by Joshua Perrett
We all have chocolate eggs at Easter, right? Even if the reason for celebration has been drowned in Willy Wonka’s chocolate river, we still gorge ourselves sick every year. In fact, if you asked a kid who Jesus is, they’d probably name a Spanish football player. And I’m certain they couldn’t explain the egg’s symbolism as I can’t – and I’ve been eating them for years.
My most memorable Easter egg experience happened when I was in Year 6 of junior school. As a class, we’d all been given a handful of small chocolate eggs to celebrate the spring term’s hard work before our holiday. A few kids saved them and others dived in, tearing off the foil wrapping as a television presenter reveals the star prize. I’d like to think I saved mine, but it’s hard to resist when the smell of cocoa grabs you by the hand, undresses the egg and slides it in your mouth before you’ve consented to the chocolate love-making. But some people have better self-control than me, and put their eggs in their bags.
We must’ve done something that afternoon – most likely swimming in a pool of Arctic-cold green slime, or ‘PE’ as the teachers insisted on calling it – as we left the classroom, then returned a while later to a crime scene. The hunt for Kaden’s missing Easter eggs was on.
As no one confessed to stealing his eggs, Miss Bevort was called in to interrogate the class. She was an archetypal headmistress with a hooked beak and thin glasses that she’d never look through, but always peer over with a condemnatory scorn.
We were taken out of the classroom one by one to a table in the library, Miss Bevort’s eyes fixated on our own as they scoured for confessions. ‘Did you steal Kaden’s Easter eggs?’ she’d ask, to which everyone said no. You could almost hear a gun cock as she leaned in to say, ‘Are you sure?’ before we were escorted back to the classroom like prisoners.
Then came the bag searches. We were made to open our school bags and place them on the table as we all stood beside them, silent with our heads down, as if we’d been stopped by airport security. The teachers walked round, checking every bag, rucksack and pencil case, snarling as they pushed them back towards us, still no closer to finding the missing eggs.
But as Miss Bevort addressed the class, threatening to phone our parents if the eggs weren’t returned, a ball of crumpled foil fell from Kaden’s pocket and rolled along the floor to her foot. She picked it up and opened it out, inhaling the remnants with a look of disgust. She glared at Kaden, and he returned a guilty grin.