Trevor is the matriarch of the strings. She is the eldest although not the longest serving. She is not bothered about being fussed nor petted, which is just as well as her coat is like the wire wool of a brillo pad. Her total reliability does mean that she has drawn the short straw of having to carry 2 boys every day! Due to her maturity and intelligence (!!) she has worked out that if you behave correctly you will get some treats and benefits. She is the only camel Paul will allow to roam loose for periods of time which, although a little unnerving initially, becomes quite soothing but also entertaining.
Unknown to us, she was loose one evening whilst we were sat around the bonfire. Suddenly this ghostly apparition (she’s very pale) appeared from the darkness, eyes glowing green in the light from our head torches. She didn’t move, just watched us watching her. Once we were reassured that she hadn’t broken free we enjoyed watching her creep, very gradually forwards, almost like the game of statues, she couldn’t move when anyone was watching, only when you wouldn’t notice. I began to detect a specific direction in her advances, towards the trailer containing all the fruit and vegetables, the doors of which lay wide open. Surely she wasn’t going on a raid. Just in case, I went around the back of the log pile to the trailer, not wanting to get too close to her in the darkness, allowing more than the designated 6 feet which is advised on the walks. I closed the doors and before I had returned to my fireside seat she had given up and gone back to the hay with the others! Apparently she has raided that trailer before.
This gave me a little clue which impressed some of the guests this week when she was roaming free one morning as everyone was finishing breakfast and getting packed up. We have a bucket specifically for the scraps of food and leavings over, excluding meat, which is fed to the camels. Trevor, of course, recognised it and ate the whole lot, she then went over to check out the washing up bowl but was disappointed. Her wanderings nearly took her into the long-drop toilet and I hate to think what attracted her! She then went to the fire pit but was diverted by the pepper tree which is a definite favourite. I nearly bumped into her as I was coming out the cabin, having delivered some of the packed lunches to the people in there. One of the older boys couldn’t believe that she would actually have gone inside but after the evening antics I felt sure she would so blocked the doorway and she wandered off in disgust after a few minutes.
Sam decided to give her a drink of orange juice and whilst pouring it in to a mug Trevor opted to save time and took the whole container in to her mouth. She does have some manners and was quickly reprimanded and was rewarded with a cupful which she glugged down like a vacuum cleaner. Obviously orange juice is one of her preferences but apparently port is her favourite tipple!
All these camels have a story and very different personalities. Once here they are treated with kindness and respect and are loved by everyone sooner or later. It becomes easy to see why Paul and Karen struggle on with what is quite a difficuilt and challenging life, just to be able to live and work amongst these wonderful beasts.