A CAMEL is pretty difficult to hide.
There’s the gangly legs, the long neck — and those humps.
But somehow Jenny Hall managed to pull it off.
It was four years ago. Her husband Michael was turning 50 and Jenny and the kids knew exactly what he wanted — a camel.
They organised for one to be transported down from a camel farm near Broken Hill. And while Michael was at work, Jenny snuck their new four-hoofed friend out to the sheep yard.
‘‘Michael got home and I blindfolded him and took him around the back of the house,’’ she said.
‘‘I won’t repeat the exact words he said when we took of the blindfold and he saw the camel — but it was along the lines of, ‘Oh my gosh, we have a camel!’’’
Michael named his new humped beauty Halo — as close to their last name ‘Hall’ and he could get.
Caught in the deserts of Alice Springs, Halo was still wild when they bought her.
‘‘It took quite a while to tame her,’’ Jenny said.
‘‘We had to hand feed her and gently touch her head and chest, just like a horse. Then all of a sudden she just decided to trust us.’’
A gentle giant, Halo was soon best friends with Michael and Jenny’s three-year-old granddaughter, Dolly.
‘‘The two of them have a bond. While Halo is feeding, Dolly will go up to her and pat her,’’ Jenny said.
Eighteen months after the Halls bought Halo, their neighbours also purchased a camel.
‘‘At first, Halo stayed away from the other camel, but then one day she just decided to be brave and go say hello,’’ Jenny said.
‘‘They started running towards each other, it was the funniest thing to watch, there were legs flailing everywhere. Camels are graceful until they start running.
‘‘Now they are both the best of friends.’’
Jenny said Halo will need to be four years old before they can ride her — but at this point they don’t intend to.
‘‘My brother was in the army and breaking in camels was part of his training. But we probably won’t need his services. We’re not going to ride her. I don’t even like hopping on horses,’’ Jenny said.
And to this day, Halo hasn’t spat at them once.
‘‘Halo is very gentle. It’s been such a wonderful experience, having her as a part of our family.’’