14. The Lioness and the Ostrich

Once a lioness roared, and an ostrich also roared. The lioness went to where the ostrich was. The lioness said to the ostrich, “Please roar.” The ostrich roared. Then the lioness roared. The voices were equal. The lioness said to the ostrich, “You are my match.”

Then the lioness said to the ostrich, “Let us hunt game together.” They saw eland and made toward them. The lioness caught only one; the ostrich killed a great many by striking them with the claw which was on his leg. When they met after the hunt the lioness saw that the ostrich had killed a great many.

Now, the lioness also had young cubs. They went to the shade to rest themselves. The lioness said to the ostrich, “Get up and rip them open; let us eat.” The ostrich replied, “Go and rip them open; I shall drink the blood.” The lioness stood up and ripped them open, and ate with the cubs. And when she had eaten, the ostrich got up and drank the blood. They went to sleep.

The cubs played about. While they were playing, they went to the ostrich, who was asleep. When he went to sleep he opened his mouth. The young lions saw that the ostrich had no teeth. They went to their mother and said, “This fellow, who says he is your equal, has no teeth; he is insulting you.” Then the lioness went to wake the ostrich, and said, “Get up, let us fight”; and they fought. And the ostrich said, “Go to that side of the ant-hill, and I will go to this side of it.” The ostrich struck the ant-hill, and sent it toward the lioness. But the second time he struck the lioness in a vulnerable spot, near the liver, and killed her.