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WASHINGTON (AP) _ All 10,800 eggs were boiled, the president's dog was captured in a chocolate sculpture and the White House braced for the arrival of hundreds of children for the annual egg roll on the South Lawn.

President Bush and his wife, Laura, were presiding at the roll, in which young children race to the finish line while pushing their eggs with a spoon.

Last week, White House assistant chef John Moeller and five others toiled in a kitchen stacked with crates and boxes of eggs _ 30 cases of 30 dozen each.

Of the 10,800 eggs boiled, 3,000 were spared the dye and set aside for children to decorate on Monday. The remaining 7,800 were being colored

White House pastry chef Roland Mesnier has also finished a 25-pound, chocolate sculpture of President Bush's Scottish terrier, Barney.

He sculpted the pooch holding a paintbrush and wearing a cowboy hat and glasses.

``He's in the mood for painting,'' Mesnier said of the chocolate Barney, which stands beside another of Mesnier's creations, a 45-pound, 4 1/2-foot-tall, chocolate Easter egg.

``Barney was kind of a challenge because of his features, all the hair and everything,'' Mesnier said. In all, it took 20 hours to create the chocolate sculptures.

Besides the traditional egg roll, the celebration was scheduled to include egg decorating, readings by famous children's authors and appearances by Elmo, Barney the dinosaur and Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius.

According to the White House, the first Washington egg rolls took place on the Capitol grounds in the early 1870s. But after children made a mess of the lawn in 1876, lawmakers banned them. The festivities were rained out the next year, and the celebration moved to the White House in 1878.


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