A weekend getaway to the famed farm-to-table Blue Hills Stone Barns with the gay husband Shawn and his colleague Justine, a fellow single gal with no kids. We were chatting and strolling through the farm premises when a tour guide called out to us.
“Hey, do you want to collect chicken eggs?”
Sure, why not. We stood next to a family with two little girls, roughly nine and six years old. We needed to be apprised of safety rules before walking into the fenced area.
“How many eggs do you think a hen lays in one week?” The tour guide asked.
The younger girl takes a guess.
Correct answer: about six, or one a day or so. (Woah! Prolific. I have newfound respect for chickens.)
“The chickens in here are all hens. It means they lay eggs but since they are never fertilized, these eggs will never become chicks.”
“Wow, like mine,” I say a little too loudly, inviting a laugh from Justine, a pause from the tour guide, and dropped jaws from the parents of the little girls.
We make our way to the chicken coop, where the tour guide shows us how to reach under the chicken to collect the egg. But she’s sitting on it! Like an expecting mother! I’m overcome with guilt and pity for the hen whose potential baby I’m going to steal. The tour guide observes my reluctance.
“It’s okay. She might try to peck you, but you can just reach your hand and she’ll get up,” demonstrating, “like this.”
Justine, who told me she froze hers about a year ago, went for it. I squirmed and fought to rationalize that the hens’ eggs, unlike mine, were abundant in supply. Still, I chose to avoid a direct confrontation with the ova owners, scavenging two coops to pilfer unattended eggs.
And there they were, in my basket. Two good eggs.