It's bad enough cracking an egg and getting a bit of shell in the mixture (which is why I always crack one out into a bowl or cup, first), but when a half-formed cockatrice embryo plops out into one's Denby-ware, then maybe it's time to call it a day?
I had tasked myself to make some cakes as it had been a while since I had undertaken any baking. Plus, despite having a book published, strangely, I'm not rolling in enough cash to order-in cakes, never mind have someone make them for me! I'm sure it'll start to filter through soon, though. Won't it?
Anyway, I got all the ingredients out of the cupboard and began. First, the sugar and butter. Then the eggs. The first couple were cracked open without incident and were added to the mixing bowl. The third and final one was a different matter, however. The brisk rap of the egg against the edge of the cup I was breaking them into caused the shell to practically explode, and something unspeakable to fall into the cup: A cockatrice!
I was so taken aback that I momentarily forgot the dangers of such a monster, immature as it was. Like the basilisk, a cockatrice can kill with a look, or a touch. Luckily, in its embryo state, its eyes were firmly shut - the eyelids still joined together, and I certainly wasn't going to touch the gross-looking little thing. What I had forgotten was their breath. A cockatrice's breath can also cause death, and this is what had escaped my memory as I leaned in to get a good look at the wriggling little serpent.
I caught a whiff of it's repulsive breath-of-death (somewhat like morning-breath) and staggered back, gagging.
As the sink was still full of implements that Inexcuseable had used to make last night's tea**, the waste disposal mechanism was obscured. So, while dry-heaving into a teacloth, I gingerly picked the cockatrice up with a pair of salad tongs and popped it into Apocalypse Oven (already pre-heated to inferno-like temperatures in preparation for the cakes) where it promptly shrivelled to a crisp.
Which Inexcuseable found surprisingly tasty after she'd dipped it in salsa. Ha!
* A quote from Beast a long time ago.
** The late-afternoon/early-evening meal, not the hot drink.