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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Speckled Egg Day

Church bells rang throughout the ancient city of Bunicella, announcing the annual celebration of Speckled Egg Day. Every year on this day all the people of the city got together for a feast, in honor of the speckled eggs of the buntabi bird. Bunicella was the only place in the world where the bird could be found. It laid white eggs with blue, green and purple speckles on it. The residents went into the wood around the city and gathered as many eggs as they could. They boiled them and feasted on them, along with roasted meats, baked breads and sweet pastries.

On this particular Speckled Egg Day a strange bird flew into the city. It perched high on the steepled buildings, looking down on the festivities below. With keen eye, the bird watched them gather the eggs and wondered what sort of curious bird laid eggs of this variety. He flew into the woods and landed near one of the nests. Six speckled eggs lay nestled in the feather-lined twigs. With nothing better to do, the bird climbed into the nest and sat on the eggs.

Every year on Speckled Egg Day the buntabi birds flew away, leaving their nests unattended for several hours, so they could stretch their wings and bathe. It was during these hours that the city folk came to the woods and took the eggs.

The strange bird sat, warming the eggs. When he heard people approach, the bird stayed where he was. A few people gathered around the bottom of the tree, talking of the bird that stayed behind. Nobody bothered him. They smiled and went to the next tree.

The eggs beneath him shook and the bird moved to the side. Cracks appeared in the  shells and tiny purple beaks poked out. They chipped away at the shell until there was enough room for them to climb through. Soon six tiny white birds with blue, green and purple speckles on them sat in the nest, chirping and tweeting. They thought the strange bird was their mama.

The big black bird heard chattering in the distance and looked up. A flock of buntabi birds were headed back to their nests. With no delay he flew away, leaving the chicks behind. He perched on the highest steeple and watched as the mama bird came back to the nest and found her six babies. Once he knew they were safe, he flew down into the streets, hoping to nibble on some bits and pieces of sweet pastries. After hed had his fill, he flew across the land, knowing that next year on Speckled Egg Day, hed be back.

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