The Race Between The Secretary Birds
: Daddy's Bedtime Bird Stories
"The secretary birds had planned to have some field races," began daddy,
"and the afternoon of the races had come. You know, the secretary birds
have very, very long thin legs. Their legs are so thin that you can
hardly see how it is they can support such big bodies, for the secretary
birds have really fat bodies.
"Well, on the afternoon of the races they all entered, and you never saw
such running in all
your life! They simply went like the wind, but the
chief race of all was between one bird named Sandy and one named Mongo.
They were considered the fastest runners of all. They had raced often
and often before and had always come in a tie. But this time Mongo had
been practising very hard and had been very careful not to eat anything
to hurt his wind. Sandy had been practising every day, too, but he
thought it was absurd to give up things to eat. However, Mongo had
always heard that all athletes were very careful of their eating, and,
as he had never been able to beat Sandy yet, he was bound he would try
everything he could so as to win.
"The prize was to be a fine, great, big snake which had been captured
and killed a few days before the races were to take place."
"Do secretary birds eat snakes?" asked Evelyn.
"Yes," said daddy; "they practically live on them."
"I shouldn't think that would be nice food," added Evelyn.
"No, we don't think so," answered daddy, "but you know we eat bacon and
like it, so probably the secretary birds think it is as funny for us to
eat pigs as we do to hear of their eating snakes."
"No," said Evelyn thoughtfully, "I suppose not. They sound
so horrid, though."
At that moment Jack, who was growing very impatient, not caring what the
secretary birds ate, chimed in: "Daddy, please hurry and tell us who won
the race. I can hardly wait to hear. I am sure Mongo did, though."
"No," said Evelyn; "I think Sandy did because he wasn't such an
old fuss as Mongo."
"Well," continued daddy, "during the race all the secretary
birds shrieked in their cackling voices: 'Go it; go it! Win,
Mongo! Win, Sandy!'
"For a few moments Mongo got quite a bit ahead, but Sandy succeeded in
catching up with him, and they passed by the goal side by side.
"It was a splendid race, but it showed that Mongo and Sandy were really
absolutely evenly matched, so they gave a funny cackle, which meant a
laugh, and each, taking an end of the prize, said, 'We'll all have a
taste of the prize, as neither of us can win it.'
"So they all sat down to a very jolly supper party."