Wednesday 27 July 2022

When Emus Attack

 'Man fleeing Wiltshire crash scene attacked by emus' – that's the kind of headline I like. And it's a good story (leaving aside the crash itself, which must have been quite terrifying for those who witnessed it). If you vault into a field while fleeing the scene of an accident, you really don't expect to come under attack from emus, least of all in Wiltshire. I like the quote from the chef who gave chase: 'One of them went into the field, and tried to be a bit aggressive towards the emus. The emus were curious and they started pecking away at him, which he didn't take to.' Well, you wouldn't really, would you...
  Les Murray has a bravura description of an emu in his poem 'Second Essay on Interest: The Emu' –

'Weathered blond as a grass tree, a huge Beatles haircut
raises an alert periscope and stares out
over scrub. Her large olivine eggs click
olily together; her lips of noble plastic
clamped in their expression, her head-fluff a stripe
worn mohawk style, she bubbles her pale blue windpipe: 
the emu, Dromaius novaehollandiae,
whose stand-in on most continents is an antelope,
looks us in both eyes with her one eye
and her other eye, dignified courageous hump,
feather-swaying condensed camel, Swift Courser of New Holland...'

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