She is washing eggs at the kitchen sink when she feels it. It feels like a little pulse between her palms. She looks down at the egg she is holding, which has a large green smear across it. Eggs must be washed carefully. Eggs come out of their chickens covered in slime, and then they roll around in their nests and always wind up covered in chicken shit before she can come out to collect them, so the washing is important. She has a special brush for washing eggs. She’s using it now, against this smear, when she feels the pulse again. She sets down the brush. There is something moving inside the egg.

It is not, of course, a baby chicken. She has no rooster, and so all of the eggs her chickens lay are merely eggs, unfertilized. They were never going to be baby chickens. It is not even a tragedy. Besides, the thing moving inside the egg does not feel to her like a chick. Don’t ask her how she knows that. She cups the egg in two hands. It is warm, and whatever is inside is tapping at the curved walls rhythmically, steadily, like the egg is not an egg but a heart, or a room.

Could it be a little naked fairy, like the ones in the pictures her aging aunts send her, the ones they seem to think she’d like to hang on her clean walls? Could it be something more extravagant, like a little giraffe, its neck all curled up inside the egg like a fiddlehead, or a miniature tiger with wet fur and sharp, tiny claws? Could it be the other thing, the thing she has been waiting for, alone in this white house, with her chickens and her one goat and her resistance to the society of others?

A crack appears in the smooth white wall of the egg. The thing inside is trying to get out. She will, in a moment or two, finally find out what it is, how many legs, what it looks like, if it looks like her, if it looks like him.

The crack becomes a dark slice. The slice becomes a dark hole. She closes her eyes. She tips her hands apart. She stomps the egg into the carpet.