Lake Macquarie History

Feathered quaintness

After the vandalism which caused the passing of 'Marie' and 'Genevieve' I received one very hot day a quintet of feathered quaintness, at my Island Sanctuary.

The glass was nearing the 100 degree mark when the crate arrived by ferry after a long trek by truck and train from the Queensland border. One, less sturdy than the rest, was down on the bottom, and cold spraying and the magic fire of brandy failed to revive the passing flame of life.

The survivors were soon feeding in a temporary wired enclosure and viewing with penetrating eyes their new home. In a few days they had the whole Island to forage in, but the cottage held a spell that they could not resist. Every movement to the door brought them running with their queer single call note. A very tiny sound from so large a bird. They were thriving immensely when I noticed one day that one of them was missing and it was a long while afterwards before I found the bundle of feathers in the bush.

Of the remaining three, the male bird seemed to get bigger every day, and became more indifferent to the keeper's presence.

On very hot days they would submerge themselves in the pool of the swamp, and comical 0bjects they were indeed on emerging. One would have thought that the clear waters of the lake would have proved more inviting, but the puddley swamp proved more attractive to them, probably because of its partial seclusion.

Suddenly the three vanished in a night together,and all the searching of a worried keeper proved of no avail. Had they swam the lake to the mainland and bush, or become the target of more vandalism, as befell their predecessors, 'Marie' and 'Genevieve'?

Thus in the space of about twelve months passed seven of Australia's quaint feathered creatures, the stately Emu.

Thompson Noble. 19th July, 1934.