In his second autobiography “Cash: The Autobiography,” the country music legend described a violent encounter he once had with an ostrich at the exotic animal park he established behind his House of Cash offices. According to Cash, the male ostrich who attacked him was cranky because his female companion had recently frozen to death. When Cash walked past him as he strolled the property, the ostrich cut him off, spreading his wings and hissing. Cash remained calm and still and nothing came of the first encounter. On his way back, he grabbed a six-foot long stick to defend himself with and when the ostrich began acting aggressively toward him again, Cash hurled the stick at him and missed.
Cash wrote, “I missed. He wasn’t there. He was in the air, and a split second later he was on his way down again, with that big toe of his, larger than my size-thirteen shoe, extended toward my stomach. He made contact—I’m sure there was never any question he wouldn’t—and frankly, I got off lightly. All he did was break my two lower ribs and rip my stomach open down to my belt. If the belt hadn’t been good and strong, with a solid belt buckle, he’d have spilled my guts exactly the way he meant to. As it was, he knocked me over onto my back and I broke three more ribs on a rock — but I had sense enough to keep swinging the stick, so he didn’t get to finish me. I scored a good hit on one of his legs, and he ran off.” It goes to show that a quality belt is essential when dealing with exotic animals.