Why I’m convinced my wife’s camel could understand English – Steve Cardownie

After insulting a camel’s looks, Steve Cardownie is left reeling by the winking dromedary’s response.

Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 11:45 am
There are good reasons to pick the lead camel when going for a ride (Picture: Fethi Belaid/AFP via Getty Images)

Since the 2015 terrorist attack in Tunisia, the tourist economy has plummeted and is only now showing signs of recovery.

British tourists, in particular, heeded Foreign Office advice and avoided Tunisian resorts, preferring to visit countries deemed safe. This year however travel companies were predicting that tourism from the UK would be at the highest level since the atrocity and yours truly duly played a part by going there this summer.

The Tunisian people could not have been more welcoming and hospitable which made for an extremely enjoyable stay and one which I hope to repeat. There was, however, one unsavoury incident committed not by a human, but by a “Ship of the Desert”.

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On an excursion to the desert, my wife, son and I hired three camels for a trek through the sands when I happened to mention to my wife that although all camels are ugly, her one was truly horrendous. Her camel then proceeded to lead the way with mine directly behind and I was immediately given cause to regret voicing my opinion about its looks.

I swear that her camel turned around and winked at me knowingly for a reason I was soon to find out. If that beast farted once, it must have farted a dozen times. The combined gases from its three stomach compartments were propelled in my direction with, I must grudgingly admit, astonishing accuracy, which left me reeling.

It was obviously my fault for underestimating this camel’s command of the English language as it must have heard my hasty insult and decided to exact its revenge – and then some! Next time I’m within earshot of a camel, I shall first establish if its language skills are limited to Arabic before uttering another word.