I was running in the countryside recently near Waitsburg, Washington when I came to a fenced pasture with several horses and a camel. I wondered if the camel was wild and had broken in to get at the lush forage. I believe camels are native wildlife because while hiking in the Colville National Forest near the Canadian border one time, I think I saw one. It was running through a meadow being chased by a rhinoceros.
However, as I stood at the fence watching, it came over and licked my head. I determined the camel was farm-owned, not wild. I rubbed its cheeks and forehead, and said nice things like, “You’re a nice camel. You’re healthy.” and “You should try to make your neck shorter.” I resumed my run.
The camel started running with me. I picked up the pace and surprisingly, it kept up. Camels are awkward, clumsy-looking animals. They look more like plodders than sprinters. I stopped and gave more compliments. I said, “Good job. You run well.” and “Your hooves need trimming.”
I was curious who’d win a race between us. I pointed at a telephone pole up the road, told him we should sprint to it and said, “Winner take all.” Somehow, I perceived the camel understood.
We took off, and man, I was sprinting! I was just flying! But the camel stayed with me. As we approached the pole, I really poured it on and just eeked out the win.
I threw my fist into the air and yelled “Yes” and “All right” really loud. But then I thought of something that may have tainted my win. I remember as a kid being taught that camels store water in their humps. If he had a full load, then it really wasn’t fair.
I climbed the fence and put my ear to his hump. I thumped it a couple times. No echo at all. He had a full load.
Though my victory was somewhat tainted, I believe it’s still legit, and I’m very proud of my accomplishment. When I returned home, I arranged a ceremony and presented myself an award for outstanding performance. It was a touching and emotional moment that I’ll remember for a long time.