The Twiddley-Hen's Egg
O nce upon a time Sneaky the gnome found a twiddley-hen's egg. A twiddley-hen is a curious bird that wanders about and lays eggs in strange places. It is like a brown hen, but has a green beak, and six long green feathers in its tail.
Now, whoever eats the egg of a twiddley-hen turns green in the face—so you can guess that twiddley-eggs are not sold in the shops. The twiddley-hen always warns people of her eggs by marking them with a little green star at one end. Then people know they are her eggs and don't eat them.
Now when Sneaky found the egg of a twiddley-hen he was pleased. He knew it was a twiddley-egg because he saw the green star marked at one end. Sneaky put the egg into his pocket. Except for the green star it was just exactly like the egg of an ordinary hen, but a bit larger.
" I'll rub the green star off, and then give the egg to Dame Slap," thought Sneaky to himself. " She slapped me twice last week, and I'd like to pay her back, the mean old thing! Ho, ho! Won't it be funny to see her turn green in the face! "
When he got home he rubbed off the green star, wrapped the egg up carefully in tissue paper, and took it to Dame Slap's house. He sent it in to her with his best wishes. Then he went home, grinning all over his horrid little face.