General Fiction posted May 24, 2023

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Flash fiction club entry

Ralph, Norton, Alice and Trixie

by jmdg1954


“Ralphie-boy, where you headed?” asked Norton. “You look funny trying to fly. Your wings ain’t big enough for your rotund body, hehe..”

“Will you cut it out, Norton. I ain’t got time for your shenanigans. You’re either with me or you’re not. Your choice. I’ll never give up!” answered Ralph, landing on the ground in a big thud.

“Sheesh! What a grouch!”

Ralph and Norton are Emus, the second-tallest living bird, shorter only than the ostrich. A male Emu will grow 6 feet tall, while the female emu tends to be slightly taller. Each will weigh up to 130 pounds. For such a bulky bird, their wings are puny, approximating the size of a human hand.

“Ed? What’s goin on?” asked Trixie walking over towards him pushing a chick carriage. Trixie is Norton’s wife and the little chick in the carriage is, Zazu. 

Female emus will compete for access to their male counterpart. Once the couple have mated, the female lays a clutch of 8-10 eggs in the male's nest over several days. The male emu takes over and sits on the nest for the next six plus weeks to incubate the eggs. Most females stick around to defend the male on his nest, announcing their presence with a loud, booming call.

“Huh huh. Look-at-em, Trix. Huh. He’s trying to fly. He ain’t been off the ground a day in his fat life!” Norton replied.

“Ed! Be nice.” Trixie said as she gave him a stern look with her green eyes.

Ralph and Norton are part of the Pungalina-Seven Emu Sanctuary in the Northern Territory of Australia and have been friends since being hatched from neighboring nests a few years back.

“Ralph, what are you doing?” asked Alice, Ralph’s wife.

“Oh, Alice, he’s going to hurt himself. He’s trying to fly again. Make him stop.” Trixie said worriedly. 

“Trix, you know Ralph. Once a crazy, hare brained scheme gets into his head, there’s no stopping him, or reasoning with him.” Alice replied. 

Ralph has a resume of poor choices and absurd dilemmas and his latest is a doozy…

“Ralph?” asked Alice. “What have you done to your wings?

“Yea, Ralphie-boy, go ahead, tell Alice.”

“Okay… the other night, me and the other cocks (note : a male emu is called a cock, females are called hens) were at the Emu Lodge over there by the giant gum tree,” he pointed with his tiny wing. Ah, Limu Emu started talking away at how he’s going to be a television star, making some commercial.”

“So, what’s that got to do with you, Ralph?”

“Don’t you see, Alice? I got more talent in one three toed foot than Limu’s got in his whole body,” Ralph said thumping his chest with his piddling wing. “I should be in that commercial, not him.”

“Oh, Ralph… is that all?”

“Is that all? Is that all?” Ralph shook his head. “One of these days, Alice ... One of these days ...  Bang. Zoom. To the moon.”

“Ralph,” Alice said. “I thought you were trying to jump the fence again so you could cross the road.”

“Cross the road? Why would I want to cross the road?”

“Huh, huh, Ralph,” Norton chimed in. “To get to the other side! Huh, huh.”

“Oh, Ed. You’re so funny. You’re the one who should be on television,” Trixie said as she gave him a peck with her beak.

“You’re a comedian alright, Norton. Maybe next time I’ll rennet to laugh… a hardy-har-har.”

“Ralph, don’t be so hard on Ed,” Trixie asked.

“I got one for you, Ralph,” Alice chimed in. “Why did the rooster cross the road? … He had something to cock-a-doodle dooo!”

Every Emu laughed but Ralph. He stood there kicking dirt with his three toed claw-like foot, when he suddenly burst with a hardy laugh out loud.

“Oh, Ralph,” joked Alice. “I’m glad you saw the humor in that. I love you.”

Ralph put his pint-sized wing on her before saying, “Baby, you're the greatest,"



The Honeymooners is one of my favorite sit-coms, lasting only 39 episodes.

I tried to replicate their voices and speech, best as I could remember.

Club entry for the "Why Did the Emu Cross the Road? " event in "Flash Fiction/Nonfiction".  Locate a writing club.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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