Dalilah closed her eyes tightly and reached down for the egg. She could only hope that it wouldn't hatch on her when she picked it up. Luckily, nothing happened.
She let the egg rest in her hand and she curved her palm around it like a nest. Did snake eggs sleep in a nest like a bird? She wasn't sure about that, but thought the egg would appreciate her gesture anyhow.
"Was dat, Whywa?" A little voice said out of no where. Dalilah was so wrapped up in the egg that she didn't see that her neighbors had started to gather around her.
"Hi, Sanders!" Dalilah said in a high-pitch squeak and bent down to his level. She always heard adults talk to babies that way. Sanders was 2 years old and still sucked his thumb.
"Guys! You will never believe what I found!" The other two neighbor kids, Luella and Avett, looked eagerly at Dalilah's hands.
Dalilah loved showing her treasures to her neighbors. Once she showed them a balloon she filled with flour and water. She stuck a real flower inside it which preserved it for 3 years. All the kids thought that was pretty amazing.
But this one was was going to top them all.
Dalilah opened her hands so the kids could take a look at the egg.
"It's a snake egg! And I'm going to find it's parents and release it back to the wild!"
All the kids awed over her treasure.
"Can I hold it?" Avett asked. But Dalilah told him she was the protector and that meant only she was allowed to hold it.
"I'll put it on the ground so you can look at it," Dalilah offered.
As gently as she could, Dalilah set the egg back on the porch. Luella mentioned how it's colors reminded her of bird poop she once saw on her parent's van.
"The colors all swirl together the same way!" All the kids laughed, but Dalilah looked offended.
"It doesn't look like bird poop, Luella, it looks beautiful, like when they pour cement for the first time and it's still trying to dry." Dalilah knew the little kids had never seen fresh cement before so they wouldn't be able to argue against her. "And I would know, my uncle is a construction man. He probably even helped make this road."
Sanders reached out for the egg but Dalilah grabbed it before he could.
"I can make my egg do cool tricks," Dalilah told the kids. She remembered once overhearing her mother talk about using distractions to get what you want. And Dalilah wanted the egg all to herself. She felt like it's foster mother. So maybe showing off some tricks would distract them from wanting to hold it.
She placed the egg on the ground and started spinning it clockwise with her pointer finger. It twirled in a lopsided circle which made the kids laugh and point.
"Do it again!" They all cheered together.
Dalilah had to give the people what they wanted. But this time when she went to flick the egg with her finger, her strength got the best of her--and just like that--the egg cracked right down the middle, letting a goo of yellow and translucent ooze spill out from the severed shell.