Hullin Hatches an Egg

(with apologies to Dr. Seuss)

Sighed Mayzie, a lazy bird hatching an egg:
“I’m tired and I’m bored, And I’ve kinks in my leg
From sitting, just sitting here day after day.
I’d rather be cleaning for Pesach, I say.
I’d eat all my chametz, and sell all the rest
If I could find someone to stay on my nest!!
If I could find someone, I’d be chametz-free – “
Then Hullin, the Elephant, passed by her tree.
“Hello!” called the anxious bird, smiling her best.
“You’ve nothing to do, I have Pesach ahead
Would you like to sit here on my eggy instead?”
“ME on your egg? Why, I couldn’t, no way!
For you’re a tahor bird and I am tameh.
You’re a tzipor, and here is the thing,
I’m more a kanaf (or karnaf) with a wing.
And worse, I must tell you, although it’s a pity
I come from a burned-down idolatrous city.”
“That’s great,” answered Mayzie. “You’re just the right breed
They can’t send you away, then. You’re just what I need!
I’ll hurry right back. Why, I’ll never be missed ….”
“Very well,” said the elephant, “Since you insist,
Get rid of your chametz, at least try your best—
And while you are cleaning, I’ll sit on your nest.
I’ll stay and be faithful, I mean what I say,”
“Toodle-oo!” sang out Mayzie and fluttered away.
“Hmm,” said Hullin, “I’m heavy. This branch soon will sag
I’ll place between me and the eggy a rag.
Is that a chatitzah? Can it still count as resting?
I wouldn’t want Mayzie to come back protesting.”
But Mayzie, by this time, was far beyond reach,
Enjoying the sunshine way off in Palm Beach,
For would you make Pesach if this fate befell
You? If free of my kids, I’d go to a hotel.
So Mayzie did too. Kosher-style, deluxe
Free Seder included, she paid the big bucks.
She was having such fun, such a wonderful rest
She decided she’d never go back to her nest.
So Hullin kept sitting there—when he got on
There was no moon in sight. ‘Twas Rosh Hodesh Nisan.
But the days went by quickly, the moon grew more whole
The next thing he knew, ‘twas Shabbat HaGadol.
Just three days ‘til Pesach! So where then was Mayzie?
Had she been taken by a leper for a sacrifice, maybe?
Was she kdushat mizbeach, unable to come back?
Or had her siman been cut, was she now someone’s snack?
With all these hirhurim, poor Hullin, distressed,
Rested, then hovered, then sat on the nest.
He sat there and sat there the whole shabbos through …
And then came havdalah with troubles anew!
His friends gathered round and they shouted with glee.
“Look! Hullin the Elephant’s up in a tree!”
They taunted. They teased him. They yelled, “How absurd!”
“Old Hullin the Elephant thinks he’s a bird!
He thinks he’s a girly, an Em who’s rovetzet
Compared to that egg, he’s a fearsome mifletzet.
Said Hullin, “Shut up. Go get rid of your pita.
Besides, don’t you know Rabbi Eliezer’s shita?
A male, too, can sit on an egg. It’s quite pleasant
Think of the Koreh – the male brooding pheasant.
A male pheasant can be a stay-at-home Dad
If brooding on eggs is what makes him feel glad.
When the Torah says Em, it means lav davka female
Don’t you read the shiurim you get in your email?
They laughed and they laughed. Then they all ran away.
And Hullin was lonely. He wanted to pray.
He did not have a minyan. Instead he would say,
“No matter WHAT happens, this egg must be tended!”
Yet poor Hullin’s troubles were far, far from ended.
For, while Hullin sat there so faithful, so kind,
Three listim came sneaking up softly behind!
“Look!” they all shouted, “Can such a thing be?
An elephant sitting on top of a tree….”
Let’s take him alive. Why, he’s terribly funny!
We’ll sell him to Rome, to a circus for money!”
Poor Hullin, distressed, wanted nothing of Rome
He’d been raised learning Torah. The beit midrash was his home.
But the men did not care. And off they all went
With Hullin unhappy, one hundred per cent.
Sold to a circus! Goodness. And sheesh.
He now had a background like poor Reish Lakish.
Poor Hullin grew weary as week after week
They showed him to people, four zuzim a peek
‘Twas or l’araba asar when the circus show reached
A town way down south, not so far from Palm Beach.
And dawdling along way up high in the sky,
Who (of all people!) should chance to fly by
Chance to, yes, chance to – that’s ki yikarey
For she wasn’t at home. She was out on her way.
“Good gracious!” gasped Mayzie, “I’ve seen YOU before!”
Poor Hullin looked up, his face white as Maror.
“Be off,” shouted Mayzie. “Get out of my nest.”
“You can’t send me off,” Hullin said in protest.
“This egg is not yours. You can’t take it or buy it
I’ve already pledged it to Bedek Habayit.
It’s hekdesh! Ha ha, Mayzie, joke is on you—”
Said Mayzie in fury, “What? Could that be true?
I thought you were Hullin!” And then off she flew.
And Hullin, alone now, the sun sinking low
Knew just what to do with the egg. Don’t you know?
An egg raised for Pesach has only one fate—
He set it down squarely on his Seder plate.

הדרן עלך שילוח הקן וסליקא לה מסכת חולין

2 thoughts on “Hullin Hatches an Egg

  1. Margalit Jakob says:

    It’s brilliant, Ilana! Do you have an illustrator?
    It’s such good material for both kids and adults,
    A beautiful Pesach book!
    I can imagine it with all the pictures that accompany the story-poem!!!
    Chag Sameach!


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