Who Knew Emus Liked Car Rides?Posted: June 19, 2015
Not me! But I got to find out yesterday afternoon. Now, “like” might be a bit of a stretch. Tolerate is probably a better term. Lucky for us, it was Cow Lick that got to ride in the Malibu, now forever more known as “The Ranch Car”. So you might be wondering, just exactly why this particular emu was riding in our car today. That…, is a very good question! And yes, there’s a story…
You might have heard that Texas has had a wee bit of rain this spring. Nothing serious, death, destruction, bridges washed out, that kind of thing. Practically just drizzle. When we moved here to the ranch, the outgoing owner said the bottom corner where our historic well is used to get some serious water flow until they built some houses next to us. I can only conclude that it never seriously rained here after they built those so he never saw any further spontaneous river formation at that end of the property. After a 6 inch drenching a few days ago, it appears that the rivers do still flow! Funny thing about flood waters. They tend to go and pick up all kinds of stuff that was just laying around and move it with a great deal of force. Stuff like trees for instance!
Our property used to be lined with 100% vertical fencing. On the South East corner, we now have several yards of horizontal fencing. Not only is it laying down, it is also covered with a nice carpet of flood debris. It’s almost like a magic gate opened up down there. One that beckons animals of all types and says, “Come through me!” We are sooo, sooo blessed that apparently only one emu heard that beckoning. And it was our nicest, most cooperative emu to boot. He needed to roam. Feel the wind in his feathers. All that kind of stuff.
So I’m at work when I get an email showing the downed fence and shortly after a call explaining a note left on our gate said the emu was next to the neighbors house. Turns out it wasn’t the next door neighbor, but the next next door neighbor, maybe 1/4 or more miles away. After coming home early from work I changed and gathered up my emu wrangling tools and went looking for Cow Lick. He was doing what he likes to do, which is pace back and forth along the fence. It just wasn’t my fence. I guess he got a new view out of it at least. I tried to get him to move by bribing him with some corn. While he happily munched on it while it was within reach, he wasn’t interested in actually moving to get more. This wasn’t looking good.
If you remember some time back, we had The Great Llama Escape from the ranch. That took me three posts to properly describe. It was not fun! Repeating that in any similar way was to be dreaded and feared. While I was standing there contemplating solutions to this problem, our neighbor that we had never met came out and, after introductions, we chewed the fat some and discussed the situation. Turns out she wasn’t interested in acquiring an emu so that option was out. About this time the wife called and said she was home from the vet and asked if I needed help. Do you get the impression we have a few animal issues? I said “Of course.” So she drove on over. Somewhere in between this time I actually managed to put a rope around Cow Licks neck and “encouraged” him to go the few steps to the nearby gate and come to the other side of the fence. While doing so I spotted two rat snakes sitting in the tall grass near the fence. One was absolutely huge. I tried to get them to get out of Dodge by tapping them with my walking stick. They didn’t want to move. Fortunately, that was the extent of their involvement.
Cow Lick was a bit of a drama queen, but at least he’s the forgiving sort. Once we got the brief relocation by foot over with, he just waited next to me. I kept trying to figure out if I could get him in the back of the truck or even in the back seat. None of those scenarios played out well in my head for a number of reasons. The most obvious of which was it would require the emu to climb or me to lift him. That wasn’t a prospect I was interested in trying given his powerful legs and raptor-like talons. However, going downhill might not be as much problem. Hmmm. A plan was forming.
Wifey had daughter #1 along. This made things even easier. We’d use the push-pull method and put the emu in the back seat of the car! What could possibly go wrong? I know it would make for a much better story, but really, not much did go wrong. It took a little convincing for daughter Raye to come around to the idea, but we all knew it was better than trying to drag the emu back to our property. Cow Lick didn’t really want to get in the car, but once he was unceremoniously pushed, in he went. He did struggle a bit but soon found a way to get comfortable. I think the following pictures tell the story pretty well.
As we thought, at the end of the ride, Cow Lick wasn’t all too keen on getting out of the car any more so than he was getting in. With a little encouragement though, out he went. Raye bravely rode with him all the way. I think they bonded a bit 🙂
So another adventure at The Double Portion Ranch comes to a safe, if not entirely sane, end. And now we know we can transport livestock in a Chevy Malibu to boot! I would like to see the looks on the road we’d get doing that…