Ostrich Eggs in Churches

Ostrich eggs are suspended in several Eastern churches as symbols of God's watchful care. It is said that the ostrich hatches her eggs by gazing on them, and if she suspends her gaze even for a minute or so, the eggs are addled. Furthermore, we are told that if an egg is bad the ostrich will break it: so will God deal with evil men.

Oh! even with such a look, as fables say
The mother ostrich fixes on her eggs,
Till that intense affection
Kindle its light of life.

Southey: Thalaba.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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