RIDING ON AN OSTRICH
I wished to make another excursion into the desert before returning home, to get some more ostrich-eggs. Fritz gave up his wild ass to me, and took the young colt, and Jack and Francis each mounted their respective beasts. Ernest preferred to remain at home ; he had succeeded Francis as assistant in the kitchen.
We took the dogs with us, and accomplished the first part of the journey without incident.
We had scarcely come in sight of the nest when we saw four ostriches rise from the sand and advance toward us. Fritz's first care was to prepare his eagle for the conflict by muzzling it, so that it could not strike the ostrich's eyes as before. On the huge birds came, with half-extended wings, gliding over the ground with inconceivable rapidity. They seemed to think us inanimate objects, for they