Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance

The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge. Show us what endurance means to you.

Endurance is developing inside a fragile egg, only to be crushed within 48 hours of hatching and still surviving. Just like a little dinosaur.


Eggs are fragile, yet the eggs of various species survive harsh conditions and still go on to grow an embryo that, in the case of a duck, hatches within a month’s time. Within a few days of hatching, the duckling must start tapping away with that egg tooth in order to “pip” a small breathing hole. But this doesn’t mean she’s ready to hatch, only that her air sacs (lungs) must grow accustomed to breathing air. She will wait in the warmth and moisture within the egg, alternately sleeping and tapping away until the egg cracks, then she will push with her tiny legs and neck so that the egg splits and she is hatched. By that time her umbilical cord will have dried up because she has used all the nourishment the yolk provided to break free from the egg.

Not Bernadette. She was trampled when her mother, a chocolate muscovy duck, defended her from a marauding flock. Bernadette had only begun to pip. She needed a few more days to develop and work her way out the egg. When I found her I thought she would die. I brought mum and Bernie, inside her crushed egg, into the house where I stayed up all night with a ceramic heater blasting onto a wet cloth to provide both moisture and heat for Bernie as I held her and watched for her umbilical cord to dry up. Hours passed. When her umbilical clotted and turned dark brown, I pinched it off and placed her carefully under mum.

I could hear them talking to each other throughout the night. That’s how I knew Bernadette would be okay.

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