Happy Easter

The Country Child by Alison Uttley

published 1931

There was a parcel addressed to Mr, Mrs and Miss Garland. Susan had never been called Miss before… With trembling fingers Susan and Margaret untied the knots, for never, never had anyone at Windystone been so wasteful as to cut a piece of string.

There were three chocolate eggs, covered with silver paper, a wooden egg painted with pictures round the edge, a red egg with a snake inside, and a beautiful pale blue velvet egg, lined with golden starry paper. It was a dream, Never before had Susan seen anything so lovely…

This perfect blue egg! There was never one like it. She put it in her little drawer in the table where her treasures were kept. In the egg she placed her ring with the red stone, and a drop of quicksilver which had come from the barometer. She closed the drawer and went off to tell anyone who would listen, the trees, Dan, the clock, Roger, Duchess or Fanny.

But what a tale to tell the girls at school! She wouldn’t take it there or it might get hurt, a rough boy might snatch it from her, or the teacher might see her with it and put it in her desk.

‘Mother, may I ask someone to tea to see my egg?’ she asked, fearing in her heart that no-one would come so far.

‘Yes, my dear,’ and Margaret smiled at her enthusiasm. ‘Ask whoever you like.’


This is all going to go wrong in the most charming way. The word gets round the classroom, and soon the entire female half of the school is coming to tea to see the egg: many of them have gone home at lunchtime to get dressed up for the event.

But, strangely, Susan’s not wholly sympathetic mother turns up trumps, rises to the occasion. She would be a natural hostess if she didn’t live in the middle of nowhere, and she provides a sumptuous tea for 50 children of all ages – using up farm supplies that should either be sold, or last for months. A good time is had by all.

Margaret, Susan’s mother, is always referred to like that – no Mama or Mummy here -  and is never the subject of any great raptures: she is a bit too fond of cleaning, and very busy as a result.

The wonderful present is from Susan’s godmother, someone Susan does feel a lot of affection for.

More entries from this book here and here.

The picture is Rolling Easter Eggs by Edward Atkinson Hornel, from the Athenaeum.


  1. What a lovely scene that is, as the package is opened And I can just see them carefully saving the piece of string. You never know when you might need some! Glad you enjoyed this, Moira, and Happy Easter!

    1. Thanks Margot, it's a nice happy occasion, and I think we can all remember that excited feeling as children, whatever came through the post and whatever the high day and holiday. A Happy Easter to you and yours!

  2. Welcome back, Moira. That is a lovely story. And a lovely image.

    You brought up a question that I have always wondered about myself. I always, at least within my memory, called my mother Mother but my father Daddy. It isn't like we had a strained relationship. And my brother and sister called her Mom. Never have figured that out.

    1. Thanks Tracy, its nice to be back. Those name issues can be a mystery. In many families here, the children start out saying Mummy and Daddy, then move on to Mum and Dad - I just read a book where that was commented on. Some people stay with Mummy and Daddy forever, but I don't think you can draw any obvious conclusions....

  3. Oh, that's a perfect piece for Easter! I love The Country Child - and the Little Grey Rabbit stories. And I still get excited about parcels, even if it's something I've ordered online!

    1. Thanks Christine, and I'm with you all the way - parcels, Easter and chocolate would be the perfect combination for me.


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