Tag Archives: eggs

1969. Nesting season

Squaggle Quack was a duck. More particularly, he was a drake. And what a fine drake he was! Mrs. Quack was known as Mrs. Quack, although her closest friends called her Seaxburh. She was named after Queen Seaxburh, an ancient Queen of Wessex. Her maiden name was Hrafnkelsdóttir. Very few know that.

The time had come for Squaggle and Seaxburh to start a family. The first priority was to choose a site for the nest. What a shamozzles! They couldn’t agree. Squaggle wanted the nest in the long grass on the side of a road.

“It’s dangerous,” said Seaxburh. “And there’s absolutely no view. What about on the side of that hill where I can enjoy the view of the valley as I sit on the eggs for four weeks?”

The discussion raged for several days. In the end, Squaggle won. A nest was made on the side of the road, with no view, and open to the elements.

“I think we should have eleven eggs,” suggested Squaggle.

“But I had my heart set on nine eggs,” said Seaxburh. In the end, Squaggle won. Eleven eggs were laid.

Seaxburh began the marathon of sitting on eleven eggs in a cold nest next to the road. It was the most boring thing she had ever done in her life. So uninteresting! So testing! And the rain! You’ve no idea!

In the meantime, Squaggle had flown off at the beginning of the sitting session and never bothered to come back. He’d done his part.

When the eleven ducklings hatched, Seaxburh told them that their family name was Seaxburhsdóttir or Seaxburhssen. Good on you, Seaxburh!

1916. Why don’t you suck eggs?

I paid good money to a tree doctor to have the dead tree cut down and taken away that was disfiguring my garden lawn. And what happened? The idiot cut down the wrong tree. He’s not going to get paid.

“You’re not getting paid,” I told him. “You’ve cut down the wrong tree.”

“You’ll pay me or else,” he said. “I cut down the tree you pointed out.”

“You’re not getting paid, and that’s that,” I said.

“Lady, why don’t you suck eggs?”

Well, that settled that. I’m not going to have a bigoted lumberjack cut down my wrong tree and tell me to suck eggs. Who does he think he is? Does he think he’s Lord Muck of Egypt or what? He can put his chainsaw in his pipe and smoke it.

All that was seven years ago. I still can’t mow my lawn. Sometimes I wish I’d never married him.

1703. Battery hens

Every time Cassandra used an egg when cooking she thanked the hen. She didn’t know the hen personally of course, these were eggs bought at a shop, but in her heart she thanked the hen that had gone to all the trouble of laying it.

It was possible that this hen was locked in a cage, a battery hen, with no chance to wander freely and scratch about at will with the cavorting cockerel.

Cassandra could have bought eggs where the carton stated: CAGE-FREE EGGS or FREE-RANGE EGGS. But she thought, what about the caged chickens locked forever living in a hell-hole to produce for her, Cassandra, the beauty and satisfaction of an egg? It was her way of saying thank you. Thank you Mother Hen for all your sacrifice, for all your effort. How sad for you to live a battered battery life with no hope, no love, no consolation. It was almost as if those who bought FREE-RANGE EGGS didn’t care about the plight of those poor chickens locked away.

It was the same for Cassandra when she wanted to roast a chicken. She always purchased the ones that did NOT say FREE-RANGE. It was her way of showing she cared.

1542. Things are not what they seem

From the outside it looked just like an ordinary egg. It had been laid by an ordinary chicken in an ordinary farmyard. The mother hen (apparently) was an ordinary Rhode Island Red. The father (apparently) was a rather handsome silver-laced Wyandotte.

Twelve year old Gilbert knew his breeds of chickens. He’d looked after the chickens for his mother and father almost since he was a toddler. These days he kept just the right balance between it being a hobby and it supplying the house with not too many and not too few eggs. Gilbert liked to have different breeds of chickens, and he’d cross one breed with another to see what sort of combination emerged from the egg. But… such an interesting genetic mix-up was exactly what the aliens were looking for. They had been watching the farmhouse for a month or so. They knew the way young Gilbert managed his chickens.

One night, when the next day they knew Gilbert was going to put a clutch of eggs under a broody hen, the aliens injected one of the eggs with very specific genetic material. This would change the history of the world. In fact, this would end the history of the world.

Before school the next morning, Gilbert took the eggs he had been saving that were laid by the Rhode Island Red hen in liaison with the silver-laced Wyandotte rooster. He selected twelve eggs. Of the fourteen eggs that Gilbert had collected only two remained. Fourteen eggs were too many for the broody hen to keep warm. Twelve was just right. Of the two unchosen eggs, one contained the alien genetic material. The watching aliens were distraught.

Then Gilbert did something he always did: at the last minute he swapped the eggs. “This,” he thought, as he replaced one of the dozen eggs with the rejected alien egg, “will produce a different chicken from the one I first selected!”

Gilbert always did that. It was if he was playing God. Except, in this case he was.

1284. Knut’s penguins

Knut pestered his mother.

You know, Mom, how people have chickens and collect their eggs? Well I want to have penguins instead.

You can’t have penguins, Knut. They need a huge expanse of sea to swim and catch fish.

But they have penguins at the Aquarium Center. They live there permanently.

That’s because they artificially create the right environment for them.

We could do that. It’s not as if we’re not filthy rich.

We’re not doing that, Knut.

I WANT SOME PENGUINS!

Well you can’t. And that’s that.

Knut was really annoyed. He stomped out to feed his pet giraffe.

1279. Brown eggs

Una and Rory had been married for fifty-two years. For fifty-two years Rory had devoured a boiled egg for breakfast. One egg and a slice of toast. Una made it for him every morning.

Rory was a little fussy; the egg had to be dark brown. Brown eggs were healthy. White eggs were feeble and lacked vitamins and health. A daily dark brown egg it had to be. Brown eggs came from healthy, robust chickens.

“It’s the brown eggs what done it,” said Rory on his eightieth birthday. Which just goes to show that Una’s secret of boiling a white egg in tea was good for the health.

Poem 47: Summer flies

(The form selected for this week is an adaptation of the Vietnamese Luc bat. It is an adaptation of the poetic form because Vietnamese is a tonal language and it cannot be imitated in English. The syllable count and the rhyming pattern have been adhered to!)

Let me make one thing clear:
it’s not been a good year for flies.
It’s cold and each fly dies
before they can lay shit-pies and eggs
upside-down with their legs
stuck to the ceiling, pegged up there.

I’ve a good mind to swot
at the several I’ve got, but oh!
I think I’ll let them go;
fly free, you flies, but know one thing:
to pet cat food don’t bring
an egg to make a single maggot.

834. Turtle Dove

834chicken

Bernardine’s late husband had kept chickens. Nine in all. His favourite one was white with three little black feathers in its tail. He called it Turtle Dove.

Bernardine’s late husband’s flock of nine produced eight eggs daily. Which one wasn’t laying was anyone’s guess. He dreaded to think it might be Turtle Dove.

The thing was, now that her husband had passed on, Bernardine simply did not need eight eggs a day. She decided one egg a day was enough. There are some things in life that have to be done. Bernardine took the bull by the horns. She bit the bullet. One chicken killed a day was the answer. She would chop its head off, pluck it, and throw it into the freezer.

How Bernardine hated the fall of her tomahawk. The chicken’s neck was laid on the block and down came the sharp tomahawk, severing the neck. What if she missed?

The first day passed. One chicken was safely in the freezer. The next day, from the eight remaining hens, she gathered seven eggs.

After the second day she gathered six eggs. After the third day she gathered five. Down went the number of chickens until there were two remaining hens. Bernardine was getting one egg a day. One of the remaining chickens was Turtle Dove.

Bernardine chopped the head off the second to last chicken. The next day she got one egg! From Turtle Dove! What a dear chicken! Oh, but it must be lonely. So lonely.

These days, Bernadine has a flock of eleven, including Turtle Dove. A chicken needs company. Bernardine gathers ten eggs a day.

582. Double yolker

© Bruce Goodman 15 May 2015

582doubleyolk

Bob had taught Social Studies at the local high school for seventeen years. At home he kept chickens. Almost daily he would bring in cartons of a dozen eggs each and sell these “free range” eggs to other teachers at slightly under the supermarket price. Not only did this pay for the chicken feed, it gave him a handy little nest egg throughout the year to do or buy the occasional extra thing.

Then young Cory arrived on the staff. After a few weeks he innocently announced at a staff meeting that he kept chickens. He did it as a hobby. He got dozens of eggs and he didn’t know what to do with them. If anyone wanted free eggs, just call out and he could bring some every day.

As was said, Bob had taught Social Studies at the local high school for seventeen years. He knew the ropes. Cory didn’t last long on the staff.

214. Broken egg shells

214eggshells

For his fourth birthday Gregory got lots of presents. Among the presents was an egg cup. Gregory was a fussy eater. Having his own egg cup might encourage him to eat.

Gregory’s mother boiled an egg, put it in the egg cup, and sliced the top off with a knife. Gregory scooped the inside of the egg out and ate it. When he’d finished, he turned the egg shell upside down in the egg cup and said:

“Look Mummy! You’ve forgotten to cut open my egg.”

“Don’t be stupid,” said Gregory’s mother. “You simply turned the shell upside down in the egg cup. Stop playing with your food.”

lines

For his fourth birthday Nicholas got lots of presents. Among the presents was an egg cup. Nicholas was a fussy eater. Having his own egg cup might encourage him to eat.

Nicholas’s mother boiled an egg, put it in the egg cup, and sliced the top off with a knife. Nicholas scooped the inside of the egg out and ate it. When he’d finished, he turned the egg shell upside down in the egg cup and said:

“Look Mummy! You’ve forgotten to cut open my egg.”

“Oh! Look at that! Silly me!” said Nicholas’s mother. She took a knife and hit the empty egg shell. The egg shell fell apart. “Oh you tricked me!” chuckled Nicholas’s mother.

Nicholas laughed and laughed at his clever trick.