When I was a freshman
, I found a small egg
lying at the base of a tree
, amidst a nest and scattered, broken eggshells. Likely the nest had been blown out of the tree and most of the eggs had been broken or stolen by predators or whatnot
. But this one egg had survived.
I took it to my dorm room. I looked through it with a flashlight. There was a growing baby bird inside. I thought it might be dead. I put it on my desk. It was vibrating in small but rapid movements - the fetus heart beating.
I felt strangely obligated to bring it to hatching, not knowing what I would do when or if it did hatch. The dorms didn't allow pets, and I certainly didn't have the time or knowledge to raise a baby bird. But I couldn't kill it, couldn't bring myself to abandon a life I thought I had saved. Various people advised me to crush it before it became a problem, but I couldn't bring myself to murder.
I used my monitor as a makeshift incubator. Every day I would feel its temperature, check its pulse, and do my best in trying to bring this baby to term.
Eventually, the question of "when or if" was answered for me.
I came home one day to a very faint smell of sulfur. I looked at the egg. It had cracked. I knew that it wasn't because the chick had come to term - it was nowhere near that.
Futilely, I checked its pulse. None.
I buried it beside a tree outside my dormroom.