The Emu Update

The Emu Saga: Part Two

Emus are real. They really are. We had just finished lunch and were settling back in to match some more fins (thrilling as always…) when Tim’s wife Janine called to let us know that there was an emu strolling down our street. Cameras in hand, we tumbled out the door to see this lovely lady in all her feathered finery:


Check out those feet though! She went right by our front door, and down the road to some scrubby brush that separates us from the supermarket area of town. I found her tracks later on when I went for my evening walk, but she may have traveled a fair distance at this point…

Regardless, emus. They could appear in YOUR LIFE TOO. Watch out. Any moment now, an emu might stroll past. You’ll think it’s a very tiny grass hut, or perhaps a really bad bowl cut on a really big head, and then its neck will stretch up and its broad-beaked face will look at you and you will remember what it felt like to be a tiny rat-mammal facing off with a dinosaur. And then you will remember that you don’t live in Australia and are at the zoo (go buy your kid an ice cream, and teach her or him about science, but don’t encourage that whole cage thing…) OR that you do live in Australia and this is just regular life OR that you are hallucinating, are you dehydrated?

2 comments on “The Emu Update

  1. Tommy says:

    Their backs really do look like grass huts, don’t they? Are emus ever dangerous to people? They certainly seem large enough to do some damage if motivated. I recall a former housemate who used to volunteer at the Cincinnati zoo. He said that if you were ever stuck in a cage with an angry emu? ostrich? (I can’t recall which now) that you should lie down flat on the ground. Apparently if you are standing up the large bird in question could literally kick a hole in your chest by lashing out with those powerful looking dinosaur-type legs. But if you are flat on the ground, the worst they can do is step on you, and they aren’t enthusiastic about that. They can’t kick you on the ground either because their legs aren’t really set up for that. I’ve always loved that story but I have no independent corroboration that any of it is true. What say you?

    • That’s an amazing story. I have only seen an angry emu once- it was being attacked by two Wedgetail Eagles (big big birdies) and puffed up all of its neck feathers to look like a really weird llama in the Outback. It couldn’t do much to defend itself with its feet, as the eagles were like… flying and all… but I’d guess that since it can do damage to fences and cars and things an emu could do a number on a person as well. I think if they couldn’t kick you, though, and they really wanted to do some damage (what on earth did hypothetical you do to cheese off this emu so badly?) they could go after you with their very business-like beaks. Basically, they’re big enough animals that I’m not interested in making one mad at me… I’ll ask around about the kicking thing though! Fun story indeed.

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