Once upon a time there was an egg named Humpty Dumpty: Humpty because he had a humped back, and Dumpty because he was rather round. In his youth he developed a bad habit of sitting on walls, a habit of which his mother tried vainly to break him.
One fine summer day he was sitting on a garden wall, swinging his legs, when he overbalanced himself and toppled right off his perch into the street. His mother found him and screeched for help.
Soon the news reached the king, who lived nearby. Being a kind king and thoughtful of his subjects, he called out a regiment of his cavalry and ordered them to help Humpty Dumpty. The horsemen naturally wondered why they should be doing the work of surgeons, but set off obediently.
They wondered still more when they came to the place where Humpty Dumpty lay spilled across the road. It was a woeful sight. His hat lay here, and his legs had fallen over there; his shell was thoroughly cracked, some of the pieces being no larger than a fingernail; his yolk had popped on a loose paving-stone, and his white lay in sticky puddles all over.
The king’s men scratched their heads, asking each other why they had been sent to stitch an egg together, but they did their dutiful best. However, all their combined powers were not equal to the task. They consulted their horses to see if they had any ideas or offers of aid, but they all were unanimous in the opinion that nothing could be done. They remounted and returned to the palace to report their unsuccessful journey, while Humpty Dumpty expired in the road.
At the funeral his mother said, “I told him again and again not to go sitting on walls, but he would keep doing it, and that’s what comes of it.”
Written in August 2014. The idea came while I was peeling potatoes, and I wrote it down that evening with a pink gel pen because I was upstairs (we had unexpected guests and I was in my pajamas) and Olivia had nothing more practical to offer.