J-P Wooding: The thrill of the chase

The annual Easter egg hunt is a time for burning calories in the Wooding household
The annual Easter egg hunt is a time for burning calories in the Wooding household

The sloppy mud sucked at his boots, slowing his escape.

Lazily uttering a gloopy protest, it relinquished its grasp on him, allowing him to once again try and survive a little longer.

However, high-pitched squeals and shrieks alerted him to his surely imminent demise as his pursuers closed in on their prize!

This may sound like an introduction to a piece of fiction, but I can assure you, it is not.

I know this because I’ve faced this challenge for the past few years – together with friends and family, we organise an annual Easter egg hunt for our children.

Instead of just allowing our children to wade through egg after chocolate egg from the moment they get up until they go to bed, bellies aching from the cocoa overload, we try to get them to expend some energy.

Of course executing this “game” requires a couple of the Dads to rush ahead on our route, planting the mini eggs as we go; all the while praying that the adults with the children allow us a sufficient head start.

Alas, it isn’t long before we look at each other in mock horror as we get the text message informing us that the hounds, sorry... children, have been release and are on our trail!

As well as having to ensure we hang the prizes where they can be reached, we have to keep count of how many drops we’ve made.

This may seem simple to you but it’s hard enough for a man to multi-task without having to keep in front of 10 or so kids, already fuelled up on chocolate and promised more if they keep going!

Last year we only just managed to make the final drop as we heard the screams, closely followed by the sight of the kids accelerating faster still as they spotted us.

At the end of our task I felt like I’d run the old Krypton Factor assault course.

As is tradition, we shall all retreat back to our house for some refreshments and recuperation after the event.

It takes a bit of organising and planning, but the effort is worth it.

Yes, the children probably have too much chocolate, but at least they’ve burned off some of it and not sat in front of the TV all day munching through eggs and Smarties and bars of chocolate.

It also provides us with a chance to socialise with friends and families, which you may have realised from my previous articles is very important to me.

I’m not sure how many more years the kids will want to continue the chase, but I reckon as long as the scent of chocolate is in the air, they’ll soon enter a zombie-like trance and hunt their prey.

Sadly for me, they’ll move a lot quicker than your average zombie! Have a good Easter weekend...

Read more from J-P here.