Monday, October 17, 2005

Just a fun little story I did for a workshop...

Trudy's feet ached in the red sandals. She'd been walking for blocks and still no luck. The day had started so well--she wore her favorite red shoes. Well, they were her favorites. But to be honest, they didn't fit well. Anyway, she wore them because she always felt good about herself when she donned the sandals and strutted her stuff.

Working at the zoo, perhaps that wasn't the best place to wear your favorite sandals, either. But she did. Now it was too late to go back and fix things.

They always were a loose fit and wouldn't you know it--she tripped and fell while closing the gate to the camel cage. And wouldn't you know it--Big Bess, the oldest female, got loose and took off. That darned camel trotted at high speed through the park and into town, disappearing somewhere between Fourth and Fifth Avenues. It happened so fast, no one at the zoo had noticed. It was dawn, feeding time; so there were no crowds of onlookers either.

Now here she was, with a bag of camel munchies looking for Big Bess. You wouldn't think it would be easy to lose a camel; but, by golly, that is just what she had done. 

It wasn't until she looked behind the town's big exhibition hall that she spied the animal, poking her head up in some nearby trees, scavenging for a snack.

"Bess! Come on, baby! Let's go back to the zoo!" Trudy threw a lasso up and roped Bess's neck with the first try; but when she tugged the rope, Bess wouldn't budge.

"Look, I got some goodies for you!" Trudy waved her bag of camel treats at the animal, then reached in and got one, holding it up for Bess to see. Normally, the camel would bend down and take it straight from Trudy's hand; but today she wasn't biting. Trudy tugged the rope once more, but to no avail. It appeared Bess had no intention of going back to the zoo.

"Having some trouble there?" a voice inquired.

Trudy turned to see, of all things, a clown, standing behind her. Red bulbous nose; orange fly-away hair; white face; lips lined in a rainbow of blue, orange, and red; a polka-dot suit with a jazzy red bow tie; plus the biggest clown shoes she had ever seen. They stretched out a foot onto the walkway. "Yeah, I'm having trouble. Bessie here got away on me this morning; and now I've got to get her back to the zoo--but she refuses to move from this spot."

"Oh, I see. She probably wants to hang around here because of the circus." The clown pointed to the exhibition hall behind them. "We've got animals, and we're setting up today. She probably smells the other creatures."

"Well, that's no help. I've got to get her back before my boss sees she is missing."

The clown rolled back and forth on his huge clown feet while he pondered the problem.  Finally, he spoke. "Have you tried telling her a joke?"


"Tell her a joke!"

"With all due respect, Mr. Clown, I don't believe that camel speaks English." Trudy frowned. Was this guy serious?

"Well, I'm pretty sure she is an Indian camel, but I doubt she speaks Hindi--it's too complicated for camels. So give English a try. I'll bet my bottom dollar she speaks English."

"You've got to be kidding!"

"No, really. Try a knock-knock joke." The clown's rainbow smile reached to both ears.

Trudy sighed. "KNOCK KNOCK!" she yelled to Bessie.

The camel didn't budge.

"WHO'S THERE?" Trudy continued, taking Bess's line.

"WASSA-A-A-A!" Trudy's cheeks reddened as she spoke. No response, so she continued.

"WASSA-A-A-A WHO?" she said, murmuring, "Oh, this is hopeless!" 

"WASSUP!" Trudy roared, then threw her hands up and walked in a circle of frustration. The clown shook his head in disdain.

"Please don't tell another joke!" the voice was smooth and resonant and came from up above. "If you promise not to tell any more jokes, I'll come back to the zoo with you." It was Bess, talking with eloquence and style.

Trudy stared in disbelief. "Are you talking to me?" she asked. 

"Yes, now please--no jokes and take me home."

"See, I told you," said the clown, a satisfied smile on his face.

"Okay, let's go!" Trudy said, tugging the rope as Bess followed. "Thanks, Mr. Clown," she said, nodding to the smiling fellow.

"Pleased to help," he replied. "Bye, Bessie!" He waved to the big animal.

As they started their journey, Trudy asked, "Bess, I suppose when we get back, you'll never talk again, huh? Especially if I tell everyone you spoke to me, you'll probably clam up and make me look like a fool."

"You got that right, sweetie!" the camel replied as a hint of a smile revealed her huge white teeth. "You got that right."

Copyright 2005 JO Janoski 

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