I was very sad to read this morning that one of my favorite animals, Maxx the Camel, who lived at Animal Adventure Park (where I visited the giraffe family for my birthday this past May) died yesterday.
The Facebook post read:
While I’ve made my love of giraffes known, far and wide, I also have a special place in my heart for camels. I recapped this story in a previous blog, but I got some details wrong so I’m fleshing it out again, in honor of Maxx.
The first movie I ever saw in a theater was “Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure.” It was 1977, and I was 5 or 6 years old. In the movie, Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy (and their assortment of toy friends come to life) go on an adventure to save a new doll that has been kidnapped by a Captain from a bottle in a ship. (if this plot sounds vaguely familiar, it may be because it was replicated in the much later to come film, Toy Story.)
During their rescue adventure out in the world, the Raggedies meet “the Camel with the Wrinkled Knees,” a blue, stuffed camel who has been discarded by his owner (because some kids suck) and is now out in the world alone and heartbroken. He joins up with the rest of the toys on the adventure, agreeing to help them find the kidnapped doll, with the promise of having a new home with all of the other toys in their nursery when they return home.
Upon returning home near the end of the movie, the toys are unable to get back inside the nursery because the window is locked, so they get stuck out in the yard in the rain. The next morning, the young girl, who owns the toys, discovers them all out in the yard, gathers them up, and brings them inside….all but the wrinkled knee camel. Later, when the toys come alive, the camel is still outside, looking in the window, sad because the other toys had seemingly forgotten him.
At that point in the movie, I began crying very hard and my mother had to take me out of the theater. I was so upset that the camel was left outside, and for the rest of my life I remembered that movie and that sad scene and maintained a soft spot for camels. It wasn’t until Many years later, as an adult, that I purchased a VHS copy of it on eBay, saw it again, and discovered the camel was actually let inside and became part of the group. (Whew!)
Today, I think of Maxx and all my camel friends fondly.