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Ostrich short story

She holds her elegant neck high above the masses which she saunters through. Like a diva at a show she flaunts her plumes, casts a wary eye about for rivals, and turns up her nose at her drab brown and cream comrades. 

Behold, an animal of distinction and refinement. Here is the ostrich, queen of the winged kingdom. Around her, antelope bow their heads in shame, cringing at their inferiority. Where she steps the grass seems to wither in embarrassment. Even the sun seems reluctant to disgrace her chestnut and ivory feathers.

Stop. Look around. Sour musk lines the brisk breeze. She lowers the foot which was held aloft a moment ago, her previously serene expression now one of incandescent disapproval. The antelope prick up their ears. A glimpse of golden pelt in the grass and an explosion of hooves signifies the beginning of the chase.

She runs like a demon, head pointed forward and wings outstretched. Long legs kick up turf, spraying it into the streak of gold fur behind her. Sweat drips down her now very exposed-looking neck. As three more lions appear in front of her, she slows. Something murderous glints in her eyes. 

The four young lions circle her confidently. Silence reigns the savanna. The breeze slows down to watch as the largest, most confident brute sees his opportunity. He pounces, talons ready to rip into her, teeth bared in preparation for the warm wet taste of the split jugular vein.

The ostrich barely seems to move. Her powerful foot flicks out and catches the pouncing cat's jaw, dislocating it. Reeling away, he is intercepted as a brother of his leaps, somehow colliding with the hard sole of the ostrich's foot. He falls, blood staining gold fur crimson. The other two flee, rippling golden streaks in the dry grass.

Away she struts, head held in the air again. Snowy feathers splayed, elegant neck swaying slightly, a regally offended look is again plastered on her face. The brown- clad bovines lower their heads in submission. 

The queen preens her feathers, feathers even the sun dare not shine on. Then she saunters on.

~Hannah ~


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