Run! He's Behind You! By Andy Thompson

When I was a kid, Dad brought home an orphaned emu chick from work. We named him Eddie and he was a part of our family until Mum started to freak out about the feathered dinosaur living in our backyard whose curious beak was conveniently at the same height as my eyeballs. One night he disappeared and my parents told me the back gate was accidentally left open and he’d snuck out into the bush. A short time later a tame emu was spotted around town. Eddie had returned.

Eddie gave no fucks whatsoever. He’d run at people and get all up in their face which is a kind of intimidating and obnoxious thing for a six foot tall bird to do. Still, kids from town would actively seek him out because Eddie was pretty friendly unless you were carrying something shiny. Eddie just about loved shiny things and would harass people into relinquishing their shiny thing by hissing at them and chasing them relentlessly. He didn't go far and we’d see him once a week or so roaming the town. Some days he’d appear at the local sports ground or at the school. One morning I saw him looking into the windows of a neighbour’s house, most likely for something shiny. One day a kid put some tassels on his bike and toured the neighbourhood showing off his bling, ringing his bell and smirking at everyone. We were all suitably impressed. The bell was loud and the tassels were shiny. You better believe Eddie liked those tassels too. I still recall laughing so hard until I peed my pants at the sight of a screaming eight year old kid pedalling his bike as fast as he could as Eddie the Emu loped alongside him pecking at the handlebars.

I guess Eddie didn’t like show-offs either.

in Dysart, Queensland, Australia


I tell jokes for cash, manly hugs and free drinks. I’ll tell you which way the water flows for free. Comedian, engineer, writer and husky man-about-town.

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