The Egg

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: November 04, 2017

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Submitted: November 04, 2017

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The Egg.

It got cold, so suddenly, I really was not prepared for it. I could sit there and shiver in my house or I could go out in search of firewood. Either way, I was going to need my coat.

It did not look a tempting sight outside; damp and grey and......cold. But I’d make the effort, go out and see what I could find. I tugged my boots on, searched out my hat, and pulled my door closed behind me keeping what slight bit of warmth there inside.

Taking the old barrow with me, I set off amongst the trees, picking up any fallen branches that are big enough to burn for more than a few minutes. And it is while doing that that I see it: a single egg, light brown in color with golden speckles.

Picking it up, I inspect it for damage, for cracks, but remarkably it appears to be entirely unbroken. It will need to be kept warm, though. It is small, easy to fit inside one of my gloves. I put it into my pocket for safe-keeping and set off for home.

A make-shift nest is what I’ll be needing. I find a cardboard box and line it with newspaper; I read somewhere that it makes good insulation. Then I drop in an old sweater and wrap the egg snugly inside. There’s nothing more I can do. It will either hatch or not.

* * * *

Several weeks later I notice a movement underneath the sweater. The egg has cracked open and a tiny, rather ugly looking face is peering at me, opening it’s beak hungrily. I know nothing about birds, especially about caring for orphan chicks. Maybe I should have thought through the consequences of keeping that egg warm.

Regurgitating! That’s how the parent birds feed the young. Well, that’s not going to happen, but I’ll go out, see what I can find and make up some kind of mush. There must be some kind of dropper laying around here somewhere that I can feed it with.

And somehow it works. The tiny mouth reaches up for the dropper and gobbles up my offering. There follows an anxious couple of days of me worrying that I am going to find it dead, that what I am feeding it with has proved lethal, but it doesn’t happen. The bird gets stronger, grows, and in what seems not much more than the blink of an eye, is learning to fly.

The bird begins to spend more time outside, returning to it’s nest in the house less and less often. Sometimes, now I do not see her for days. I feel kind of lonely now, but occasionally, I’m sure I catch a glimpse. She is letting me know that I have not been deserted, I guess.

I get used to my solitary existence again. I don’t understand people, can never really get along with them. I do what I have to do to manage and spend the rest of my time in my own company.

Then it suddenly gets cold again. Another year has passed and I need to go back in search of firewood. It has been windy so there are plenty of broken branches lying around. It does not take long for my barrow to become full.

Just as I am about to turn for home, something catches my eye on the ground. Something shiny. I’m sure it is in the exact spot that I had found the egg before. Eagerly I approach it, and it is an egg, but this one is golden. Could it really be made of gold?

There is a twittering in the branches and there she is, my bird. She seems to give a nod as she looks from the egg to me and then she takes to the air and disappears. I pick up the egg gently and place it safely inside my pocket. But this egg, I think, is one that is never going to hatch.


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