The afternoon was warm and bright and perfect for a leisurely ride to the pond that Johnny and his brother Scott liked to escape to on occasion just to relax. It had become their spot and it was where most of the brother bonding had taken place. Secrets had been shared and confessions made. Unfortunately the older of the two brothers seemed to be missing.
Scott had pulled a disappearing act earlier in the day and Johnny was getting annoyed. Trying to keep up with Scott lately was turning into a game of hide and seek. For a week every time Johnny turned around his older brother had wandered off in search of Teresa. The two were at it again and Johnny could only imagine what they were planning together now.
Johnny headed for the kitchen first since that is where he usually found his older brother lately. As he made his way towards the enticing aromas that were wafting from the open windows, he hoped that not all of the baking and cooking for Easter Sunday was going to be off limits to him today. After all one cookie wouldn’t hurt. And if one cookie was ok maybe two, three or four more wouldn’t be missed.
Johnny stood in the doorway and watched Scott and Teresa as they dipped some kind of egg shaped object into different cups of colored water. When they finished dipping them they would lay them on a little plate to dry. He walked up to the table and carefully picked up one of the egg shapes.
“What’s this?” Johnny asked as he held the pretty object in his hand.
Smiling indulgently, Scott explained. “It’s an Easter Egg.”
Scott was often explaining some type of new tradition to Johnny and enjoying every minute of it. Not having the luxury of growing up with his brother Scott had missed out on the opportunities to teach the boy all the different things a big brother is suppose to. Johnny had been raised in a different world than his and many of the holiday traditions were new to him.
“It’s a what?” Johnny looked at his brother wondering what kind of eastern custom he was going to introduce him to now.
“An Easter Egg! They are special eggs that only appear around Easter time.” Scott explained.
“So where do they come from.” Johnny wanted to know. He was still holding the egg carefully in his hand admiring the bright color.
“The Easter Bunny brings them.” Scott said as he glanced at Teresa smiling.
Johnny narrowed his eyes at his brother trying to decide if Scott was trying to pull his leg or had just plain gone loco.
Scott winked at Teresa and went on with his story. “The Easter Bunny brings a basket of colored eggs and sweet confections to all the boys and girls who have been good.”
Johnny pondered for a second on what Scott had just told him. “Let me get this straight. You’re sayin’ that some little rabbit brings these special colored eggs to kids who have been good.” Suddenly Johnny realized Scott had mentioned something about sweets.
“Did you say he brings candy too?” He asked enthusiastically.
“That’s right.” Scott confirmed.
Johnny once again stood and watched his brother and sister as they continued to dip the eggs in the cups of dye thinking about what Scott was telling him. He wasn’t buying it this time. He had already been through Christmas with the man and some of Scott’s ideas about the festive holiday seemed a little strange to Johnny.
“No way is some little itty bitty, carrot eatin’, long eared, nose twitchin’ varmint able to deliver these eggs and candy to all the kids in this valley much less the world! And if he is suppose to be delivering them why are you and Teresa doing all the work of dying them? You want to explain that one big brother?”
Before Scott could even open his mouth Johnny added. “And don’t give me that Santa Clause and Reindeer snow job because I ain’t buyin’ it.”
Scott continued with his egg coloring chore as he explained to Johnny how the eggs were delivered. “First of all Little Brother, the Easter Bunny is taller than Murdoch and second of all he has very special powers that enable him to deliver his many baskets without missing one single child who deserves the treats.”
Scott watched Johnny out of the corner of his eye and was amused as his brother tried to process the information Scott had just given him. After a few moments Johnny replaced the egg back where he had found it and walked out the door muttering something about big rabbits and dumb brothers and candy. Scott and Teresa laughed as they watched Johnny disappear around the corner of the house.
Teresa sat up listening carefully for several moments. There she heard it again. Someone was in the kitchen. She was curious as to who would be prowling around at such a late hour. Cautiously she made her way down the corroder and peeked around the corner. To her relief she saw that it was only Scott. He seemed to be working on something at the table but because his back was to her she couldn’t see what it was.
“Scott, what are you doing up so late?” When she walked up next to him she saw a basket with candy and some of the eggs she and Scott had colored earlier for the Easter Egg Hunt that was to take place after Sunday Services.
“Who is that for?” She was very curious as to why he had a basket since no one in their house was really young enough to expect a surprise from the famed “Bunny”.
Scott looked over at her and smiled while putting a finger to his lips warning her to be quiet. He was struggling with a satin ribbon that he was trying to tie into a bow on the handle of the basket. Teresa immediately took pity on him and reached for the basket and ribbon. Scott stepped back and watched as she expertly made one of the prettiest bows he had ever seen.
“Thanks Teresa. I’m sorry if I woke you.”
“That’s ok but you still haven’t told me why you are making an Easter Basket.” She was not going to be able to rest unless he filled in the mystery for her.
Scott bent over and gave his sister a kiss on the cheek before heading towards the stairs with the basket. Before heading up to his room Scott turned and explained. “I was just making sure that the Easter Bunny doesn’t forget a very special young man this year.”
Teresa watched a bit confused as Scott disappeared up the stairs. Suddenly realization dawned on her and she laughed softly to herself.
They had only been a family for a short time but the bonds were strong and getting stronger every day. No two brothers could be closer or enjoy being brothers as much as Scott and Johnny.
Teresa went back to bed and fell asleep contented in the knowledge that Lancer was a very happy house.