Egg-cercise: Youth Enjoy Family Hunt

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

The one thing that separates the boys from the men — so to speak — in Easter egg hunts is preparation, and the kids in the front yard of Doug and Tonya Waller’s Ironton home Saturday were busy getting ready for a search.

Naturally, John Sammet, 10, had begun that Saturday with some warm-up exercises with cousin Ali Waller.

“We’re going to hunt Easter eggs,” said John, extending a finger towards Ali. “So me and her played tag.”

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Sisters Lauren and Emily Fields — six and four years old respectively — had also spent some time kicking around a soccer ball with Ali, and all of the children had prepared by hiding things in the sandbox.

Ali said she had also spent some of her pre-hunt time loading up on some energy from strawberries, grapes and nachos.

Their training was temporarily interrupted by Lacee Sammet, John’s 12-year-old sister. Lacee had graduated to semi-adult status, now charged with hiding the eggs as opposed to hunting them.

Her arrival sent a jolt of excitement through the younger group, who thought she might have been proclaiming the beginning of the hunt, but she was simply sent to make sure no one was getting into trouble.

However, she did admit, the job of hiding the eggs was almost complete.

“They’re hidden OK, I guess,” Lacee said. “They’re good enough for the little kids.”

There was one egg hidden better than the others. There was one egg that charged the children’s imaginations, and fired their competitive spirits: The golden egg.

“I’m going to find the golden egg, and if you do you get a prize,” Lauren said. “It’s a big prize.”

The strategies for how to claim the top honor differed, but John’s seemed most representative.

“I’m going to get the golden egg first,” John said.

“I want to get the golden egg first too,” added Ali from behind a pouting lip.

In the end, the two eventually decided to help each other and pool their fortunes.

They didn’t know what the Easter prize was, they were only sure of its greatness. Perhaps the biggest topic of disagreement was just what they would win. Theories abounded: John was counting on a million dollars, Ali hoped it would be a kite, Lauren was wishing for the unusual combination of candy and earrings … and 4-year-old Emily?

“Umm … a flower.”

With that, she returned to playing with her sandbox buckets, and the children returned to their training: A rousing game of “Duck, Duck, Goose.” After all, those eggs weren’t going to hunt themselves.

The Dart is a weekly feature in which a reporter throws a dart at a map of Lawrence County and finds a story where it hits.