The Rat and the Egg

“Now I have eaten too much bad food,” said the rat to himself. But, to put his mind at rest, he went up to the tree and called, very softly, “Egg?”

“I’m in the tree.”

The rat was puzzled, but as he drew closer, he could see, hanging in the branches, sparkling from end to end, the magnificent figure of the egg. A peculiar feeling stirred in his breast, a feeling he did not recognise…

“My dear fellow,” said the egg, most warmly. “What great good fortune to see you once more. I have so much to tell you. I am sure you will be interested in my latest discoveries. Being a decoration (I hope it is not too conceited to call myself such) is really very exciting. There is so much to look at: the television, the Christmas celebrations, the tales of the other decorations. And, to crown it all, I have the great pleasure of seeing you again. Truly I am fortunate. I hope you can spare a few moments to converse with me once more.”

The unfamiliar feeling arose once again in the breast of the rat. The egg was pleased to see him. The egg had enjoyed his visit. The egg would like his company again. He was filled with the warmth of a need satisfied, all the more powerful for being unknown. He did his best to reply in kind.

“I am very happy to see you again, egg. You look magnificent. I thought we might not meet again.”

And the happy rat sat the bottom of the Christmas tree and listened to the cheerful conversation of his friend the egg, until the night darkened and the moon rose in the sky. At this, he roused himself.

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