04/06/10 — Lucky squirrel claims prize at Easter egg hunt

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Lucky squirrel claims prize at Easter egg hunt

By Steve Herring
Published in News on April 6, 2010 2:01 PM

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A pesky squirrel scampers away with one of the Easter eggs from the Woods Grove Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church egg hunt. The lucky animal also claimed the egg with the $20 prize.

When it comes to building a nest or even a nest egg, there is at least one squirrel at Herman Park that doesn't work for nuts -- cash is another story.

The hard-working rodent not only raided a Saturday Easter egg hunt, he also taunted the crowd before apparently racing off to squirrel away a $20 bill that had been intended for some lucky youngster.

"It was amazing," said Pam Gurley, youth director for Woods Grove Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church, which held the event in the gazebo area of the park.

The egg hunt is normally held at the church, but this year organizers decided to hold it at the park. Candy was placed in the hard-plastic eggs. One egg had an added bonus, a $20 bill.

Mrs. Gurley said since she had a granddaughter participating in the hunt, she had not made a note of which egg had the cold cash and had mixed it in a box of 500 eggs. To make it even more random, the eggs were hidden by parents.

They knew something was nutty when they found several empty plastic eggs with their ends chewed off. There was no sign of the candy, not even a wrapper, she said.

It was then that they noticed the squirrel had pilfered one of the eggs.

Close to 25 children and 10 to 15 adults watched as the squirrel appeared to taunt them with the egg.

"We had just started the egg hunt when somebody said, 'look at that squirrel,'" Mrs. Gurley said. "The squirrel would not let go of it. He went from tree to tree and never came close to dropping the egg."

The squirrel hung upside down and at times was juggling the egg between its paws and mouth as it scampered in the branches.

It worried the parents and tickled the children, she said.

"It was a fun little thing, and they were talking about it in Sunday school," she said. "They stopped hunting, the kids did, just to watch him. They were waiting to see if he would drop the egg, and he never did. He was just having a good time. We never saw him come back."

After the squirrel headed for the bank, parents fanned out, but were unsuccessful in their hunt to find the $20 bill.

"If we do come back next year (to the park) I will know where it (money egg) is put. It will be close by and I will keep my eye on it. That is what we will talk about next year when we have the hunt."

So will the squirrels.