The animals at the farm were not too happy when the farmer brought Molly home. But the farmer had grand plans for her.

Molly was just a little hen — and a frightened one at that — until a kind old farmer came along and bought her at the Village Fair. After watching her comrades being packed into crates and shipped to faraway places, Molly was truly relieved when the Farmer picked her up and drove her to his farm in his rickety old truck.

It was a sleepy little farm on a hill, and the farmer was a kind old man, who took good care of his animals. He was fond of Molly, but the other animals and birds couldn’t understand why. “What does he see in her?” they gossiped. “Look at us! We’re of the finest pedigree in this part of the country, and he dotes on this ordinary hen?” And so they resolved to make life a tad difficult for poor Molly. The horses would stomp for no reason when she went rummaging for food, the cows would make scary noises, the rooster saw to it that she got only the leftovers and even the cat made it a point to smack his lips whenever she strolled by!

But the farmer gave Molly the best part of the coop on the farm and he collected her eggs carefully and kept them in a warm room. Now this made the ducks and geese jealous as the farmer had never showered such attention on them. “Oh, he must be hoping they would hatch, and he would have more chicken!” exclaimed the ducks. “How gross! Is he planning to turn this into a poultry farm?” quipped the haughty geese.

When winter came, the farm was covered with a blanket of snow, and the animals and birds had to spend all their time indoors. And often, they’d all gang up against Molly and give her a tough time. Scout, the farm dog, was the only one who understood her loneliness, but even he would sometimes give in to the others and chase her around the barn till her little legs ached.

Soon it was spring once again, and the animals heaved a sigh of relief at the first sign of grass. There was excitement in the air with buildings painted, hedges trimmed and the air turned festive. The animals watched in wonder as the farmer started putting up decorations everywhere and were surprised when Scout told them that it was almost Easter, and there was going to be an Easter Egghunt on the farm!

Surprise!

“Ah! An Easter Egghunt after all these years!” exclaimed Big Max the old farm horse, who had seen better days. The animals listened as he told them what an Easter Egghunt was. “When I was young, we’d have an Easter Egghunt every spring and there would be children all over the farm. What a lovely time we used to have, taking them for a ride up and down the hill as they searched for brightly coloured Easter Eggs! It was the best time of the year for us as the little children pampered us and brought us juicy carrots to munch on. Oh, it’s so exciting to even think about it!”

When Easter Sunday dawned, the farm was buzzing with activity. Cars carrying children in their Sunday best started arriving and the mood was festive. The farmer had planned a surprise not just for the children, but for the other animals too. He gathered all the children on the lawn and told them that this was going to be an Easter Egghunt with a difference! “The Easter eggs that you are going to search for and find today are not hollow or hard-boiled like they usually are” he said. “They are Molly’s eggs, and each has a chick inside that’s ready to hatch anytime now! I had carefully guarded them in the incubator so that you would know the true significance of Easter… So please be careful with them” said the farmer. The children were so excited on hearing this, and they hurried to find the eggs, armed with baskets. The eggs were easy to find, as the farmer had painted and decorated each one.

When all the eggs were gathered, the children brought them to the farmer, who picked up one and asked them, “Do you know why eggs came to be associated with Easter?” They shook their heads and the farmer continued. “Eggs in general play an important role in the circle of life — they represent new life and hope. Easter is all about Jesus Christ who died on the cross for the sins of the whole world, only to rise again on the third day, victorious over sin and death.

His resurrection brings us the promise of a new, eternal life — and that is what the Easter Egg stands for!” Just as the farmer was speaking, one of the eggs cracked and a fluffy little head popped out, welcomed by the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ of the children. Molly was thrilled and so were the other animals and birds, as they had never seen such a charming brood.

The farmer treated the children to a hearty Easter brunch, complete with candied Easter eggs filled with the most delightful toffees, chocolates, nuts and marzipan to take home. No wonder, like the animals, the children were already looking forward to Easter on the farm next year!