Emus. They are big. And they are really pretty fast. According to Wikipedia, they can go as fast as 31 miles per hour. Apparently, their legs are so strong they can rip through metal wire fences. Maybe that explains it.
As you may have heard, I grew up in the country. A few miles down the road was an emu farm. No, I don't know why people would farm emus either, except maybe for the world's biggest friggin' omelets.
|Green ham, anyone?|
Anyway when I was little, a bridge by our farm was out for several years, which made us go the long way around to town and near the emu farm on a regular basis. One day, as my mom drove me to town for one event or another, we saw a blur of brown in the field to our right. Accustomed to having to stop for deer, my mom slowed way down. As you may have guessed, the blur was not a deer. It was an emu, and it was not only keeping pace with our much-slowed-but-still-pretty-fast mini van, it was edging ahead.
That emu was daring us to a race.
My mom floored it. Defeated, the emu disappeared into a cornfield.
I don't know what happened to the emu. We weren't even very close to the emu farm when we saw it, maybe a mile or two away, so perhaps it was an emu on the lam. That's how I like to think of it, still out there today. In fact, I've imagined a whole life for that emu where it is skulking in the patchy woods and various cornfields, with a nice family of turkeys for companions. And when a hunter uses his call and the turkey family falls for it, the emu goes with them and scares the bejeezus out of the hunter, who wants to tell his hunter buddies all about the emu who now thinks it's a turkey, but nobody will believe him and he is run out of town under accusations of lunacy. And then the mayor almost hits the emu on the road, but misses him, and then our road finally gets one of these:
Which will promptly be defaced with a red dot on the "nose" like every other animal crossing sign in Wisconsin, inciting a local legend wherein Santa's sleigh is not pulled by ought-to-be-flightless reindeer, but rather by ought-to-be-flightless birds, which sort of makes more sense, anyway.
(True: There is an Icelandic Christmas legend in which a giant cat named Jólakötturinn eats children who don't get new clothes in time for Christmas. If I ever have kids, I'm totally selling them on it.)
Sunny gets along with cats, but she'd rather avoid Jólakötturinn, if it's all the same to you.