When I was a freshman in college, 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.