Trying to Break Free: A Lesson in Determination

Mom has given me cherry-flavored Lundren’s throat lozenges for my sore throat. I keep them in my coat pocket. At playground time, I am the most popular girl at the swing set.

It is springtime. We have an incubator in our lunchroom. It has chicken eggs in it, real chicken eggs that you can’t eat. Each day I go first thing to see if the eggs under the warm light have started to crack. I picture little fuzzy yellow chicks coming out to greet us after they have broken free and clear of their eggs. I picture nestling their fuzziness in the palms of my little hands. It will be the best day ever in this boring kindergarten class. We wait.

Meanwhile at the same time:

April 16, 1963: While jailed in Birmingham, Alabama for leading anti-segregation protests, Martin Luther Kings writes a letter that says, “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” “For years now, I have heard the word ‘Wait!’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with a piercing familiarity. This ‘wait’ has almost almost always meant ‘never’.”

We wait until Mrs. Perry gets tired of them. She throws them out! She gave up! I am sooo disappointed. I realized then that some things don’t happen the way you want them to. Eggs don’t hatch if you give up.

I kept thinking that maybe we could have helped those baby chicks be born. It was all so unfair.

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photo credit

daily post prompt: Egg

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