We lost sight of Jonathan almost immediately. All of the people in the meadow were in motion and most of the light in the meadow was in motion. It was dizzying. We had to hang onto each other to keep up with ourselves. Arm in arm in arm, we were a modern day version of Dorothy’s friends, out to rescue our adored girlfriend from the clutches of evil. We even had a little dog in a basket, but we weren’t chanting about lions and tigers and bears.
As we started to enter the crowd, an egg darted in front of us. A human-sized egg with legs. Out of all of the odd costumes in Sheep Meadow, this one was the oddest. We shot each other looks and followed it, since it was heading in the general direction we thought we should head.
As we followed the egg, we noticed more things about it. Like it was wearing yellow stockings to make its incredibly skinny legs look more like bird legs. Like it was wearing a great big white t-shirt that said, “Follow Twit To The World’s Best Eggs,” in red letters.
Whoever was in that egg costume was really good. He or she capered energetically through the crowd, then suddenly broke into a top-like spin. At the end of the spin, the egg started leaping into the air to click his or her heels over and over, first to the left side, then to the right. I couldn’t see eye holes in the costume anywhere. I had no idea how that person was able to see enough to get around so incredibly well. The egg had to be a ballet dancer. “I guess the egg is named Twit?,” Mike guessed.
The egg arrived at a booth and spun to us, as if it had known all along that we were following it. It did the one knee forward, arms wide open gesture that usually signals the end of a good tap dance. Then, it waved one arm theatrically over the wares for sale, which were about ten giant bird eggs arranged on a long, relatively narrow table. The table had round holes cut in it for the points of the eggs to rest in, so they all stood at attention. We stood at sloppier attention, staring at the eggs. They weren’t just hugely larger versions of hen eggs. They weren’t white like Twit, first of all. These eggs had shells that seemed to have been designed in the womb with camouflage in mind. Some shells were colored like crinkled black garbage bags, and some shells looked like rags of many colors. Some shells looked like crumpled piles of the New York Times. Either someone was painting them or they were coming out of the birds with appearances that would blend in with whatever material their nest had been constructed from.
The Twit egg seemed to be waiting for us to do something, but we had no idea what to do. The Twit egg tapped a yellow foot for a few seconds, and then it reached a white gloved hand behind one of the eggs. The glove came out holding some papers, and the egg handed each of us one. We looked down at them. Recipe cards.
“Whoa,” Moira said, “you are selling these as FOOD? I don’t even know if it is safe to eat them. At the very least, it has to be wrong. The birds eat PEOPLE. The idea of eating these eggs is really horrible. Really.”
The egg stepped forward and kicked Moira in the shin as hard as it could. Moira shouted and moved toward the table with her hands in position, palms up, to tip the table and its egg display over. I grabbed her around the waist and pulled her back. “We can’t afford a brawl, Moira,” I hissed in her ear. “Let it go. Let’s find Jill.”
Moira shook me off, then shook off her blind rage. “Fuck you, egg,” she said. The egg shot Moira the bird with both gloved hands. We moved on, further into the crowd.