I am the barefoot girl standing in the back row. Mother made me wear a dress, since it was Easter. By the time this photo was made, I’d been playing football with my cousins. Two buttons were missing from my new blouse, finished it only that morning. The hem of my skirt was dragging. Needless to say, Mother was not pleased.
Eater egg hunts with my cousins were a lot more like cage boxing than gentle competitions. I am sure I fit right in. I had more than forty first cousins, mostly wild animals. By the time my aunts and uncles herded them to the scene of the crime, they just opened the car doors and all Hell broke loose. Exhausted from defending themselves and the babies on the ride over, it was every man for himself. God help anybody in the way.
They’d rip through the house under the guise of needing the bathroom and a drink of water, destruction in their wake, before being cast out into the yard like demons into swine. Actually, they were cast out onto the other cousins. We’d get a baseball or football team going, all the big kids on one team, so the little ones never got a chance to bat, or got mowed down in football. They’d go squalling in to their nosy daddies who’d come out long enough to straighten us out a vague semblance of fairness, often lingering to play a while.
Once the egg hunt started, it was chaos. It was survival of the meanest, shoving kids down, stomping eggs little ones dropped, squalling, and even a few bloody noses. Crazy Larry kept trying to pee on us while we were distracted. One aunt in particular didn’t think her big kids ought to have to share at the end of the hunt, even though they had twenty eggs and babies had none. “They found ‘em!” It didn’t matter that she’d only brought a dozen eggs to the hunt.
Ah, family. Better get busy. I have company coming. But not Crazy Larry. He’s in the witness protection program.