Slummy Single Mummy is my favorite blog. Yesterday I challenged Jo to write a blog piece today, which included the camel she mentioned in her post. She took the challenge and wrote a delightful piece. This is my humble attempt to capture the same moment, from the point of view of the camel.
For a long time afterwords everything was quiet. It scarred him a bit. His friends call him Winston, he is a camel. When it started he was able to get out, and when he did, he ran.
During his formative years, when he was growing up in the desert, most considered him quite clever. He did better than most camels his age, when it came to an education. He was the top water finder in his class. His mum explained that, “Camels are much brighter than the humans or other animals give us credit for being, ‘we are just modest.’”
It is true, camels are pretty low key. Winston liked to eat, drink occasionally, have a nap, and then go for a long walk. When he got older, he went out on his own, and through a series of adventures, which are too numerous to tell, ended up in Clifton. He found that zoo life suited him, or more accurately, it did until everything came crashing down.
When the dust settled, Winston lay near a partially collapsed building. The main facade had survived and was quite sturdy. He had stopped running when he saw it, as it appeared to be the only part of the world that wasn’t violently moving all about. For a long time there were screams, crying, and chaos, but eventually the sounds died down.
There was plenty to drink, and Winston didn’t feel particularly hungry. He mostly felt unsettled. Though he had enjoyed his life among all the other interesting animals at the zoo, it had occurred to him that the desert had considerably fewer buildings that could come down on one’s head. He assessed the situation, it looked a little bit bleak. He decided that he should go for a walk, look around a bit, and that might help him form a plan.
Walking down the street, past the crumbling House of Woodworking, around fire hydrant which was leaking, he stopped behind a pile of rubble. He turned his head to one side and listened. It was coming from his left, not far off. A sound was piercing the deafening silence. Winston listened closely, it sounded like a piece of metal being shifted. There wasn’t any wind, so he eliminated that as a possibility. It could be as simple as a shifting bit of what was left of Clifton, it could be danger, he didn’t know.
Winston thought about the black panther, whom he had been watching sneak around her pen, just before the world changed. Libby was a wonderful feline. She was always impeccably groomed, friendly, and fearless. Though admittedly, she didn’t need to do any hunting in the zoo, she kept her skills sharp by daily bouts of practice stalking. The gazelles didn’t trust her, but Winston thought she was a delight. They would often chat while she lounged in her tree, talking about the jungle and the desert, their families, and how they both enjoyed long walks and naps. Winston had never been very stealthy, but this seemed like a pretty good time to give it a go.
Carefully he walked down the street towards the sound. He hoped it was one of his friends from the zoo, or at the very least, anyone. Winston was quite sure he didn’t like being the only one in town, and a tinge of loneliness was nipping at his mind, making everything seem a bit more desperate. He checked where he was stepping, so as not to make much noise, and as it turned out, he did a very good job.
He came around the pile of rubble, and bumped into a rubbish bin, which was ironically empty. The woman spun around, she looked right at him. He froze. He was quite sure that is what Libby would do, and she would become nearly invisible in the jungle shadows. There weren’t any shadows, a complete lack of jungle for as far as the eye could see, and he was not the least bit invisible.
Winston looked at her, she was quite nice looking, seemed harmless enough. She didn’t make any sudden movements, she just looked at him for a bit. Though he couldn’t talk with her, such that she could understand, it was quite normal for humans to talk to him. She however didn’t talk but instead made a noise, not dissimilar to the sounds that the weasels make when distressed. He wasn’t quite sure what she was trying to say, but it seemed like she was suggesting they go check out the lake. Winston followed her slowly, as he didn’t want to frighten her. He wasn’t alone anymore. Winston was pretty sure that he had just made a friend. He made a camel noise, thinking she might like to hear it. He also suspected she might start talking to him then, and refrain from further pained weasel noises.
The world seemed less scary now.
For Jo, thanks for taking the challenge.