How the Ostrich Lost her Chicks(1)



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Simon E. Phipp
Created On 3 November 1997
Last Updated On 3 November 1997
Copyright (c) Simon E. Phipp 1997

A long time ago, when Mother Ostrich was with The People, she laid a new clutch of eggs, hatched them and began rearing the chicks. One day, Mother Eiritha saw the chicks and, feeling broody and jealous, stole the chicks away. When Mother Ostrich found out she followed the thief and demanded her chicks be returned, but Mother Eiritha refused saying that all on the Plains were her children.

Mother Ostrich called a Council of the local godlings, but all were friends of Mother Eiritha and would not oppose her. In desperation, Mother Ostrich appealed to her friends, but Sun Hawk refused to become involved and Thunder Bird said he had more important things to do. Raven, however, said "I have never seen fur beget feathers, think what you are saying, the chicks belong to the Ostrich." (2)

When they heard this, the Council were shamed at their actions and made Mother Eiritha return the chicks to Mother Ostrich. They also gave Mother Ostrich dominion over some of Mother Eiritha’s children as compensation. Since time, the People of Mother Ostrich have been able to keep the children of Mother Eiritha(3) to sustain them and have accepted Raven as a Friend(4), even though he is of Darkness.

Notes

(1) This is based on an African Folk Tale - only the names and events have been changed to protect the innocent.

(2) This is one of the few myths of the Three Feathered Rivals.

(3) The Ostrich Tribe also keep herd beasts and have Eiritha Priestesses who are bound to no particular herd animal.

(4) Raven is worshipped by some of the Ostrich shamans and people of the Spirit Clans as a friendly spirit.