Big bird hits town!
 
I read that last week an ostrich escaped from a farm in Nicosia, breaking free from its pen and going on “a three hour rampage”. The bird, which may have weighed as much as 200 kilos, held a hostage at gunpoint and demanded to be taken to Larnaca airport and provided with a private jet to fly back to Africa. No, not really; but it did terrify onlookers and wreck a Mercedes Benz.
 
The ostrich was finally subdued by policemen and dragged back to its enclosure. But by fighting for its freedom rather than awaiting its fate of becoming steaks, it struck a blow for oppressed poultry everywhere.
That said, I hope we have no ostrich farms near Limassol.
 
 
Though they come from Africa, ostriches are a favourite bird in Cyprus because of the mistaken belief that the ostrich buries its head in the sand assuming that if it cannot see a predator, the latter will not be able to see the ostrich. Our politicians are famous for accusing each other of practising this kind of self-delusion.
 
The myth is patently untrue however, however. Apparently, when an ostrich hides its head, the gigantic ball of fluff on its bottom resembles a bush. This habit, which developed over eons of evolution, has saved many an ostrich from becoming the set piece of a sumptuous buffet for a family of big cats, may work for lions, but it doesn’t work for me. I can recognize a colossal feathered bum at fifty paces. Lions can be pretty stupid, but since they have sharp canines and tend to go straight for the jugular, I wouldn’t tell them to their faces.

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