OPINION: The pitfalls of Easter Egg hunts
EASTER egg hunts have a unique quality of turning a quiet group of children into a ravenous pack of chocolate-seeking missiles.
I've seen a fair few in my time and, admittedly, been front and centre in a couple as a young child.
I recall a few at primary school where teachers hid a few small foil-wrapped chocolate eggs in the classroom, no doubt imagining a fun team-building exercise.
Instead, the teacher was left with a school of piranhas tearing the classroom, and each other, apart in a bid to devour the precious chocolates.
To make matters worse, the teacher then had to play the role of UN diplomat when, invariably, one child ended up with no chocolates at the end of the hunt.
I remember the howls of protest when a greedy child with more than their fair share had to give up some of their bounty in the name of classroom socialism.
Decades later, the Easter egg hunt is showing no sign of waning in popularity.
I recall hearing about one mother who attempted a do-it-yourself egg hunt for a child's birthday party.
She went to great lengths to make it fun for the children.
What would have been pushing 100 eggs were hidden throughout her garden and home.
The mother didn't want the hunt to be too simple.
She wanted a challenge that kept the kids occupied.
Eggs were hidden behind rocks, under plants, up trees and even scattered throughout the house.
I heard the story of this hunt second-hand but what the mother forgot to take into account was the difficulty in finding the eggs.
The children were released on the hunt and found most of the eggs within half an hour.
However, the eggs the mother thought were cleverly hidden could not be found - neither by the children nor herself.
Slowly over the ensuing week the location of the missing in action chocolate eggs was revealed thanks to trails of ants.
It started with an ant super highway snaking its way into the laundry.
The mother, forgetting about the eggs, followed the trail of ants to find a disfigured and melted Cadbury Creme Egg behind her peg basket.
She cleaned the mess up but by the third day of finding stray eggs this way, she was quickly fed up with the inconvenience.
The mother tried to recruit her own children to find the missed eggs, but her two children could not muster up the enthusiasm to rejoin the hunt when told the eggs could not be eaten for safety reasons.
Turns out egg hunts minus the chocolate hold little appeal for children.
In all honesty, I don't blame the children for their lacklustre response.
After all, what's Easter without a chocolate egg or four?