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Updated: April 14, 2014 16:45 IST

On a hunt for treasure

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Veera and Joice were happy that they were one of the first to crack the clues. They were sure to win the prize!

“The Annual Easter Egg Treasure Hunt Contest is on!” the Principal of Cambridge School, Mrs. Robinson announced at Assembly.

Veera and her best friend, Joice, were excited at this announcement. For the Treasure Hunt Contest there would be clues hidden all over the huge, sprawling school campus. You had to figure out the clues and then find out where the treasure was hidden. The first prize was a huge Easter bunny made of chocolate! Almost all the students wanted to win the prize.

Mrs. Robinson continued, “I wish you all the best. As usual, you know the rules governing this contest. Listen to the first clue. Try to crack it, go to the specific place and look for the second clue. Crack that and continue. The first clue is: “This ‘egg’ is what primary school teachers do to egg their students hesitant to study.”

On the trail

Veera said to Joice, “What are the words that sound like ‘egg’? Could it be “egg-zajeration” (exaggeration)? Let’s go to the Kindergarten Block.”

They rushed off to the Kindergarten Block. The primary school teachers were struggling to teach the basics and they had to exaggerate the pronunciation of words to make themselves understood.

Veera and Joice looked in the cupboards, the crayon boxes and then voila! they found the second clue in the chalk box! The second clue read: “This ‘egg’ is practised by the School Management. Indeed, they need this ‘egg’ to plan their school scholastic activities for the coming year.”

Veera and Joice felt they were lucky for the other teams seemed to be still stuck on the first clue!

“Extreme, extrovert, excellent……what could the word be?” wondered Joice, “Could it be ‘egg-zecution’ (execution) of plans and strategies? Let’s go to the Management Room and find out.” Though normally children are not allowed in the Management Room, today was an exception. There, there was a table and chairs, and an LCD projector. As luck would have it, between two slides was the third clue! It read: “This ‘egg’ is for when you don’t feel well or you are not in your element”.

“Oh, that’s an easy one, it must be to ‘egg-zamin’ by the school nurse. Let’s rush to the sick room!” said Joice.

Just as they arrived, they saw Doris and Christine. They overheard them telling the nurse, “We just found this clue, which says, ‘You are the winner of the School Easter Egg Treasure Hunt Contest!’”

It dawned on Veera and Joice that Doris and Christine had come to the sick room as they were not well, and quite by accident they saw the piece of paper. But being opportunists, they decided to claim the prize.

Veera and Joice were close to tears. They walked away, disappointed and dejected.

Joice said, “So close, but yet so far. This is so unfair! We tried so hard. Do you think we should complain to the Principal about this?” Just then, they looked up and saw a huge poster depicting the School Easter Day celebrations. There on the poster was an illustration of the martyred Jesus Christ, a halo of light surrounding his radiant face. Below were the words, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do”.

“Veera, Easter is celebrated because of Jesus who died on the cross and forgave those, like Judas Iscariot, who had betrayed Him. He felt no anger, rancour or hatred towards any his betrayers. We too must try and forgive others with our heart and soul. Not winning an Easter Egg Treasure Hunt Contest is not the end of the world,” said Joice. “It is not the winning, but the taking part that matters; it is not the destination, but the journey.”

“And what a journey we had!” said Veera, smiling.

Wicked witch of Easter

We’ve heard of the Easter bunny, but an Easter witch? In parts of Scandinavia, on the Thursday or Saturday before Easter, little girls dress up in rags and old baggy clothes and go around with a copper kettle looking for treats — kind of like Halloween! As per this tradition, witches would fly to a German mountain before Easter to help Satan. To scare them away, locals lit bonfires and fireworks across the land in the days leading up to Sunday.

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