When the emu escaped from the neighbor's paddock, Charlotte didn't think twice about sending out the family's Blue Heeler to help her herd...


[AN: Strictly for biological accuracy, the Blue Heeler, like all dogs in Aus, is an import. The emu has been here since they evolved]

Charlotte awoke to the distinctive sounds of emus trying to get into her tomatoes. Since those tomatoes were behind glass, that was a very distinctive sound indeed.

Bloody fuzzy dinosaurs had figured out yet another way to escape, but they could never figure out that glass got in the way of them pinching her crops.

She did not stop to get dressed. Merely threw on the first thing with long sleeves that came to hand and her wellies on the way out the door.

Five of the bastards. Just wrangling one was a pain in the arse. Charlotte shooed them away from the tomatoes (always their first port of call after escaping) and tried to think of how to round up five giant birds with only one of her.

Waking everyone else up was both time-consuming and risked having the birds break the glass. With a side of them injuring their fool selves just to get at the tomatoes.

Running around after them was just going to be exhausting.

Yelling accomplished little aside from the odd airborne boot from her useless siblings.

She was the only one awake enough to deal with this. Well, to be honest, herself and Bob, the farm’s Blue Heeler. He was already watching the birds in Sheep Mode. Only the leash stopped him.

Well, why the fuck not?

Charlotte let Bob off his leash and, as some writers were wont to say, hilarity ensued. You could film it and set it to Yackety Sax and probably get a bajillion hits on YouTube.

She used the opportunity to check the fences.

The emus had escaped into the cow paddock, because cows viewed fence posts as places to lean on. And from there, they had got into the yard by another low point, care of the cows.

If only emus were not so bloody profitable…

They’d either have to get rid of the cows, get rid of the fresh veggies, or install a second fence in the emu paddock like she’d been arguing for. Sometimes, it seemed like forever.

Or they could just put Bob on a running leash, up and down the paddocks of a night. Just as a stopgap.

But, in the meantime, she got Bob to help her corral them in the barn. It was new, so they wouldn’t be getting out in a hurry.

And they’d do horrible things to Steve’s brand new tractor. Which would, in turn, inspire him to do something about the bloody emus for a change.

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