Thursday, February 28, 2008

Haven't you always wanted an Emu?

So a friend calls me up and asks "Would you like an emu?" Well I have basically no emu experience so, sure, I want an emu. Emus are large flightless birds and that is about all I knew about them before Cleo came to live here. Now I know that Emus; come from Australia, are the second largest bird after the Ostrich, can run at speeds of 40-50 mph, have toenails that can slice through fabric and flesh.

Cleo has never tried to harm us and is actually very tame. She arrived in a horse trailer with a sock over her head and thus the fun began. The second day she was here an extra large group of "hunters" came on the property and scared the daylights out of poor Cleo. She jumped the almost five foot fence and took off at what I can only estimate was way more than 50 mph. I quickly called the previous owner to see what one does when their emu escapes. Trying to find her was step #1. Luckily someone spotted her and called to report the sighting of a large somewhat prehistoric looking bird. Guessing we had the only runaway emu in the county we converged to a farm about 7 miles away and found Cleo. Luckily running far and fast had exhausted her and she was easy to catch. By catch I mean get a hold of. Holding onto an emu and getting said emu to walk nicely to a waiting trailer are two totally different things. Several hours later Cleo was safely back in the barn resting and at least six people were exhausted.

Thankfully that is the only time that Cleo has flown the coop. I think she was unfamiliar with her new home and the sight of a pack of dogs running down the driveway freaked her out causing her to flee.

Cleo is now the barnyard guard and I think she would choose to fight and protect her home before she would run off. She bosses the goat around and walks the fence making a drumming noise that lets the world know that you have to get past her to get to the barn. We love her and every time I pet her I feel like a very privileged person .

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