Monday, 2 May 2011

Putting out a camel

   Many years ago, in Ireland, I went through a phase of making wooden animals intended for children. Due to societal pressures (“You're comin' for a pint?”) most weren't completed, the reindeer never rocked, the hedgehog never rolled -

 - but the Tauromachian Tricycle mooched along. I wonder if its authentic horns are still putting eyes out.

This fellow is Eoin (I heard he's now a Hell's Angel and doing very well in the Wexford chapter)

   Due to the haste of my departure from Ireland I was obliged to leave my camel behind, not easy, but needs must when the devil drives - especially when he's driving a white Transit van that's already packed to the gunnels.

   The diminutive cameleer is my friend's son, Jamie. I met Jamie again a couple of years ago, a nice chap who's now big enough to carry the camel around under his oxter. I also found out what had happened to the camel. It turned out it had changed hands numerous times, gained rockers along the way, and had ended up in a children's home - a narrative worthy of Walt Disney.

   In Disney's hypothetical “The Camel Story” I wonder who would play the feckless individual who abandoned the beast in the first place? Ewen Bremner? And would he be redeemed at the end, extraordinary happenstance reuniting him with his creation, the dissolute, intervening years forgiven and forgotten as he hoists a gouty leg over the wooden humps and begins to rock, at first with a modest reluctance and then with gusto, encouraged by the cheering of hope-imbued orphans. The credits roll; “This film is dedicated to S R Plant without whom-” etc..
   Or would the scene continue, and the camel, now lurching wildly and appalled at finding itself straddled by its treacherous, beaming maker, inch with grim and vengeful intent toward an open window...