The Orange Camel

{You must forgive me for this post. It has no purpose whatsoever except the giggling 12yo deep inside me insists that I get it written out. Also? You have no idea how much restraint I had to demonstrate when this happened…}


I’ve mentioned before that we are a family that hikes together. We really love getting out there each weekend and spending several hours trekking through the woods. The thing is… you kind of have to like one another to enjoy this pastime. There are no electronic distractions or new-fangled toys out in the forest. You have one another for company and entertainment.


Our family (like many, believe it or not) has adopted what we call “trail names”– these are silly monikers we use for one another only while we’re out on the trail.


Our youngest– toddler G.– is responsible for the current set of trail names. She dubbed herself the Purple Kangaroo and that was that. Naturally, the rest of us wound up with color+animal names, as well. My husband? He’s the Gray Elephant. I was proclaimed the Green Raven.


That was all good, but when G. declared that C. would be known as the Pink Donkey, her older sister balked. She didn’t like that name. She resisted. G. stood firm. Finally, C. countered with, “I will be the Pink Donkey… with a Stick.” And so she is: Pink Donkey with a Stick.


Finally, our son completed the pack as the Orange Camel. He liked that name well enough, but he quickly decided that C’s name was cooler “because she has a weapon!” [Note: the stick was never meant to be used as a weapon-- but you must also realize that our hikes sometimes morph into dragon slaying adventures as we wander through tunnels and caves. We're weird. We're also fun. ;)]


No worries. He simply approached our fearless leader and queried, “Elephant! Do you think I could maybe have a weapon?”


And, after the Gray Elephant determined he was worthy, he was presented with this option for a weapon: a couple of acorns. Orange Camel gladly agreed and happily set off on the trail.


We were nearing the end of the hike when I noticed the acorns were missing. I asked my little guy about this. “What happened? Did you lose them?”


“Yes,” he murmured sadly, kicking at the ground…


“And now I’m the Orange Camel with No Nuts.”



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