Man Seated on a Large Egg

Gundebert stares into the sunset thinking about what he had for breakfast (roasted beets), sitting on his egg. He must sit on this egg every day for 43 days. At the end of those 43 days, the egg will hatch, and Gundebert will be free.

Gundebert and his people first started sitting on eggs long before Gundebert’s time. Some say it has been generations. Others say it has been since the beginning of time. Others argue about the validity of the very idea of time, but concede these people have been sitting on eggs for quite a while. After all, Gunderbert and his people are called Egg Sitters, so it goes without saying they’ve been sitting on these eggs for some time.

To a modern ear, the term “egg sitting” might not sound terribly respectable, but rest assured, for Egg Sitters, there are few jobs as magnanimous as the task their name is derived from.

Egg Sitters do not just sit on eggs, nor is the task of doing so simple. They must keep an egg the right temperature, which requires a lot of shifting around, squats, and occasional twists. They also must speak to the egg every day, teaching it the ways of the world before it hatches. At first, they speak to the egg as you’d speak to a child, but as the days go on, they speak to the egg as adults, since by the time they hatch, they are indeed just that, adults. Or so we assume. It’s hard to tell sometimes.

At the present moment, Gundebert is telling his egg about crop rotation. “Beets are heavy feeders,” he says, “Follow them with lentils or chickpeas.” They do this in the hope of passing down the entirety of their knowledge before the egg hatches, though no Egg Sitter has ever successfully done this.

You might ask why these eggs have no mother or father to sit on them, and the answer is easy if not gratifying, the eggs simply are. Every so often, with no particular pattern, the eggs begin existing. When they do, the Egg Sitters do their job.

After those 43 days, the egg hatches. What hatches it hard to describe, though the Egg Sitters call them Spectators. They are never the same shape, nor the same gender, nor the even the same species, but they do always consume the soul of the Egg Sitter as their first act. When they do so, it takes on all the remaining knowledge of the Egg Sitter.

The Spectators then leave to do whatever it is they do, which we can assume involves spectating, since it seems that things here are named after what it is they do.