WHAT DO YOU DO, if you're a famous animal park, and you're throwing a festive and spring-sational Easter celebration, complete with an appearance by the Easter Bunny, and yet your most famous resident is a tortoise? Not just any tortoise, but a desert tortoise that maybe, just perhaps, predicts the start of springtime? Well, you page through the annals of literature to see if there are any stories that might just feature a tortoise in addition to a hare. Oh, what luck, there is: It's "The Tortoise and the Hare," one of Aesop's fables, an oft-repeated tale that's truly lasted the centuries. After all, the story does champion the notion of persistence, and stick-to-it-iveness, a quality that hasn't always found its backers throughout the ages. Which all leads to this: The Easter Bunny is hopping by The Living Desert on Saturday, March 31, all to play a happy part in the animal park's yearly Easter Eggstravaganza. And while Mojave Maxine, The Living Desert's celebrated spring-predicting tortoise, won't be joining in, another "tortoise" will show up to race the Easter Bunny during the holiday proceedings. Cute stuff, but who will win?
OTHER HOPPY HAPPENINGS... during the Easter Eggstravaganza include a chance to "... collect stickers at various locations" on a scavenger hunt (yes, you'll be roaming throughout the beautiful Palm Desert destination). An "Easter egg with a special prize" is the goodie you'll get once "... the map is completed." Other doings include face painting, a maze, and those oh-so-cool animal encounters. Oh yes, and keeper chats, too, which help we humans to know and appreciate our furry and scaly friends of the desert so much better. It's a morning to-do, as you might expect in the desert this time of year, so be there from 9 a.m. to noon. But who will you root for, the tortoise or the hare? Choices, choices.