A Little Yolkin´ Around
A Children´s Story dedicated to my grandchildren, Madeline, Emily and Ryan.
Jimmy and Charlene were rollin´ around the nest laughin´ their heads off. Not that eggs really have heads, or rather, they´re pretty much all head with no bodies. You usually don´t think of eggs as being particularly funny either. Well, of course they´re usually quiet around humans …for all the obvious reasons.
Anyway, the reason they were laughing so hard was that Patty had told a good yolk. A “yolk” is what egg children call a joke, and it´s not because they´re Swedish either, that´s just the way eggs talk, from the center out. And the yolk probably wouldn´t have been that funny to you or me. Egg humor tends to leave something to be desired for us humans, but egg yolks are a crack-up for eggs.
Jimmy, Patti and Charlene were nest mates, and no finer eggs ever made an omelet. “You guys are just full of hot sauce!” their mother often cackled. She was always warnin´ them that, if they got to carried away laughin´, someday, they were gonna roll right out of the nesting box. “If you´re not careful,” she told them, “one day your gonna end up on a McMuffin.
But the three little eggs barely heard her ´cause they were havin´ so much fun.
But then something happened. This time, it was Jimmy that had made up the yolk. It was about a rotten little egg that had tried to escape when the farmer went to collect the eggs and take them out to breakfast. These three little eggs were lucky because the farmer had decided he needed more chickens and left them in their nesting box to hatch in to baby chicks. Just as the farmer picked the little rotten egg up, he blurted out a yolk that was a little off center and the farmer was so surprised that he threw him straight up in the air, and he came down “splat” on top the bald farmer´s head and started droolin´ down his face.
They all thought that this yolk was so punny, that they giggled and rolled and laughed and rolled right outta the nesting box, all the way across the hen house floor and out the door. They rolled clear across the chicken yard and under the chicken wire gate, past the garden and down the road, and they didn´t stop rollin´ until they were about a half a mile away from the farm.
There they sat, tryin´ to catch their breaths, when Charlene says, “Hey! Where the heck are we?”
They all looked around, a little confused like, “This isn´t the hen house! Wow! We´ve rolled clean outta the nesting box!” they all chorused at once. “Oh no!”
There they were, layin´ in a rut in the middle of the road and couldn´t see nothin´ but the weeds on the side of it and some trees on the other side of a fence. No hen house, no chicken yard, no nothin´. What a predicament. They didn´t even know which way to roll to get home. You see, eggs don´t walk ´cause they don´t have any legs. The only thing they can do is roll, but they´re darn good at it and can get up to quite a clip.
Patti was the first to say anything after that, “Well, we sure as heck have gotta get outta this road. We could end sunny-side up out here! Let´s get over to the side and think about what we gotta do!”
The three little eggs rolled themselves outta the rut they were in and were soon restin´ in the weeds. If nothin´ else, it was a lot more comfortable and easier to think there. “Well,” Jimmy said, “I guess we´d better put our noggin´s together and come up with some sorta plan.”, so they all rolled together until they were touchin´ and started thinkin´ as hard as they could.
All the sudden, Charlene shouted out, “Hey! I think I´ve got it! As you remember, we didn´t eggs-actly roll here on purpose, so gravity musta done it for us. Since things only roll down hill by gravity, all we gotta do is roll uphill to get home!”
“You’re a genius!” remarked Patti, and that settled it. They all rolled over to the edge of the road and started rollin´ uphill. ´Course, it was slow goin´. They couldn´t just roll in a straight line because they were ovals and not perfectly round. They had to wobble and that made them tired. So tired, in fact, that sometimes they started rollin´ backwards as much as they were rollin´ forwards. “Stop!” Jimmy yelled, and they all wobbled off the edge of the road behind a rock so they wouldn´t roll back down the hill where they might end sunny side up.
They were so tired, that the next thing ya know, they all fell asleep, dreamin´ they were back in the nesting box with the mother hen keepin´ them warm under her downy feathers. Jimmy had another dream too. He dreamt about his great, great, great, great, great grand-uncle, Humpty, who fell off a wall, and all the king´s horses and all the king´s men – to tell ya the truth, the horses weren´t all that much help – really did put Humpty back together again. And after that, he gave up wise crackin´ from up on toppa wall for good. It´d been a horrible experience and he´d learned his lesson.
Then Charlene started talkin´ in her sleep, “Quit shovin´ Jimmy!” I woke Jimmy up. “I ain´t shovin´!” he said. Then they all opened their eyes and looked up at the big nose of a turtle who was rollin´ them towards the woods.
“Hey! Cut it out!” they all yelled at once. The turtle stopped and just stared at them like he could hardly believe his ears. “Waddya think your doin´!” Jimmy asked.
“Well, I´m rollin´ you over to the sand by the big pond so I can bury you, of course.”
“Well, why would you wanna do a thing like that?”
“´Cause that´s what turtles do. We bury our eggs in the sand so nobody will bother them and they stay warm so they can hatch. Then they crawl outta the sand and go down to the big pond and go swimmin´.”
“But were not turtle eggs!” the eggs all said.
“Oh My!” said the turtle. “I musta mistook you for turtles ´cause you all got shells. Do you mean to tell me that chicken´s have shells too?”
“Of course not, silly.” Patti said. “Chickens have got feathers not shells, but chicken eggs do have shells.”
“Oh dear! My mistake,” said the turtle. “But I can see you don´t belong out here. Some ugly ol´´possum might come along and eat you. Is there anything I can do to help you get where you´re supposed to be?”
“Well, as a matter of fact, there is.” Patti said. “Since you´re so good at pushin´ eggs around, would ya mind pushin´ us up to the hen house? We just sorta rolled outta there by mistake.”
“It´d be my pleasure.” Said the turtle, “Well, over easy!” and he started rollin´ them up the hill again. Turtles aren´t very fast, but it was certainly faster, not to mention, less tiring than wobblin´ under their own power.
“Hey, this sorta tickles!” giggled Charlene.
“For gawd´s sake, Charlene. Whatever you do don´t start crackin´up.”
Soon, they had been rolled past the garden and right up to the chicken wire gate. “Can´t go no further,” the turtle said. “My shells too tall to get under the gate.”
The next thing ya know, the old mama hen comes flyin´at the gate squawkin´ up a storm. “You the one that stole my egglings?” she asked the turtle.
“Well, no. I didn´t steal ´em. I just rolled ´em home for you.” The turtle answered. “They said they rolled down the hill by mistake.”
The old mama hen cocked her head and looked at him kinda sideways, “Sorry. My eyesight isn´t that good any more. I thought you were an ugly, ol´´possum.
“That´s alright. I get mistaken for ´possums all the time.” The turtle said.
“You do?” asked the rooster who had just come over to see what all the fuss was about.
“Naaaw! That was a jolk.” Answered the turtle.
“But it wasn´t punny.” Said the rooster. “if by jolk, you mean yolk.”
“Well, I guess turtle jolks aren´t very punny unless you’re a turtle. We´re a little slow.” Said the turtle.
“What the heck started you rollin´ down the hill?” the rooster asked the eggs.
“Jimmy told a good yolk and we all cracked-up and started laughin´and rollin´. Next thing ya know, we were a halfa mile down the road. If it wasn´t for this kind turtle, we´d still be there!”
“You´re a good egg,” said the mama hen.
“I´m not an egg, I´m a turtle!” the turtle protested
“Well, what was the yolk?” The rooster asked. Roosters are very fond of yolks. So Jimmy told the yolk again and all the hens started crackin-up and cacklin´ up a storm, ´cause they thought it was so punny, and were rollin´around in the hot dusty chicken yard.
Then everyone thanked the turtle for rollin´ the little eggs home. They didn´t shake hands ´cause none of them had any, so they just smiled at one another, and the turtle slowly took off towards the pond.
All the chickens helped roll the three little eggs up onto the old mama hens back and she fluttered them back up to the nesting box. They rolled off her back and nestled themselves under her warm feathery breast and were soon fast asleep. Jimmy dreamt up another yolk which will have to wait for another time to be told. The old mama hen sweetly clucked them a lullaby, and the little eggs dreamt on, dreamin´ turtle dreams, dreams of sandy beaches and swimmin´ in the big pond.