Aladdin the Christmas Camel and Feathered Friends

I had conversation with a friend this morning, about a long-ago Christmas spent in Niamey, Niger that featured Santa arriving on a camel.

That memory brought me to today’s repost, about Aladdin the Christmas Camel at George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

thehistorytourist

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I went to George Washington’s Mount Vernon yesterday and eventually I’ll get around to a post about the house and grounds.  But I’d like to spend this last evening of 2012 on Aladdin, the Christmas Camel.

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In December of 1787, George Washington paid 18 shillings to a man “who brot a Camel from Alexa. for a show.”  Washington was interested in animals of all types and apparently hired the camel as a treat for his Christmas guests.

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The Mount Vernon Ladies Association — they who now own and run George Washington’s 18th century estate — commemorates the event by bringing Aladdin the camel to stay at Mount Vernon each Christmas season.  The rest of the year, Aladdin resides on a farm in Berryville, Virginia.

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Having lived in Niger, on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, I know camels.  And all the ones I’ve known have been nasty, biting, spitting beasties.  Not Aladdin. …

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