For the New-York Magazine.
AS I look upon your Repository to be one of those
archives which will hand down to the generations to be,
the discoveries, observations, and transactions of the
present, I send you the following, perhaps very
unimportant, fact; to be either remembered or not
remembered as the chance may be.
About a month ago, one of my little people brought me a
diminutive egg found in a hen's nest among others of
the common size: it was not larger than that of a tame
pigeon, but had a shell as hardy and in every respect
similar to common hen's eggs. I broke it, and to my
surprize found it contain, instead of a yolk, another
little egg floating in a liquid resembling the white of
common eggs, but rather thinner. It was about as large
as a middle sized bullet -- was exceeding white -- and had
a shell more hard and brittle than the eggs of small
birds. Upon breaking it, I observed it full of a thin fluid,
and in place of a yolk, a whitish opake substance that
appeared likely to produce still another egg.
It is by no means uncommon to find in hen's nests very
small eggs, especially in autumn, when they generally
cease to lay: but whether they ever produce yolks, or, as
in this instance, complete embryo eggs, I have neither
heard or observed.
Nov. 16, 1791. R.
[As thro' incredulity, circumstances so extraordinary as the foregoing may be
too easily forgot,
it were to be wished that the observer was known, that the
inquisitive and curious might satisfy themselves in every particular. The
Naturalist will also lament, that the whitish opake substance was only
submitted to conjecture, and not so examined as to determined with certain whether
it was really an egg complete, or only the yolk diseased. E.]