Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Good Egg: The Story of Darling Duck and Her Ten Little Chicks

Once upon a time Darling Duck came across a very good egg. She was used to sitting on large white duck eggs, but this egg was brown. 

Clearly the brown egg was from a Mother Hen that had gone missing. 

“Where is your mother?” Darling Duck said, looking at the egg. “You will surely die without a mother to protect you from the nasty world.”

Over the years, she raised many ducklings and never let them out of her sight. 

“I might have to sit on the brown egg, so it hatches,” Darling Duck said. “But it needs some color: pink, orange, yellow, green, blue, and even purple.”

So Darling Duck got out her paintbrush and decorated the brown egg into a masterpiece. Indeed, her many ducklings helped her paint the egg with broad strokes. 

“Find your manners,” Darling Duck said to her children as they splattered paint on each other. “You’re supposed to be helping to paint the egg, not each other,” she said in a motherly tone. 

“Momma, we’re looking for our manners,” the ducklings said to her, stretching their little necks.

“Maybe we’ll find them over here . . . or maybe over there,” the ducklings said as paint flew.

“Well, keep looking for them until you find them, because we have an egg to paint,” Darling Duck said. 

After the egg was painted into a magnificent work of art, Darling Duck sat on it until its delivery date. She sat on it through sunshine, rain, winds, even hail, to make sure the egg birthed its chick. Every time the vultures tried to descend on the very good egg, she fought them off. 

“Get away from my egg!” Darling Duck quacked as loud as she could until the vultures left.

Then one day, its shell split down the middle, and Darling Duck had never been more excited. First a head, then feet, then a belly of feathers sprang from the shell . . . and then nine more.

“Ten little chicks!” she said, counting all her feathered children marching from the hatched egg. “It must have been the paint! Ten chicks from one egg!” Darling said. 

“Why don’t they look like us?” the ducklings said to their momma.

“Because they’re chicks,” Darling said to her ducklings. “Find your manners!”

“We’re looking for them!” the ducklings would say every time they poked the chicks with their beaks.

Of course, the chicks gave the ducklings many opportunities to find their manners, and Darling Duck never lost her beautiful painted eggshell, which was once a motherless orphan. Thus started the tradition of painting eggs that needed mothers during the springtime season. Darling Duck taught her ducklings and chicks to paint all orphaned eggs and claim them as their own.

“These are Easter Eggs,” she would say to her children. “Out of them come the greatest miracles.”


Copyright 2015 Jennifer Waters

Dedicated to my mother, Darlene Waters, for her love of Easter eggs. 

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