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The 360° Camel
by M. J. Nicholls

An irradiant tusk of heat, nuzzling into the spine of the afternoon, sautéed the desert with undiminishing swiftness. Across the Great Grinestone Crevice – a geometric imbroglio of igneous rock – sprawled one Nimfer, a Bactrian camel whose chronic dandruff problem was a source of much amusement among the burgeoning flea community on his back.

Nimfer suffered great concentric toils. He had recently been pondering whether the internal angles of his humps totalled a number greater than the years he had roamed in the desert.

“Invariably, my camel friend,” said one flea. “Since half your humps are shaped like crude half-circles, I would imagine the total sum of your humps equals a number close to 360.”

This response posed much distress for Nimfer. Although he knew he was not circular, he knew that the combined angle of his humps alluded to his shape being the equivalent of a full circle.

“Do not fret, my camel friend,” said the same flea, “for you have failed to take into account the many right angles around the tip of your legs, and the obtuse and acute angles which fluctuate in dimensions with each footstep. You are no more circular than I am rectangular.”

Unfortunately, the noonday sunlight obscured the floppier waggles of the flea’s figure, bestowing him with a rectangular appearance. This sent Nimfer into a deep depression, where he refused to drink water and let his humps deflate to lesser angles to prove he was not circular. However, fast as he might, he was unable to alter his circularity.

So one afternoon, with the sun cuckolding the sand, and the endless blue expanse of the sky hazing into an impenetrable white light, Nimfer perched atop a knoll and allowed himself to tip headlong down its obtuse, silken groove. He spun around in 360° circles, the rumble and bump of his humps creating a spherical arc around which he tumbled, onward and downward into the sheepish dominion of the snakes.

“Let it be known throughout the desert,” he proclaimed, “that I am Nifer, the 360° camel!”