Friday, May 15, 2009

A Wet Camel

July 18, 02

The weather was hot last week while I was on my working vacation on the farm. It was good weather for putting up hay as long as I didn't sweat on it too much. Anyway, after spending a few days on the tractor out in the field, I decided to see if I could pull some of the wool out of Kookamunga's coat to provide him some relief from the heat. It came off by the fistful. I pulled about eight grocery bags of wool off his hide. I don't think that he'll have any problem keeping his body warm this winter.

For being a hot weather animal, Kook sure enjoys cooling off. He is the only critter in our menagerie that stands with both front legs in the water trough splashing water up onto his belly. On seeing this, I took the hose out to refill the tank and discovered that he relished being hosed off from neck to tail. He made it clear that his head was off limits, though.

Having been enlightened with this new insight as to his potential affinity for water, I decided to walk him down to our nearest boat landing to see if he would take a swim. Unfortunately, a grandpa was there with two grandkids just about ready to push off from the dock for an evening fishing trip. I guess that it was a good indication that the Joe Camel ads hadn't hit this new generation, because the kids had no idea what in the world that animal was and they seemed a bit beyond ill at ease. They rapidly crawled to Gramps' end of the boat for protection. Gramps, of course, was trying to play it cool and knowledgable, explaining that this had to be the legendary North Woods Hodag that comes to eat kids in the early evening. Not to worry, though. He would protect them.

While putting on the brave act, I noticed that Gramps seemed to be scrambling to get the boat launched in an awfully big hurry. In confirmation of my suspicions, once the boat was pushed off from the dock and he went to start the motor, he pulled the string right off the starter.

I was trying to be polite up to that point and keep old Kookamunga at a distance so that he wouldn't take a bite out of those kids, thereby proving Gramps knew what he was talking about with his positive identification of the huge lurking creature. But Kook was getting impatient and the lake was beckoning. So I led him to the water's edge not knowing for certain what Kook had in mind. He waded right in with no hesitation.

At that point, I think that Gramps started cursing at the engine, but I'm not quite sure whether the epithets were being directed at it or me or Kook. Gramps started ranting at the kids to have them start paddling with their hands to get them away from the dock into deeper water. Kook and I went in even deeper.

Just then, a second truck pulled up with a young couple obviously wanting to launch their boat as well. Being the considerate person that I am, I started tugging on Kook's lead to get him out of the water so that we would not be in the way.

Now if you can picture the Loch Ness monster with a snaky head sticking out of the water being trailed by a hump protruding some distance behind, you will have a fairly good picture of what swimming camel looks like. I guess the site of an old man and two screaming little kids paddling a boat with their hands trying to get away, and the sight of a full grown man apparently being chased out of the water by the Loch Ness monster, or the mythical North Woods Hodag, or whatever the heck it might have been, was just too much for the passengers of the second car. I heard a muffled scream and watched as the truck spit rocks leaving the parking lot.

So, wetter but wiser, the next time I guess I'll have to try to find a different place to take Kook swimming.

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