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 “Maggie, have you got the eggs?” 

“Yes!” yelled Maggie, getting the box out of the shopping bags. She took them through to the kitchen and gave them to her sister Betsy. 

“Is that all you got?” asked Betsy. 

“It was the last box they had. There are more than enough here though, surely?” 

“S’pose so.” 

Betsy cranked up the food mixer and started beating huge amounts of butter and sugar together. Their cake was going to be the best at the Manchesterford Sponge and Tart Spectacular. 

“Crack three eggs into this and whisk them with a fork, will you?” she said, handing her sister a bowl. 

Maggie took the first egg out of the box and cracked it against the table. With a flourish, she dropped the yolk and white into the bowl. 


“Oh my hat, what is that smell?” said Betsy, screwing her face up. “Maggie, have you farted?” 

“No! Shut up!” Maggie pushed her sister. “It’s this egg! It’s off.” “Argh, I think I’m going to throw up! Take it outside.” 

Maggie ran out the back door and chucked the offending egg into the food waste bin. Then she came back, picked up the rest of the eggs and headed outside. 

“Where are you going with those?” Betsy asked. “They’re off, aren’t they?” 

“They might not all be off. Try another one.” 

“No way! Once is enough. That smell was so bad I almost saw my lunchtime brie and banana bagel again. In fact,” she sniffed her jumper, “I think the stink is sticking to me.” 

“Give them here,” said Betsy. “I’ll do it.” 

Maggie held her breath as Betsy tentatively cracked another egg into a clean bowl. She gave it a quick sniff. 

“Well, this one seems OK.”  Betsy sniffed it again, then tipped   it into the mixer. Then she took another and cracked it. A familiar smell filled the kitchen again. 


“Not again!” “Get rid of it!” 

Betsy ran outside and chucked it in the food waste bin, then threw open all the windows. Maggie was leaning against the fridge, breathing through her mouth and looking distinctly green. 

“Let’s try again,” said Betsy. “We still need two more…” 



  • Should Betsy and Maggie have thrown all the eggs away? 
  • What do you think of the saying: “One bad apple spoils the barrel”? Is that always true? Can good and bad things live side by side? 
  • Can you think of an example in your own life where good and bad have lived side by side? 


This story is based on Matthew 13:47-52. Read this passage to the group and compare Jesus’ story and words with this one. Discuss what Jesus might have been saying through his parable, encouraging the group to think about it in a new way. In February 2019 we explored a similar parable about the weeds (Matthew 13:24-30). If you still have it, read that story now and compare the stories together. 

Supporting documents

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