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The Talking Eggs

it was two arms which were fighting; a little further, two legs; at last, she saw two heads fighting by banging their foreheads against each other. All this was strange beyond belief, but Blanche did not laugh or say a word.

At last they arrived at the old woman's cabin.

"Make a fire, child, to cook the supper," said the old woman, and she sat down near the fireplace. Then she reached up to her head and twisted it off, placing it on her knees like a small round watermelon. Blanche found this the most bizarre thing she had seen yet, but still, she did not utter a sound. Then the old woman began to comb and braid her hair. When she was through, she twisted her head back into place.

"Well!" she said, "that feels better." She gave Blanche a large bone to put on the fire for their supper. Blanche could not imagine how only one bone could make a soup, and a sorry-looking bone at that, but just the same she put the bone in the pot. Lo! in a moment the pot was full of good hearty meat stew.

The old woman gave Blanche a grain of rice to pound with the pestle. Blanche could not see the point of grinding a single grain of rice, but she did so nevertheless, and quickly the mortar brimmed to overflowing with steaming rice.

When Blanche got up the next morning, the old woman said to her, "You must go home now. As you've been a good girl I want to make you a present of the talking eggs. Go to the chicken-house. All the eggs that say to you, 'Do not take me,' you must not take. Take only the eggs that say, 'Take me.' When you are on the road, throw the eggs behind your back, one by one, to break them, and you will have a surprise."

Blanche went to the chicken-house where, indeed, lay a pile of eggs. Some of them looked as plain as hundreds of chicken eggs Blanche had seen all her life, but others were made of pure gold and were encircled by jewels. Unfortunately, it was the plain-looking eggs that called out, "Take me, take me!

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