Short Story – The Egg 🥚
*Kid’s Easter Eggtivity: Your kids can read or listen along to find the hidden “Easter eggs” throughout the story – circle any words besides egg with the word “egg” in it – and win a sweet Easter prize! (*Send answers to Cameron at email@example.com by Monday April 18, ‘22. Prize will be awarded in person or via post!)*
…and as the boy went to put it in his basket he had the nagging feeling that this egg was special, and so he paused for just the briefest moment, then put it in his pocket…
The hiding spots were good, but not so good as to be unfindable; the hunt was for the children after all. Hiding places included a bowl of fruit, the corner of a picture frame, underneath the couch, concealed in the cushions, under the brass dinner bell, resting on a window sill, hiding in the drapes, resting next to a chair legg or conspicuously behind a door. Some were even in plain sight, though I suspect those were for the adults. Many were in groups of four, five or six, depending on how many of us kids took part. The unbreggable rule was to: “Only take one and leave the rest for the others.” (Though I am certain that rule was broken once or twice. It was also common practice to “lift” some eggs from someone else’s basket, if not just to even out the odds. At least I believe it was common practice…)
August 3, 2021
Agnus found it while she was vacuuming – she felt a conspicuous bump bump as the old Hoover struggled to pass over it. She looked down at the tiny obstacle but she instinctively knew what it was…
Agnus eleggantly bent down – not an easy task for someone her age, yet for her a manoeuvre as effortless as breathing, doubtlessly from all her years of gardening and tending to her beloved flowers. There was at least a month to go before the cool, briskness of fall would promise to wipe away all of her hard work. She reached under the radiator, her hand passing through cobwebs of long ago-sucked up spiders, and felt it: a hard, rounded, metallic object. She pulled it out and nimbly grasped it in her spindly fingers, “Where have you been hiding little guy?” Agnus delicately fondled the silvery egg in her hand checking for any ireggularities or signs it had been nibbled at by a sweet-toothed critter. Despite being faintly discoloured with age and hard as a stone, it had survived eggsentially unscathed during its time in hiding (what looked to be an era). She turned the egg looking for any markings revealing some tiny print on the bottom – what she could make out as a date: 1981. “Oh my,” she gasped. “That would make this egg..as old as my eldest grandson!” Memories suddenly flooded her mind like an ocean tide of Easters past…
The grandkids had arrived – the word of another eggciting Easter hunt in the air, eggerly bouncing about in anticipation like bunnies hopped up on chocolate, no time for family formalities, Let the hunt begin! With baskets assigned, the day’s winner would find and retrieve more eggs than their fellow candy hunters, their own basket full to the brim, the prize of showing off their shining achievement to the others with the knowledge that they were special and obviously had a talent for this sort of thing, and could then revel in their rabbit’s share of the chocolate.
Eggnus shook her head and let out a giggle. My time flies… Her attention was drawn back to the tiny object in her hand. The strange thing was that the egg hadn’t been in any particular hiding place – under the radiator where many other eggs like it had been hidden – yet it somehow managed to dodge every foraging and scavenging hand, or ultimately being melted to death. This egg was special, Agnus felt sure of it. Perhaps not upon first inspeggtion. One must first peel off the wrapper to get to the chocolatey goodness after all. The egg had finally been captured from its cave where it had comfortably been in hiding all these years; plucked from the safety of darkness now eggsposed in all its golden glory; had all but forgotten that once long ago it had been delivered by the Easter Bunny, its purpose to bring joy and happiness to a child. Sure it had some wear and tear: its wrapper was torn in one spot; the gold tint slightly discoloured; its insides now hardened like chocolate lava rock (hard enough you’d chip your tooth if you bit into it!), but an egg just as good as the rest. Perhaps there was nothing special about this curious little egg after all.
The children would always search the place more thoroughly than an FBI inveggstigation, scouring every nook and cranny, upstairs and downstairs, making sure every last darn Easter egg was found. A childish challenge of wits, “Children vs the Easter Bunny,” the ultimate game of hide and seek. Thinking that they had snatched up every last chocolate egg that could be found, every year Agnus would inevitably find some lone stregglers cleaning up and snicker to herself, The Easter Bunny has outsmarted you kids eggain!, something she’d bring up “in passing” at the next family gathering: “Guess what I found vacuuming the other day?” The children would be egghast, each certain they had checked every possible hiding place, There could be no eggs left, IMPOSSIBLE! It must’ve fallen out of one of our baskets by eggsident. Agnus giggled at the thought, and reasoned that one thoughtful Higirl or boy, staring down at his own basket overflowing with chocolate goodies, realized that he already had enough and that this singular, inconsequential egg would not make a difference in his life but it might to another less fortunate child, desperately clinging to a much emptier basket – and so in a moment of glucose-induced generosity, willfully put it back in its original hiding spot. I suppose anything is possible.
Agnus wistfully chuckled out loud, shaking her head as she lovingly caressed the egg as if it contained a live chick. Her hands cupped around it, her skin resembling the thin, delicate membrane of an embryonic egg. No, she now felt certain this egg was somehow chosen, purposely, to make the ultimate sacrifice: spending the remainder of its days alone, hoping to be found yet every time evading detection, as Easters and seasons passed, year in and year out, steadily growing colder and harder yet always maintaining its inherent sweetness; for at its core it was still chocolate after all.
Agnus rolled the egg around in her hand, the foil still clinging on to its hardened core protecting it like a metallic skin. She continued to ponder, What made this egg so special? Nothing in particular, she supposed. Sure it had survived longer than the average Easter egg, and this egg had made it eggainst all odds. But it was, in the end, just an ordinary egg, but for one difference: it had persevered. This egg had defied all eggspectations. Of course, it was not conscious. That would be silly, Agnus reasoned. (Although she had to admit that her current predicament – talking aloud to a chocolate egg – was not much less). Yet somehow the egg seemed to be aware of its own eggsistence… Indifferent to Agnus’ thoughts, the egg rolled around comfortably in her palm.
As Agnus stood there enjoying the stillness of late afternoon, the sun’s rays penetrated the living room window forming a perfect patch of sunlight she could feel like a warm hug. She contemplated what to do with the egg: Throw it away? Keep it as proof to show her grandkids? Or put it back to see if this tenacious little guy might stick around a while longer? Or…eat it? No, better not take any chances. Agnus worried: If she put the egg back would it ever be found again? Or would it live out the rest of its days eggsisting yet never really coming out of its..shell?
The Egg was solid – its crystalline structure gave it a natural protection that prevented it from melting and becoming soft (as long as it avoided the heat like that secret nook under the radiator). Being entirely smooth meant that it remained motionless, never venturing out beyond that sliver of light, which kept it safe from the outside world of booming footsteps and rush hour traffic. It could live on peacefully egging out its days uneaten in obscurity… Naturally, this meant that The Egg would never fulfill its true purpose and bring joy to a child, and would never be truly appreciated for all its sweet, chocolatey goodness.
While contemplating over the fate of the remarkable little egg, a question came to Agnus’ mind, and the same one she posed to her grandchildren every year: “What is the real meaning of Easter?” She reminded them of the importance of asking oneself this question – somewhere between inhaling a basket of choccy eggs and devouring the ears off a hapless, chocolate rabbit of course. Just then, it was as if the little angels were right there in the room with her. Agnus could see all their happy little faces with chocolate-smudged cheeks beaming up at her so she stretched out her left hand and started listing them: “The resurreggtion of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for us.” Agnus felt a warmth well up inside her and she raised her index, the first and foremost finger. She continued: “Being with loved ones and family,” and she cautiously unfurled her middle finger, the one she normally reserved for special occasions. The childrens’ faces were beaming even brighter, and so she moved on: “Bringing joy to my grandchildren,” and with tears in her eyes she delicately outstretched her ring finger, her silvery wedding band a symbol of love. There was still one more finger to go, but Agnus struggled to think of another reason… She rubbed her pinky for just a moment, then it came to her: “Easter is…a celebration of rejoicing in life!” Satisfied, she grasped her fingers in the crux of her right hand and squeezed onto them, thinking of those moments in time that go by so quickly if you blink you’d miss them, and held on for just a moment longer…
Agnus made up her mind; she took the egg, now slightly warm and soft from her hands, and put it back in its rightful spot where it would remain, tucked away for years to come as generations passed, until one day it would be found by a child on Easter morning, eyes lit up at the precious relic, and as the boy went to put it in his basket he had the negging feeling that this egg was special, and so he paused for just the briefest moment, then put it in his pocket where he forgot about it and the egg melted into blissful oblivion.
Do not feel sad, for you see this tenacious little egg was not lost but finally found.
– Dedicated to my wonderful family, each of you as unique and special as The Egg –
Thesaurus of Easter Eggs: