The Krueller and the Camel

today I stared a camel in the face

Stop being difficult and let me carry you! ... (Photo credit: Adam Foster | Codefor)

For Dan Brown

The desert is no place for a krueller, yet there it was, plain as day. You, like me, are probably thinking, “What the heck’s a krueller doing in the desert?”

I think it’s because of Paradise. Paradise Island, that is. You see, on this side of the desert is an okay garden – it has plenty of good spots, but some rough ones as well. But on the other side of the desert is a better garden, a perfect place – Paradise Island. It’s not actually an island, but the only way you can get there is by crossing the desert, so it’s an island of sorts.

Anyway, I think the krueller wanted to get to Paradise Island, and that’s why it was crossing the desert. I don’t blame it; I want to get to Paradise Island too. But anyone – including a krueller – ought to know that a krueller can’t cross a desert by itself. The desert’s hot. A krueller’s covered in glaze. Any questions?

I wish the krueller had stopped to ask questions, though it apparently did ask one of itself: “Can I get there on my own?” It thought it could.

Silly krueller.

Good thing for the krueller that a camel came along. Yeah, that’s right – a camel, that amazing animal that’s perfectly designed to withstand and survive – nay, thrive in – the harsh desert climate. You see, the krueller was a studious sort, so he could tell you all about the desert, explain it right down to the very last detail, but the krueller couldn’t deal with the desert, couldn’t cross it on its own, wasn’t made to. It needed help to get to Paradise.

Enter the camel. That big old Institute of the Desert, around since ancient times but fresh and ready to go every morning, came plodding along and almost stepped on the krueller. It’s no wonder. The camel had never expected to see a krueller in the desert. Not by its lonesome, anyway. But the camel was a kind creature, so he stopped to offer help.

“Could I give you a lift?” he said.

The krueller was startled – by the camel’s imposing size, by its offer of help, by its sudden appearance (like it didn’t expect to see a camel in the desert!).

“Umm.” The krueller knew now that it would never make it on its own, but still it said, “I … . No. No, I’ll be alright. Thank you.”

The camel looked at the krueller’s twisted little body, at its glaze that was melting and peppered with sand.

“Are you sure, my friend?” said the camel. “It’s really not a bother.”

You see, although the camel knew how to deal with the desert, had an instinctive understanding of it, was made for it, he also knew that a bit of company would make his journey more enjoyable. So he was determined to take the little guy with him.

“Well,” said the krueller, looking at its dripping glaze and feeling most uncomfortable from all the sand. “I … I guess I could use a bit of help.”

“And I would enjoy your company.”

So the camel knelt down, and the krueller climbed into the shade between the camel’s two humps. Then they were on their way, and soon the krueller’s glaze stopped dripping. The camel also knew – unlike the krueller – where the oases were, so the krueller was able to get all the water it needed to survive. In return, the krueller carried on a good conversation with the camel, telling his hardy friend all the amazing things he’d learned during his study of the desert, things even the camel did not know and which enhanced the camel’s awe and understanding of the desert.

In cooperation they carried on until, at last, after many miles, they reached Paradise Island. Their eyes opened wide to behold all that was before them: lush, green, abundant life, a place teeming with mirth and vitality.

“Thank you, friend,” said the krueller. “I couldn’t have made it without you.”

“And I thank you,” said the camel. “For you made the journey a richer one.”

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