When the old fisherman finds a bundled-up baby under the thorn tree, it reminds him so much of a ""big old ostrich egg"" that he and his wife call her Oster. Mama and Papa Halima try to keep the girl child to themselves, but one day she runs off to the village and is told by the other children that she was found under the tree ""where the ostriches make their nests"" and, so they say, is the child of an ostrich. Here the little girl runs off to the forest to find her true parents and here the story begins to fall to pieces, as Oster is in turn helped by a witch, chased by a snake (whom the witch turns into a dwarf), grabbed up by an eagle, saved by a squirrel, turned over to a giant, found by ostriches--who don't understand her language--and at last happily reunited with Mama Halima. Set in Africa, this has some of the elements of a folk tale and some of the feel of a dream. It might well engage attention, but in the end Oster's string of encounters is too arbitrary and undeveloped to satisfy.