December 1 was the 13th anniversary of my first day at The Pocahontas Times. In that time, I’ve experienced a lot of unique and once-in-a-lifetime moments that have become happy memories. I’ve also met some incredible individuals who trusted me to share their stories with our readers.
One of the most difficult parts of my job is explaining what I do when people ask. I could say I’m a writer at the newspaper, which is true, but honestly, it’s easier to say, I never know what each day will bring. I write, design pages, design ads and deliver newspapers to vendors every Wednesday.
Wednesdays alone are very unpredictable. I have a route I take and an exact number of papers to deliver, but the trip and the views during that trip vary from week to week.
Last Wednesday is a perfect example of a once-in-a-lifetime moment that may never be topped.
After dropping off papers at Rt. 39 in Huntersville – where I take the time to give two treats and scratches to resident black lab Sophie – I traveled down Rt. 39 and into Virginia to drop papers at the Mountain Grove General Store.
Less than a mile away from my destination, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I assumed it was a deer wanting to cross the road, so I slowed down and looked over to see where it was. Then, I looked again. And again.
It wasn’t a deer. It was an emu. For a moment, I was dumbfounded. I continued my drive to the store, thinking the entire time – “did I just see an emu on the side of the road?”
There was no mistaking it. There was an emu on the loose in Mountain Grove, Virginia.
When I got to the store, I greeted Edna Seley, the lady who works there, and I asked her if she knew anyone who lived up the road. She said she knew a few of them and asked me why.
I gave a quick giggle and said, “Well, there’s an emu out loose on the road. She looked at me for a second and said, “Are you kidding me? An emu?” We laughed about it and she said, “I know people who have animals, but I don’t know anyone who has an emu.”
She said she would pass the word along, and hopefully the owner would find the emu safe and sound.
I got back in my car for the return to West Virginia for the rest of my route when I realized no one would believe me if I didn’t have proof. So, I rolled down my window and got my cellphone ready to take pictures if it was still out there.
As I got close to where I first saw the emu, there was a truck stopped in the road. It moved on and the emu began walking toward me. It was nice enough to stay in its lane as we neared each other. I snapped photos and when it decided I was close enough, it turned to run in the same direction with me.
I continued to slowly drive up the road and eventually we were side-by-side – me and the emu. I said hi to it and continued to take pictures as it ran alongside.
After getting several photos, I decided it was time to say farewell to the emu and continue my trip. I was shaking my head and laughing, still at a loss for words that this had actually happened.
I later found out the emu belongs to NumNum Farms. The emu was rescued later Wednesday afternoon and was returned home safe and sound.
Just two weeks prior to this, as I was entering Virginia to head to Mountain Grove, I hit a rock and it flattened both tires on the passenger side of my vehicle.
These stories, and more, serve as proof that I never really do know what will happen from day to day, even after 13 years at the paper. I’m just glad the emu is safe and back home where it belongs.