The melody of Moonlit Sonata drifted through the classrooms as the children lined up. It was the last day of school and they barely contain their excitement. Mrs Swansey shushed her Year 2 class as she led the way to the hall. They giggled and tittered, whispering about their Easter Sticky creations. Thirty pairs of curious eyes stared at the adults standing at the front of the stage in the brightly lit hall. A tall man with a shiny bald head was busy examining the tables laid out with the competition entries. Next to him was a scruffy looking younger man who held a camera and click clicked it at the Easter hats, pretty Easter gardens and Easter eggs of various sizes and shapes.
The children sat down in neat rows in front of the stage. An older gentleman sat at the far end of the stage and rocked his rickety chair, making it squeak in time with the music. Year 3 followed the stragglers sitting down and also stared at the adults on stage. Mrs Palmer held her hand up as she stood in front of the cross legged children. Silence fell over the hall and only the annoying squeaking and music could be heard. The rest of the classes filled the hall quickly and took their seats on the floor behind the younger pupils.
Mr Barns led his class in last and as Cecil passed him, he stopped the piggy nosed boy, inspecting the oversized easter egg in his arms.
“Cecil!” he hissed. “What on earth is that thing?” Mr Barns’ glasses slipped off his nose and he quickly pushed them back into place. Cecil gave him a big, sweet smile, waving a hand behind him to signal Beefy Bertha and Tiny Thomas.
They squiggled past Mr Barns unnoticed with a rather fashionable Easter Sticky Hat. It had pretty chicks sitting on the rim of the hat and glitter scattered on the top mixed with purple, blue and green feathers. The hat itself was big enough for an adult to try on and had a soft white crepe paper covering the inside. Thomas held a large egg that matched Cecil’s…only his had a tiny little string dangling innocently at the bottom.
“What are you up to young man?” asked the gangly teacher, inspecting every painted inch of Cecil’s creation.
“Nothing sir! I feel offended that you would think I was up to something,” smiled the snarky snot nosed student. “Shall I go put my egg back in the classroom sir?” he asked, putting on a big show of how upset he was.
Mrs Palmer gave a wave to Mr Barns as though telling him to let Cecil go. Mr Barns huffed, angry that this little snot would get away again. Suddenly, he had a brilliant idea!
“That’s alright Cecil. I shall hold it for you! That way, if you plan anything, I will be right there to stop you!” he said with a smile.
Cecil looked disappointed which added to Mr Barns’ glee. He had foiled Cecil’s plans at last. Ha! With a triumphant smile, Mr Barns grabbed the rather large egg and walked to the front of the hall to join the rest of the teaching staff as they sat down just behind the guests of honour visiting the school. Mr Barns held onto Cecil’s egg, instead of putting it on the display table with the rest of the Easter Sticky Entries. He had not noticed Tiny Thomas and Beefy Bertha asking politely if they could add their Stickies to the others. If he had, he would have seen Thomas quickly pulling the string at the bottom of his enormous egg and gently placing it on top of the pretty hat with the chicks on the rim.
“Good morning everyone,” greeted Mrs Palmer in her rich, sing song voice. “I would like to introduce you to our special guests today. Mr Craven, our local Member of Parliament, Mr Greasely, his personal assisant and Mr Butkiss, the photographer.”
A small applause broke out across the hall.
“I shall ask Mr Craven to pick out his favourite Easter Stickies from each section. The winners will receive their very own box of Stampey’s chocolates and the overall winner will of course receive the giant easter egg filled with chocolate buttons.”
“Ooooh!” gasped the children as they saw the delicious prizes. Excited chatter filled the hall as Mr Craven, the bald headed man, slowly inspected the display table again.
As the winners were chosen, Cecil, Bertha and Thomas watched and counted. A quick glance at their watches told them one minute had passed. Thomas giggled. His voice sounded like a little girl’s and he covered his mouth with his hand. Bertha could not wipe the smile off her face as she nudged Thomas to be quiet. Cecil gave each a pinch and scowled at them. He looked up at the stage and saw Mr Barns watching him. He was frowning, looking at Cecil, then looking at the table.
Suddenly he eyes widened as he noticed the two new entries on the table. He stood up, his glasses barely holding onto the end of his nose. Mrs Palmer turned to see what was happening. Mr Barns watched as the guest of honour lifted the pretty hat with cute chicks on the rim to his head. His bald head shone under the bright lights in the hall and as he turned and smiled at the children, he slowly lifted the hat towards his bald dome. Mr Barns screamed in fright and ran towards him, waving Cecil’s egg as he ran.
The headmistress let out a squeal as her Year 6 teacher tackled their guest of honour. Cecil’s mouth dropped open in delight. This was not what he had planned, but it was so much better. Thomas and Bertha counted down from five whilst watching the clock on the wall.
Mr Barns tried to wrestle the hat out of Mr Craven’s surprised hands.
Mrs Palmer flew at Mr Barns, her high heels kicked up in the air as she rugby tackled her crazy teacher.
The egg Mr Barns had so carefully held hurtled across the stage and knocked off most of the Easter Gardens which scattered fluffy toy chicks, shredded tinsel and glitter across the stage floor.
The three adults toppled over, taking a few chairs with them as Mr Craven managed to put the hat on his bald head, much to Mr Barns’ dismay.
The children watched in awe as their headmistress pinned Mr Barns down in a classic scissors hold with her legs as she fought to free Mr Craven from his clutches.
Thomas, Bertha and Cecil held their breath…
The shaken easter egg exploded, sending glued bits of crepe paper everywhere. Oh, but that was not the end. A second easter egg exploded with a loud…
Yucky brown stuff flew up and spattered over the shocked teachers and special guests. The only person who seemed to move faster than the eggy missiles was the photographer, Mr Butkiss. He swooped and dived, click clicking as he darted here and there across the stage.
Moonlit Sonata droned on in the background as screams and shouts echoed through the school. The unfortunate children sitting closest to the stage were covered in glitter, paper, floating feathers and brown goo.
Mrs Palmer dazedly gazed around her, forgetting she had Mr Barns in a scissors hold on the stage floor. Mr Craven looked quite pleased with himself. The smart hat he had fought to put on his head had protected him from most of the goo and mess dripping off the noses of the other adults. He giggled as he watched his second in command wipe brown stuff off his bright red cheeks.
Mr Barns couldn’t speak. His glasses were lost and his little eyes squinted as he tried to focus on the mess around him. Something sparkled on the dirty floor and his hands fumbled as they tried to grab it. It was his glasses. Slowly he put on the glitter stained bifocals and peered at the screaming children. Far, at the back of the hall sat three children watching the chaos and laughing.
“CEEEEECCCCIIIIILLLL!” screamed Mr Barns, before fainting under Mrs Palmers tight hold.
“I can’t get it off,” screamed the local MP as he tried to prise the pretty hat off his head. The super glue laced around the clean white inside of the hat held fast.
As Mr Craven and his flustered assistant tried to pull the chicky chunky hat off his rounded dome, Mr Butkiss took the opportunity to photograph the clumsy efforts on his counterparts.
The children watched as their Member of Parliament zig-zagged closer and closer to the edge of the stage. With a final tug from Mr Greasely, his personal assistant, the rim of the hat ripped off sending little yellow chicks on a short flight off the stage, followed by the blundering body of Mr Craven.