portrait of The Inquisitive Ostrich

Saturday, May 23, 2020

thoughts from The Inquisitive Ostrich

Coach has really been pushing us at practices recently. The championship track meet is only two weeks away, and I have a hundred questions flying through my mind: Will the jackals interrupt the meet again? Will the weather be good? Will I execute graceful turns? Will my arch rival be there? Have our competitors been diligent in their training? Should I eat more roots, less leaves, fewer insects, fewer lizards, and more rodents . . . our nutritionist has been away, so I'm floundering!

Last year, the meet was amazing! Beautiful sunny day with little wind. Many friends and family came to show their support. Even some of the young chicks tagged along. Right before my event, a couple jackal were spotted on the race course. Tensions were high especially given that so many chicks were at the meet. But after the jackals were scared off by our security team, my race went on as planned. I ran fast! For my sprint, I quickly accelerated up to 43 miles per hour. The wind flew through my feathers. My eyes focused ahead with determination. My wing positioning was perfect for the two tight turns-- all that practice with body position paid off! I crossed that finish line with a beaming smile on my face, my eyes wide, and my head held high! My team clicked their applause and spun their bodies around with extraordinary excitement. I congratulated my competitors for a fine race, and we limped to the watering hole for a quick sip. Of course, we didn't really need the water, but it's become a post-race routine that's a sign of good sportsmanship.

I snap out of my nostalgic day-dream as something bright emerges on the horizon. Goodness, it's huge! What is it?! This large mass is floating through the sky. It seems to move with the light breeze, but there are no flapping wings and no sign of exertion. I hear a whoosh of sound and a light appears in the object as it rises slightly. So many questions pop into my head! How does it fly with no wings? Where did it come from? What are those humans in the basket doing? I hear them exclaiming and pointing toward me. I can see they have cameras and binoculars. Will they snap my picture like reporters at the track meet? Can they see the eggs I guard? They continue drifting past, and I float into a new daydream: could I become a bird of flight?

“Balloon Flight - Hot-Air Ballooning | Britannica.” Accessed December 13, 2020. https://www.britannica.com/technology/balloon-flight/Hot-air-ballooning.

Carmignani, Karyl. “Flightless Fancy – ZOONOOZ.” Accessed December 13, 2020. https://zoonooz.sandiegozoo.org/zoonooz/flightless-fancy/.

“Ostrich | San Diego Zoo Animals & Plants.” Accessed December 13, 2020. https://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/ostrich.