One Dozen Broken Eggs

Pearl Harris

A few weeks ago I was grocery shopping and picked up a carton of eggs. Somehow when I went to check if any of them were cracked, I dropped the whole carton. Guess what? I had scrambled eggs. It reminded me when I had to gather the eggs when I was a little girl. After 96 years it is hard to believe I was once a little girl. Anyway one of my chores was to gather the eggs daily. We had a hen house with built in nests for each hen. I guess there must have been a dozen or so little boxes for the hens to lay their eggs in. They were padded with straw or shavings so the eggs would not bet broken. It was very important not to crack the eggs as Mom sold eggs, milk and butter to help us with school supplies. I had a padded basket to put the eggs in and was very careful no to “stub” my toe on a root and drop the basket. Sometimes the hens would decide to just sit on the nest, and that was called a “sitting hen”. Mom would put about a dozen eggs under her and she would “set” on them until the baby chicks would appear. They were so soft and cuddly, but the “mamma hen” was very protective of them. When they were old enough the mother hen would get them out of the nest and take them for a walk. Sometimes a “chicken hawk’ would decide he wanted “lunch” – but if my Mom could get that big old 410 gauge shot gun quick enough it would be a “dead” hawk. Now I see you can order the baby chicks without all the trouble. But the mother hen looked so pretty with all the yellow baby chicks following her around the yard. In about 6 to 8 weeks some of those chicks would turn into ‘fried chicken” for Sunday dinner. Now when I pick up a carton of eggs I am very careful. Scrambled eggs are so much better for breakfast. But one good thing about the accident, it brought back memories when I was a child – so many good memories for which I am grateful to God that I can still recall some of the “Good Old Days”!



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