7.27.2005

fragility

Current mood: nostalgic

When I was a kid I was kind of a tomboy. Not really too surprising, I know. I was an equal opportunity kid though, and wouldn’t pass up Barbies or Matchbox cars, but my favorite thing to do was climb trees.

I remember that once I was navigating a new tree, and made a discovery. It was a nest with bright blue speckled eggs in it. They were tiny, and cartoonish looking. I didn’t want to break them, so instead of touching, I looked at them for a long while.

When I breathlessly told my mother about my discovery she warned me, “Those are robin’s eggs, Kara. If you touch them, or even breathe on them, the mother bird will toss them from the nest.”

I spent that night in the concern only a child can have. I pictured the robins hatching from their eggs, (as fully formed and feathered birds, but just tiny,) and the mother saying, “Out you go, I smell human breath upon you!” and the poor miniscule birds tumbling down before they could learn to fly.

The next day I discovered that the reality was more gruesome. As I approached the tree that specific blue caught my eye on the grass. I knelt down and inspected the tragedy. The egg was flattened by the fall, and surrounded by a viscous fluid. I swear I can still remember the smell of yolk.

What had I done?

I looked up at the nest, and saw it in tatters. I knew that I was no help for this fallen orb. I stepped carefully around the tree and came across another egg. This one was intact all for a small hole at the very bottom. I picked it up, and looked in the hole. The egg was hollow. It had survived the fall, only to be sucked empty by some predator. I looked around for the mother bird, but obviously I had done all the damage I could do. I palmed my find to protect it, but my six-year-old hand had all the gentleness of a giant, and it shattered. When I opened my hand, shell pieces the size of salt were taken by the wind.

I sat dejectedly in the grass. My breath had killed tiny robins. What kind of monster was I?

That is when I saw another egg.

Like a cat, I crept closer to it, stared at it. It was unbroken, no cracks, no smelly fluid, no puncture hole. It was perfect. Childish glee washed over me, my tarnished past could be redeemed! I could save one mini-robin! As softly as my awkward kidness could permit, I picked up the egg and took it home. I made a little bed for it, talked to it, prized it, cherished it, and every morning I checked to see if a teeny robin had replaced the egg. When I found out that birds need warmth to hatch I covered it with a blanket. It was loved.

One day I was showing the egg to my friend and disaster happened. With lightning quickness it fell from my hands. My clumsy attempt to save it failed. My object of adoration was in a splintered pile at my feet. Neither the king’s horses, or his men could have fixed it. I, the only one who loved it, crushed it.

I don't know why I felt compelled to tell you this. I think there is a moral to the story, but I am not sure exactly what it is.


Currently listening:
Wish You Were Here
By Pink Floyd
Release date: By 25 April, 2000