Elfriede darted in between the pines in the forest that sat only
100 metres from their farmhouse. Her basket was overflowing with Easter eggs she had discovered that were neatly hidden by the Easter bunny. Elfriede had woken up early that morning. Following a family custom of the eldest waking up the younger children, and because she and her sister were the first ones awake, they had climbed a ladder to the second story of their house, unhooked the window, entered the bedroom, and spanked their brother, Friedrich, as well as two cousins visiting from the nearby city of Koenigsberg. East Prussian children, mainly Lutheran, were given two full weeks off of school at Easter to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They had all quickly dressed and headed outside for their annual Easter egg hunt. When they returned, Frau Adebahr told them that she was certain there was still one more egg left in the woods. However, Elfriede wondered why her mother knew where the Easter bunny had planted all of the eggs. Later that day, Elfriede and her siblings collected real eggs from the hen house and helped their mother boil them and paint them, a popular tradition in the Baltic region. “Frohe Ostern!”
Dedicated to my husband Rob's Oma, Elfriede Neumann, who grew up in East Prussia in the 1910's and 1920's.