Monday, November 17, 2008

Jurassic gigolo gets jiggy

If emus were into Barry White it would have been impossible to get any sleep around here. As it was, A had to proceed with caution whenever he moved in or around the emu yard because CleoPatton has been In The Mood. For reasons I would rather not consider, I am not his type.

It begins with the man-dance. Which is really more an exaggerated man-walk. He walks past you, looking at you, stops, turns & articulates each feather in a sweeping wave pattern & marches back. This goes one for several weeks. That's right, weeks.

If you let him, he will peck-bite your arms, your head & eventually the back of your neck. I am told it does not hurt. I would not know because I am not that kind of girl. No one will be surprised to learn that my husband is. A keeps trying to convince me it is amusing & I should just do it. I should be more worried that apparently he wants to swing with birds, but I just cannot seem to be bothered.

As things progress, CleoPatton will eventually get down on his haunches & start creeping up behind "the object of his desire" & mount it/her/you. I am happy to report that A does draw the line at this. Unfortunately, CleoPatton just stands & begins all over again. Once you have allowed him to bite the back of your neck, he will not take no for an answer. There is a lesson in there somewhere.

While CleoPatton goes through these motions, Antonelle, his patient partner, could not care less. At least I do not think she cares; facial expressions are a tough read on emus. She grooms her feathers & wanders off. She comes back later, sees he is all worked up & A just will not, well you know. So she gets down on the ground & he moves in on her, no preliminaries, done in 30 seconds. This is a good woman. I would not put up with that myself, but the world takes all kinds.

On Friday, CleoPatton would not come out of the emu yard when I opened the main gate. Antonelle hung back, but stood alone. This is two-times unusual. He always wants to wander the front yard, she always stays within eyeline of him. So I went looking & found....16 eggs. He did eventually move out through the gate, but the sound or flash of my camera brought him running back. By Friday night he was sitting on them & will not be lured away, not even with apples (apples are how I get them to do anything; they will go anywhere for apples).

Last year, no one sat on the eggs until December 30 & in the end it was her, reluctantly; he just was not ready for fatherhood. We thought we had more time to get some of them away from him, but there is a very real possibility we will have a dozen or so emu babies in February.

If anyone is interested on this variation on lawn flamingos, give me a call.

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