The Egg and I



Yesterday was International Egg Day. And a  good thing too, I suppose, although the egg trade is, as with everything else, fraught with moral and political problems.  When in funds I like to buy free range eggs that are sold under the brand-name of ‘Happy Eggs’.  I do hope so.
Eggs are symbolic: of a guarded treasure, rebirth, new hope and new life.  Boiled, or made into tortilla, they’re a wonderful portable foodstuff.  Elizabeth David gives a load of recipes, each subtly different, for the many French ways of cooking eggs.  And there is little better in the way of comfort food than egg on toast.

As for eggs in art, the field is limited.  I give you, courtesy of Brother Eccles, the maddening character of Humpty Dumpty:



File:Humpty Dumpty Tenniel-When I use a word.png


and there are the strange eggs of Hieronymous Bosch:




Poetry, too, does not dwell an awful lot on eggs: And I remember Spain, at Easter ripe as an egg for revolt and ruin, and so on.  The Bible, too, is largely silent on the matter, except in a few verses – and nicely here, in the Gospel of Luke:


5. And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;
6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?
7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.
8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.
9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

That’s comforting.




Follower of Joachim Beuckelaer – Girl with a Basket of Eggs



Note: the title of the post is taken from The Egg and I – the very funny 1945 memoir by Betty MacDonald.

This entry was posted in Books, Christ, Nature, New Testament, Nursery Rhymes, Poetry, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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