When I was about 8, I got pretty good at weaving friendship bracelets. I concocted a scheme to sell the bracelets until I could afford my very own horse, which I intended to board in a neighbor’s backyard. I ended up with maybe $10 in profit, but my family members were pretty supportive. And while there’s nothing cuter than an enterprising little kid, there’s also nothing worse than a bureaucracy-obsessed community member—as evidenced by a recent debacle in Bulverde, Texas.
It all started back in February, when this year’s devastating winter storm hit Bulverde. In the storm’s aftermath, 10-year-old Indiana Johnson and her 8-year-old sister, Phoenix, supplied their neighbors with eggs from their brood of 28 laying hens. And when the community got back on its feet, the girls’ father, Brian Johnson, decided it was time to channel the egg operation into a life lesson on responsible saving.
“I told the girls, hey, you know we have some extra eggs. I’ll tell you what, I’ll open your bank accounts, I’ll get you checks and debit cards. We’ll build you an account and you can sell the extra eggs to the neighbors,” Johnson told a local CBS station.
The girls gathered their eggs and sold them to neighbors for an average weekly profit of $69—until someone complained, and the girls received an official letter from the city ordering them to cease operations.
The local news station received the following statement from city officials: “City staff are bound to investigate complaints of ordinance violations which are presented to us, and to seek compliance with the laws as they are written.” The City of Bulverde’s statement also states: “The selling of chicken eggs or any other animal products produced on the property, from a residentially zoned lot is a violation of city ordinance, regardless of the age of the person conducting the sales.”
No word on who reported the girls’ egg project, or why. For now, the Johnsons are taking a step back from their egg enterprise. “I’m afraid that the city will take further action against me and I don’t want to hurt my kids,” says Johnson. Meanwhile, if anyone catches wind of the complainant’s identity, send ‘em my way. I just want to talk.