It was a lovely afternoon; the sun shone and the first cheerful daffodils
were poking up through the lingering patches of snow. The gardens were extensive with steps up to the terrace and an orchard down at the bottom, beyond the rose beds.
I can’t remember when I saw so many children gathered together. There were tall ones and short ones, black ones and white ones. One small group of children were getting their instructions in sign language as they were deaf, there was even a little blind boy and one in a wheelchair. I tried speaking to a couple of little black girls but was slightly slowed up when I found that they spoke no English.
Then the whistle sounded and they were off. They dashed round the garden and the bigger children had soon gathered quite a basketful of chocolate eggs. Some of the little ones did not find it so easy, they couldn’t reach the eggs hidden in the lower branches of the trees, and some of course were unable to read the printed clues that suggested looking in the flowerpot or asking the goldfish.
After half an hour or so they decided that most of the eggs had been found and they gathered to compare notes. What a babble of excited voices, and what a variety of results: some had lots of eggs, some had a few, and one or two had none at all.
One little girl of about eight held up her basket brimming with chocolate eggs and said:
“Shouldn’t we share them out now? It doesn’t seem fair that some of us have so many and others none at all.”
“Not a bit”, replied the organiser. “Life is not fair. It’ll be a good lesson to them.
“Anyway those who haven’t got any eggs were probably lazy or feckless. We need to give people an incentive to grow tall and to learn to read English.”