Daddy Emu


Scripture Reference: Deuteronomy 1:31

And you saw how the Lord your God cared for you again and again here in the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child.

September is a lovely time of the year in our part of (outback) Australia.  Not only does it bring Father's Day, but also the sight of emu chicks!

Sometimes when Mikhyla and Scarlett's Daddy comes home he tells of the emu families he has seen on the way home from work.  Then we all go for a drive to have a look at the emus.  This is an event that causes much excitement in our family!

But did you know that it is not Mummy Emu who takes care of all the little chicks but, in fact, the Daddy Emu?  Let me explain why...

The female emu can lay up to eleven eggs each breeding season.  These each weigh around 580g (approx. 19lb), so as you can imagine, she is rather exhausted after the effort.  Consequently she leaves the male emu to recuperate and recover from the task and the male emu must look after the eggs.  It does not appear that she returns to the family.

Emu chicks hatch from the eggs about two months later.  They are striped in appearance, but as they grow older they lose these stripes.  

For the next twelve to eighteen months the male emu herds his not-so-little family (we've counted at least eight chicks in the families we have seen) giving them the skills they need for independence.  And while emus are largely nomadic, during this time they do not roam quite as far.  Some of the emu families we saw last year are still around our area, though the emu chicks are well and truly into adolescence!

Emu families help us understand a little bit more about how God cares for families.  While the ideal is that each family has a mummy and a daddy, this is not always the case.  And the good news is that God cares and provides for all kinds of families - two parent families, single parent families, step families and extended families.

In fact, Daddy Emu reminds me of the story of Joseph and his father, Jacob.  (Maybe it's the emu chick's striped coats... !)  Jacob was (sort of!) a single dad, left to raise his sons, Joseph and Benjamin, without their mother, Rachel.  It is obvious by his gift of the colourful coat, that he deeply loved Joseph and cared for him.

You may not see emus quite as often as we do, but if you do see one (you never know what you may find next time you go to the zoo!), remember Daddy Emu and more importantly, a Heavenly Father that cares for you.

Related Bible Story

Crafts

More Information about Emus

  • Enchanted Learning Emu Printout - information and a diagram of emu.

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