The White House
President George W. Bush
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The White House Easter Egg Roll
Text by C.L. Arbelide
Courtesy of the White House Historical Association


John Philip Sousa stood on a stand,
Directing the music of the Marine Band.

Their red coats were brilliant; their instruments shone,
Every trumpet and flute and golden trombone.

Hand-clapping, toe-tapping, music fast and slow,
People-laughing, children dancing – moving to and fro.

To meet President Harrison, children everywhere,
Squeezed into the East Room, not an inch to spare.

Their giggles and laughter added to the fun.
A loose balloon floated past George Washington.

Children at the fountain, sailing egg-shell boats,
Talking, laughing and asking, “Would they stay afloat?”

As they bobbed and bobbed, more children came,
To sail their tiny boats and join in this new game.

Waiting, waiting, waiting – children wanting to go in,
Standing, standing, standing – when, when, when?

Thank goodness for the vendor who lingered on the street,
Selling to egg-rollers their favorite ice cream treat.

Finally, finally, finally, the line began to budge,
Slowly, slowly, slowly – nudge, nudge, nudge.

The line is getting shorter; we’ll be inside soon.
Wait – I’ll be right back – I want a red balloon!

Even the White House pets came to play,
Joining the fun on egg-rolling day.

Dashing about, bringing laughter and joy,
Was President Harding’s dog, Laddie Boy.

From his favorite spot, the wicker stand,
Performing tricks and shaking hands.

Grace Coolidge had many stories to tell,
About Rebecca Raccoon, her animal pal.

A furry ringed tail and a mask she wore,
Few children had seen a raccoon before.

Look! A chocolate bunny standing five feet tall,
Lady Bird Johnson’s gift, shared by one and all.

The next year Pat Nixon brought a special guest,
A giant Easter Bunny, and children were impressed.

Ever since that visit, each and every year,
The White House Easter Bunny on this day appears.

Chefs in tall white hats prepare for egg-rolling play,
They have to boil and color thousands of eggs today.

Boiling and boiling – steam rises in the air,
Coloring and dying – hard-boiled eggs everywhere.

Using every basket, every pan, every pot,
Filling the White House kitchen with colored polka dots!

Children, side by side, color and create,
Taking turns to draw and to decorate.

Yellow eggs, green eggs, colored eggs galore,
Flowered eggs, striped eggs, all of this and more.

Bushy-tailed squirrels, high up in the tree,
Watch excited children with curiosity.

Hide-and-seek, hide-and-seek – eggs in the hay,
“I found one, I found one, to take home today!”

Egg-rolling day was ending? Kids could not believe.
Hadn’t it just started? Now it’s time to leave?

Did they have a good time? Egg-rollers gave their reply,
“Let’s do this every day, except Christmas and Fourth of July.”

Then, shouting in voices heard loud and clear,
“Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. President! We’ll be back next year!”


Illustration by Eric Carle

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