I shredded some brightly colored newspaper pages into confetti and picked up an eggshell and laughed a little as I thought, Oh, this one was Andy's. Why did I ever know which of my ducks laid which egg, and why do I remember now, when that duck mysteriously vanished two years ago? I have no idea.
Andy belonged with a group of fifteen ducklings that my dad bought as an experiment. They were all supposed to be eaten. The eight that lived to adulthood all ended up with names, trained to come when I whistled.
So the Admiral tried again. He brought home two geese. He wisely gave them to my brothers, not me. Haha! they were instantly named: Jack and Fiona. Fiona died of unknown causes. Jack was given to me. I also had, at that time, a chicken and a duckling named Fred and Charlie. Charlie had been the sole duckling to emerge from an incubator full of eggs. I stole Fred from a batch of chicks that were passing through on their way to the livestock sale in town because baby birds can die of loneliness. They also make a lot more noise when they're alone. Though an odd looking trio, Charlie, Fred and Jack all got along tremendously until the tragic deaths of both Charlie and Fred.
Left to right: Jack, Fred, Charlie.
Alone once again, Jack was moved in with the regular chickens, where he made himself at home. And a nest. And laid some eggs. We took pity on him, and replaced his eggs with good ones. Jack Frost only had kittens, Jack the goose had ducklings!
Jack and Flit
And that's where leaving the shells on the shelf for two years gets me.