View Full Version : Over the Ord 11...a story of Easter egg-travagance

06-Apr-12, 10:23
Raffle prize ruffled a family's feathers

EASTER is with us and although this story is topical, its message is perhaps more of a moral, rather than a religious nature.
If the yarn seems familiar to you, then your memory has served you well. It did appear during my other life as a reporter with the Groat and Courier, in my regular feature, Wicker’s World.
However, because the world wide web is our oyster, it will hopefully, now, be of interest to a wider audience. The recollection goes back a fair bit, to when I was not much older than knee-high to a grasshopper.
There it sat, in all its splendour, with cellophane livery and a big yellow bow. The Donaldson children were by on means the only local kids who stared, wide-eyed, through the window of Cabrelli’s cafe in High Street, Wick...at what appeared to us, to be the biggest Easter egg in the world.
In reality, it must “only” have been a foot-and-a-half high, sat in a basket, and was packed with many lbs of rich dark chocolates. It was raffled for a worthy cause, the Mentally Handicapped. This Easter egg was, surely, the grandpapa of them all, and the Donaldson children and other youngsters were always drawn to the window like bees to honey, with the dream of somehow owning it.
Our journalist Dad, John “Hot News” Donaldson, frequently took raffle tickets for a variety of charities. Dreams sometimes do come true. Dad arrived home one day to announce that he had won the egg.
There was an incredulous silence, but before we could utter any whoops of joy, our great expectations were dashed by pater’s shock revelation, that he had given the egg away.
There was a second, more meaningful silence. Given the gigantic egg away?. A more cruel parent could surely not be imagined and as the crestfallen Donaldson children’s minds boggled about why he could have committed what was surely tantamount to a crime, Dad gave his explanation.
He said that he could certainly have brought the bumper egg home for an Easter feast at 19 Thurso Street. We would have tucked into it, but would soon sicken ourselves, if not with the shell, then certainly when we reached its rich internal hoard of dark chocolates and the not inconsiderable residue would be consigned to the dustbin.
He had, instead, donated the egg to a place where it would do most good, Wick’s Bignold Hospital, where it would be shared by the staff and patients, ensuring that the confection would be distributed in its entirety and would be appreciated by many. I’m not sure the logic was appreciated by the Donaldson brood, but then Dad produced four, eggs, one for each of us, by way of compensation. Granted, they were a good deal smaller than the Cabrelli egg but we knew, in our hearts of hearts, that father’s Solemn-like wisdom, was justified.
On reflection, I suppose there was a refreshing Christian element amid in the present day commercialisation of Easter, that it’s better to give than to receive, as well as the moral one which is that a child’s eye is invariably bigger than its stomach.
However, I can still see that egg to this day. What a glorious way to sicken yourself...