Three years after his death, Johnny Cash (1932-2003) acquired the status of a universal legend – among neophytes, laymen and converts, since there were countless inveterate lovers of his music – with the Oscar-winning film “Walk the Line”, directed by James Mangold and starring Joachim Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon; biopic whose story begins in a crucial passage of the vital and artistic journey of the famous bard.
In his autobiography, there were many stories told, and in a very detailed way.
From the wild – but no less hazardous – life in the cotton fields of Arkansas in the forties to the peaceful old age in Jamaican latitudes, sustained by the success of his “American Recordings” in the nineties, the memoirs of the ineffable singer they vibrate with the psychophonies of songs, addictions, paternity, illuminations, friendships, losses and redemptions. But it is not only his own adventures that populate these pages, but a story of a time when he once fought an Ostrich with a stick. In an excerpt taken from the 2003 autobiography, Cash: The Autobiography. He tells the story of the time when he had his battle with an Ostrich.
Cash recalled the moment saying,
“The ostrich didn’t care. When I came back I was carrying a good stout six-foot stick, and I was prepared to use it. And sure enough, there he was on the trail in front of me, doing his thing. When he started moving toward me I went on the offensive, taking a good hard swipe at him.”
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“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.”
Johnny Cash died on September 12, 2004 in Nashville, at the age of 71, after a 50-year musical career and with more than 70 albums released.