Saturday, February 13, 2010

Adding Color to A Camel's Drab Existence

Yesterday we went to Jericho to barbecue. Close by the picnic barbecue area was a small farm with goats, ducks, donkeys, horses and camels, living a very colorless, dry, sandy existence in small fenced off compartments. Tarek and I paid them a visit, and this is sort of how the events played out:

Mama Camel willingly posed for my camera, in a cloud of flies.

She may not be the prettiest creature around, but she certainly has character.

And she can close her nostrils to avoid breathing in flies, which is more than I can do.

Tarek, always the gentleman, offered Mama Camel the only item of food available: a dry straw or two that had ended up on the other side of the fence. Baby Camel and The Two Donkeys watched jealously.

Mama Camel ate it, but didn't necessarily enjoy it (judging by her proud, discontented, perhaps a little offended look).

At that moment, I got an idea of how to bring some color into their world. Baby Camel gave me an encouraging smile.

Not long before, some men had dumped a truckload of unsellable (but not inedible, and decidedly colorful) cherry tomatoes and red and yellow bell peppers. They were being eaten by flies. As much as I don't want to deprive flies of their food, there was plenty to go around.
Feeling slightly uncomfortable with Mama Camels long neck and big mouth (no offence, Mama Camel), I gave Tarek the honor to offer her a bright yellow pepper.

Then I plucked up the courage to offer her a bright red pepper myself. By that time, we had gotten onlookers.

And before we knew it, maybe ten or so little kids ran off to the dumped truckload of colorful vegetables and got a pepper or two too.

Most of them didn't dare to actually give their pepper to Mama Camel (which makes me braver than the average Palestinian 6-year-old--go me!), but they all had the intention of doing so. Over and over as they ran back and forth between the vegetable dumping site and the camels.

Mama Camel was pleased at the children's enthusiasm. Baby Camel had too small a mouth to fit a pepper. She turned her back demonstratively. 

But even though Baby Camel went without peppers, Tarek (like I said, always the gentleman) didn't forget The Two Donkeys.

And that's the story of how Tarek and I brought some color into the life of our four-legged friends and started a new trend with the kids of Palestine, all in one day.

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1 comment:

Mirkhaa said...

Aaaalf aaaaaalf mabrouk! we FINALLY found someone ure braver than ;) Call the locksmiiith, or who ever cares about my sad jokes........

love u!