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Cosmic Camel

“Four thou-” Donal’s mouth fell open. “Do you mean the Skywheels have been
lost for four thousand years?”
“What’s four thousand?” whispered the lemming.
“Very lots indeed,” the camel whispered back.
“I don’t know,” said Brola carelessly. “Many generations. You can’t expect me to
count them.”
“Years are but a passing breath in the eternal desert wind,” announced Ulan Nuur.
“However, four thousand of them is a long time to have mislaid something of this
size. I’m surprised the Meerie still remembered that the Dome existed.”
Donal walked over to gaze at the pictures, trying to work things out.
“They remembered the Dome,” he said, “because they made themselves little
domes of earth. And they remembered the Skywheels, because they still had one – but
they’ve forgotten everything else!”
“We Camels Never Forget.”
“Neither do we Meerie!” insisted Brola shrilly.
“Then why can’t you read what’s written on the walls?” demanded Donal.
“Because the Meerie have forgotten how to read! That’s why! And what about the
“They’re very clever things!” said Brola indignantly.
“They’re brilliant,” said Donal, “but the Meerie can’t make them any more, can
they? You’ve forgotten how. And why don’t you know what houses are? Because
you’ve forgotten how to build them! I bet you couldn’t even make a wheelbarrow!”
“We don’t need those silly things,” retorted Brola, waving a dismissive hand at
the pictures on the walls. “All we need are the Skywheels. And we’ve got those back
“No, you haven’t. They are under our control,” said Palzack sternly. He motioned
to the other Gyzols, who immediately formed a prickly ring round the platform and its
silver spheres.
Donal winced. He’d made the wrong choice yet again. He should have stayed next
to the Skywheels. Now he couldn’t reach them.