It should be noted that ostriches scare the hell out of me.
My first up-close encounter with the large flightless birds from Africa happened, oddly enough, at a petting farm in Park Rapids, Minnesota. As soon as I approached the enclosure, where about 20 or so of them were clustered, the group spied the dry kibble in my trembling open palm and rushed to the forefront. Nearly 10 years later, I can still see them towering over me, clouds of dust arising from their shaking feathers, stepping on one another's prehistoric-like feet, beaks clacking, and heads bobbing up and down like a bunch of wide-eyed pink snakes with fake eyelashes. The kibble went airborne, and I went back to the deer.
It was conquering this fear of our largest living species of bird (and the opportunity to eat one) that I decided to spend a few hours at the 24th Annual Ostrich Festival in Chandler.
I must say it was a great event, but it would have been better without the ostriches.