232 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON
Jack was lighter and more agile than his two elder brothers; on the other hand he was stronger than Francis. These two considerations decided the matter in his favour, and he was adjudged to be the owner of the animal, but on one condition : that everybody should be allowed to ride him, and that he should be more generally recognized as common property than the other animals.
This decision gave Jack much joy, and he readily agreed to the conditions.
Out of the six ostrich eggs, which we had put in the incubator, three had hatched. The young ostriches were the drollest looking animals that could be imagined. They were like ducks, mounted on long legs, and they tottered awkwardly about on their slender stilts. One died the day after its birth, and we fed the others on maize, acorns, boiled rice, milk, and cassava bread.
Our next care was to cure our bear skins, which we had hitherto left in running water. I carefully removed all particles of flesh that adhered to them, rubbed them with vinegar several times, and then, with a mixture of ashes and grease, worked at them constantly until they had attained the desired softness, and we thus obtained two superb, warm coverings.