The Turtle family lived in a quiet meadow on Pop Nelson’s farm. Now, Pop was an elderly man who lovingly took care of all of the animals on the farm. Every morning, during his morning walk, he would bring food to the pond animals. Pop had duck food, turtle food, fish food, and bird food in his backpack.
The pond had been the Turtle’s home since Pop’s great grandfather owned the farm. And the Turtles live in the same mud hutch that their great grandparents lived in. Grandma and Grandpa Turtle lived in the mud hutch right beside them too! Everyone’s life was very happy at Pop Nelson’s pond.
One day during Easter season, Tom and his older sister Tabitha were in the kitchen helping Mama dye Easter eggs. Tom was in a pouty mood because he felt like his friends got to dye more eggs and got better toys for Easter than he did.
“Mom why can we only dye three eggs a piece?” whined Tom.
“Because Easter is about Jesus Christ and not eggs.” Mom said firmly.
Seeing her young son’s pouty face, Mom decided to try to make him understand the real reason for Easter. And it was not dyed eggs, bunny rabbits, and gifts!
“Tom,” Mom said gently, “We dye three eggs because each egg represents something very important at Easter.”
“Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!” chimed in Tabitha.
“That is right, Tabitha.” Mom said.
Mom went on to explain, “Easter is about Jesus Christ, who was sent by the Father, to take away our sin to give us everlasting life.”
“Before Jesus left to go back to heaven, He gave us the Holy Spirit to help us out in this life and to give us a connection to Him and the Father, until we go to heaven.”
“Mom, I know all of that,” Tom said, “we learned about it in Sunday school.” “I want to know why we cannot dye a dozen eggs and get a cool toy for Easter, like all of our friends do.”
Mom sat down at the kitchen table and motioned for Tom and Tabitha to sit down. This was going to be a very important talk and she wanted their full attention.
“I believe it is my job to keep our family focused on the right things in life.”
“For us to dye twelve hard boiled eggs and no one eats the eggs is wasteful to me.”
“There are too many in this world who do not have food to eat.”
“And, your father and I feel like for you to get a cool toy is disrespectful to the meaning of Easter, but a small thoughtful one is ok.”
With a smile on her face, Mom decided to let Tom and Tabitha in on a little secret!
“Besides we have a neighborhood Easter egg hunt every year, and we use over 100 plastic eggs.”
“That we put paper crowns and crosses in, to keep our friends remembering the real reason for Easter!” Tabitha said, trying to act like Mom.
Tom stuck his tongue out at his sister. Tabitha always tried to act like she was an adult too, and it annoyed him.
Mom ignored the faces being made between the two of them.
“And this year there will be a surprise at the egg hunt!”
“Huh?” Tabitha and Tom said together, thus stopping their silly face making.
“One of the eggs will have this beautiful gold cross in it,” Mom pulled out a small gold cross from her apron pocket, “and whoever finds it will keep the gold cross.”
A sly grin came over Mom’s face.
“Oh yes, along with a special prize!”
Tom jumped out of his chair and said, “I will help you pick out the plastic egg to put the gold cross in Mom!”
“Tom” Tabitha put her hands on her hips. “You can’t do that, it would not be fair!”
Before a good argument got going, Mom stood up and stated, “Only, Mayor Sam Duck will know because he gets to put the gold cross in the winning egg.”
“I won’t even know,” Mom said.
“Do you know what the surprise is going to be?” Tabitha asked.
“No, that job was for Pastor Peacock.”
“Oooooh,” both children happily said together, “Pastor Peacock finds the most fun things for us kids at church.”
“Come on now,” Mom lovingly touched each of their turtle heads, “We still have the plastic eggs to fill.”
Mom, Tom, and Tabitha filled all of the plastic eggs with the paper crowns and crosses. Tom and Tabitha eagerly ate their dinner, washed, said their prayers, and went to bed. They wanted Easter to hurry up and come!