216. Easter Sunday was a cloudy but festive day in Memorial Park for about 100 kids from local orphanages. An Easter egg hunt started at 10 a.m., when a fire engine blasted its horn. Boys and girls, ranging in age from 2 to 6, dashed throughout the park, yelling and screaming, walking and running, and quite often, falling down. One little girl, Amanda, found her first egg less than a minute after the horn blew. Instead of putting it into her basket and continuing to search for more, she sat down. Then she spent the next 10 minutes examining it, unwrapping it, and eating it piece by piece. When she finished, she put the wrapper into her basket, wiped her hands on her white dress, and went to hunt for another egg.
Meanwhile, Jeff, one of the older boys, filled his basket to overflowing. He asked one of the firemen to hold it for him, and then took off running for more candy eggs. As soon as he found some, he put them into the basket of the child closest to him. Two little toddlers both saw a candy egg at the same time, and they both bent over to pick it up. They banged heads, and both of them sat down bawling. A couple of volunteer nurses picked them up and told them that everything was going to be all right.
By 11 a.m., the search was over. Most of the kids were studying their candy, exchanging it with others, or eating it. But then the fire engine horn blasted again, causing three‐year‐old Jenny to cry. A fireman on a bullhorn told everyone to gather around, because a special guest had arrived.
Once everyone was settled, the Easter Bunny climbed down out of the fire engine. The bunny was 6'6" tall. Most of the kids cheered and ran toward him. Even Jenny stopped crying for a moment. She stared at the bunny and at all the kids running toward the bunny; then she started crying even harder. The Easter Bunny hugged the kids, and they hugged him. Then the Easter Bunny sat on a fire engine step, and one by one the kids came up, sat on his lap, and got their pictures taken. After that, the older kids were allowed to explore the fire engine itself.
The festivities ended about 3 p.m., when the orphans climbed into the buses for the return trip home. Most of them said they had a fun time. Six‐year‐old Sara asked, "Can we do this every Sunday?"
And more than one boy asked, "Can I drive the fire engine next time?"
6.1, 77.2, 6%, 15.0, 437
Vocabulary: bawl blast bunny cheer dash Easter examine explore festive festivity memorial nurse orphan orphanage scream toddler volunteer wrapper yell
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