The Lizard Chronicles

Some of this is true. Some of this is better. –Too Much Joy

Public Service Announcement: Beware of Emus August 9, 2011

Filed under: Life tales — lizardesque @ 1:03 am
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Dirty, rotten muffin thief!


Ian and I visited Australia in 2005. One day during our time there, we took a bus tour of the Hunter Valley wine country. The first stop in the tour was described as “coffee with the kangaroos.” We stopped at a wildlife preserve to eat breakfast and get a close look at some animals. As we exited the bus, the tour guide warned, “Watch out for those emus. They like muffins.” We laughed, assuming he was messing with us. It was a rainy morning, so we quickly made our way from the bus to the shelter, where an urn of coffee and a tray of muffins awaited us on the porch. I got my coffee and muffin and prepared to sit down at one of the picnic tables on the porch. I looked around before I sat. There was an emu behind me, probably about 20 feet away. No sooner has my butt hit the bench when I saw a blur of feathers and my muffin was gone. I shrieked in surprise and turned to see an emu with my blueberry muffin in his mouth. He dropped it on the ground, bent over, and proceeded to devour it. I looked forlornly from my empty plate to the emu. Who knew they moved that quickly? Who knew the tour guide had been serious? I pouted and scowled at the emu. I was hungry, and only one muffin per person had been provided!


I get cranky when I don't have breakfast.

Knowing that breakfast was part of the tour, I had not eaten anything before we left the hotel that morning. Now my breakfast (which honestly, was a bit small to begin with) had been purloined by a large bird. My stomach growled. My face probably looked something like the picture to the right. When all seemed lost, Ian, my husband, my hero, sat down across from me and offered me half of his muffin!


My mood was much improved once I had something other than coffee in my stomach, so I got up to walk around the porch (which went almost the entire way around the building) and look at some animals. On one side, some wet kangaroos were congregated, looking…well, wet and kangarooish. Being from the US, I had only seen kangaroos in zoos and only a couple at a time, so this was by far the most kangaroos I’d viewed at once.


As I turned the corner to see what was on the other side of the building, I was delighted to see a kangaroo and her joey up on the porch! They guide said they hung out there a lot and it was OK to go up to them. I was already about to melt over the extreme cuteness of being so close to a baby kangaroo, but a closer encounter was worth the risk in my mind. I slowly approached the pair. As I usually do  when I meet a new animal, I held out my hand for him/her to sniff it. Instead of sniffing my hand, the joey took his little kangaroo paw and put it right in my hand! As I shook the joey’s hand, I immediately tried to think of ways I could smuggle the animal home. Obviously, we were going to be great friends. I was sure that the joey and my cat would become buddies and have lots of exciting and fun adventures together.

My new BFF!


Later that day, we had lunch at one of the wineries on the tour. I had pre-ordered a vegetarian meal, but the meal for the rest of the group included…*dramatic pause*…KANGAROO! I usually don’t give Ian a hard time about eating meat, but these were special circumstances, as I had just had perhaps the cutest moment of my life and bonded with a kangaroo. “It tastes cute, doesn’t it?” I asked him and pouted. Poor kangaroo!!! (Yes, I know they’re like deer in Australia, but they’re novel to me and cuter than deer.)


I didn’t say a word about the emu sausage.


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