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emuPhoto from therecoveringpolitician.com

“I almost bought you a running buddy yesterday,” my friend said slyly.  Driving home from shopping, this came out of the blue.

I had no idea what to make of that.  I looked over at her in the passenger seat.

“What do you mean?” I asked, conjuring up images of a blonde Adonis-like guy with cement pylons for legs, urging me to go “one more mile!” as he sped off into the distance.  Left in the dust and sputtering, winded, would be me trying to catch him.  Maybe you could buy a runner to run *with* you?  Perhaps she would be a nice, kind but serious lady with several marathons and mud runs under her belt who could mentor me to excellence.

Nah.  Who would pay for such a thing?

“It was an emu.  They get to be five feet tall!  It’d be perfect for you.  I could just see you out running, with an emu on a leash!” she crowed.

I cracked up.  I could, too.  Running the neighborhoods in Shelton, the town freak.  Nobody would bother me.  Crazy Susan and her bird friend.  Or it could incite people to seek me out.  Hmm.

“But”, my friend continued, “I figured you’d give it right back to me or invite me over for a dinner of emu.”

Ha!  She knows me.  Stuffed emu, anyone?  No?  How about with a honey glaze? Tastes like chicken.

Curious now, I decided to do some research.  What I know of emus can fit in a doll’s thimble.  Wikipedia says:  The soft-feathered, brown, flightless birds reach up to 2 metres (6.6 ft) in height. They have long thin necks and legs. Emus can travel great distances at a fast, economical trot and, if necessary, can sprint at 50 km/h (31 mph).  Probably a good running buddy, if they can keep it to an economical trot, which is probably my regular speed anyway.

Emus ingest stones, glass shards and bits of metal to grind food in the digestive system. Emus also require pebbles and stones to assist in the digestion of the plant material. Individual stones may weigh 45 g (1.6 oz) and they may have as much as 745 g (1.64 lb) in their gizzard at one time. They also eat charcoal, however scientists still have not ascertained why. Captive emus are also known to eat shards of glass, marbles, car keys, jewellery and nuts and bolts. Hey, we could clean up the sidewalk as we cruised along.  Beats the heck out of a street cleaner.  It’s eco-friendly!

How about its defense capabilities?  Glad you asked.  …the emu has sharp claws on its toes which are its major defensive attribute. This is used in combat to inflict wounds on opponents by kicking. The toe and claw are a total of 15 centimetres (5.9 in)…The emu has good eyesight and hearing, which allows it to detect nearby threats. Its legs are among the strongest of any animals, powerful enough to tear down metal wire fences.

At this point, emus resemble superheroes to me.  Angry dogs?  Coyotes?  Raccoons?  Bring it.  Plus, if I ever end up in a kung fu battle and can’t fight my way out of a paper bag, I’ll have my trusty emu sidekick to tear down the nearest fence.

My birthday is in 5 months.  Please make a note of it.

Photo courtesy of sunraysanctuary.blogspot.com

Photo courtesy of sunraysanctuary.blogspot.com

Janathon day 15 found me sweating it out in kettlebells.  We did a “wing it” workout, which meant Helga beat us up but good.  Three sets of one-armed complexes, 55 squats, windmills and the regular circuits of switching between swings and figure 8s had us all sucking air.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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