Friday, 7 March 2008
Ostriches were once farmed purely for their feathers creating much wealth for the Feather Barons who built ornate Feather Palaces. Many of these remain in South Africa. They've been restored and are luxurious tourist accomodation. We visited an Ostrich Farm and found the Ostriches rather funny. They are exactly like Rod Hull's Emu. Cross, bad tempered and get too close to one and it'll have your hat, camera and your face.
Then I felt sorry for them. Place a paper bag on their head and they become motionless. The one above is about to be sat on by a tourist and a photo opportunity. I'd be a cross bird if somebody put a paper bag on my head.
Here the guide has exposed the prize white feathers used for Feather Boas and the Folies Bergere.
These Ostrich are racing. The can run at 60 mph. Considering they can't fly I suppose this is how they survived their predators. We were assured that as soon as they reach the finishing line the jockeys put a paper bag over their heads and they stop dead. I was standing at the finishing line but didn't believe them so my photo is rubbish because I leapt out of the way.
Then we ate Ostrich for lunch and browsed the Ostrich shop. A very useful bird. The eggs are made into lamps, there are feather dusters, feather boas and well crafted Ostrich leather goods. I was very taken with an Ostrich handbag but it was two hundred pounds. I didn't buy anything. They are far more expensive to buy here as very similar bags retail online for several hundred pounds.
I shall buy Ostrich meat though. It is delicious and healthy.