How Eggs Became A Breakfast Food

“Go get some eggs Jimmy!” called Jimmy’s mother.  It was dinner time on the  frontier, and dinner meant eggs for Jimmy and his family.  Everyone at eggs for dinner at that time, in those parts.  “When it get’s dark, go to where the chickens park!” his grandmother would say, he could hear it even now.  Jimmy however, had other plans.

Chicken coops, for those who’ve never seen one at night, are dark rooms, and taking a candle or torch inside wasn’t allowed ever since that one time Jimmy might have lit a couple of feathers on fire.  Madeline was fine, there was no reason to fuss, but Jimmy’s mother had insisted.  “What if you light the hay next time?” and “It’s a small room that can burn all at once!” and “The chickens need to sleep!” were what she’d always said.  He always found it annoying.

One day though, Jimmy had an idea.  Conventional wisdom was that eggs that were allowed to rest under the chickens all day would be the nicer ones, with the yolk a bit more orange, and all the mums loved orange eggs.  In the morning, it’s still dark, but the sun is coming up over the horizon.  Mrs. Jennings down the road grew a lot of orange flowers, mari-golds?, and probably wouldn’t notice if they went missing.

Jimmy snuck down to Mrs. Jennings’ house one afternoon, and clipped a basket of the orange flowers.  He brought them home, and mixed them through the scraps that were usually fed to the chickens, making sure there was plenty in their day’s feed.  After a few days of this, when his mother sent him out to get the eggs, he fished an out an older egg that he had squirreled away, and put it on top of all of the new eggs.  When his mother cracked it, she commented, “This egg’s almost yellow!” and Jimmy promptly replied back, “did you know, that eggs are most orange in the morning?”  His mother scoffed, but Jimmy insisted, “I mean it!  Check them tomorrow and you’ll see!”

The next morning, Jimmy’s mother went to the chicken coop herself, collected the eggs, brought them inside, and cracked them all open.  One after another, she found the most orange yolked eggs she’d ever seen!  And from that day forth, Jimmy’s mother never sent him out to get eggs at night again.  They were from that time on, for breakfast only, when the yolks were nice and orange.

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