Beware of Sabotaging Squirrels...

We celebrate Easter secular-style, which for us means we enjoy the Easter Bunny and learning about its origins as a celebration of Eostre, the ancient goddess of springtime, whose earthly sign is a rabbit and who hides bright eggs and treats as symbols of the sweetness of springtime renewal.

Last year, we were committed to having an all-natural Easter. We grew our own grass to line our Easter baskets, dyed our own real eggs in natural dyes (like beet juice and blueberries), and then left the eggs on our back porch with a note for the Easter Bunny, Eostre, suggesting she hide these lovely eggs along with treats in our building's small backyard.  She obliged, but apparently didn't notify the city squirrels (who mean business around here).  Within minutes of the Easter Bunny's arrival, while we were not looking, the squirrels confiscated 88 pieces of chocolate candy! Yep, 88 pieces.

We know this because we caught a couple of them in the act, and then throughout this past year we have discovered the shiny, colorful, candy wrappings strewn throughout the backyard as the squirrels slowly consumed their buried treasures.

So this year, we have little choice but to be unnatural. We are going back to standard-issue plastic eggs in which to hide Easter chocolates, and are hoping that these squirrels can't figure out how to crack them before the kids in our building have a chance to collect them. Given the fact that just this week, one squirrel unzipped my backpack, grabbed my zippered, cloth snack bag filled with cashews, and scurried up a nearby tree with the snack bag in its mouth, I am not entirely confident that our plastic eggs will be enough protection against these determined city squirrels.

Maybe Eostre can use some of her springtime magic to keep the squirrels at bay just long enough for our egg-hunt. And we'll be sure to share a few chocolates with our backyard friends as a thank-you.