Growing up, it was just something our family did. Every Easter you would dye eggs and bring them over to Grandmother’s house for Easter dinner. Shortly before lunch was served, every member of the family–aunts, uncles, cousins–would gather around on the back porch, and we would pock eggs.
It was a simple little game: with eggs in hand, you would pair off with someone, and try to break the tip off of their egg without breaking yours. If you succeeded, and broke their egg, yours remaining in tact, you won and got to keep the loser’s egg.
Now this sounds all simple and fun, but we had some hard core competition going on. As children, we were convinced that if you rubbed the egg in your hair long enough, somehow the static electricity would help you not to be defeated. And no one wanted to play against Ma Ma, my great-grandmother. She would always win. Turns out she had a dyed wooden egg that we would all come to discover after her death.
As a child, I never thought that this was any different than anyone else’s family. That was until I moved to my family’s current state and that first Easter rolled around. Eyebrows were raised.
See, I’m originally from Cajun country. My grandparent’s spoke Cajun French, played the fiddle and two- stepped. All, which regrettably, I did not learn. This simple little game I played as a child, turns out to be a part of my family heritage– a custom brought to America by the French — the Acadians, my family’s ancestors, in which they called it “la toquette”.
Now, even though I am far from Cajun country, the tradition continues. Every Easter, my own children and their cousins pock eggs. Who am I to break the family tradition?
And it turns out, pock is actually pâques, the French word for Easter. Our ancestors knew they had a good thing going.