In the desert, the sun is blazing. An authoritative, stern ostrich addresses the young ostriches: “We are superior to all other species. We are known to the Romans, or rather, the Romans are known to us.” The old ostrich continues, “They call us avisstruthio (Latin: ostrich), and we call them ‘Romans’. The Greeks called us strouthion, which means ‘honest bird,’ as if, we were the largest and therefore the best birds in the world.”
All the listeners shouted, “Well said! Well said!”
But only Oliver, the thoughtful ostrich, did not blow a whoop. “We can’t fly backwards like hummingbirds.” He warned loudly.
“A hummingbird flying backward is retreating,” the old ostrich said, “we fly forward is moving forward, and we always move forward.”
“Well said! Well said!” All the other ostriches shouted excitedly except Oliver.
“We lay the biggest eggs, and therefore the best.” The old ostrich continued.
“Mockingbirds lay prettier eggs.” Oliver corrected once more.
“The robin’s eggs lay nothing but robins,” said the old ostrich, “and robins eat grass and worms by nature.”
“Well said! Well said!” All the other ostriches shouted while Oliver kept silent.
“We walk on four toes, while people need ten.” The older ostrich reminded the younger ones.
“But people can sit and fly, and we can’t at all.” Oliver commented.
The old ostrich looked at Oliver sternly, first with his left eye and then with his right, and said, “People fly too fast. Because the earth is round, so soon the latter will catch up with the former and collide. Man will never know that it is also man who hits him from behind.”
“Well said! Well said!” All the other ostriches shouted except Oliver.
“In moments of danger, we can bury our heads in the sand so that we can’t see anything,” the old ostrich said impassionedly, “and no other species can do that.”
“How can we know that we can’t see people and they can’t see us?” Oliver asked rhetorically.
“Bullshit,” the old ostrich shouted, and all the other ostriches except Oliver shouted, “Bullshit!” But they didn’t know it was Oliver who meant what he said.
Just then, the teacher and the students heard a frighteningly strange sound, a booming sound that came closer and closer from afar. But it was not the thunder of an approaching storm but the thunderous boom of a large herd of frightened elephants running wildly about.
The old ostrich and all the other ostriches, except Oliver, quickly buried their heads in the sand. Oliver hid behind a nearby boulder until the stormy beasts passed.
When Oliver came out, he saw sand, white bones and feathers – all the old pedant and his disciples left behind.
However, to be reliable, Oliver began to call the names. But there was no answer, and finally, he named himself “Oliver.”
“Well said! Well said!” Oliver said.
It was the only sound in the desert, except for a final rumble of thunder that faded away on the far horizon.
“Self-righteousness”, “self-deception”, “pride”, and “self-arousal” are all things that cause all ostriches except Oliver. These are the reasons for the “total loss” of ostriches, except Oliver, and the weaknesses of ostriches are also the weaknesses of us humans.
In life, there is no shortage of people like the old ostrich; they often think they are superior, which is close to the ignorance of the superiority blinded their minds, blinded their eyes so that they do not see the potential danger around them, and when the danger comes, and intelligent, thinking that they can not see the danger, disaster will not come, but eventually suffered the end of the disaster.
Therefore, it is necessary to always keep a humble, cautious and sober heart.