Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wherein I ride a camel

Yesterday, my uncle, a former zoo keeper, took us to the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa.  We got to the have lots of fun with the kids, but when my son asked to ride a camel, I balked.  I had to go to the bathroom and I have a fear of riding animals due to a traumatic experience riding a horse when I was little (I got caught in a tree and the horse kept going).  So I did what all moms do, I told my husband he had to ride.

But after a bathroom break, and watching my 4 year-old ride a camel like a pro, I remembered a promise I made to myself to try new things.  After all as a writer, you never know when it will come in handy to have ridden a camel.  So I shelled out $5 and rode the camel, and I'm glad.  I don't foresee characters travelling by camel at this point, but now I know how to describe it.

First of all, they have a wide gait as well as wide hump.  My first thought was "OMG, get me off this thing.  My hips are not meant for this!"  Straddling the hump pinched a nerve, and I was listing to one side.  But I bucked up and scooted around until I was comfortable.  And yes, I held on for dear life.  Whereas my son was letting go and waving with a huge smile, I was clutching the restraint.

My guide told me camels do run as fast as horses, which I'm struggling to imagine.  I would definitely fall off, but a more seasoned rider can do it.  And they're fairly gentle.

There you go.  I took one for the team, and I think it will only require one visit to the chiro.

But in all seriousness, don't forget to get off the computer and experience life occasionally.  I think it will make you a better writer!

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