Chapter 2 cont: A Brief Pause

This is the continuation of the story I have been writing with Josephine, who write a wonderful blog Single Slummy Mummy.  She will, after much badgering from me, take time away from her normal post, to write some more of the story.  I am very thankful for her indulgence.  Today she added some wonderful twists to the plot.  If you have been following the story, you may read her bit here, and then continue with ‘A Brief Pause’

Fiction:  more Amy adventures…

If you are new you should start with

1)  Further Camel Adventures

2) Camel Fears After The Long Quiet

3) Camel Musings

4) Ch 2:  Libby and The Rabbit

5) Fiction:  more Amy adventures…

Obviously it isn’t easy reading the greatest post apocalyptic camel story ever written, in this fashion, but it is what it is.  Enjoy.

Chapter 2 cont:  A Brief Pause


Winston stood waiting patiently, as Amy paused.  He knew she had heard the crying.  He didn’t know why she had stopped.

For a camel, Winston had become rather good at reading people.  It wasn’t always his strong suit, and before he had arrived at the zoo, he had never seen any value in the art.  His mother had, on more than one occasion,  told him that understanding humans was important for a camel.  She often made him listen to the tale of his cousin, who had gotten a very respectable job for a wealthy sheik.  If he heard her say, “Why don’t you get a good job like your cousin?!”, one more time, he was going to spit.

Winston had never considered himself a 9 to 5 sort of camel.  So he didn’t really give human reading much thought.

His time at the zoo though, with the help of Henny the hyena, who liked to tell everyone he could read humans minds, had helped Winston develop his people reading skills.   Henny, who was not well liked by the other hyenas, because he was always joking around, used to hang out in the corner, near the fence on the back side of Winston’s pen.

Winston might not have been good at reading people, but he could tell a lonely animal from a mile away.  He always felt sorry for Henny, so he would try to make sure and spend some time just talking with him each day.  Henny was always so happy when Winston would come over.  He would laugh and then say something like, “Hey Winston, want me to read someone’s mind?”

“Sure, how about the little girl in the pink dress?”  Winston would say.

“Oh she is easy…”  Henny would say as he would spin around a few times.  That was part of his routine.  He always explained that this was how he picked up the vibes.  He would spin three times, then stop suddenly, and stare at the person in question.  A brief pause and then he would proclaim, “She is thinking that the other hyenas are ugly and that she doesn’t think they are very friendly….”  he would say, and then add, “wait…I am getting more…she thinks they are ugly, except for the really handsome one by the camel.”  Then he would laugh and laugh.

Winston laughed too.  Truth be told, the little girl in question did ask her mummy about the ugly doggies a short while later, but Winston chalked that up to being a coincidence.   Henny did seem to have a gift for noticing details about people, that others might not catch.  As the years went by, Winston started to see people the way Henny did.

He could tell that Amy was deep in thought.  Not being an expert on the proper handling of crying children, Winston didn’t want to second guess her judgment, but he was pretty sure that it wasn’t the best time to be taking a trip down memory lane.  Of course, he didn’t know Amy very well, and she had just named him Beatrice, so perhaps she was a nutter?

It is possible that the destruction of everything had pushed her over the proverbial edge and was now mad as a hatter?  Winston considered this, but quickly dismissed it, as he was now good at reading people.  He could tell right away that Amy was kind, would be a loyal friend, and had little understanding of anatomy.   With Henny’s help, Winston had developed into a camel who considered himself “An excellent judge of character.”

So why had she paused?  He was quite sure that she was thinking about something important, and that she would spring into action at any moment.  He had just one dilemma, should he give her a nudge with his nose, or politely suggest she take a look?  He felt strongly that the crying child needed her now.

He decided to give her a friendly nudge.

Ch 2 Libby and The Rabbit

This is a continuation of the story started a few weeks back by Josephine.  She has rewritten the first part and it is posted here.  Her blog can also be found on my blog roll under the ‘Greatest Blogs EVER’ section. She writes, “Slummy Single Mummy”  (Nods head to the right)  If you want to read it in order, it is best to click on the link above, read her piece, then pop back, scroll to the bottom of the category “Camel Musings” and read in reverse order.  Following a story shouldn’t be this difficult, but it is…sorry.


Chapter 2:  Libby and the Rabbit

The moment that everything came unglued, Libby bolted from her pen, and streaked into the chaos. Quickly she bolted around a crumbling building, the sounds of disaster everywhere, she was filled with fright and excitement, mostly excitement.

The days at the zoo hadn’t been terrible. The food was good, the humans who kept an eye on her, were pleasant enough. The other animals were not at all unbearable, and she even liked a few of them. Libby had noticed that some of the other zoo residents, did seem to be jealous of her spectacular good looks. The koala bears, though adorable were not in her league, she knew it, and they knew it as well.

Libby laid across the granite counter, in the kitchen, of what she imagined had been a nice home for humans. The front of the house was gone, but the back, where the kitchen was, remained and Libby had perched on the counter because she was quite sure she looked fabulous there. There was also the possibility that, like her, some other creatures, might wonder wonder past and provide her with a spot of lunch.

After a couple of hours and a nap that could only be described as extraordinary, Libby decided that she had best move on. Out the side door, or more aptly, the side gaping hole, she strolled. Actually it wasn’t a stroll so much as a slink. Not only did she have the grace of a cat, but the poise of a model on a cat walk. Libby walked for a short while, past rows of houses in various states of coming apart at the seams, and across a field. She leapt onto a stone wall and walked it’s length.

At the end of the wall, she sat down, and looked out over the countryside. It was quite a view. The nap had been more than her typical cat nap, she had been quite exhausted, all the excitement had taken it’s toll. Now she felt alive, it was as if the entire world were opening up to her.

A few minutes of grooming, a hop and a leap across a couple of gaps in the wall, and she was off again. A sudden rustling in a row of hedges caught her attention. She got into stalk mode. A rabbit appeared and the chase was on. The rabbit who was really freaking out at the size of the cat chasing it, was motivated, and actually moved quicker than he even thought he could. There was a hole in the wall, he bolted through it. Libby easily leaped over and as she came down she saw the rabbit make a quick move left and into a tiny opening in a small building.

Libby had lost this one, and she was more than a little bit embarrassed. The rabbit was feeling lucky and his heart was beating like it normally does. He was fairly certain that he had used up all the luck in his four feet on that one. Libby was thankful for only one thing, that nobody had been around to see her disgrace. She walked a few laps around the shed and said to the rabbit, “You were lucky today sir, I was a bit off my game.”

The rabbit, not wishing to antagonize her, “No doubt, I am quite sure I was terribly over matched. It has been a pretty bad day, and getting eaten seemed like a reasonable end, but one I wanted to avoid if possible.”

This seemed to be a decent position for her prey to take, and she wasn’t that hungry anyway, so she stopped pacing and said, “You really are very speedy. I am not sure if I would have caught you. I am a bit out of practice, been living at the zoo.”

“Oh no madame, you would have certainly gotten me, had it not been for the fortuitous placement of this rather sturdy shed. I was already starting to tire. I am certain that my demise was at hand.” The rabbit was in the shed, under a wheel barrel, just barely peaking his nose out. His statement about the sturdiness of the shed, was more of a guess, with just a dash of wishful thinking.

Libby laid down next to the hole where the rabbit had entered the shed. She thrust a paw inside and waved it around quickly and pulled it back out. She wasn’t really trying very hard, and her claws weren’t even out. The rabbit still found the giant black paw a bit troubling. Libby said, “You are right it is a good hiding place, you were quite clever to pick it. I think you are being too hard on yourself, you did very well.” She rolled onto her back and stretched out a bit. The she started to purr.

The rabbit, who was still cowering in the shed, had noticed that the claws weren’t out, and it had seemed strange. The purring was almost more than he could bare. In all his years of being chased by hungry creatures, he couldn’t remember ever having a proper conversation with any of them. He also couldn’t remember a cat that was so freaking huge. “Madame, would it be a terribly rude of me to ask, what sort of cat are you anyway? I have seen and been chased by many a cat, but you are truly…” He paused, considering his words carefully, as he had almost said ‘huge’, but decided that might have sullied her sunny disposition, so he went with, “Magnificient.”

Libby had not ever had a conversation with anything she had tried to eat before. Most of the creatures she had tracked, she was certain, were much too frightened and uncultured to appreciate how ‘magnificent’ she truly was. So she rolled over and backed up a bit from the hole, and answered, “Why thank you sir, you are very kind. I am a black leopard. I am from Africa, but as I have said, have been living in the zoo of late.”

The rabbit could see out the little hole. He saw the giant black cat lying there and she didn’t look so threatening anymore, though he did consider the distinct possibility that it could be a trick. “I am not familiar with that type of cat, but I can say, you are much faster and more powerful than any cat I have ever seen. I am sure you will have no problem hunting in this area.”

“Are you from the area originally?” Libby asked, somewhat enjoying the rabbit’s company. It had been several years since she led her rather solitary life in the jungle, and she had grown custom to the banter at the zoo.

“Yes, I grew up in the woods beyond the fence and field.” He said, inching towards the door, he feared she might just be considering waiting him out, so he suggested, “Since we seem to be at an impasse here, and you haven’t eaten, might you be open to a suggestion from your humble prey, as to an alternative dinner?”

“To be honest, I am not terribly hungry at the moment, but it is very good of you to offer, so what is it?” Libby said as she rolled onto her back, twisted her head upside down and looked at the rabbit peering out of the hole.

The rabbit, having just made eye contact with the fearsome, yet incredibly personable hunter, froze. A few seconds later he found his voice and cleared his throat, “This house used to have several cats, and I know that the woman who lived here kept the food in the garage. You might give it a look, I would imagine there could be some easy food there.”

Having been fed for several years, had, though she didn’t like to admit it, dulled her hunting skills enough, that the idea of some easy food was intriguing to her. “That is an excellent idea.” Libby rolled over and stood up, slowly, and elegantly made her way to the house. She knew the rabbit was watching, and she had been called magnificent, so she was quite sure he expected a bit of glamour. Just before she reached the house, she turned back and said, “Thanks for your help sir, It has been very nice meeting you, instead of eating you…” She chuckled at her little joke.

The rabbit laughed nervously, “The pleasure, at not being eaten, was entirely mine.”

“What is your name?” She added, pausing before making the leap through a broken window.

“My friends call me Jackson. And your name Madame, if I may?”

“I am Libby.” And with the grace of a ballerina she lept through the window.

Camel Musings

This is a continuation of the story started a few weeks back by Josephine.  She has rewritten the first part and it is posted here.  Her blog can also be found on my blog roll under the ‘Greatest Blogs EVER’ section. She writes, “Slummy Single Mummy”  (Nods head to the right)

The second part of the story, is here on ExtremelyAverage.com and is under the heading above Camel Musings.  This is the 3rd part of the story, and completes Chapter 1.  It is all very confusing, but we hope entertaining none the less.

Camel Musings

Winston had hoped that his making a camel noise, which is what the patrons at the zoo used to call it when he was talking, would get the woman to open up a bit, to start chatting. Winston was already missing Libby and his long discussions with her. Actually, they weren’t always discussions, but lengthy orations from Libby, followed by agreement and a nod from Winston. She is a very opinionated panther. Still, he missed her company. This one, seemed much less disposed to lengthy banter.

They walked a bit, looking at the devastation all about. A warm sun cast a hopeful glow over the city that was. Winston passed by a picnic table which was seemed strangely unaffected by the chaos. It sat upright, no apparent damage and there was a baseball resting on top of it. “A baseball?” Winston thought, how strange. “Shouldn’t it be a cricket ball? And why didn’t it roll off during the mayhem?”

As he walked, the sight of the picnic table, made him think about the little bench near his pen at the zoo. Mothers would sit, babbling on their phones, while their young children would talk to him. They would say things like, “Hello Mr. Camel.” or if they could read, they might look at the sign and say, “Hello Winston, glad to meet you.” Sometimes they would just shriek with delight and run up to the bars and wave. Winston never fully understood why children seemed so happy to see him, but he always appreciated it. He considered himself quite unremarkable, despite what his mother had always told him.

Winston was admiring the remains of a colorful poster when he noticed that the woman was warming up to say something.

“This is probably a bit odd,” she began. Winston noticed she seemed to be talking and concerned with a small piece of brick. She batted at it with her foot, then she continued, “but perhaps we should get to know each other, you know, bond or something.”

Winston thought to himself, “This is delightful, she is going to start talking to me. I am all for bonding.” He wasn’t sure what his role in the bonding process was to be, and since they had just met, and she was much smaller than him. He considered it prudent to let her make the first move. He was really hoping she might pat him on the nose. The person who fed him at the zoo, often did that, and he liked it! “Ok Winston, stay very still, she might be coming in for a nose pet. You don’t want to scare her.”

“Maybe I should give you a name.” She said.

Winston thought to himself, “Well I already have a name, but you wouldn’t know that, would you?” I am rather fond of Winston, but there are lots of great names. Perhaps Bond, James Bond? Or Evan?” Though a naming wasn’t as good as a nose petting, it did seem like an appropriate first step. Then a terrible thought flashed across his mind, “What if she chooses Rupert? I hate that name! Please don’t choose Rupert.”

The woman looked at him for a long while, she seemed to be putting a lot of thought into it. Winston felt that it was a sign of respect and he was pleased that she was giving his naming the careful consideration, he felt it deserved.

“How about Beatrice?” She said.

Winston was stunned.  His mind began to race, “Beatrice!!! I am a male! Oh this is much worse than Rupert. I should indicate my displeasure in some way. But that might frighten her off. I don’t want to be alone again. Oh this is just such a bad start to the bonding process.”

Winston was so shocked by the choice of names, that he didn’t even hear her say, “Raise one hoof if you don’t like Beatrice.”

He did hear her say, “My name’s Amy.” Then she stuck out her hand, though at no point did it pat him on the nose. Winston thought to himself, “This has been a bad day, the world was destroyed, and I have been named Beatrice. If I were to keep score, and I might as well, it would be End of World 2 – Misnamed Camel 0.”

Camels don’t fuss, but he thought that if he were to try out sulking, this might be the perfect time.

Winston froze. He heard a noise. It sounded like someone else was up ahead. He also heard Amy say, “What is it Beatrice? What are you looking at?” Winston didn’t want to say anything, so he just flicked his ears a bit. The woman seemed clever, aside from her deficiencies in camel gender detecting skills, and he hoped she would notice the ears and start to listen too.

Winston thought that Amy seemed to be lost in thought, so he decided to go investigate himself. He kept his eyes on the spot where he heard the noise. It sounded like crying to Winston. Not the normal, ‘I dropped my ice cream’ crying either, but a more pained scared tone.

He heard Amy’s steps running along. “Good, I guess she is clever.” he thought. The sound of the noise was just up ahead. Amy sped past him and he let her. If it was a child, Winston thought she might be able to help more than he could. Though he was certain that any child who saw such a handsome, albeit misnamed camel, would certainly stop crying and be happy again.

Chapter 2…

Meanwhile across town a Panther named Libby is assessing her situation.

Camel Fears After The Long Quiet

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.