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Cosmic Camel

Donal listened to the camel drink. It was a very long and noisy process, involving
much slurping and snorting.
“Are you really going on this mission, Ulan Nuur?” he asked.
The camel drained another litre from the clear stream trickling through the
“Of course,” he said, and belched loudly. “Aah. The grass may not be good, but
the water is. Full tanks. I won’t need to drink for a week or so now.”
“Ulan Nuur, you can’t really mean to go. The whole task sounds impossible!”
“It must be possible,” said Ulan Nuur, “or they would not ask Me to do it.”
“But it’s dangerous! You don’t have to do what they want.”
“Humans always want something,” huffed Ulan Nuur. “Do this, carry that, stand
there, spit for the camera. At least the Meerie ask respectfully.”
“I’m sure there’s something wrong with their story, though…”
“I don’t know,” said Donal, worried and baffled at the same time. “Something’s
bugging me, but I don’t know what it is.”
“How useful.”
“I wish I could put my finger on it.” He paused as Brola joined them. Wading
into the shallow stream, she scooped water over her green fur.
“That’s better!” she said. “It was thirsty.”
Donal pulled his flask from his rucksack, dipped the cup into the water, and
sipped cautiously. The camel was right; it tasted good. He decided to risk drinking it,
and save the orange juice in his flask for later.
As he drained his cup, the lemming’s head popped up at the water’s edge.
“Dug a nice hole,” it said. “Good hole. Nice grass.”
“Can you eat this grass?” asked Ulan Nuur incredulously.
“Green, innit?” said the lemming. “S’alright.”
“Caterpillars are green,” observed Ulan Nuur, looking down his nose, “but I
would not eat them.”
“I would,” said the lemming.