One Peculiarity About The Next Is, That The Parent
Bird Never Goes Straight Up To It, But Walks Round And Round In A Narrowing
Circle, Of Which The Nest Is The Centre.
I once caught seven little emus,
only just out of the shell; but shutting them up for the night in an empty
room, I was horrified the next morning to find that they had all been
killed by rats.
The young ones have four broad longitudinal stripes down
the back, which disappear as they grow up. The emu is easily domesticated,
and on many cattle and sheep stations tame specimens are funning about the
paddocks. To my mind they are an intolerable nuisance, always doing some
mischief - either frightening the horses, or stealing things from the
workmen. I saw one cured of his thievish propensities for a long time. He
always loafed about the kitchen when dinner was being served, and if the
cook turned his back for a moment, his long neck was thrust through the
window, and anything within reach - from an onion to a salt-spoon -
disappeared with marvellous celerity. But my friend caught a tartar when
he bolted two scalding potatoes, steaming from the pot. He rushed round and
round the little paddock, and at last dropped down as if dead, from pain
and fatigue. Poor wretch, he must have suffered dreadfully; and I am sure
we all pitied him, except the cook, whose patience he had quite worn out.
Out sable allies were gratified beyond measure when we presented them with
the game, and a great feast took place that evening.
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