As a child I was very much engrossed in the colored fairy tale series of books by Andrew Long, especially the Gray and the Yellow volumes. I recently downloaded them from Project Gutenberg and have been reading them to my son at bedtime. I’ve been surprised at how little I actually remember these stories, as I must have read them all dozens of times back then. So I was thoroughly shocked last night when I read one called ‘what comes of picking flowers’ and found in it a most unusual plot that seemed eerily familiar. To rescue his sister from a monster, a boy has to find an iron casket at the bottom of the ocean, which contains a dove, in whose nest lies an egg, an egg which must be smashed against the head of the monster, who is otherwise immortal.
Now, my son and I wrote a book last year called Entropic Quest, wherein an immortal, who doesn’t want to be that, only manages to end her life by getting an egg smashed against a tree. Was this idea of a smashed egg linked with immortality buried in my mind from my childhood reading of this fairy tale? I had absolutely no recollection of the fairy tale until last night and my son had certainly never heard it before. How much is retained down there, only to emerge most unexpectedly at times? It makes you wonder.