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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Uncles/Aunts (04/17/08)

TITLE: Uncle Jelly and the Egg Family
By Gerald Shuler


Uncle Jelly held the record in our family for uniqueness. His name was always a mystery to me. Nobody ever used his real name although I knew it was Jack. And nobody ever, even when asked, gave an explanation about why he was known only as Jelly. Voted ‘Most Likely to Have Fun’ in high school, he lived up to the honor every day of his life. That is probably why he was undeniably every niece and nephew’s favorite uncle. It is also why he was the obvious choice as a babysitter.

I recall one Valentine’s Day when my parents needed Uncle Jelly to watch me while they went on a rare but much anticipated date. When he got to our house the first thing I noticed was the carton of eggs he carried. Uncle Jelly had transformed it with crayons and construction paper to look like a house, complete with roof, door and window. Instantly he had my curiosity peaked to the point I hardly noticed when my parents left.

The egg carton house was placed carefully on the kitchen countertop. I examined it closely like a critic at an art gallery. The detail was amazing.

“Can I look inside, Uncle Jelly?”

“It’s just the Egge family.” Uncle Jelly smiled. “Let me introduce you to them.”

He lifted the lid/roof of the egg carton/house. Just eggs. I had expected something wonderful but it was just eggs. Not even a full carton, either. One egg was missing. The disappointment must have shown because Uncle Jelly patted me on the back.

“I know.” He ran his finger tenderly inside the space that was missing an egg. “We miss Humpty terribly, don’t we?”

“Huh?” He really had taken me by surprise. “Humpty? You mean like Humpty Dumpty?”

“Of course I mean Humpty Dumpty. This is the Dumpty family home.”

“Okay Uncle Jelly. I’m game. What’s the story behind this?”

“There is no story.” He looked at me with a twinkle that told me there really was a story and it was about to be told. “No story, but there is a problem. The Dumpty family has asked me to perform a very delicate surgery on them tonight.” He picked up one of the eggs and spoke directly to it as though it were alive. “Daddy Dumpty, are you sure there is no way I can talk you and your family out of this surgery?”

“Oh, they want to be Air Heads. They have decided that what is in them isn’t what they want to be. The Dumpty family has given up on being eggs since, well, you know… the wall incident.”

Uncle Jelly got a bowl from the cabinet and then took an ice pick from the drawer. He poked a hole in the top and bottom of the egg he held. Then he put it over the bowl and blew gently through the hole in the small end of the egg. All the yolk and egg white came oozing out of the other end. Then Uncle Jelly repeated the process on the next egg.

“Would you like to help with the surgery?” Uncle Jelly handed me the ice pick. “If you will do the surgical incision I will perform the Mouth-to-Egg removal procedure.”

He handed me the next egg and, without hesitation, I poked the two holes. He took the egg from me and blew the ooze gently. Together, we completed all eleven eggs.

“Surgery was successful.” Uncle Jelly picked up the first egg. You are no longer Daddy Humpty. Although I disagree with your decision, you are know Daddy Airhead.”

I scratched my head. “I don’t understand. Why did they want to be airheads?”

“You need to know something about life.” Uncle Jelly suddenly sounded serious. I knew the lesson was about to made clear. “Sometimes people don’t realize the value of what is in them. They aren’t satisfied being what God made them so they try to empty themselves of all the good things God put in them. They should never do that. It’s always a mistake to reject what God does.”

“But they are just eggs.”

“You aren’t.” He smiled. “I want you to know that you have a lot of really good things inside of you. Don’t ever let anyone poke holes in your dreams because that is when people can easily blow you away.”

Uncle Jelly always had a way of teaching that got through to me. I understood.

“Can I ask a question?” He nodded approval. “What happened to the good stuff if it does get blown out?” I pointed to the bowl of egg whites and yolks.”

“Don’t worry about that. God always finds a way to let someone else use the good stuff.” He smiled broadly as he picked up the bowl.

“Let’s learn how to scramble eggs.”

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This article has been read 1076 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 04/24/08
Wise uncle and a very good story.
Dee Yoder 04/25/08
What a creative man Uncle Jelly is. Very unique story with a great lesson attached. Enjoyed reading this.
Debbie Roome 04/25/08
What an unusual story and what a clear message. Very good.
Laury Hubrich 04/26/08
Great story. What a wonderful uncle. Very good object lesson!
Jan Ackerson 04/28/08
Wonderful! with minor adaptations, would make a great Sunday School lesson or children's book.
Betty Castleberry04/28/08
This is fun. Great writing, too. I enjoyed reading this very much.
Joshua Janoski04/28/08
I was intrigued from the moment I read your title. I really wanted to know how Uncle Jelly got his name, but leaving it a secret allowed my imagination to run wild with all the possible reasons.

I don’t know if this is a true story or not, but you have me convinced that it was. I really liked the uncle. He possessed a lot of wisdom, and I loved hearing his lesson.

I appreciate you sharing this. It was a delight to read.
Chely Roach04/28/08
I absolutely love the line, "God always finds a way to let someone else use the good stuff.”

Good stuff!
Lollie Hofer04/28/08
I have taught Children's Church and Sunday School for 35+ years. I read book after book after book to my grandchildren every day. And I'm here to tell you that this story needs to be shared. Please find a way to get it published. It would make a powerful children's book. If a publisher could hook you up with the right illustrator, you would have a winner on your hands. Seriously! I feel that strongly about this story. Uncle Jelly is too wonderful not to share with others. (Not to mention there could be other Uncle Jelly books as well.)
Beth LaBuff 04/28/08
Excellent lesson, entertainingly and skillfully told! Every kids needs an Uncle Jelly! Great work!
Janice Cartwright04/28/08
This is amazingly creative. As I read I thought of 5 of my grandchildren ranging in age from 11 down to 6.This story would intrigue them as much as it did the large child sitting here reading it.
Willena Flewelling 04/29/08
What a great object lesson!
Marita Thelander 04/29/08
Ah, well done Master. : ) I like the "good stuff" line. God doesn't waste Good Stuff.
Debbie Wistrom04/29/08
Could be my favorite of the week. What a lesson, thanks for the reminder.
Sara Harricharan 04/30/08
Ahh! I liked it! What a neat Uncle Jelly-I liked his name especially made me want to giggle out loud. I also loved the 'object lesson' with the eggs. Cute! ^_^
Joanne Sher 05/01/08
Just delightful, Jerry. Uncle Jelly is a delight, and his story is wonderful - and that last line is just PERFECT. A true gem here!