Centro Risorse Territoriale di Pesaro e Urbino

The Turkestan Legion and the Camels of San Rossore

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The camels of San Rossore
Whose story was centenarian
Were Dromedary not Bactrian
That is they were camels too
With one hump instead of two

It was the good Bey of Tunis who
In sixteen hundred and twenty-two
Sent Grand Duke Ferdinand of Tuscany
A caravan of gift camels by sea
And in sixteen hundred and eighty-three
His son Grand Duke Cosimo too
Got an entire camel cavalcade
As an unexpected and welcome perk
From the brave General Arrighetti
Hed sent to Vienna to help lift the blockade
When Ian Sobieski thrashed the Grand Turk
The camels free to roam and ruminate
In the San Rossore Ducal Estate
Were used as draft animals and sometimes lent
To a passing circus as an ornament
The Estate in the course of history
Was taken over by the kings of Savoy
Who in nineteen hundred and forty-three
Left their realm in an awful predicament
So in nineteen hundred and forty-four
The camels which had dwindled to a score
Were captured by Mongols in SS employ
recruited from the steppes of the East
Who shot and devoured every single beast

(Lamberto Bozzi, 18.6.2013)

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