It was on a Friday afternoon in late spring that Ben found it. He had just been walking across the fields of Chestling Farm on his way home. He had just climbed over the rickety style, which everyone thought had been there since the mid-sixteenth century and was walking along the edge of the field by Laxton Woods when there amid the grass and meadow flowers he saw an egg.
Ben knew at once it wasn’t an egg from any of the wild birds. He had grown up in Laxton and had seen many an egg dropped from a nest and could identify which species it had come from. This egg was nothing like he had seen before. It was vibrant purple in colour and had a swirl of red dots all over it. And it was big, as big as a rugby ball if not a bit bigger.
Ben sat a short distance from the egg and watched for any sign of the bird, if it was a bird, that had laid it. After an hour the air was beginning to chill and he made the decision to take the egg home. As he picked it up, he felt it was still warm so snuggled it inside his jacket for the short walk home.
Upstairs in his bedroom, Ben wrapped the egg in a blanket from his bed and set it down by the radiator.
That night Ben woke up to a strange crackling noise. The egg. He turned on the side lamp and looked. Sure enough cracks were appearing in the brightly coloured shell. Silently he sat and watched. Slowly but surely the shell fell away in small pieces to reveal two silvery wings that seemed to be like intricately woven lace.
Then the creature shook itself free and looked directly at Ben. ‘You are no bird,’ he said.
The creature laughed and stood up, shaking down her long flowing rainbow skirt. ‘I am no bird, indeed,’ she said. ‘I am an elf, a light elf.’ With that she jumped through the window and was gone and Ben, well, he is still bemused by the elf in the egg to this day.
©JG Farmer 2019