The magic egg

A little nose appeared at the table edge. 'But I wanna do pappy mashy too!' said Annie.

'You’re too small,' said Joe. 'It’s got glue in it. You’d get stuck up.'

'Why don’t you help me tear up the bits of newspaper instead?' said Mum, lifting Annie onto her knee.

Mum was helping Joe with his school project. He was making an egg for the Easter Sale. His school was raising money for a new classroom. 'Any eggs will do,' the teacher had said: 'The brighter the better! They can be little ones in shiny paper, real painted hard-boiled eggs, biscuits decorated to look like eggs, even pictures of eggs.'

'My egg’s going to be GI-NORMOUS!' said Joe. 'The BIGGEST in the school!'

'As big as a dinosaur egg?' asked Annie.

'Bigger than that,' said Joe. 'My one will be SO big it would squash a dinosaur.'

Joe had thought of a brilliant plan. He’d found a balloon left over from his birthday and mum had helped blow it up as big as possible and they were covering it in layers and layers of wet newspaper mixed with glue to make a thick outer shell for the egg. It was a messy job. Then they put it in the airing cupboard to dry. Once it was hard Joe painted it in reds and greens and yellows. He made zigzag patterns and stripes and colourful blobs that shone like jewels. He even glued on squares of silver and gold paper, saved from old chocolate egg wrappers. When it was finished it sparkled like a royal crown. He was so proud – he put it beside his bed that night, ready for school in the morning.

But that night something strange happened. The egg began to grow!

When Joe woke up it was taller than him. And when he’d brushed his teeth it had grown again. 'Help!' called Joe as he squeezed past to fetch mum. 'My egg has gone bananas!'

Together they heaved it down the stairs. 'Mind out, Annie,' said Joe, 'you might get squashed!'

But all the time the egg grew and grew! 'Quick,” said mum, 'roll it out of the house before it gets stuck in the door!'

So they pushed it out onto the pavement and just in time grew again. 'It’s bigger than a car!' cried Joe. 'We’ll have to roll it to school.'

People stopped and stared as they pushed it along. 'What a marvellous egg!' they said. Mr Noakes from next door helped them push. 'And heavy as a hippo!' he gasped. And still it kept on growing. A boy at the bus stop, two policemen and Edna the Lollipop Lady all joined in to help.

News of Joe’s magnificent egg spread and soon a crowd had gathered. It was as big as a bus by now and everyone helped to push.

Some workmen were digging up the road. They stopped when they saw Joe’s egg. 'What a marvellous egg!' they said. 'And it’s just what we need! It’s perfect to replace our broken steam-roller. May we use your egg Joe to flatten the bumps in the new road?' And they pushed the egg off the pavement and along the hot black tarmac. 'Hurrah!' they all cheered. 'Your mighty egg has rolled it as flat as a pancake!'

And still it kept growing!

The road got steeper and steeper and the giant egg got heavier and heavier and very soon the hill was too high to go any further. 'What will we do?' asked Joe.

Toot! Toot! honked a tractor as Farmer Dodds drove up. 'What a marvellous egg!' he said. 'Shall I push it to the top for you, Joe?'

'Yes please!' shouted Joe. The policeman stopped the traffic as they attached the egg to the front of the tractor. 'Off we go!' said Farmer Dodds and slowly, slowly the little tractor ground its way to the top of the hill under the weight of the gigantic egg...and still it kept on growing! It was the size of a house by now!

At the top of the hill stood the Mayor’s house. When he saw the egg he nearly fell off his bicycle. 'What a marvellous egg!' he said. 'And just what we need. It’s perfect for the town’s Easter Statue!'

So a giant crane was called to lift Joe’s egg onto a huge stand in the shape of an egg-cup. It looked incredible - and its bright colours and gold paper sparkled in the sunshine. 'Quite the biggest and best statue in all the world,' proclaimed the Mayor proudly. 'You deserve a medal, young man!' he said to Joe.

But still it kept on growing!

The egg-cup creaked under the strain. 'Stand back!' warned the policeman as the giant egg began to wobble. The great egg tipped and swayed and then with an almighty 'currrrunch!' it rolled off its pedestal and tumbled down the other side of the hill. It rolled down past the Post Office and down past the Tea Pot Café, down past the supermarket and out through the car park at the bottom and came to a stop just outside the school gate.

The school Principal rushed out to see what all the commotion was about. 'What a marvellous egg,' he said. 'And JUST what we need!' And he called for the school carpenter. 'With Joe’s permission, please cut a doorway and some windows,' he said. 'This magnificent egg is just PERFECT for our new school classroom!'

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