Easter in the Tunnels

By Tunnel Writer




"Father, we have a problem," William bellowed as he barged into Father's chamber. 


 Father looked up from the chess game that he was badly losing. He was glad for the distraction. "What is it, William?"


"EGGS!!! Helpers are bringing them down by the dozens. We have 30 dozen so far." 


"Catherine plans to bring down another 20 dozen," Vincent simply stated, chuckling lightly while making his winning move.


"600 eggs to boil, dye, and hide."


Vincent stood up and gently squeezed William's shoulder. "Everyone is looking forward to it."


 William couldn't argue with that. 


The Saturday before Easter was always a bustling time for the tunnel folks. The ordeal started right after breakfast with adults boiling eggs and chasing away excited children waiting to dye them. 


"Well, I sure hope I have plenty of help cleaning up after the eggs are dyed," William fumed as he headed out of the chamber. "Oh, and another thing...." he spun around to look directly at Father, "Make sure you tell Mouse we don't need his spinning egg dye machine. Last year it took me two months to clean up the splattered dye off the ceiling." 


Father inwardly groaned at the memory of dye splattering everywhere. "Yes, yes, of course. I will have a talk with him."


With that William left, muttering something about 600 eggs. 




Saturday evening before Easter...


All the children were sent to their chambers two hours earlier than normal. Some of the younger ones fell asleep due to the excitement of the eggs. The older ones were reading or playing quietly. They had been given strict orders to stay in their chambers.


Samantha put away her book that she couldn't concentrate on, and walked to the entrance. She peeked into the tunnel and saw Geoffrey. "Where do you think you're going?" Samantha asked accusingly. 




"Liar. You're going to the Great Hall."


Geoffrey sheepishly looked down. 


"I'm going with you," Samantha stated as she grabbed his hand and pulled him to the Hall. 


They tiptoed to the huge closed doors and pressed their ears to the door. They could hear muffled voices, but couldn't make out what was being said. Every once in awhile giggling and even humming would be heard. 


"You know I'm going to find more eggs than you," Samantha whispered. 


"Nuh uh. I'm going to find more," he replied. 


"Neither one of you will find any eggs if you don't get to your chambers," a stern voice said. 


The children turned and faced an angry Winslow with his arms crossed. Pascal stood beside him trying to hide a smile. 


"We're sorry, Winslow. We're just excited," Samantha replied. 


 "Off to bed with you both," Winslow sternly said. 


"Yes, sir," Geoffrey said before grabbing Samantha's hand and running off with her. 


Pascal laughed once the kids were gone. 


"I remember three boys that used to do the exact same thing. How many times did Father shoo you, Vincent, and me away from these doors?" Pascal asked. 


"More times than I can count," Winslow laughed. 


As Samantha and Geoffrey made their way back to their chambers, adults would freeze in the tunnels, afraid of moving and giving away the slightest hints. 


"Samantha, where did you go? Father told us not to leave our chambers," six-year-old Emma asked as the children entered Samantha's chamber. 


"I know, and it doesn't matter now," she replied as she and Geoffrey sat on Samantha's bed.


Emma walked over and sat beside Samantha on the bed. "Why do we have to go to bed so early?" she asked.


"It's Easter," Geoffrey said. 


"She's new here, Geoffrey. She doesn't know about the fun."


"What fun?" Emma asked.


"Right now the teenagers and some adults are hiding eggs in the Great Hall, and the grownups are putting together a scavenger hunt for the teens that feel too grown up for egg hunts," Samantha said, looking at Emma. 


"I saw Ellie head to the Great Hall. She said she's not a baby and wants to help with hiding the eggs," Geoffrey piped in. 


"Tomorrow after breakfast all us kids will meet at the Great Hall and all the teens start in Father's chamber. When Pascal bangs out the 'GO' signal on the pipes, everyone starts searching. Grownups help little kids, but we're on our own."


"What do we do with the eggs? Do we throw them away?" Emma asked.


"NO WAY, we trade them in. We take them to William and he gives us a small cookie the size of a quarter for each egg we find. Whoever finds the most gets two extra cookies," Geoffrey added. 


"Then what happens to the eggs?"


"William turns them into egg salad and makes sandwiches. Then everyone takes a sandwich or two and goes UpTop for a picnic if its nice, or we find a picnic spot down here. We sometimes share our cookies with grownups," Samantha explained. 


"But what about Vincent? He can't have a picnic UpTop," Emma said worriedly. 


Samantha and Geoffrey couldn't contain their giggles. 


"Vincent and Catherine have their own picnic Uptop at night. William ALWAYS saves food for them,"  Geoffrey said. 


"Yeah, and I bet they even kiss," Samantha threw in. 


"EEEEEEWWWWW!!!!" Emma said with disgust, which made the other two laugh out loud. 


"OK, you three. You're going to need your sleep if you plan on finding eggs tomorrow," Mary whispered as she walked in. 


"You're right. Goodnight, Samantha and Emma," Geoffrey said as he walked to the door. 


"Goodnight, Geoffrey, and I'm still going to find more eggs than you," Samantha said as she laid down and fell into a restful sleep. 


Geoffrey shook his head and walked to his own chamber.