View Full Version : The Egg

21-Aug-06, 09:17
Here is the story

The Egg

By Paula Beavan ©

“Hurry up.”
Sally looked her sister’s back-pack bouncing along, “I’m coming,” she called. Sally was sick of Emma, her older sister by two and a half minutes.
Then something caught her eye. Sally stopped in front of Mrs Vabka’s gate and searched for the shiny object. She peered into a crack in the concrete.
Twinkle. There it was.
Sally tried to pick it up, and as she touched it, it slid further into the crack. Carefully, she gripped it’s edge between her fingertips.
Ah! Got it.
Sally held a beautiful gold key in her hand. It had tiny coloured stones and pictures of birds and plants engraved into the gold.
“What’s that?” Emma demanded and snatched the key from Sally’s hand.
“A key,” said Sally. She reached to take it back.
Emma kept the key and walked away, “Wow, it’s gorgeous.”
“Wait, Emma. You can’t keep it.”
“Finders keepers.”
“But, but I found it” stammered Sally. “ And it probably belongs to Mrs Vabka, it was in front of her gate.”
“Oh, she won’t know.”
“Good Morning girls.” Mrs Vabka’s accented voice called from her verandah.
“Oh hi.” Emma stepped through the gate and onto the old verandah. “We just found this key, it must be yours.” She handed it to the old lady.
Mrs Vabka placed her tea cup on a small table. Her shaky hands rattled the cup noisily in the saucer. She took the key in her clawed hand. “Ah, yes this is mine. Thank you.” She smiled at the girls, and then winked at Sally. “It was good of you to return it to me.”
“We’d better get going, we’ll be late for school,” Sally said, embarrassed. She knew that Mrs Vabka had heard them.
“Come back for afternoon tea. You must have a reward.”
“That would be great, thanks Mrs Vabka,” Sally said.
* * * *
“I’m not going over,” hissed Emma.
“Not going where?” asked Mum as she came in.
“No-where,” lied Emma.
“To Mrs Vabka’s for afternoon tea,” said Sally. “She invited us this morning.”
“I don’t want to go,” whined Emma. “She’s boring. All she talks about is the ‘old country’”
“You can go,” said Mum in a stern voice, “she’s a lonely old lady.”
“I’ll go,” said Sally.
Emma glared at Sally.
“You can go too,” said Mum firmly.
* * * *
“Come in,” Mrs Vabka led them down the dim hallway and into a cluttered room full of dark furniture.
Emma went straight over to an antique sideboard. “Wow! Look at this.” Emma picked up a beautiful egg. It was royal blue with tiny gold ropes looped around it, and it opened to reveal a small clock inside. Emma replaced the egg just as Mrs Vabka entered the room carrying a tray.
“Ahh! You have noticed my Faberge Egg. It is made from the stone Lapis Lazuli.”
“It’s really beautiful,” said Sally.
After they had sat with Mrs Vabka for a while, drinking tea and listening to her stories, Emma went back to the sideboard. She picked up the egg, and looked at it from every side.
“I will refresh the pot,” declared Mrs Vabka as she levered herself up from the chair.
Sally and Emma watched her leave the room with the porcelain teapot wobbling in her scrawny hand.
“I’m out of here,” Emma headed to the door, “you can entertain her.” She was gone.
“Emma had to go,” Sally explained as Mrs Vabka came back, “but I will stay for another cup.”
“Not to worry,” Mrs Vabka settled herself into her seat.
As she was pouring the tea Sally looked for the egg. It was gone.

Oh no. OHHH no. Emma had taken it.
“I’m sorry, but I forgot something. I’ll be back in a minute.” Sally raced out the door.
* * * *
“Mum, where’s Emma?” she asked her mother who was at the sink.
“In her room. She came in a minute ago.”
Sally ran into Emma’s bedroom. “You have to give it back.”
“Get out of my room,” said Emma coldly.
“How dare you steal that egg. Give it back or I’m telling Mum.”
Emma stared at Sally. “You’re such a loser.” She picked up the egg and shoved it at Sally. “You take it back.”
“Emma, you stole it. You take it back.”
“Get out of my room.”
* * * *
Mrs Vabka was sitting at the table, sipping her tea. Sally walked to the shelf . She would put it back before Mrs Vabka noticed it was missing.
“You like my egg?” Mrs Vabka asked.
“You’re a good girl, Sally. Thank you for returning it.” Mrs Vabka’s looked into Sally’s eyes. “I see Emma take my egg. Yes, you’re a good girl.” The old lady went and picked up the egg. “You may have it. I bring it all the way from Russia.” She handed the egg to Sally. “Or maybe something else,” she looked around. “Ah yes, this I think.” She went to the other side of the room and from a glass cabinet took a wooden box, and handed it to Sally.
Sally stood holding both the box and the egg. She wasn’t sure what to do.
“I wish you to have a gift. But don’t look in the box before you choose.”
Sally felt the polished wood of the box, she put the egg back.
“Now go. Time for my rest,” she smiled at Sally, “I have no family left.” Her hand reached out and stroked the gleaming wood. “It was given to me by my grandmother. Treasure it.”

In the quiet of her room Sally opened the box. Inside, it was lined with purple velvet, it held six eggs. All made of gold and set with precious gemstones. Sally caught her breath. She’d never seen anything so beautiful.