“Welp. I suppose that’s all I need, Time to finish growing and peck my way out…wait a minute.” Gerald crossed his new eyes and looked down. “Oh dear! What a silly kind of bird am I. I nearly forgot one of the most important things. I can’t peck my way out of a shell if I’ve not got a pecker to peck with.” By now Gerald was a rather eager to get out of his shell and didn’t want to spend too much time growing a super long or complicated beak. Something medium sized that could crack a few nuts and make him more aerodynamic would be just hunky dory. He added a little curve on the end to make it a bit fancier.
A short while later it was time for his big entrance out on to the world. Not a day too soon either, despite all of his planning Gerald had found the shell growing more and more snug around his scrunched up little body. He had grown so big his head was stuck in the pointy end of his shell and he was forced to scrape at the shell with the curve on his beak. Chip by chip, a hole in the lumpy bumpy shell began to widen. A large crack ran around the outside and POP!, off came the pointy shell top, well, off from the rest of the shell. Gerald blinked at the dusky light and turned round his head to gaze at what had been his nest for so long. The dunce cap shell perched askew on his enormous head held up by his long reedy neck. He was not impressed by what he saw. This was not the snug nest of straw in a tiny house his mother had been born in, nor was it a crumpled down bed of tall grasses under a shadowy pine, as he remembered from his father. Gerald’s mottled lumpy toad egg was in good company tucked against a half-alive briar bush and only a few waddles away from a murky stream sunk deep with mossy rocks and broken tree limbs.
Noticing the setting sun Gerald decided that with the top popped on his shell he wasn’t nearly uncomfortable enough to get out and try to scramble around in the dark. There was no telling what disreputable creatures might try to take advantage of a youngling like himself. He wiggled a bit to free one of his wings, tucked his beak back down into his shell, and wrapped his wing around his head falling asleep to the sounds of a wondrous, though slightly grimier than expected, world full of unknown adventures.