On a cool morning in April, Abigail grazed with pleasure with her siblings in the pasture. They lived where others vacationed.
Every day in the summer, they could look out over the sea from the dike and watch the many tourists taking pleasure in refreshing themselves in the sea, going for walks, or struggling with their coolers and umbrellas.
“Look, it’s them again!” Abigail’s big brother Henry said. All the sheep looked at the same time to see the family they had all become used to seeing during the high season.
For generations, these people always came exactly here. They chose exactly the same spot on the beach and always chose the same beach chair. When the sheep saw them, they knew that it must be high season once again.
Abigail’s mind was already on this summertime idea when she was suddenly jerked uncomfortably out of her daydream.
“Hey, Abigail, you’re daydreaming again! You better watch out that you don’t trip into one of those ditches and get stuck!” said her older sister Margaret.
In fact, this was one of the greatest dangers for sheep living here on the dike. Once they stumbled into such a ditch, and if it was muddy and narrow inside, it was almost impossible for them to get out on their own.
Abigail had already seen a few sheep stuck in a ditch. They had to rely on help from passersby or the shepherd. “I definitely don’t want this to happen to me!” she thought, taking on a rock-solid resolve.
With her older sister’s warning, Abigail was wide awake again, and with her next bite, she sobered to find that the grass was cold as ice and still full of morning dew. “Well, I guess we’ll have to wait a little longer for summer!” she thought, somewhat disappointed.
Suddenly, unrest spread through the flock of sheep. From a distance they saw the shepherd arriving with his dogs. “Surely we are to go to the other side of the dike,” she heard another sheep mutter.
“Yes, I think so too!” exclaimed another sheep. None of them particularly wanted to change sides, because then they could no longer enjoy the unobstructed view of the sea.
When the shepherd and his dogs arrived at their side, the hustle and bustle started. Everyone was herded together in a large circle so that no sheep got lost.
Meanwhile, Abigail’s attention was drawn to something she had never seen before in her pasture. A red, shiny egg lay in a clump of tall grass.
“Well is there anything like that? Have the gulls been laying red eggs lately?” Abigail nudged the egg gently with her nose. It was much heavier and didn’t seem as fragile as a freshly laid, raw egg.
When she raised her head again, she suddenly saw a bright yellow egg in the distance. It was as yellow as the sun. She carefully tripped in its direction and suddenly, not far from her, she heard rustling and hopping.
“Well, that doesn’t sound like a bird laying colorful eggs right now,” Abigail thought to herself, grinning. Her curiosity was piqued, and in no time, she was moving farther and farther away from her flock.
She suddenly felt exhausted, so she turned around and was surprised to find that the other sheep were no longer there. Hastily, she dashed up the dike, expecting to see them grazing diligently on the other side. But there were no sheep to be seen far and wide on the other side.
Instead, she spotted the shepherd’s tractor and trailer in the distance. Abigail quickly understood that this time, the flock of sheep was not only going to change sides of the dike, but apparently they were going to a completely different meadow that was ready for grazing.
“How am I going to find my flock again?” she wondered. Here on the dike, she knew every inch. But outside this area, she had yet to see anything.
“Well, I shouldn’t worry because they’ll be looking for me. And besides, I’m doing just fine on my own!” thought Abigail to herself. After all, she had grass and water and would be fine on her own for a few hours, she was sure.
Suddenly, there was the sound again. Now it was closer than before. It was accompanied by frantic heavy breathing.
As Abigail turned once in a circle to keep a lookout, an excited rabbit suddenly darted past her. He was carrying a basket full of colorful eggs.
“Hey you!” exclaimed Abigail. “What are you doing with all those colorful eggs?”
The little rabbit turned around, startled. Abigail was much bigger than he was. Completely out of breath, the little rabbit reported that he had been in training with the Easter Bunny for some time.
He had been given the task of preparing the Easter nests for the children by the sea. In doing so, he was to hide the eggs in grass that was as tall as possible so they would be harder to find.
“Oh dear,” Abigail thought to herself, not seeing a child far and wide on the dike that chilly day. “Are you sure you should be spreading the eggs here in this meadow on the levee?”
The little rabbit now became even more excited, “Where else? This is where the sea is, isn’t it?”
Abigail nodded and thought about how she could help the little rabbit. “I have an idea!” she said. Together, they collected the colorful eggs again, stowed them in the bunny’s basket, and headed for the other side of the dike.
Last summer, Abigail had observed where all the tourists came from and where people seemed to live when they weren’t walking on the beach or swimming. She accompanied the rabbit to a small residential area nearby.
Here, some small, cozy houses and gardens were hidden behind tall hedge roses or rustling reeds. “I’d say the Easter Bunny was thinking more about these green spaces when he sent you off,” Abigail smirked.
The bunny was now visibly relieved and happily hopped from one garden fence to another, always taking good care not to be seen by anyone.
When Abigail could no longer hear the hopping or see the rabbit, she made her way back to her meadow. She fortified herself with a large portion of fresh grass and took a drink of water from a ditch.
She took special care not to accidentally slip into the ditch. Then suddenly, she heard the hum of an engine and recognized the shepherd in the distance with all the sheep.
“There she is!” the shepherd called to his dog from afar, pointing at Abigail. “This can’t happen to us again!” he said urgently, running toward Abigail with relief.
He patted her head and said, “Gee, you gave us a scare! You can’t stay here all by yourself. There’s a storm surge forecast for the next few days, so I’m taking you to a safe meadow.”
Happy and relieved, Abigail jumped up to be with the others. Of course, she kept her encounter with the young Easter bunny to herself. After all, this was to remain her Easter secret!