By Edie Worrell

3rd FLOOR JRC– During the week of 4/1, as students gathered back to Grinnell’s campus after an enjoyable two-week long Spring break, finalized by Easter Sunday one college organization announced the beginning of a beloved tradition to take place over the next ten days. Weekend, the college’s premier Weekend organization, began the tradition of a week-and-a-half-long Easter egg hunt throughout the college’s academic buildings after a successful stint last Spring. With students unlocking their dorms and turning back to their work– they were pleased to see an email from the organization announcing the first eggs had been hidden.

Weekend hid the eggs in the early hours of the morning– before any Grinnellians had yet to awake. Eggs, labeled as either “Tier 1, tier 2, or tier 3,” would come with prizes inside depending on their level. Tier 1 eggs would be full of trinkets, while Tier 2 and 3 eggs had a numbered ticket inside them redeemable at certain hours– with prizes ranging from Elf Bars to Higher Hourly Wages. With the email sent to every student’s inbox– the games had begun.

In the first days of the activity, all seemed to be going well- many students left happy with eggs full of fun candies or redeemed their tickets for a bottle of Hawkeye. It wasn’t until that Thursday, 4/4, that the drama began.

Jerzey Jones, a 2nd-year independent business and communications major at the college, found her egg on the 3rd floor of the HSSC. As she failed to find any last spring– she relayed to B&S reporters that she was “thrilled” with her finding. 

“I was pumped because it seemed like it would be impossible for me to ever find an egg unless I got up bright and early to go hunting,” Jones told us, “so when I found this one after my 2:30 class– I just couldn’t believe it. I was thrilled!” She then picked up the egg, saying that she anticipated finding a small toy (but was hoping for something better- like a ticket) and was surprised by its weight. 

“The egg was large, and very heavy, so I thought that maybe it was a special one or something.” As Jones began to crack open the large plastic container, she heard a small chirp as a juvenile chicken fell into her hands. 

“I was stunned when this small, meaty chick fell from the egg and into my hands.” Jones recalled, “At first I thought it was some sort of prank. Then I was worried it was a real prize I would have to take home. I don’t have the ability to be a good chicken mother right now.” Jerzey brought the egg and its contents to Weekend’s open hours where students were able to go and redeem their prizes. Misty Ceiling, head of the organization, was just as confused as the student. 

“I mean, some of our prizes were weird, sure,” Ceiling said, “but we’d never put a live animal in a small plastic container.” From there, Weekend– along with the college’s help, began an investigation to find the alleged prankster who completed this act of pseudo-animal cruelty. Nobody could have guessed what they would have found next.

After rummaging through hours of security footage, it was revealed that there was, in fact, no perpetrator of this crime. Video evidence shows a student originally finding the egg, opening it up to retrieve the ticket– and leaving the plastic shell behind. Hours later the chicken is seen walking down the hall, coming across the egg on the floor, and wiggling its way inside. It closed the contraption with its beak, and seemed to have fallen asleep inside. 

“At first, we had no idea where the animal came from,” explained Dustin Grimes, head of Campus Safety, “but after combing through hours of video footage throughout campus and even in town, it’s clear that this is no ordinary chicken.” And an ordinary chicken she is not. The chick appears to have made its way from the local Controlled Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) in town, down to the college, and was let into the academic building by a kind student who apparently “could sense the animals need to be let inside.” From there it appears the chick took shelter in the egg to escape any possible workers who had followed it to its location. Little did it know that chickens from CAFOS are not counted individually, and when the B&S contacted CAFO workers for a statement, they told us we were “batshit crazy,” and that they had “no clue what [we] were talking about.” 

The chicken, lovingly named “Jesus” after students likened its hatching from the egg to the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, has been adopted by Grinnell’s very own president Ann Harris, who wants to use the bird as the school’s new mascot– changing from squirrels to CAFO Chickens, which she thinks will more properly represent the school’s environment and brave resilience. She hopes that Jesus will get along well with her pug, Mary.