‘I don’t know what to paint, so let’s paint flowers’ egg – I never liked pink, but on the forum that is my ‘online home’, we believe that Pink Is Magic, so I do allow some touches of pink in the Nettle Nest, and the more garish, the better:

One ‘oooh spring is so pretty so let’s paint flowers and young leaves!’ egg:

One ‘I don’t know what to paint so let’s paint swirly patterns’ egg:

One ‘awesome, this set has metallic colours’ metallic swirly-patterned egg – the whackiness of having a black Easter egg was a bonus point:

And finally, my favourite: the return of the Dragon Egg:

Naughty dragon, what are you doing?!

I don’t know what that Easter bunny has done to deserve to be toasted, but don’t worry – Karl the Killer Carrot to the rescue!

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