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How You Take an Easter Break --Try Winging It

Times Staff Writer

What’s the right thing to do when you see a human-sized chicken and a half-hatched egg walking toward you on Ventura Boulevard holding out their wings in a friendly gesture?

You can kick your legs and giggle. You can walk up and give them hugs. You can look down at the ground and make a circle around them. Or, you can look right through them like they don’t exist.

All that happened Sunday when the clown team Sprinkles and C. O. hit the boulevard for their annual Easter frolic.

Sprinkles and C. O. are actually Murleen Reeves, who is Sprinkles, and her mother, Ruth Reeves, the “Commanding Officer.” Usually they go around as conventional clowns with red noses and ruffles around their necks. They do parties and company picnics and the usual. But on Easter they really clown it up.

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Papier-Mache Costume

This year Murleen, 38, rented a bright yellow chicken suit with yellow stockings for legs and plastic webbed feet that flopped like scuba diver fins as she walked. Her mother, Ruth, was the egg. She made an eggshell out of white papier-mache. It fit over her head and down around her waist. Baby chicken wings poked through two holes, and her hips, wrapped in yellow imitation fur, stuck out the bottom. She had flippers on too.

At noon they drove to the miniature shopping center at Ventura and Laurel Canyon boulevards near their Studio City home.

They parked around the back so they could put on their suits without being seen, then flopped along to meet the public.

The egg walked briskly and stuck its beak into every doorway. The chicken fell behind.

“Hey mom,” the chicken called out. “Hey C. O. Hey Egg! Wait a minute.”

Half-Cracked Egg

The egg had found a little girl in an Easter dress inside a video rental shop.

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The girl took a chocolate kiss.

“Do you know I’m a half-cracked egg?” the egg said. “I don’t know yet whether I want to come out.”

The girl smiled and backed away just slightly.

Just then, a black BMW jerked to a stop, almost driving up onto the curb.

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“Let’s get the baby out,” Wendy Segall, who was sitting in the passenger seat, said to her husband, Stuart.

She unstrapped her infant son, Cory, from the kiddie seat and held him up to the chicken.

Cory liked the chicken. His legs kicked as he reached out to touch its beak.

They walked several blocks west to Art’s deli, going into every store that was open.

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All the customers in a coffee shop started laughing when the pair walked in. But, the egg had bad luck outside a movie theater with three elderly women who were discussing curtain times.

“Happy Easter,” the egg said, walking right in among them. They went on with their discussion, ignoring her.

“Do you want an egg?” she asked. They pretended not to hear until she finally went away.

Age seemed to have nothing to do with how people reacted, though. When Ruth and Murleen met two elderly women and an elderly man strolling together, one of the women jumped forward to meet them.

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“You’re adorable,” she told the chicken, reaching out with both arms to hug it. With a flourish, she picked out a candy kiss.

Later, when no one was looking, the egg suddenly lunged into the shade of a recessed store window.

“I can’t stand it any longer,” Ruth said, ripping off her shell. “That’s hot in there.”

Her face was flushed and sweat was dripping down her forehead.

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She went the rest of the way as a just-hatched chicken, carrying the empty shell over one arm.

Passing cars honked. Ruth always waved back and called out, “Happy Easter.”

“If you think about it, you can wave to anybody,” she said.


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