Though Lucy was getting a little tired of Hatsy's obsessive curiosity,
she graciously tolerated my own annoyingly frequent attention.
When I wasn't out snooping around her coop I was snooping around the internet reading up on any and all chick-hatching topics.
I read that the chick actually starts peeping inside the shell a couple days before hatching. So of course out I went, into the night. I reached under Lucy, found the warm egg and put it to my ear.
The next night I read that if you tap on the shell it will tap back.
So out I went again, to sit in the dark under an umbrella in the rain with an egg to my ear.
I heard it -- a little tap-tapping inside. I tapped again. Chick tapped again.
Gave me shivers. I gave Lucy her egg back and pranced home smiling.
Bright and early the next morning:
Chicken-folk call that first little hole a pip.
This was it - this was the day. Lucy showed no excitement, just the placid determination she'd exhibited from the start.
I left Lucy and the egg for an hour or so, then returned.
An hour later, I went out to check.
I guess fluffy little chicks don't just pop out of eggs like they do in cartoons.
I gave it another hour.
My art students would be coming soon for one of my summer studio classes, so I headed out to check on the egg one last time.
I carefully opened the nest box door, and
the egg rolled out, fell about two feet onto the hard ground, and cracked.
Inside the egg, our baby screamed.
I picked it up. Cupped my hands around the cracked shell. Broke into a sweat.
I heard laughter and looked up to see four little art students marching toward me across the sunny lawn.
I had to act fast.
Lucy was agitated, I was shaking, the egg was screaming, I placed it back in the middle of the nest, shut the door, wiped my brow, and rushed to my students.
"did the egg hatch yet?"
"nope, not yet-- let's go do art! "
I tried not to faint as I herded them away from the coop and into the house.
. . . . . . . . . . Next blog entry: EGG EMERGENCY