Microfiction: The philosophers

I had intended to write a serious story inspired by this picture, but they are such a daft-looking pair, I failed miserably.



“Not long now,” she said holding out the egg. “Listen.”

He held it close to his ear, and his face split into a monstrous grin. “Yeah! I hear the little devil. You’d think he was going at it with a hammer and chisel!”

“Him? It might be a her. Come to think of it, it’s almost certainly a her.”

He frowned, his mighty brows meeting in a deep trench between his eyes, proof that deep thought was taking place. “Yeah. Right.”

She smiled indulgently. He hadn’t got a clue, but that was what she found so endearing about him. All brawn and no brains. But what brawn! Gently she took back the egg, the mythological egg, the answer to the conundrum, before he broke it.

“It’s funny when you think about it,” she mused when the egg was safely back in its incubator, “that of all the questions mankind are going to worry about for centuries to come, it will be this completely futile one.”

“Yeah,” he said. “Chicken, egg—egg, chicken. Who cares?”

“When it’s born and learns to walk,” she said, “we’ll take it into town, set it down next to the dual carriageway…”

“And find out the answer to the second question!”

And with a belch of fiery laughter they flew off to the primal swamp to see if any more ridiculous questions were lying in its murky depths.


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Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

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