When I first came to Los Angeles from Seattle back in 1980, I was doing my counseling internship. My supervisor helped me find a job teaching preschool. I taught afternoon class and my partner taught morning class. We planned a lot of science projects for the little kids to do and learn. One of them was incubating chicks. We rented an incubating machine and bought twelve eggs.
The little kids watched the eggs, and had a designated time taking turns to rotate the eggs. It took twenty-eight days for the eggs to hatch.
When it was around the twenty-eighth day, we saw the chicks started to poke the egg shells from inside, a little bit at a time. By the time they poked a hole big enough to come out, they were ready to run around.
Within the days of chicks hatching, there were lots of “Ooohs” and “Aaahs” among the kids, even among the teachers and helpers. Yet, there was one last chick couldn’t quite come out of the shell. She poked a hole big enough to come out, but a little patch of her skin still attached to the shell. She couldn’t quite shake off the shell.
We were watching her struggle for hours. She rested a little bit when she was tired, and then struggled again.
My partner and I were talking about what to do. Should we help her to take off that piece of shell? I thought we shouldn’t meddle with it when she was not ready? My partner couldn’t stand watching the chick’s struggle, so she touched that shell a little, and a little, and eventually took that piece of shell off. We saw a tender spot on the chick after the shell came off.
Next day, when we went to school, we were sadden to find that the last chick didn’t make it. Her body was not mature enough to push off that last piece of shell. We shouldn’t have meddled with it.