A little blue green egg lies cracked open, lying on the rough tarmac of the car park. It is in two halves with its contents gone. A blackbird’s blue green egg, mottled brown that has fallen from a nest in a bush nearby or brought there as a trophy by a small mammal who’s luck was in, a dainty dish. Its inside is clean and smooth, licked clean by a tiny pink tongue or washed clean by the drizzle that has fallen constantly for the last three days.
An empty vessel, a broken shell and another life lost before it got going, another victim of the perpetual battle between survival and death. But this one surely didn’t suffer, didn’t feel the cut of teeth or the tear of claw in its unborn flesh. No doubt the mother bird had built her nest as well as she could, hiding it beneath the leaves, blending it into the foliage with her brown feathers. Her partner would have been close by, singing his song of sixpence, keeping vigilant for the danger that lurks in every shadow and changing his melodious tune quickly into a warning chuck chuck cry at any sense of threat.
Had she any idea that danger was approaching? Had she heard the warnings? Did her instincts kick in to protect what was hers, or had she fled the nest, just popped out to grab a morsel to eat? Had she come back to find the egg was gone or was it cold and lifeless, barren, already lost to her and nudged out to make more room?
Her loss is tragic, devastating but can she feel the pain in her heart? Does it hurt any less that she is but a bird or that it is only one of her clutch, a runt perhaps sacrificed to save the rest of her brood? Will she think of what might have been when her children come to fledge, to fly away and will she remember what has happened when she prepares herself in courtship to start the cycle over again?
To live others must give up their lives unwillingly and most will die in pain by tooth or claw. Only humans die in their beds. Nature is raw and cruel, a constant battle, in tension not in harmony. A blue green egg is lying empty on the ground but for another there is a full stomach, sadness for one but a further day of survival for another.