“What’s in your hand Charlie?”
He smiled with glee and beckoned me closer. Charlie elevated his palm and spread open his fingers. Cradled inside was a single sparrow egg.
“Think it’ll hatch?” he chirped like a small boy.I knew the birds commonly built nests on the ledges outside of the tier windows, but they were all out of Manson’s reach. The maintenance crew routinely (and rather heartlessly) knocked the nests off with brooms.
Manson had spotted one within his eyesight and begged the crews to leave it alone. Before knocking it off, one of the men had a rare moment of human kindness, either for the bird, or for Manson, or for both. He pulled a tiny egg from the nest and gave it to the world’s most notorious criminal.
“Think it will hatch?” Manson repeated.
“I don’t know Charlie. If anybody can make it hatch, you can.”
Charles Manson held that egg in his hands for weeks, cherishing it, talking to it, willing for the baby to emerge. It never did.