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They Came a Lot to Camelot

by Trent Walters

For Mark Ferrari

Barely teenagers on their first expedition to Avalon, the three of them--Gwen, Lance and Mark--sought adventure. They paddled for three hours over Lochness Lake when a sea monster raised their rowboat aloft and, lurchingly, transported them. They clung to the gunwales, trying not to upset the boat’s precarious balance. “Land ho!” the three cried gleefully as the monster lowered them into the bay of a deserted isle.

They thanked the monster, which bowed as though accepting their gratitude graciously. Then it pulled up some seaweed and chewed like a cow, eyeing the tiny upright monkeys with bored indifference as seawater dribbled down its jaw.

However, they weren’t in Avalon but Camelot. That wasn’t the worst of it. Not only was Camelot a deserted desert isle, but a Bedouin must also have erected a discount-camel emporium, decorating it with sagging party balloons and brightly colored if tattered banners that quipped “Camelot’s Camel Lot!” The Bedouin then, due no doubt to disappointing sales in the British Isles, abandoned the lot.

The gaunt camels--still bound by the neck to stakes--periodically bent, sniffed and nibbled the sand in search of nourishment. Gwen, Lance and Mark tugged up handfuls of seaweed from the lake bottom and fed the camels. They built a makeshift water distillery, filled it, and watered the camels, each of which slurped eagerly and sloppily.

The camels and the trio became fast friends, despite the camels’ reluctance to give the trio a tour of the island. After camping the night on the beach beside the camels, Gwen, Lance, and Mark took turns rowing the camels, one by one, ashore. When at last they’d completed their arduous task--the camels bestowing love-bites to show their appreciation--the trio decided it would be best to find the camels caring homes (Mark suggested bottom-dwelling sea scavengers--a suggestion more desired than acted upon).

After selling them as guard dogs, Mark, Gwen and Lance made a bundle, which afforded them Avalon expeditions out the wazoo. Despite forty years of trying, however, they never did find Avalon.

They’ve still got time.

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