Instead of standing right out in the blistering noon-day sun of earthly trial and trouble, come under the Rock. You may drive into it the longest caravan of disasters. Room for the suffering, heated, sunstruck, dying, of all generations, in the shadow of the great Rock:
“Rock of ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.”
Hiding eggs for Easter.
Those who were so unfortunate as to have been born and brought up in the city know nothing about that chapter in a boy’s history of which I speak.
About a month before Easter there comes to the farmhouse a scarcity of eggs. The farmer’s wife begins to abuse the weasels and the cats as the probable cause of the paucity. The feline tribe are assaulted with many a harsh “Scat!” on the suspicion of their fondness for omelets in the raw. Custards fail from the table. The Dominick hens are denounced as not worth their mush. Meanwhile, the boys stand round the corner in a broad grin at what is the discomfiture of the rest of the family.
The truth must be told that the boys, in anticipation of Easter, have, in some hole in the mow or some barrel in the wagon-house, been hiding eggs. If the youngsters understand their business, they will compromise the matter, and see that at least a small supply goes to the house every day. Too great greed on the part of the boy will discover the whole plot, and the charge will be made: “De Witt, I believe you are hiding the eggs!” Forthwith the boy is collared and compelled to disgorge his possessions.
Now, there is nothing more trying to a boy than, after great care in accumulating these shelly resources, to have to place them in a basket and bring them forth to the light two weeks before Easter. Boys, therefore, manage with skill and dexterity. At this season of the year you see them lurking much about the hayrick and the hay-loft. You see them crawling out from stacks of straw and walking away rapidly with their hands behind them. They look very innocent, for I have noticed that the look of innocence in boys is proportioned to the amount of mischief with which they are stuffed. They seem to be determined to risk their lives on mow-poles where the hay lies thin. They come out from under the stable floor in a despicable state of toilet, and cannot give any excuse for their depreciation of apparel. Hens flutter off the nest with an unusual squawk, for the boys cannot wait any longer for the slow process of laying, and hens have no business to stand in the way of Easter. The most tedious hours of my boyhood were spent in waiting for a hen to get off her nest. No use to scare her off, for then she will get mad, and just as like as not take the egg with her. Indeed, I think the boy is excusable for his haste if his brother has a dozen eggs and he has only eleven.