The Rooster's Pact: Basel's Bewitched Egg

In the old city of Basel in Switzerland, something weird happened in 1474. A rooster was in big trouble because people thought it did something impossible: they said it laid an egg! Everyone knew roosters don’t lay eggs, so the people got scared. They whispered about magic and bad spells. They thought the rooster must have been friends with the devil because that’s the only way they could explain it.

The people in charge decided they had to do something about it. So, they did a strange thing: they put the rooster in a courtroom just like a person who did something bad. The judges sat there with serious looks and their big robes, listening to the people who were afraid.

The person trying to prove the rooster did something wrong said that the rooster must have made a secret deal with the devil. They thought an egg from a rooster was against nature and that witches might want it. They also were scared that a monster called a cockatrice or basilisk could come out of the egg. These monsters were from old stories, and people thought they were really scary. They were afraid that witches used roosters to do evil magic. That’s why everyone in Basel was so upset.

After hearing all this, the judges said the rooster was guilty. They thought they had to get rid of the rooster and the egg to keep everyone safe from any bad magic or monsters. So, they made a big fire in the middle of town, put the rooster and the egg on it, and lit the fire.

The rooster made some noise, but soon the fire was just crackling. The people of Basel watched, feeling a little scared but also like they were safer now. Even long after, people would talk about the rooster that got into so much trouble just because of an egg. It’s a story that reminds us how people can sometimes make big mistakes when they’re afraid of things they don’t understand.