The cottage-that-sells-eggs hasn’t sold eggs for a while now, which is a bit of a shame. It was handy and made for a nice excuse for a walk, and the eggs were delicious and cheap too, which always helps. We’ve seen the woman-from-the-cottage-that-sells-eggs driving about in her van and we’ve seen the chickens-from-the-cottage-that-sells-eggs – all over the road, mostly – but we’ve seen neither hide nor hair of the box with the actual eggs. So we were excited when we were returning from our evening inspection of the ford (dry as a bone, thanks for asking) to see her hanging around at the gate at the smallholding where the vicious herd of tiny dogs live. Especially when she told us she was in the process of swapping one of her cockerels for a hen.
‘Oh good,’ I said. ‘Does that mean you’re going to start selling eggs again?’
‘Well I would,’ she said. ‘If I could ever find any eggs. I haven’t seen an egg for three months now.’ Her hens, you see – clearly brighter than the average hen, although yet to master the green cross code – had taken to hiding them in the woods. I suppose if your owners kept taking your unborn children and selling them, you’d do the same thing. Anyway, she told us we were welcome to any eggs we found, although she couldn’t guarantee their freshness. I’m not sure ‘pick your own eggs’ will catch on – although you never know. But it does suggest that there’s such a thing as too free range.