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 halfcircles,
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!”
