An Easter Story with Freddy Fit by Larissa Herzl.
All's well that ends well! Or: A different Easter
“This year, I’d like to do something different at Easter,” says Grandma and passes a newspaper article around the group. “Then won’t that be the fifth year in a row, that we do things different to usual,” says Freddy grinning. Uncle Birnstingl leans forward in his armchair to get a better view of the images and text in the newspaper. “Buy your Easter shopping locally …,” he reads aloud and raises his eyebrows. “Why not?” he says. He stands up, shuts his book and sets it back on the chair. “Freddy, you heard it. Let’s prepare our down-to-earth Easter, we don’t have much time!”
Uncle Birnstingl fetches two baskets from the cellar and pushes one into Freddy’s hand. “You never know what Grandma is planning,” he says with a wink. Just a short time later, all three are standing in front of the chicken coop on the next farm they could find. Grandma had insisted that the farm wasn’t too far away. “In the newspaper article, it says that you shouldn’t travel far to buy Easter eggs”, she had said whilst raising her index finger.
The kind farmer, Mrs Rosenkohl, opens the door to the coop. Countless hens flutter along and surround Freddy Fit immediately, who is standing petrified with his arms folded in the coop. With an inclined head and eyes full of expectation, the hens look right up at Freddy and don’t let him take another step forward. The farmer shrugs her shoulders laughing and says, “We have the same problem, I know just the trick.” She takes a bucket from the ground, reaches inside and scatters a handful of feed into the other corner of the chicken coop. As if struck by lightning, all the chickens run and flap around, clucking in the direction of the food. Grinning, Freddy looks at them. Making the most of his moment without chicken bodyguards, Freddy hurries along to a small wooden box with Mrs Rosenkohl, where the hens lay their eggs. Cleverly, she reaches inside and soon has two eggs in her hand. “Now you,” she says and nods encouragingly to Freddy Fit. Not quite as practised, but nonetheless courageous, Freddy puts his hand into the opening of the box and feels at the straw for a while, before his hand lands upon something hard. He wraps his fingers carefully around it and pulls it out. It’s the first hen’s egg he has collected from the farm himself and not bought at a supermarket. After a couple of other reaches into the box, Freddy comes out of the coop proudly with a basket full of eggs and presents his haul to his Uncle and Grandma. “You see kiddo, it’s a great feeling when you know, where the eggs come from!” Grandma says impressed. She waves Uncle and Freddy Fit behind her. “But let’s be on our way quickly! Come, kiddies, come!”
Uncle Birnstingl helps Freddy Fit carry the eggs and Mrs Rosenkohl accompanies them to a greenhouse, which is also located on the farm. Now Uncle Birnstingl takes the heavy basket and hands the empty one over to Freddy – after all he now needed room for vegetables. “In spring, we can’t quite plant all our vegetable varieties outside yet, so we have our greenhouse here,” she explains as she enters. With the newspaper in her hand and glasses on her nose, Grandma reads out, “Especially good for egg dyeing are red beets, carrots, spinach … Well, then we’ll take a little bit of everything!” And so Freddy, Grandma and Uncle help the farmer harvest the vegetables. Freddy lays everything carefully down in his basket. Uncle and Grandma than Mrs Rosenkohl and they make their way home with Freddy, who carries his basket proudly.
“Here, please!” Grandma sets three bowls on the table. After she has boiled eggs and then softened the vegetables individually in water and draining them, the water first turns a strong red-pink, the next time a soft green and finally orange. Freddy Fit now dips the eggs in the dye. Patiently he waits for them all to turn a nice colour and after they have dried, he carefully lays them into a basket filled with hay, which his Uncle had prepared. After a hard day’s work, Uncle calls, “Okay and now we have to hand over the eggs to the Easter Bunny, so that he can hide them!”
Early the next morning, Grandma, Uncle Birnstingl and Freddy Fit head out into the garden, all three of them already trying to spot their Easter baskets from afar. “I’m going to be the first to find his basket this year!” says Uncle and runs ahead full of enthusiasm. “No, no, no, that honour belongs to me!” says Grandma laughing, as she tries to follow him. “I’m going to show you both!” you can hear from Freddy before he also runs off. The three hurtle around the garden, looking under the terrace furniture, going behind the shed and even turning rocks over, but none of them can find anything. Grandma and Uncle share a confused look. “Erm, I could have sworn, that there was something lying in the flowerpot, but it’s not there anymore,” says Uncle Birnstingl. “I also saw it, there was definitely an Easter basket in there, what’s going on here?” Grandma says, puzzled. Together they all look around the entire garden again and check every single corner, yet it is and remains the case. The Easter baskets are nowhere to be found. Frustrated, Grandma comes back to Uncle and Freddy Fit. “Now all the effort was in vain! Collecting the eggs and dyeing them, and we made everything so beautiful for the Easter Bunny!” she says sadly. Freddy Fit thinks for a moment, then his face lights up. In a hurry, he runs into the house and immediately comes back into the garden with three detective hats from the family dress-up box and a magnifying glass in his hand. “That’s no problem for the private detective agency THINK WITH FIT!”
With renewed vigour and hats on their heads, they begin searching again. This time everything will be studied and inspected in great detail. And sure enough! Shortly afterwards, Grandma finds an Easter basket, but unfortunately, there is still a problem. “It’s empty!”, she cries in bewilderment. “The eggs are no longer inside!” “Great, now we need Easter egg sniffer dogs”, says Uncle Birnstingl with a tired smile. “Sniffer dogs …” repeats Freddy Fit thoughtfully and lets his gaze drift over to the old shed, where a dog flap is attached to the door. Grandma had once had a small dachshund. “Has someone already looked in the shed?” asks Freddy Fit.
The door to the shed is opened and immediately all three look down at the floor. “This is not possible!” says Grandma and claps her hands over her mouth. There, lying curled up on a blanket that Uncle had put in the shed before winter, is a tabby cat. And in front of it, the Easter eggs. Laughing, Freddy Fit bends down and says, “Well, you’ve certainly made yourself comfortable here! You probably wanted to celebrate Easter too!” Something glistens amongst the eggs and Freddy becomes curious. He reaches for it and pulls it out. “My gold necklace, you rascal, I was beginning to think that it was gone forever!” Grandma squeaks. Alongside the eggs, they also find Uncle Birnstingl’s gardening gloves, a small book of Freddy’s and a broken bag.
“Now, the only question left for me is how the cat transported the eggs”, pondered Uncle Birnstingl, as he is about to pick up an egg. But faster than he can look, the cat rolls the egg tight into its body with its paw. Grandma laughs loudly and says, “There’s your answer!” Using the clever distraction of a bowl of fresh milk, the cat finally relinquishes the eggs. It seems to be more interesting than their looted treasures.
Grandma, Uncle Birnstingl, Freddy Fit and a tabby cat, sit happily like this on the terrace, enjoying the sun and the taste of their long-lost Easter snacks.
Fotocredits: pexels.com, unsplash.com