We rushed out early (in the dark) to Wal Mart, leaving aforementioned scrawled note-- done in orange crayon with "teeth marks" in the center of it and the edges chewed up-- on the door:
Deer Paddock Boyz,
Thnx to yer big yallow dog i well haf to com bak latter. He wood not stop braking.
Pleez put him away.
PS. Wrz the carotz?
The older boys were left to sell the point and bless their lying black hearts, they did a terrific job. When we returned, Sam was still mad at the "yallow dog"--Oscar. Daniel (second born) told him about the year Random (our sixteen year old beagle-cross) chased the Easter Bunny up a tree and I had to lock her up and coax him into coming down with the promise that it would never happen again. Jeremiah (oldest) reminded the other two of the time I had to save the Easter Bunny from the clutches of the third born, Joseph when he was a toddler. That time I had to promise to leave extra carrots out the next year. Joseph (who wasn't asked to contribute but did anyway) claimed a dim recollection of something furry entering his crib and being fascinated by its ears. Sam bought every bit of it. I don't know whether to be proud of them or worry about their ability to lie. Hopefully they'll use their powers for good and become famous writers (Hey, it happened to the Bronte sisters).
Their father sat down with the Bible and read the scripture of Christ's resurrection while the oldest slipped out to place the baskets within sight of the back door. After his Dad had finished reading to them, I sent Sam (who was still tearful) to the back door to put his dog out. It was very quiet for about a minute. Then I heard, "Mom? Why are there filled Easter baskets back here?"
"I'll be darned," I said. "He must have come back. Sneaky little thing must have known that the dogs aren't allowed in the workshop."
Mission accomplished. The legend of the Easter Bunny lives on for another year.
Later after I finished patting everyone on the back, my husband hugged me and whispered in my ear, "Do you suppose, there's a special place in hell for people who use the resurrection story as a distraction in order to perpetuate a pagan myth?"
I figure God will understand the spirit of the intent. Or at least I hope so.