Countess Herzinga’s Alchemy

Janna Miller

              Countess Herzinga was the first to study the transmutable properties of eggshells as applied to light and sound. Her early laboratory, just long rows of heat lamps and fresh, twiggy nests.

              With adjustments to moonlight and whistling arias, she learned to hatch jays from speckled robins’ eggs and leggy flamingos from wrens’. Finally coaxing a small pink elephant from an ostrich, the Countess began humming her own lullaby.

              Years later, while holding an egg of purest blue, she gave birth to a miniature girl with soft white wings. Patient joy realized in the suckling mouth’s first word, a gentle coo.