2012 - Rusty O's Bad Hair Day

by J.R. Beatty


Those famous April showers were happening as usual. As I drove up NC Route 87, I noticed some unusual animals standing in a farm setting off to the left. I drove in and stepped out of my car to investigate.

As I approached the fence, I suddenly was confronted face-to-face, eyeball-to-eyeball by a large, six foot tall, very curious, male bird. Fortunately I was standing a few feet from the fence or my camera or even my face could have been pecked hard. (Click on photo)

Yes, the monsterous bird was named "Rusty O" (by me)! Yes, the "O" stands for Ostrich. Yes, his coarse, reddish hair and long, muscular neck were quite distinctive. But as you can see, outside in the foggy April rains, he was obviously having a very wet, very "bad hair day".

I also saw his "Hareem" - four wet, female ostriches lined up in a "chorus line" behind him foraging in vain for something to eat on the muddy ground. The closest female ostrich, inside the fence, was obviously his "Big Mama" for the time being!

After I captured my ostrich pictures, I saw a road sign advertising ostrich eggs, ostrich meat, and other Outback delicacies available in the nearby farm house. Stopping there, I spent a good little while discussing the advantages and benefits of eating ostrich-based foods with the talkative, older NC ostrich farmer. He convinced me to buy several hand-wrapped-in-foil, frozen ostrich food items to try later at home.

I don't know if it was just the frozen meat quality or the unfamiliar wild "down-under" animal taste or my own guilt at my "some-what-cannibalistic-like feelings eating some of Rusty O's family members", but I did not really enjoy my first Australian meal ever! Maybe I needed a real Aborigine chef to cook it up for me on my "barbie". Or maybe I was just having my own bad hair day thinking about Rusty O's ultimate fate?!

Bubba, hand me the Pepto-Bismol bottle, … Please!