A story about an Ostrich who overcomes a fixed mindset about himself. With the help of Haroon the Hippo, Ooby realizes that there’s more to him than just his inability to fly!

 

Read Along!

Mrs. Hashimi
AssalamuAlaikum! Welcome to Once Upon a Crescent, a collection of bedtime stories for young Muslim children. I am your author and storyteller Mrs. Hashimi. Are you ready to travel to a land far-far away? Tonight’s bedtime story is called Ooby The Ostrich. Ostriches are among the few species of birds who have wings but cannot fly. their wings are complex and the structures under their feathers are strong, supportive and flexible. At first glance, one would say, yeah, that bird looking thing can fly. It has wings, of course, but that’s a misunderstanding. It’s this very misunderstanding that made the ostriches of this land far-far away feel so defeated and gloomy.

Ooby
Another day another realization yet again that we are birds that don’t fly, said Ooby, the head ostrich. He was walking with his group. He looked to his right and he looked to his left and announced AssalamuAlaikum, everyone. All right. All right. It’s about that time of the day again, Everyone gather around for your afternoon nap. It’s just one hour and everyone will feel their headaches disappearing. Come on, you know the drill.

Mrs. Hashimi
The group gathered every day at 1pm to take an hour nap to relieve their headaches. It was the one thing that helped them. The headaches of course are caused by the facial muscles constantly being activated and in use. This just means that the ostrich has always had their eyebrows pushed together in a scowl. The fur above their eyes are always squiggled downward, almost like a permanent V shape in between their eyes. It’s why they have headaches in the first place. their daily 1pm nap was to relieve these headaches. Did you know that ostrich asleep standing up, they also sleep with their eyes wide open. So to any other animal pas sing by, it just looks like the group of ostriches are awkwardly standing close together, still in silence and staring off to the distance. It can be problematic to look awake and alert when you’re actually sleeping. It’s especially problematic when someone wants to socialize and hang out with you, but they can’t because it’s your widely awake looking naptime at 1:30pm each afternoon, all the other birds of the land have their lunch, they come together to eat, and every afternoon they call out to the ostriches to join them. And every afternoon, the other birds don’t get a response. So they continue on with their meal. When the ostriches do wake up, they just jolt their head and blink a few times to awaken. It’s such a release to their headaches. Ah, much better will be says he cranes his neck and sees the other birds finishing their meal and they get ready to soar back into the sky. Ooby realized that he was left out. They ate lunch without him. And just like that, the eyebrows started to scrunch up again. The V shaped eyebrow returns between the ostriches head and just like it always does. The headache returns to before the birds launch themselves up to fly they wave goodbye to the ostrich Ooby starts to feel annoyed.

Ooby
Look at them showing off their wings. They’re probably training for the annual race of the skies.

Mrs. Hashimi
You see the race of the skies was a race between different species of birds to see which had the fastest flying speed. This race was witnessed by all the animals of the land, and everybody looked forward to coming together to watch the flight of the birds. The ostriches were never fond of this race, because they couldn’t participate in it made them feel very different and left out. They had to stand on the ground with their eyes fixed upward watching the race from down below. When the day of the race of the skies came all the ostriches were required to attend a family meeting by the head ostrich Ooby. This was a pep talk for the ostriches to hear before going to the event.

Ooby
All right, listen up. Everybody AssalamuAlaikum. The annual race of the skies is upon us. We must not let this get to us like we do every year. We have to try our best to keep our head up high and participate in the audience. It’s not fun to come to the silly thing I know. But we must show ourselves to be a good sport and supportive bird member. Does everybody understand all the other ostriches bobbled?

Mrs. Hashimi
Their heads in different directions? It was their way of nodding yes. Ooby led his group to join the audience as the race of the skies was about to begin. An announcement was heard. And this year’s bird winner will be receiving a year’s worth of gummy worms inshallah this will be part of the grand prize for winning the race. The different birds stood in a graceful pose, ready to launch into the sky. When the signal was heard To begin, the birds soared into the air and flap their beautiful wings in effortless motion, carrying themselves higher and higher into the sky with tremendous speed. After a minute or so. Audience on the ground became restless and impatient. There was a hippo around who was rolling around in his mud puddle. Haroon was his name?

Haroon
Did anybody bring binoculars this year?

Mrs. Hashimi
He was desperately searching the sky for any sight of the birds in the race.

Haroon
You know, we always stand around aimlessly for so long waiting for the birds to come down to a level where we can actually see all the action.

Mrs. Hashimi
The giraffe turned around and shush the hippo.

Giraffe
Haroon sheesh, I’m enjoying this fantastic race.

Haroon
Haroon grumbled, well, of course you are enjoying it. You’re the tallest one here. You probably can see every detail of it. Oh, I wish I could see from that height.

Giraffe
The giraffe replied. Well keep wishing because there is no way you are going to climb on top of me to get to my level. The giraffe snapped .

Haroon
You know Alhamdulillah I am only 3000 pounds. Haroon stated confidently.

Ooby
Both of you shhh, interrupted ob will know who is the fastest flying bird in a few minutes, and then it’ll be the end of this useless event. Then we can finally return home

Mrs. Hashimi
Haroon rolled around in his mud puddle.

Haroon
Yeah, agreed. It’s not like this is even fun for anyone except for those birds up there in the sky. I wish I had good eyesight like the other animals. Hey, I have an idea. So the hippo excitedly wide don’t you ostriches organizer race for all of us ground animals to watch.

Mrs. Hashimi
Ooby looked very taken aback. He didn’t know whether to take the hippo suggestion as a compliment or an insult. Haroon the hippo continued on.

Haroon
Oh, it would be so fun and awesome to watch you gigantic birds on a foot right? I could just imagine it right now. I pay money to watch something like that exclaimed Haroon!

Ooby
Are you making fun of us? asked ob carefully.

Haroon
Haroon the hippo responded quickly. No, no, not at all. I’m actually being very serious right now. I think ostriches are amazingly unique. I mean, you have wings, but don’t fly. Haroon noticed how Ooby reacted to that last statement?The Hippo watch the ostrich.

Ooby
Oh, I feel a headache coming on right now, said Ooby. As he quickly walk past the hippo Haroon called after him.

Haroon
Wait, hold on, hold on. I didn’t mean to offend you. I meant you should highlight how different of a bird species you are and really show off your unique skills in your own race.

Ooby
Ooby the ostrich scoffed, right. It’s so unique to be a bird with wings that don’t even work.

Mrs. Hashimi
The Hippo shook his head in disappointment, as he realized that the ostrich was fixed on focusing on how he can’t fly. Ooby waved his tall, flexible neck around to motion to his group to get ready to leave. The announcer called out And the winner is the spur winged boosts MashaAllah! Congratulations, come up to my Hill to collect your delicious gummy worms. Ooby’s group gathered around him and waited to be led back to their land in time for their afternoon nap.

Ooby
Is this everyone? He called out looking at his group. Are we missing anyone?

Mrs. Hashimi
They all dangled their necks in different directions to shake their head no. As they were heading home Ooby sensed something off about his surroundings. he sensed danger. He looked to his flock who also picked up on the predators nearby. A cheetah was lurking, ready to pounce, the ostriches immediately sprinted off as fast as their long legs could carry them. The Cheetah being the fastest land animal there is also sprinted. It ran and ran at top speed for 45 seconds, trying to cover as much ground as possible, but the ostrich also reached their top speed, but their ability to change directions while running help them to escape the cheetah behind.

Haroon
Oh, my Allah exclaimed, Haroon the hippo. I really thought one of you guys will get caught up by the cheetah, but your wings opened up in your humongous wings were like a cape gliding you in different directions, who so quickly, it all happened so fast. I bet you all are so grateful for your agility and those awesome wings.

Ooby
Ooby, was trying to catch his breath. You mean these wings that can’t even fly? I don’t even know why we have these things.

Haroon
Haroon replied? Well, it’s for something that’s for sure. You know Allah says “Surely we have created everything according to a measure, a perfect proportion to fulfill a certain purpose. ” You can look it up, it’s in the Quran. Allah created everything perfectly purposeful. It’s not just by chance that you are the way you are.

Mrs. Hashimi
Ooby looked at how to and who plopped down on his mud puddle. He took a few moments to let that thought sink in.

Ooby
Hmm, it’s not just random that I am the way that I am.

Mrs. Hashimi
Ooby felt his face ease up and his headache was not feeling as intense in this moment. Haroon the hippo stared at his eyebrows as they squiggled to their normal place.Ooby was in interrupted by the ostriches behind them. They dangle their next forward and back trying to figure out which way to go. Hey, why do we stop ob Aren’t you going to lead us home? An ostrich asked with that will be refocused his attention to getting everyone home in time for their headache relieving naps. As he stood upright with his eyes wide open, he kept thinking back to what he was talking about. organizing a race.ob he started to feel a hint of excitement and joy. He wasn’t settling in for a nap like he usually did. But instead he was lost in thought, mapping out and planning out an obstacle course race for his own ostrich flock. Ooby looked at his long flexible wings and stretch them out. He felt good admiring them for the first time ever. These don’t fly but They do steer us with great agility he said, while his group was napping, Ooby decided to test out his own agility.

Ooby
Hmm, he said, Why not use what I have in grow these skills that apparently I already have, Ooby thought to himself smiling hopefully.

Mrs. Hashimi
This felt good. He sprinted at top speed and it looked like he was going to crash head on to the tree in front of him. But just a second before that could happen. He shifted his direction with his wings spread out wide, and his legs shuffling in the dirt to dodge the tree will be heard cheers from a distance. He craned his neck around to see where the noise was coming from. The other birds from the race were having their lunch and watching him from afar will be had forgotten all about his afternoon nap, he realized that this was the time that the other birds gathered. The birds came swooping in to talk to him. Wow, that was amazing one said we’ve always admired you ostriches you know Subhanallah. How amazing is it that you are a bird but so magnificently large in size? Another bird spoke and how amazing is it? Thank you are a bird but but super agile in the way you move on the ground. Another one chimed in. And how amazing is it that you are a bird but can’t fly? There was a long awkward pause after that comment. Ooby felt his eyebrows scrunching up again, but decided to think about himself differently this time.

Ooby
Yes. How amazing is it that Allah created my wings perfectly purposeful. The birds pressed on to talk to Ooby longer. Ooby, how come you all never accept our invitation to have lunch together? We always call out to you ostriches, but you only ignore us like you don’t see us. Ooby laughed. It’s because we really don’t see you. Your lunchtime is our naptime. And ostriches we sleep with our eyes open.

Mrs. Hashimi
The birds looked amazed yet again. Haroon the hippo came huffing from his mud puddle and added

Haroon
Oh, wait, hold on. How amazing is it? That you are a bird who sleeps standing up and with your eyes open? They all laughed.

Mrs. Hashimi
When Ooby’s flock jolted awake from their naps, they woke up to see Ooby hard at work. Ooby set up an obstacle course race for his flock while they were still asleep. He placed large rocks in scattered positions and added tree branches and logs for the ostriches to dodging race across, whoa what’s going on here as a member from his group, presenting our very own unique race of the ground. We don’t need to fly in order to love ourselves and be happy you all we were created perfectly purposeful and it’s our job to take charge of what we have and grow with it.

Ooby
Ooby was confident. This race I’ve set up for you is to shine the light and show you all how perfectly Allah has created our wings for us. All right, so let’s do this thing.

Mrs. Hashimi
The other ostriches followed behind Ooby. Ooby stood at the starting point of the obstacle race and dug his toes in the ground. He bent his long legs, scan the land in front of him with his large glossy eyes and on the count of 3.

One Two Three…

He took off at top speed, swiftly moving through the obstacles and changing directions without messing up his balance. It was a marvelous sight to see. There was dust being collected at the end of his feet as he zoomed in and out of the path dodging the tree branches and logs effortlessly along the way. He came to a screeching halt at the end of the obstacle course and looked out at all the things on the ground that he was able to get across. Thanks to his agility.

Ooby
Whoo, whoo Ooby exclaimed. That was fun. I’m starting to like these perfectly purposeful wings . Alhamdulillah!