396 The Book of Indoor and Outdoor Games
should meet together and the children have an especial welcome.
An early dinner on Sunday was to be followed by music, games, singing—anything that should be promotive of joy and impress the lessons of the day.
Our first care was to send to the country for large bundles of fruit - boughs—mere sticks as yet—-with which to decorate the rooms. These dry twigs would blossom like Tannhauser's fabled staff after a few days in the warm atmosphere of the kitchen, if kept in water, and be ready with their Easter message of how life can come out of death and beauty and fragrance out of materials most unpromising.
Our fancy-work for a few days consisted in cutting out butterflies—myriads of them of all sorts and sizes. The little bodies were mere rolls of paper pinched into shape to indicate the heads, and the decoration of the wings required but the most slender talent in water-colour painting.
The preparations were complete when Easter dawned —lovely as sunshine and balmy air full of hints of spring could make it. After the tuneful service at church, our guests assembled. The rooms were all abloom; every twig had seemingly kept its promise.
A little buzz of admiration pleasantly rewarded our efforts upon entering the dining-room. A mass of Annunciation lilies decorated the centre of the long table. A single lily at each place held in its deep cup a bunch of lilies of the valley—like the "bouquet-holders" of our grandmother's day.
At one end of the table a vase held a bundle of dry twigs upon which a chrysalis or two hung like dried leaves. A similar vase at the other end held small apple-boughs covered thickly with their fair white