I have always been curious about the native american philosophy of animal spirits. I am told the animal spirit chooses its human counterpart. I wonder, then, if my husband was chosen one humid day just outside of Harare, Zimbabwe.
Our walk through an enclosed savannah area set aside for many of Africa's beautiful animals (minus the large predators) served to be entertaining... at least to me. It was a guided hike with the usual, "watch for snakes, but enjoy the gazelle, our giraffe pair, the kudu and the ostrich."
She was huge. Every bit as tall as my husband who sits at 6'2". I have always found my husband quite magnetic, of course. I, clearly, was not the only one to be magnetized to him. It was not long at all before this female ostrich was standing among us- a group of visitors eager for a modified adventure. She was more than willing to indulge us.
I suspect it was love at first sight. Her intensity of appreciation for my husband grew in front of my eyes.
She did not leave him; not for a minute. Every bit as tall as my husband, she kept step with him for our entire journey, walking just behind him with her very large beak nearly sitting on his left shoulder. Jamie did not stop moving... ever, for fear of this large ostrich sitting on him or something. Though a biologist, my husband was unfamiliar with the biological tendencies of ostriches- having been raised to understand North American fauna.
It was a hot and humid day. The lemonade and cookies our guide brought were well received by the small group of tourists. Though, my poor husband was unable to sit at "tea time" and enjoy this offering with the rest of us. He kept walking circles around the group of us who sat enjoying the break on a rock outcrop. My husband barely spoke to the ostrich, but when he did I could hear grunts of frustration and uncertainty. My laughter reached deep and was hard to control. I struggled to find the situation as intimidating as my husband did: telling of my youth and inexperience, perhaps, since I later learned that ostriches do have the ability to gravely wound a full grown man with their very powerful legs. This knowledge seemed a bit more obvious to my husband.
I controlled my laughter long enough during that tea time to hand him cups of lemonade as one would hand a drink to a marathon racer. He and the ostrich kept circling our rock outcrop. The laughter did not stop. My husband was none too happy with his wife in evident joy at his expense. Thirteen years later and I am still laughing. Though, my husband is less angry at my laughter now and rather used to it.
This lovely ostrich Clearly adored my strong, tall, handsome husband. She remained behind him, batting her long eyelashes the entirety of our 4 hour (or so) hike through the savannah. Only when we came to the lodge with tall gates did she finally melt away from my husband and go back to her fellow ostrich who remained at a distance.
Ah what a day!
What is it to be chosen by an ostrich? If anything? I still seek, through my laughter, to answer that question.
And my giggling continues....