A LESSON IN EMU'S DEATH
The Hartford Courant, Editorial, November 27 2006
Of all the animals on Earth, man is by far the most complex and dangerous.
Man is a predator who wars against his own and has caused the disappearance
of other species. On the other hand, man is presumably the only animal that
can reason and feel and ponder the meaning of his own existence.
Occasionally, something happens that casts doubt on pat theories about man's
exclusivity within the animal kingdom.
Recently, an emu named Friggin that had escaped from Simsbury's Flamig Farm
more than four months ago died of heart failure at the moment that it was
captured, to be returned to the farm.
Emus are flightless, spindly legged birds. They resemble ostriches, but are
about half their size. Farmers breed the birds for meat, leather and for the
oil they produce, which is used to heal arthritis, wounds, burns, insect
bites and stings. Sometimes emu feathers are used as hat ornaments.
Residents who spotted Friggin during its four-month breather couldn't help
commenting that the emu seemed to be in a state of bliss as it romped
through the woods of Simsbury, Avon, Canton, Burlington and New Hartford.
One wonders whether the emu's heart gave out because it realized that its
life on the run had ended. Life is cheap. But living, truly living, even for
four months, is priceless.