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The Wooden Egg

April 11, 2014
James P. Whipple , Shepherdstown Chronicle

Though April fools day has come and gone I though I'd tell you how a friend of my mother played a practical joke on me. At the time I was about seven. My mother had friends named Martha and Joe that owned and operated a small farm in Pennsylvania.

I enjoyed the farm very much. One of my favorite things to do was to climb up in the hay loft and jump into the hay which was below me. Another thing I enjoyed was the creek which ran through the middle of one of the fields that surrounded the farm house. The creek had a bend in it and a make shift dam had been built. The water stored was used for irrigation and supplying water to the cow barn where the milking was done.

When the water was deep enough you could swim in it. The water was ice cold even in the summer. The best way to get in the water was to dive in, that way you got used to the cold water right away. There was a tree that had a branch that stuck out over the little dam with a rope attached. I had a lot fun swinging out over the water and letting go. The drop was about ten feet. I would swing out give a yell like in a Tarzan movie and let go. I liked doing a cannon ball which made the water around make a big splash and got people standing on the shore wet. I got into trouble more then once playing this joke on people.

One fine spring day on April 1, I came down to breakfast. Usually country breakfasts were big meals with eggs, pancakes, sausage, gravy and hot biscuits. I had overslept and was told that the only thing for breakfast that morning was a boiled egg and cornflakes. I sat down and went to work cracking the egg. I tapped the egg on the table top but it would not crack. I tried to tap the egg with a knife handle; that did not work, either. I tried just to squeeze it with my hand. The egg popped out of my hand hit the table and rolled off hitting the ground. The egg did not break.

Martha, my mother's friend, told me that every one in a while the hen would lay a boiled egg.

"Not to worry," she said. "There is plenty of cereal. She handed me the box and I started to pour the cereal into the bowl. Then I saw it a mouse had fallen out of the box. I yelled as I tossed the bowl away from me. Martha started to laugh and her husband Joe also joined in as did the farm hand who worked on the farm.

"Maybe you'll stop splashing people," he said still chuckling. The egg turned out to be a wooden egg used to help chickens get started laying eggs. The mouse was a little rubber rat used around the farm to induce other rats into a trap. Needless to say my days of splashing people were over. I miss that old farm and Martha and Joe. Now it's just part of a fond memory from long ago.

 
 
 

 

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