The subject line, “No chicks in Queens,” greeted me this morning. That on its own brought a smile to my face. But it’s not what you think.

No, not a piece of spam, but a piece of intelligence from my Easter network. If you recall, I had a ton of fun creating Easter chapeaus for Calvin and I last year (seen here). We wandered Fifth Avenue with our egg-themed milinery for the Easter Parade. This year Jay said that he might join us too. So the race is on between now and 23 March to create the chapeaus d’annee.

I have the idea mentally mapped out: three hats, one theme (punny, but I don’t want to reveal it quite yet.) But it requires the presence of peeps. For our American friends, not, I am not referring to the puffed marshmellow chickens that are an enduring Easter association to anyone who grew up here. I am referring rather to small, fluffy chicken models. Which I have been unable to find.

Every fake, baby chicken has been gargantuan. Super sized, if you will. Thus I ended up asking a few friends for idea on possible peep sources. That network of peep seekers has checked out most of the five burroughs and not turned up the sought for feathered friends.

Having already virtually trolled the aisles of the usual online suspects — eBay, Amazon, online craft vendors, Target and Wal-Mart — Calvin and I took an extended and contorted trip home yesterday, hitting every likely place — two Duane Reades (like Clicks or Boots), two Hallmark stores (like CNA on steroids), CVS (competitor to Duane Reade), and a 99c store. To no avail.

Finally we padded our way across Bryant Park to resume our usual route home and we saw a Papyrus. For those not familiar with this chain, it’s a high-end stationary shop with wrapping paper that costs $8 a sheet and custom printing. They had peeps. Exactly what we were seeking… only about three times larger than we’d wanted. But after so much seeking, I thought a peep in the hand was worth however many might be lurking somewhere we hadn’t thought of looking. But I have kept my receipt… just in case a better peep pairing presents itself.

More will follow about the chapeau construction over the next weeks, and if you have a peep lead… post it here please!

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