An Odd Phenomenon

A note to Pseudodoxia Epidemica, Book III, chapter 13

From Literary Panorama, August 1807 (page 1083).

Phenomenon. — On Tuesday, July 14, a most extraordinary phenomenon was observed by several people of credit at the house of Mr. Rhodes, in Thornes-lane, near Wakefield. A hen had been sitting on ducks' eggs, several of which had produced ducklings: on examining one egg, a small hole was found in one end of the shell, through which a toad was discovered, not alive, which filled the whole shell, and seemed upon breaking it, to be absolutely straitened for want of room. Except the small hole, such as is usually found in an egg when the animal within is mature for hatching, the shell was perfectly whole so as utterly to preclude the supposition of the toad's having crept in through the hole. We have ourselves seen the toad, and with a small part of the shell still adhering to it. This singular circumstance reminds us of an account, which we inserted in our Paper, about a year ago, from The Northampton Mercury, of several persons who were poisoned at a village near Grantham, from eating eggs laid by ducks, which had previously been observed to have had connection with some toads in a pond. —

* * * The preceding article has been copied verbatim from a country newspaper entitled the Wakefield Star.

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