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Cosmic Camel

Cosmic Camel
Donal had just beaten his own record.
“Half an hour!” he groaned. “I don’t believe it!”
It was his fastest yet. Just half an hour: that was all it had taken him to get lost in
the zoo.
“What’ll Mrs Hendry say?” he wailed.
Mrs Hendry was fed up with Donal getting lost on school trips. Last term at the
stately home he’d got left behind in the kitchens; but at least he’d managed to keep up
for the first two hours.
And in the Science Museum, it had been three o’clock before his teacher tracked
him down and said sharply that everyone else was up on the third floor and what was
he doing down here in the basement?
Today, at the zoo, Donal hadn’t even had his lunch. He hadn’t even had his
elevenses. And he was already lost.
Oh, he knew where he was, all right: he was in the monkey house. But nobody
else was.
“Where did they all go?” he moaned. “I wish Mrs Hendry hadn’t put me in
Toby’s group!”
All the other children in his group were quick and clever and impatient. They’d
filled whole pages of their worksheets while Donal was still struggling with the first
“Is that all you’ve done?” Toby had jeered, looking over Donal’s shoulder. When
Donal had tried to cover his clip-board, Toby grabbed it and waved it around for
everyone to see.
“Look what the donkey’s drawn!” he cried. “It’s an octopus! Why are you
drawing an octopus, you donkey-brain?”
“It’s a spider monkey,” muttered Donal. Pulling the clip-board back, he began to
rub furiously at the extra legs. He’d drawn several on the monkey because none of
them looked right.