Wednesday, May 19, 2010


What better name is there for a cassowary than squeaker? I'm jumping ahead in the time line a bit. My sis and I adopted Squeaker when I was round ten years old. A few of the local natives had gone hunting and come home with a mother cassowary and her chick. Of course the mother they roasted and ate, but the chick was still fairly small and didn't have too much meat on it; so they figured instead of wasting it, maybe they could get a few bucks out of the crazy missionary kids. They were right. As soon as we saw Squeaker we wanted him, and money was no object (we paid the equivalent of $5 for him, not much money to us, but a lot to them).

As soon as he opened his mouth and squeaked he had his name. The next dilemma was where to keep our new pet. The only place we could come up with was our generator shed located a few hundred feet from the our house. So we moved Squeaker in with the generator, the fuel and other assorted chemicals (I'm sure you can see where this is going). He seemed quite comfortable and we gave him plenty of food and water, and lots of love.

Three days later we went out to say hi to our new friend and found Squeaker dead on the floor of the shed. We never figured out if he died from the shock of losing his mother, and being stuck in a new environment, or if he got into one of the many toxic chemicals in the shed. We were very sad about losing our new pet, but since we had only had him for a few days we got over him pretty quickly.

This is the part of the story where you might start to judge my sis and I. I just want to remind you in advance that we did grow up in a jungle in a very different culture. So take it easy on us as I explain what we did next.

So Squeaker was dead, and we were curious. We really want to know what cassowary might taste like. A few of our native friends told us that they would help us roast Squeaker so we could try cassowary meat. We decided maybe we could honor Squeaker by not letting his body go to waste. Needless to say, we cooked and ate our pet cassowary and I for one really enjoyed him. Just remember, this is all quite normal for anyone who grows up in the jungle, so don't judge too harshly.

I must admit the curse may not have had to work too hard to pull this one off, but I still think it may have been involved somehow...