Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Camels? in Illinois?


Today was a day for shut-in visits, among other things. This means plenty of driving on the Illinois state roads. Toward the end of the day, as I came toward the little town of Avon, I happened to see some animals in a farmyard to my left, and had to do a double-take. Camels? Are those camels? But . . . in Illinois? Holy cow, I thought, as I continued in to the village and up toward the nursing home. I made a mental note that I'd have to pull over on my way back out of town and check this out. So after my visit I did just that. I came upon the farm, now on my right, and slowed down a bit to gaze in semi-disbelief. I pulled over and got out. There in the pen were four real live camels, and this was not a zoo. How cool is that, I thought. And then, as I ambled toward the fence, they casually noticed me, and one of them--the white one--turned and strolled over toward me to check me out. I thought, hmmm, do camels bite? I don't think so, but . . . And he seemed to want to have a brainwave connection with me, as he eyed me up and down a bit. Then he poked his nose between the bars of the fence, so I petted him on it, as I struck up a little conversation with him. What a nice camel you are, such a sweetie, so gentle, why you wouldn't hurt a soul, would you.

I drove off with a smile and thought, now that's a decent ending to a long day. Camels. How about that . . .

3 comments:

Susan said...

One of the farmettes between us and the interstate has ostriches. We often see cars pulled over, staring at the birds. We see people getting out to take pictures. It makes me smile to see them in wonderment at the ostriches.

So you got a smile from the camels. And the neighbors got a smile from your smile. :-)

Father Eckardt said...

Yeah, I've seen ostriches too, and alpacas, and llamas, in various spots in Wisconsin and Illinois. But camels, that's a new one for me.

Fr John W Fenton said...

Some camels--perhaps the ones you've seen--are raised as food. In parts of Africa (e.g., Sudan), camel is a delicacy and a standard food at weddings. With immigration, the demand for camel meat in the U.S. is increasing.