AN EGG CUP that once lived in a household always screwed up every time someone asked her to boil an egg. When they asked for a soft-boiled egg, she overboiled it, whereas when she was asked for a hard-boiled egg, she would deliver an uncooked one.
"Cooking is a very tender sport", the saucepan told her one day, and the cookware of the household agreed, adding: "Maybe you’re not putting all your tenderness in the process”.
Their words troubled her greatly, and so she thought it would be best to give the next egg to someone else to boil.
First, she gave an egg to a painter. "I want you to be as tender as possible", she instructed him and left him alone. A few minutes later, he delivered an egg that was filled with beautiful decorations and colorful drawings. "I put all my tenderness, as you asked me; so, I preferred to paint it instead", he told her, only to see her pissed off. She then snatched the egg from his hands and put it under gushing water for four hours to wash away the paint.
The second time, she preferred to give it to a decorator. “I want you to put all your tenderness in cooking this egg”, she told him before she left him alone. A few minutes later he delivered an egg that was dressed up like a clown, with a fake red nose, painted eyes and a mouth, as well as tiny clothes and a cute, orange wig that was small enough to fit on an egg. "It seemed to me that decorating it would be a more tender choice than boiling it", he said to explain his streak of creativity. Once again, she grabbed the egg from his hands then threw away all the decorations to make the egg look as before.
Last but not least, she gave the egg to a hen that was rumored to be one of the greatest cooks on earth, and would be rather unlikely to let her down. "I want all your tenderness", she told her and left her alone. Much to her amazement, however, the hen was late to show up. A couple of weeks later the egg cup went to the hen's coup and was curious to see that a cute, young chicken was walking around carelessly.
"I put all my tenderness, just as you asked me to", the hen justified herself. "Not having any children of my own, however, I preferred to hatch the egg instead of boil it, so as to have a child to call my own".
This time the egg cup shed tears, as she realized that tenderness can mean very different things to many different people.