The OSTRICH –
There’s a delightful fable, The Ostrich in Love, by Arnold Lobel… as part of Lobel’s book FABLES, a Caldecott Medal winner…
The fable tells us of an Ostrich who falls in love with a lovely young lady walking in the park one Sunday… and he follows the lady just to put his feet where hers have been…
The Ostrich’s love for the lady consumes the following week. On Monday, the Ostrich gathers violets, leaves them at her door and runs away. On Tuesday, the Ostrich composes a song for her. On Wednesday, the Ostrich forgets to eat while watching the lady dine at a restaurant. On Thursday, the Ostrich writes a poem but doesn’t find the courage to read it to the lady. Friday and Saturday bring a new suit of clothing, fluffed feathers and romantic dreams of waltzing with the lady to beautiful music.
The next Sunday, upon returning to the park, the Ostrich decides that he’s much too shy for love… but finds great comfort in a week well spent.
Author Arnold Lobel fills us in with the moral of the story: Love can be its own reward.
What we discover in The Ostrich in Love is a wonderful message of nothing done well is for nothing.
But what is the real tweet-tweet on the Ostrich in real-life ? Here are a few little tidbits to pass along to your kids and grandkids to combine literature and life:
– The Ostrich is the world’s largest bird.
– The Ostrich cannot fly, but it is known for its speed as a runner. An Ostrich has been clocked sprinting at almost 70 miles per hour.
– The single stride of an Ostrich can reach 16 feet.
– Ostriches live in herds with usually no more than 12 or so other Ostriches.
– Alpha (dominant) Ostrich males mate with a herd’s dominant Hen.
– A breeding Ostrich couple will stake its territory and the male digs a hole to use as a nest.
– Both male and female Ostriches incubate their eggs.
– The African Ostrich is the world’s largest bird, it is the fasting running bird and it lays the largest eggs. The eggs weigh between 4.5 and 6.5 pounds.
– Bushmen use Ostrich eggshells pretty much as canteens.
– The Phoenicians (3,000 years ago) used painted Ostrich eggshells and Ostrich feathers for adornment.
– The Romans considered Ostrich meat a specialty.
– The size and ferocity of an Ostrich makes it a perfect guard animal.
– The Ostrich has very strong legs and feet and can kick with the strength of a lion.
– The Ostrich foot has 2 toes with a large, sharp claw.
– The Ostrich eats plant foods, insects, rodents, turtles and lizards… and consumes up to 16 pounds of food per day.
– Ostriches live about 30 years in the wild and up to 70 years in captivity.
Ah. The Ostrich in real-life.
Reading the fable The Ostrich in Love with your kids and grandkids, with a little knowledge of the Ostrich in real-life, gives you so much to discuss… and your kids so much to think about as they embrace the literature.
The fable also gives us a great opportunity to talk with our kids about going after something we want… and being happy with the journey, no matter the outcome.
Sometimes the greatest journeys are those of self-discovery!
Join me here each day in August for AUGUST TWEET-TWEETS on 365 Days of Literacy for Kids! A little fun, a little learning and a bit of “tweet-tweet”!