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Ted likes to travel ... he travels a lot and he likes to share his stories and pictures with you.

      

 
Where in the world is Ted ?

 
    
"What are you doing?" asked a curious young ostrich.

"This big egg shell was empty, so I thought I would try it on for size. That's okay isn't it? My name is Ted.  What's yours?" 

"Obie," said the young ostrich. "I've never seen an ostrich like you before.  You don't even look like a bird."

"Oh," laughed Ted, "I'm not a bird, I'm a teddy bear.  I came to Africa to see what it was like.  I really like it."  He wiggled around inside the egg shell.   "Is it true, Obie, that a baby ostrich talks to its mom and dad while still inside the shell?   It's an awfully thick shell."

Obie had never met a teddy bear before ... he liked this fuzzy little guy right away.   "Yes, it's true.  With so many brothers and sisters and cousins and friends all being born around the same time it helps if moms and dads get to know their kids before they hatch."  Obie smiled, "From inside I yelled, 'Hey, mom and dad, are you there?  Get me out of here!'" 
"No wonder you wanted to get out; there's not much room in here."

"It was getting small.  When I hatched, I was just about as tall as you are ... but with feathers and bigger feet," Obie added, looking at how much room Ted had to wiggle around in.  "When I got out I started running right away and yelling 'I'm FREE, I'M FREE!'"

"I guess that was a long time ago," Ted said looking up at the tall bird.  "How old are you now?"

"I'm five months old," Obie said standing straight up and stretching his neck to look even taller.

"Wow!  Only five months?  You grew fast ... really fast!"
"125½ centimetres tall!" said Obie fluffing up his feathers.

"That's half way up most bedroom walls," Ted exclaimed, "and you are only five months old ... sure glad my baby brother doesn't grow that fast!"  

"I'll keep growing too.  Ostriches are the largest and heaviest birds in the whole wide world.  I want to be just as tall as my Dad." Obie said, "he's as high as a bedroom ceiling."

"THAT 'S TALL ! " Ted gasped.  "Wonder what it would be like to be SO TALL you could bump your head on the ceiling?"
"And run?  Wow, my dad can run fast ...  really, REALLY FAST !
"If my dad was a car the police would give him a speeding ticket and if my dad were running through your bedroom," Obie bragged truthfully, "he would only have to take one step to cross the whole room!"

"That's one giant step!"
 
"If he does run through your bedroom, better watch out because my dad has really powerful legs and feet.  An ostrich's foot has only 2 toes but one of those toes has a big claw.  A kick from my dad could kill a lion!" 
Ted climbed out of the shell being careful not to get too close to Obie's feet. "If ostriches are birds, why can't they fly?" 
"Maybe because we can run away from most enemies so fast and use our strong legs and claws to protect ourselves.  Guess we just never needed to fly."

Ted liked this ostrich.  "Obie, why does that ostrich  over there have black feathers and that one have grey feathers?" Ted asked pointing to two big adults not far away.

"All the moms are grey-brown," Obie explained.  "Their colour is like the ground so enemies can't see them sitting on eggs during the day.  Dads have black feathers and sit on eggs during the dark night."
"They sure do have beautiful big feathers," Ted said.
"At one time it was very popular for humans to wear ostrich feathers ... just as popular as wearing a backpack to school today.  Back then, women would wear big ostrich feathers on their hats.  People in South Africa even started farms just to raise ostriches for their feathers.

"Did they have to hurt the ostriches to get their feathers?" Ted asked in a worried voice.

"Oh, no." Obie assured him, "They just pulled out the feathers and then more feathers grew back.  No problem."
Ted wondered if wearing ostrich feathers would ever come back in style?

"Want to go for a ride?"  Obie asked.

"A ride?  In what?" 

"On my back.  I would like you to meet some of my family.  My dad is strong enough to carry an adult human.  It's like a rodeo when he does.  I can't do that yet, but you're not very heavy and it will give me some practice for when I get bigger."

"Do you have a saddle?" asked Ted.

"Don't need one.   Just climb up ... grab my wings ... and hold on ... TIGHT !"

 
When he woke up this morning, Ted never imagined he would ride an ostrich!  One great thing about travel is ... the unexpected.  

Where in the world will Ted go next?