THE MYSTERY OF
It is not possible that anyone possessed of any reflective power, and
being in the habit of frequenting the various kinds of social celebrations,
slavery to which forms the principal occupation of a large portion of civilised
society, can have failed to speculate on the momentous question, where do all
the plover's eggs come from? They appear at all sorts of meals - dinners,
wedding breakfasts, show luncheons, picnics, evening party refreshments tables,
ball suppers. In all sorts of forms, too, do they appear; nestling in moss,
held in bondage carelessly by succulent jelly, pearly and cool, the golden yolk
just suggested through the semi transparent white.
Prodigiously good they are, in whatever shape presented, but
prodigiously mysterious also, in their faculty of turning up in enormous quantities for
the London season, and then disappearing with equally strange and
Very rarely does one encounter these plovers' eggs except during the
London season; and as to the plovers themselves, now and then, in crossing a
breezy upland, the pedestrian's attention is caught by their shrill plaintive
cry and their rapid flight round and round his head, as they seek to draw him
away from the nest which lies close by; but it is only now and then that the
plovers are thus met with, and even where they are thickest, their numbers do not
account for those innumerable dishes full of their eggs.
-DICKENS's "All the Year Round."