Mandy stood by her mother at the kitchen sink. Her mother was clucking almost as much as one of the nearly ninety hens on the farm.

“Here’s another freckled egg,” Muriel said. “Put it in with the others for your Aunt Anna.”

Mandy took the egg from her mother and dried it. Before placing it in the little basket meant for her aunt, she held and pondered it, looking at the dark red spots that mottled the light brown shell.

“Why do you give the freckled eggs to Aunt Anna and Uncle Eddy?”

Mandy noted her mother’s tiny pause; it happened more and more when Uncle Eddy’s name was mentioned. “Because your aunt grew up on this farm with your daddy and knows there ain’t nothing wrong with a freckled egg. City-bred people will think it’s bad and won’t buy it.”

The kitchen door banged shut as Mandy’s father came in. “That’s right,” Billy told his daughter. “Same reason we can’t sell you,” he said.

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