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April 21, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Easter hops or nots


Child with sword on black chicken (Easter card/1909-1911. Jenny Nystrom artist, Nat. Lib. of Norway (USPD. artist life,

Easter card (1909-1911) by Jenny Nystrom (USPD/

Nothing says Happy Easter like a kid in a red suit waving a sword while riding a black chicken.

No need to go into what it means – it’s beside the point.

Appreciate the whimsy.

Two babies cracking open Easter Eggs with hammers (Easter Card, 1909-1911.J.Nystrom/USPD., artist life/

Vintage Nystrom Easter Postcard.(USPD/

“Look Chubs, just how much control do you have with that hammer?”

I get the cracking of eggs, but look at the faces on those chicks and the one stretched out running.

Probably realizes those are going to run out of eggs to smash soon …

(Actually Jenny Eugenia Nyström, the Swedish artist, was well known for her Christmas cards, postcards, and magazine covers featuring gnomes/elves from Swedish folklore and the Swedish version of Santa Claus/St. Nicholas. She is often mentioned as creating what many considered to be traditional Christmas characters and images.)

Woman with basket and flowers. Happy Easter card, 1919. (Nat. Lib. of Norway/anne-Sophie Ofrim/

Vintage 1919 Easter card from Nat. Lib. of Norway.(Anne-Sophie Ofrim/

Lament of the dedicated crafter: “I spent all night decorating these by hand and you expect me to leave them on the ground where someone can stomp them? Stay back, I tell, you.”

A touch of elegance: Maybe no Easter bonnet, but quite an Easter basket.

Girl sitting on Easter egg. Vintage Italian post card. 1928 (USPD. Artist life,

Vintage 1928 Italian Easter postcard.(USPD/

Potential egg drop situation.

(“They darn well better get me that pony they promised if I sat very still and smiled. Taking so long my face hurts.”)

The flip side of that postcard is below.  It is intriguing: the script, when it was sent, that it was sent, that someone cared for it and saved it, and that it is still around.

Tiny stories of ordinary people.

Now that’s real history.

Not the published textbooks or “official” records of what happened recorded by someone for some reason or purpose.

What will we leave behind?

Data. Tweets. Blogs. YouTube videos. Facebook

Messages invisibly stashed on servers or clouds – all of which could vanish without a trace.

Might be a good thing?

Wishing your Easter, Passover, or day is eggactly as you pictured.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Back of vintage Easter Postcard. 1928 (, artist life/

Back of vintage Italian Easter Postcard. Life in 1928.(USPD/


  1. shoreacres / Apr 21 2019 6:30 am

    Wonderful post. The egg-cracking kids remind me the story my mother loved to tell of her Aunt Rilla, who once solved the how to amuse the kids problem by putting them in the back yard with 78 rpm records and a set of hammers. I have no way to explain that, either, but Easter reminds us there are a lot of things we can’t explain! Hope yours is hoppy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 21 2019 3:45 pm

      Kids love hammers – it’s a universal thing….some never outgrow them…
      Those middle child 78 records lost out to the 45’s and the larger ones. Media moves on HAHA (and now those are really worth something – not to mention the art cars use them to make flowers – melted in ovens…more tomorrow)
      It has been just fabulous weather. Hope your Easter was hoppy and bright!


  2. ksbeth / Apr 21 2019 6:48 am

    hilarious and happy easter!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Shelley / Apr 21 2019 7:20 am

    Ah, yes, such entertaining and happy memories of how we used to commemorate holidays. Happy Easter!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kate Crimmins / Apr 21 2019 7:34 am

    Have a great Easter day. One year my mother found an Easter egg in June that had been hidden very well. After that she transitioned to plastic ones although I’m not convinced they were environmentally a good choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 21 2019 3:49 pm

      June? Yuckier! Mom used to count Ester eggs…probably even numbered them. We had to stay out until all accounted for…don’t want to encourage any sort of critters up close to the farm house (where we usually were on holiday weekends)
      One great thing about plastic eggs – they don’t get covered with’s humid here and grass is often wet or damp…double yuckier – “I’m not gonna touch it. You touch it…”
      Hope your Easter was hoppy and bright

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kate Crimmins / Apr 22 2019 7:06 am

        Slugs on Easter eggs. I’m not gonna touch it either.

        Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 22 2019 7:34 am

          Still yucky after all these years
          Maybe it was a plot to get older kids to stop Easter egg hunts? Egg hunts were better in the country – where the soil is sandy and slugs didn’t crawl

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Ally Bean / Apr 21 2019 9:01 am

    Well look at that, I’ve been mooned by an image on, of all things, an Easter postcard. Gracious, what is the world coming to? Happy Easter to you and yours.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. RKLikesReeses / Apr 21 2019 3:45 pm

    Whoa. Those cards! The stuff of nightmares (for little cluckers, anyway)! Thank you for sharing them. I do like the postcard.
    You’re right – our commemorations & communications are so – ummm – vaporous? – now. Bits and bytes, 1’s and 0’s. Incorporeal. But considering the cybermuck so often posted these days, disappearance may be a very good thing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 21 2019 3:53 pm

      There are some very elegant Easter cards, but those tickled me (There’s something about chickens then and there – must read up on context – maybe next year, the chicken series…) Maybe a more rural community saw more humor in farm animals…maybe it would help us all if we all lightened up a bit. Laughing is healthy. Thanks for chirping a comment. Hope your Easter was hoppy and bright

      Liked by 1 person

      • RKLikesReeses / Apr 21 2019 4:11 pm

        Haaaaa! So true!! Context matters – and laughter is FABULOUS! By the way, the top card: before I looked at the language I thought it might be a reference to the Crusades, the little red uniform-y outfit, the black chicken horse kind of thing, the sword. Pickles and Mila send their purry best to you and to RC Cat! 😻😻

        Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 21 2019 4:16 pm

          Ws thinking about that too – that was a very typical dress for a boy in that era – we have a pix of my dad in a blue one. Wary of making analysis without knowing the time, place, people, and culture…maybe the post will reach someone and clue us in.
          RC graciously acknowledges the princesses purrrfect manners with a grand paw wave suitable to their rank and kindness

          Liked by 1 person

          • RKLikesReeses / Apr 21 2019 4:42 pm

            So cool, about your Dad’s picture!
            I guess it was the sword, mostly, for me.
            I looked up “boy with sword riding chicken” and found several Easter cards with young kid riding broomsticks; girls wielding umbrellas, riding cats. They seemed to be in Norwegian, from a similar (but maybe earlier?) time. Fascinating!!!!!! Maybe I’ll look more tomorrow.
            Re Jenny Nyström – I just looked through some of her work. Yeeeeeow! Amazing! There’s a Little Red Riding Hood card that’s very special. And her other paintings are scenes of life, intimate beauty. Thank you for telling us about her!!!

            Liked by 1 person

          • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 21 2019 6:10 pm

            Stumbling across her was serendipity. A young talented girl sent to study in Paris; returned and evaluated the market demand in order to make a living, found a niche – and was able leave a tradition/company to her son. Even in that era. If she could…Where there’s a will there’s a way. (Maybe the hardy folk of that environment – who also had a rich tradition in whimsy, story telling, and independence?) Cool indeed!

            Liked by 1 person

  7. LordBeariOfBow / Apr 22 2019 8:11 pm

    When did this wishing people a Happy Easter start?
    Seems to be something new to me, Merry Christmas and happy new Year have always been around, well in my time they have; but easter? Is it something new started by big stores so that they can flog stuff?

    Everything seems to have a commercial background/pedigree these days, I recall when Easter was a solemn day everything closed up, and the churches opened on the Sundays with much bell ringing, all seems to be gone.

    We celebrate our ANZAC Day here on the 25th, I just hope the time never comes when people start wishing each other a happy ANZAC day

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 23 2019 7:47 am

      Partly because people feel like they have to give a seasonally appropriate greeting? It’s short and cheery for blog comments? It has become more and more of a Hallmark commercial holiday. ..along with much of church. Tradition repurposed to be modern (and profitable)…people don’t like to think of death or consequences if they are bad – Ooop’s that ancient outdated thinking slipped out: should be “behaving badly” – oops, that’s not positive reinforcement/redirection either – no person is a bad person, right? They have rights! (that was taught but not the personal responsibility that should go first…)
      We were stunned when a relative was fretting over which type of stereo/boombox to buy her teen boys for Easter. What? Perplexed, we said “It’s not Christmas or birthdays.” People so easily encouraged to do what they want anyway.
      Cinco de mayo up shortly…you know the battle in Mexico – not independence – and it isn’t really celebrated/partied in Mexico like in the US where it is a big event for beer sales – like St Patrick’s Day. Everyday can be a party – give us a few years!
      Thanks for hopping by to gnaw the carrots



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