Another Emu Day

A.V. Walters

The new garden is almost complete. Rick is working the last of the bugs out of the drip irrigation system. Three quarters of the plants are in, either as starts or as seeds. It’s a typical summer Two Rock day. It’s sunny and cool and the afternoon winds have whipped up. Over the weekend, in addition to the garden, Rick and I finished stripping the last of the diseased peach curl leaves from the peach tree. We’re in good standing with our spring/summer farm chores and it’s not yet Memorial Day.

With all our attentions elsewhere, the emus have been on their own. Their job at this point is to eat and grow into full size emus. If I sleep in, their chirping reminds me in the morning that it’s time for emu kibble. I wonder how long they’ll keep the chirping. I’ll miss it when they stop. They continue to lose their baby feathers and their striped markings. Rick and I can tell them apart, but nobody else can.

Elmer would like to tag them somehow, maybe with anklets—to tell their gender in the future. I’m not sure what kind of identification system would work, and still let them grow. I look at their dad’s feet and there’s a lot of growing to be done yet. I think they have a few weeks, if not a month more with us, before they’ll head out to learn the sheep trade. In the meantime they’ve become quite territorial about the front yard—keeping the feral critters at bay. They chase the dairy trucks, from the safe side of the fence. I wonder if the drivers notice…and wonder.

They’ll make good guardians, unless the predators come bearing apple treats.