Hayden youngsters get a treat out of Easter egg hunt

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— Bookshelves and display cases housed pint-sized treats for pint-sized scavengers Thursday morning.

The Hayden Public Library hosted its traditional Easter egg hunt for toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners.

Dozens of children with makeshift baskets in hand ran about the library in search of the bright-colored plastic eggs chocked full of small treasures.

Parents, armed with cameras and video cameras, cheered their children on with small bits of encouragement.

Librarians Mona Weaver, Cindy Leck and Suzie Copeland filled 231 eggs of different sizes with coins and candy donated by the library.

The older children looked for the smaller eggs, which contained nickels.

Leanne Barnett, 5, and Virginia Jones, 6, proudly counted their coins.

"The smaller ones were harder to find," Jones said matter-of-factly.

The girls said they looked forward to finding more hidden prizes next week, when their parents planned to hide eggs around the house.

They couldn't, of course, leave out the master of hide-and-seek.

"If the Easter Bunny comes to my house, I'm wishing for another skirt," Barnett said.

Four-year-old Chance Pierce didn't sound as confident about the rabbit's return.

In the meantime, he said his newfound stash of candy would hold him until a second hunt for hidden treasures at his house.

Pierce and his friends, Jeremy Tuck, 3, and Baylee Carson, 4, reportedly looked high and low for the eggs. "They were all over," Carson said.

Each boy, clutching his basket tightly, looked longingly at the untouched jellybeans and Lifesavers.

The children weren't allowed to eat the candy in the library. Carson decided to sort through his candy even though he couldn't eat it until he was outside. Pierce apologetically offered his services.

"I would help you eat them, but we can't here," he told Carson.

The library held the Easter egg hunt a week early because of spring break next week.

Thursday marked the library's 22nd year of giving children an opportunity to scout for eggs within its walls.

A few local organizations previously helped to sponsor the event before the library took it over, Weaver said.

"I don't ever remember there not being an Easter egg hunt," she added.

Toddlers hunt for eggs on one side of the library, while the preschoolers and kindergartners begin their search on the other side.

It prevents the older children from taking all the eggs before the younger children have a chance to fill their baskets, Leck said.

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