Tilly Toots – mum owl
Bee – Boo Toots – baby owl
Lucie Lou – duckling
Tilly Toots’ chocolate Easter egg hunt is very eagerly anticipated in Acorn Crescent, and the year just wouldn’t be the same without the tradition. Last year, Tilly’s hunt did not go according to her plans at all, but for that very reason, the crescent’s residents still talk about it and remember it well.
Each Easter, Tilly takes great pleasure in going out with a basketful of eggs and hiding them – some in easy reach, and some a little trickier. She goes out at night when the crescent is quiet and most of the residents are fast asleep. Before this however, Tilly does what she enjoys the most – cooking with chocolate!
Last Easter was no different, except that Tilly’s daughter Bee-Boo was old enough to join in with the fun of making the eggs. The two cooks got off to a sticky start as Bee-Boo was a little over-excited and began by dropping her spoon into the bowl of melted chocolate. She stopped jiggling around and watched the spoon sinking slowly into the silky brown pool until it disappeared from view completely. Getting the spoon back resulted in lots of sticky feathers and a slightly cross Tilly!
“Right my little chick” Tilly said “sit still and watch how I make the eggs, and then perhaps you can help me make the filling”.
Tilly carefully made each little egg from melted chocolate which she poured into pairs of half egg shaped moulds. Bee-Boo watched patiently, her big eyes blinking slowly as her mother worked skillfully. While they waited for the egg halves to set, Tilly prepared to make the delicious filling for the eggs which everyone in Acorn Crescent was so fond of. Tilly’s own mother had taught her the recipe for the filling, and when Bee-Boo was a little older, Tilly would pass it on to her too.
Tilly began to collect together the ingredients she would need.
“Could you bring the jar of marshmallows to me please little chick?”
Bee-Boo tottered off to Tilly’s larder – which was a treasure trove of good things to bake with – and came back one by one with the ingredients. Out came the butter, hazelnuts and more chocolate. The lower shelves of the larder were lined with stripy blue and white jars. On the shelf below each jar was written on them the name of what each jar contained. Bee-Boo had not yet learned to read, so she had to take off the lid and peer into the jars to see what was in them.
Lastly, Tilly asked Bee-Boo to fetch a jar of sugar which was almost as big as the little owlet herself. Bee-Boo went back to the larder and took off the lids in turn until she found the white stuff which she thought must be the sugar.
Tilly mixed the ingredients together, letting Bee-Boo help her to stir. They then filled the egg halves with the special filling and sealed the pairs together. When the eggs were ready, Bee-Boo was put in charge of wrapping them in coloured foil. She was delighted with the finished eggs and bounced along excitedly with her Mum looking for places to hide the eggs.
When all the eggs were hidden, Bee-Boo then went to bed and as a special treat (because she really should still have been in bed) was allowed to get up early on Easter day to watch her friends search for the eggs in the afternoon. The animals gathered around the oak tree, the younger ones chattering in excitement. Once Tilly was happy that everyone was present, she handed each one a little bag with which to collect eggs and sent them off in search of chocolate.
It wasn’t long before Tilly realised that something had gone very wrong, because not a single egg was found – not even the easy ones! She had remembered putting one into the little knot at the base of the oak tree, but it was nowhere to be seen. Lucie-Lou the duckling was upset not to have found any eggs – she thought that the thrill of seeking them out was even better than eating them when she’d found them!
The animals were very disappointed by the disappearance of the eggs, but, not to be beaten, Tilly buzzed around collecting up her young friends. Her suggestion that they went back to her kitchen where she would rustle up some chocolate treats cheered them all up a great deal. Just as they were beginning to liven up, Bee-Boo’s Dad Barnaby flew in in a state of excitement.
“I know what happened to your chocolate eggs.” he explained to them all “I’ve just seen a rather ill looking fox at the other side of the pond, and he was surrounded by little bits of brightly coloured foil!”
“Good gracious” said Tilly “The greedy fox must have seen me hiding the eggs and followed around after me eating them all up as he went!” Although they felt sorry for the fox, there was some agreement amongst them all that it jolly well served him right for eating all the eggs which Tilly and Bee-Boo had made, and which the animals had so looked forward to finding and eating themselves.
In fact, the animals all had such fun helping Tilly to make some Easter treats in her kitchen that afternoon, that the day was not ruined at all.
Bee-Boo was proud to have helped her Mum but there was something that had bothered her which she could no longer keep to herself by the time bedtime came.
“I’m glad that my friends didn’t find any of the Easter eggs today Mummy” Said Bee-Boo.
“Why ever not?” Said a surprised Tilly.
“Well”, said the owlet as Tilly tucked her into bed “this afternoon, when we were making treats, I had another look in the jars in the larder, and I think that when we were making the chocolate eggs for the Easter hunt, maybe I got the sugar and salt jars muddled up by accident”.
Instead of being cross, Tilly hooted with laughter. “That poor fox!” She exclaimed. “It’s no wonder he was unwell! And you are right my little chick. It is very fortunate indeed that your friends didn’t find the salty eggs after all!”