Eddie the emu has a weird story. The guy who owned him bought a farm next to our family farm. He was a doctor at one of the local hospitals. After a while, he decided to move on – out of the area to be specific. Eddie decided he didn’t want to go. He liked it where he was. So, rather than move, Eddie hopped over to our family farm in the late 80’s.
There are two stories as to the doctor’s (Eddie’s first family) departure. I don’t know which one is fact. Some folks say the doctor left without so much as giving a second thought to Eddie. The other story is the doctor spoke to my uncle and said, “I can’t catch Eddie. Can I leave him on your farm?” I believe in the latter story, and it’s not because I believe in the integrity of medical professionals, but first off, I want to believe that he really liked Eddie and was concerned about the bird, and secondly, I think I remember my uncle telling me the doctor simply couldn’t get Eddie back over to his farm for the move.
Also, the speculation at the time was Eddie farm hopped as he loved my uncle and his cows. My uncle was a calm sweet, person, and had a special way with animals and people. The bird seemed genuinely happy, and yet remained quite independent. According to my cousins, they never fed him. He wandered amongst the cows, as if he were a cow. He was a weird spectacle at first, but we got used to him. He stayed with the herd.
Eventually as time passed, my uncle aged, as everyone does, and he became unable to look after the cows in the manner that they required. The cows were sold, and Eddie was solo, still wandering the fields. And then, the unspeakable happened in January of this year. My uncle died. Though Eddie seemed to be okay up until this point, he did realize things were amiss. A month after my uncle’s passing, my cousin found him standing at the farm house, by the garage door. Mind you, the farm has well maintained fences and gates, and though they had never meant much to Eddie they generally kept him in the fields – away from the main road, the driveway, and the house. Nevertheless, there he was. My cousin opened a side gate, and he seemed to get the message and walked back through it into one of the big fields. But we all found it odd, that he was standing there by the house as if he was wondering where my uncle was.
My impression of Eddie is that he is like an old hippy. He has always done what he wants, when he wants and yet, he has an intense amount of understanding (and love) about his world and its occupants. Sadly, now Eddie is by himself. My cousin visits him regularly, and like her father, she has a way with animals and people. Eddie now recognizes her as his friend. Whereas he has never gotten very close to her before, he comes when she whistles, but not when she calls him. He is still skittish, and runs a bit. One of the folks on an adjacent farms claims he is feeding Eddie now, but somehow I think Eddie is not eating all that much, but simply shining this guy on, like he does.
Anyway, here are some videos of Eddie. My cousin sent me these two and I loved them so much, I asked her to send me some more, along with some photos. I have set up a YouTube channel for Eddie, and I am slowly working on his website. Very slowly. It is sad because Eddie is the last one left on the farm now, since my uncle died in January. I think about my uncle a lot who was more of a father to me than my own father. I think of his kindnesses, and I think of his friend and pal, Eddie the emu.
This next one is of Eddie skedaddling. He runs with his head down low, butt in the breeze.