Prepare to enter a world of both shadow and substance

Take a journey of body, mind and spirit where you'll encounter things you won't find anywhere else.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Caution: This Post Contains Random Pictures Of Camels

Meet Charlie the Camel:

I probably should explain myself just a little. See, I live in a town so small and boring that we don't have anything here but two tiny diners, two convenience stores and a Dollar General Store. With a population of only about 1100, there's nothing in the way of entertainment, (unless you count the American Legion), and certainly nothing with which to occupy yourself when it comes to free time. Culture? Bah, humbug! So, that's why it surprised me when I heard my mother say something about 'seeing the camels.' Camels....? Here....? In Norris City....? Unbelievable! I only knew that this was something I had to see!
I may have mentioned it before on this blog, but my brother is in the Air Force and got stationed over in South Korea for a year. It was decided that his wife would be better to stay with some family members rather than be on her own in a place she wasn't familiar with. (She was born in Canada.) So, she came to stay at my house because it seemed like the most logical. In order that she doesn't get bored to tears, which is easy to do around my town, the family has been coming up with things to do to entertain her. When my mother mentioned taking her to see the camels at the miniature pony farm, I volunteered to go along and get pictures. I try to keep my brother updated on things involving his wife, so anytime something of note happens, I get pictures and e-mail them to him. That Saturday afternoon, the weekend before Christmas, was when the place we were going to was having their annual "open barn" event, so the three of us bundled up and headed out to Bryant's Miniatures.

Of course, after having heard that they had camels, the first thing I made sure to do after parking was to go hunt up an appropriate model for my shutterbug aspirations. It turned out to be the previously-mentioned Charlie the Camel. He is seen here below wondering why I didn't have any peanuts to feed him.

He was quite friendly and allowed himself to be petted. Here is my sister-in-law doing just that:

Of course, they had all sorts of other animals, such as llamas, donkeys and doves. (Oh, my!)

There was even a scrappy rooster running around on the loose!

Apparently, every year this place has an open house and admittance is absolutely free! They offer pony cart rides for young and old, you can pet and feed the animals, they have entertainment and even platters of snacks galore. I, of course, availed myself of the raisin cookies.

The raisin cookies were so good, that when I got home I made some of my own. Gotta love them raisin cookies! Another random camel image:

Did I mention that the llamas were quite friendly?

As part of the entertainment, they had flown Santa down from the North Pole for a special afternoon appearance. I don't know how he found the time to come down to my little town, in what must surely be his busiest time of the year, but there he was, posing for pictures and ho ho ho-ing:

Santa even brought his guitar and performed instrumental Christmas songs. Now, Santa doesn't particularly sponsor one product over another, but he did use a Rogue acoustic guitar and a Peavey sound system that sounded pretty good. And don't let the beard fool you - he had a harmonica concealed under there and used it to perform the melodies of the songs he played. Who knew the man had such a wide variety of skills? Santa was really jammin':

ALERT! - shameless The Ten Commandments reference - ALERT! They also had a room where they displayed their miniature award-winning carts. The walls were filled with ribbons and trophies and there were tiny recreations, which were all usuable, of stagecoaches, sleighs, silkies, royal coaches, buckboards, fire wagons, and scads I don't even know what to call. But, the most amazing thing was they had two chariots! You'll all remember how much of a role chariots played in my all-time favorite movie! Of course, these were Roman-type chariots instead of Egyptian, but they were chariots none-the-less:

All in all, it was quite an entertaining little foray only a mile or two outside of the city limits. I might have to go back next year to see the camels even though my brother's wife won't be staying with me! Before I go, though, one last random image of Charlie the Camel: