Ed Bedford 11:44 p.m., June 19
Eggbert’s shell was getting ever so tight, so much so, he could hardly move. He was not able to do his stretching games anymore or push his wings out to the side. The day was soon approaching when he would be able to come out and play with his brothers and sisters. He looked forward to that day with great anticipation.
He was eager to see what made all the wondrous noises he heard. Since he’d been in his shell, he’d heard music, voices and so many other sounds. Now he wanted to see what those sounds looked like.
Suddenly he felt buoyant, as though he was floating and his shell became gradually cooler. He began to feel uneasy, as he heard new sounds. The soft easy sounds from before were replaced with loud, repetitive banging and screams of terror.
“Hurry up Joe. I can’t wait all day for those hens. They need to be cleaned and dressed, so I can cut ‘em up for fryin.”
“Keep your shorts on Margie. I’m gettin’ em over to Ruth as fast as I can. ‘Sides she can only dunk two at a time in the hot water and the kids can’t keep up with her as it is. We’ve already got six kids on pluckin’.”
“I don’t care-just hurry it up. I have a schedule to meet for the missus. We have to get dinner done on time. All those wedding guests will be here and you know as well as me, how much all the missus’ friends complain about bein’ hungry. Jenny how you doin’ on the cake and biscuits?”
“Real good Margie. They just brought me in another bowlful of eggs.”
Eggbert could no longer stand the noises without seeing what they were. He starting pecking at his shell until he had a hole large enough to peek through. As he looked out he saw the hens being held down one after another. Watching in terror as the hatchet came down and cutting off their heads, as the waiting hens screamed in fear. Eggbert began to peck frantically. He needed to escape the confines of his shell, so he could run away. The egg began to rock to and fro and then started rolling down the pile of eggs, landing with a crash onto the table.
“What in tarnation was that?” Screamed Margie.
“One of the eggs just rolled off the top of the bowl.”
“Well, clean it up.”
“There’s not much to clean up. This egg had a chick in it.”
“Then scoop him up and put him outside with all the other chicks and then get back to work.”
Eggbert was gently cradled and carried outside. He was placed into the middle of a group of chicks. “Hi. What’s your name?”
“Come and play with us. We know a great place to catch worms and bugs.”
As Eggbert left with his new friends, images of what he’d seen and heard still haunted him.