Plucky Young Chick

The ostrich kept her head, buried deep within the sand

Whilst out on the horizon, grew a blight upon the land

A storm was brewing steadily, a darkness in the air

The ostrich felt its presence, but she never looked up there

Her hole was nice and cosy, her world in there cocooned

She buried her unease with her head, deep down in the dunes



Time went by and the ostrich laid eggs, hatched them into chicks

The blight crept ever closer, so she showed them all her tricks

To keep them safe from the ills of the world, the answer was close at hand

All they need do is dig a deep hole, and bury their heads in the sand

The chicks listened to their mother, and squashed down their unease

Ignoring the creeping darkness, tainting the land with disease



Time went by and the darkness, crept almost close enough to touch

But the mother had taught her chicks so well, that none were worried much

Except for one, a plucky young chick, not afraid to speak her mind

She kept her head up more than most, she hated being blind

Her eyes stayed on the darkness, as she dared it ‘do your worst!’

Her fear was ever present, but her head in the sand was worse



When the blight had spread so close, that it found its way to the sand

Her brethren began to listen, the flock began to understand

To look away fed the darkness, allowed it to grow and spread

To save their land they would have to, open their eyes and see instead

Tentative at first, then determined, they raised their heads

Looked aghast upon the world, as they finally faced their dread

Their fear forged to fire, they stared the darkness down

Their collective gaze shone a light so fierce that the blight was quickly drowned



From that day on, no ostrich, has buried their head underground

Each chick has taught their young to be fierce, to hold themselves tall and proud

They remember what she taught them, that plucky young chick long ago

Now a grandmother bird, content in her age, watching her grand-chicks grow

Fear is ever present, but it can’t get in the way

To live a life fulfilled, it must be faced each day

The next generations look into the darkness, however uncomfortably

For they know that truly seeing, is the only way to be free



Up until I wrote this poem I thought ostriches really did bury their heads in the sand, but a quick internet search revealed this is a commonly held myth, though they will flatten themselves to the ground if they feel threatened.

Funny how we can be so certain of things that aren’t true.

True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.

Socrates

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