If you’ve never seen a glass egg (or a wooden or stone one), they are designed to encourage chickens to nest where you want them to, rather than any old place like on the floor of the coop, or in the blackberry bushes, or as we recall from our farming days, under the apple tree, with a fallen apple in the nest. They see an egg, they figure that’s a good place to lay another one.
These are Kate’s own glass eggs. According to family story, she loved her chickens. In my story, she loves them almost more than the people around her. When she is working away from home, she misses them fiercely. Here’s a snippet from yesterday’s writing. In this scene, she has just moved to Almira, Washington, to begin teaching high school. It’s her first morning in her new home. She sees the chicken coop across the way and goes to investigate.
She stopped walking again, just to listen to the chickens chatting with one another in the cool morning. She could almost imagine their sleepy conversation in the cool dim hen house, the air not so close before the sun warmed the walls. This was her favorite time of day to gather eggs at home. She could wait until they were off the nest, until they were foraging, but she loved to touch and talk to them while they were quiet on the nest.
Tomorrow: the egg scale.