Farmer Ruth Mylroie the town hall a chicken laying one egg with a young visitor during a college tour of new Harmony Farm. This farm is well-known for that is humane treatment of the chickens.

You are watching: Count your eggs before they hatch



Hello and also welcome to Words and also Their Stories.

Each week, us tell the story of English language words and also expressions – some old, and also others new.

Today we talk around a proverb regularly used in American English.

A proverb is a short, well-known saying that offers a piece of advice. Our example of a proverb takes us to a farm yard – a chicken farm, to it is in exact.

Our explanation is part science, component folklore.

First, the science.

You probably understand that chickens come native eggs. A woman chicken or hen lays eggs and then castle hatch into chicks. Well, not all of them. Some eggs execute not have a baby bird.

So, in ~ our farm, a hen produce 15 eggs. If the farmer counts the eggs, she could expect to have actually 15 chicks once the eggs are hatched. However then five of those eggs perform not hatch. She expectations were no met, for this reason she feels disappointed. She tells she friend how sad she feels. The friend might say to her, “Well, don’t count her chicken prior to they hatch.

Another way of speak this proverb is: “Don’t count her chickens till they are hatched.”

So, this proverb method you must not depend on miscellaneous that has actually yet to happen. It is unwise to make plans based on something that hasn’t happened. Another definition of this proverb is this: carry out not assume come have every little thing you want till you actually have actually it in your hands.

Now, stop talk around the folklore part of ours explanation.

“Don’t count her chickens until they room hatched” is a really old saying. Language experts say it appears in different forms and also in plenty of different cultures. It is likewise used in Aesop"s Fables, a collection of story from between 1,300 and also 1,400 year ago.

The fable we space talking around is known as “The Milkmaid and Her Pail.” A lengthy time ago, a young woman brought a bucket of milk on her head. As she walked, the milkmaid dreamy of a much better life. She want to it is in rich. So, she assumed she can sell she milk and also then usage the money come buy chickens. Through chickens she might sell eggs and earn an ext money!

With several money, the milkmaid can shake she head “no” to every the men in her town who want her hand in marriage. The young woman was so captured up in her thoughts the she in reality shook her head “no.” This caused the pail of milk to autumn from her head and crash come the ground. Along with it -- her desires of coming to be rich and also independent.

When she called her mom what happened, her mom said, “My child, execute not count her chickens prior to they room hatched.”

So, that is the folklore from Aesop’s Fables. Now, stop hear how to use this expression in daily speech.

John and Samantha room friends. Both are searching for jobs. Man just had actually a project interview the day before and also cannot wait to tell Samantha all around it.

Samantha, exactly how is your job search going?

It’s walking okay. Ns spoke with two potential employers critical week and also I have to hear something ago soon. Yet for now I’m still conserving all the money I can from my part-time work. How about you?

I had actually a great interview yesterday! In fact, afterward, the woman i spoke v talked together if i was already her employee!

Wow! That’s great news, John. Good for you!

Thanks! and the ideal thing … the salary is great. I’ll be able to buy a townhouse. In fact, I have an appointment today to look at one, right near my new job! I’ll have a permanent job and a brand-new home in less than a month!

Wait a minute, John. Did friend actually obtain something in creating from the company?

Well, no yet.

Did you actually authorize a contract?

Well, no however …

A small friendly advice, John. You don’t officially have actually the job. So, try not to count her chickens prior to they hatch.

What carry out you mean? The project is a sure thing.

Nothing is guaranteed, John. So, girlfriend know, don’t get your really hopes up. The way, you i will not ~ be disappointed if points don’t work-related out.

So, ns should probably return the expensive clothes and also briefcase I simply bought for the job?

I think so. Maybe for right now.

Let’s save our finger crossed for John. Hopefully, every his eggs will certainly hatch and he’ll gain that high-paying job.

And that’s all we have actually for girlfriend today. Join us again following week for one more Words and also Their Stories.

I’m Anna Matteo.

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Ibrahim Onefeko wrote this story. Anna Matteo and George thrive were the editors. The track at the finish is “Don’t Count her Chickens prior to They Hatch,” written and performed by nation singer/songwriter Tommy Ray.


Words in This Story

folklore – n. timeless customs, beliefs, stories, and sayings

lay – v. to create an egg

hatch – v. to come the end of one egg

disappoint – adj. to fail to satisfy the expectation or hope of

assume – v. to think the something is true or probably true without understanding that it is true