Octavia the Ostrich was being her typical self. Her head was buried in the sand, not paying heed to what others were saying around her. They were talking about grim stuff and she didn’t want to hear that. She did what she always did when she didn’t want to hear, she buried her head in the sand. In her mind if she didn’t hear it, it wasn’t real news, it was fake.
One day while feasting on some roots, leaves and seeds, Sir Oliver, the head of the flock, called Octavia over to him.
“Octavia, I am concerned that you are not paying attention to our serious warnings about the leopard some have seen lurking around.” he said.
“I haven’t seen any leopard.” she replied.
“Have you been looking for one? We all take turns you know at guard duty and watching out for leopards. When its your turn on guard duty, you are watching right? ”
Octavia stammered around for a bit and her gaze went down to the ground.
“Octavia! Are you not watching? Do you have your head in the sand, putting others and yourself at risk?”
She raised her head and looked at Sir Oliver defiantly, “Never, I am always watching, I mean I attempt to watch, but I think the talk about spotting a leopard has been greatly exaggerated. I don’t like leopards, so why should I watch for them, I would rather believe they aren’t around.”
Sir Oliver shook his head, “They are true warnings Octavia, and it would be good for you to take them seriously.”
Octavia looked him straight in the eyes as she said, “Okay, if you say so, but I think things are quite fine here. That’s what I keep telling myself.”
Sighing Sir Oliver walked away. He worried about Octavia. She lived in a fantasy world of her own creation. If she didn’t like what she saw or heard, she just wouldn’t believe it.
About a week later the flock was all abuzz about what had happened down by the old Peach Tree.
Legend told that years ago a leopard had been seen stealthily creeping up onto the sleeping ostriches. He had stopped by the peach tree and suddenly he disappeared. The ostrich that had been on guard duty said that it looked like the peach tree just swallowed him up.
Well that story had been passed around for years in the ostriches history lessons and now it had happened again. The ostrich on guard duty had seen it with his own eyes. The leopard fell and the peach tree swallowed him up!
The Peach Tree still stands, as the ostriches go on with their lives. Some keeping their eyes wide open and others like Octavia who bury their heads in the sand.