How did the Camel get its Hump?
By: Christa Nnoromele
During the time when the earth was still young, animals were still trying to find out where they belonged on this big, huge planet. My story takes us to the beginnings of what we now know as the Sahara desert in Africa. It was in its beginning stages so it wasn’t as big as it is now. There were many different animals that lived in this area, one being the camel. The camel didn’t look like the camels that we have today. This camel didn’t have a hump. Living in the desert, there isn’t very much water to go around for everyone, so the camel was very thirsty. He walked around the desert, wandering, trying to find that place to drink.
“I’m so thirsty,” said the camel. “I wish there was a way to have water
with me so that while I was looking for water I wouldn’t become so thirsty.” So the camel just kept wandering around the desert in the never ending search for something to quench his thirst. After going for three days without water, the camel was extremely dehydrated. He was so tired from walking and wandering, that he finally collapsed from exhaustion. When he woke up, he wasn’t alone anymore. There was a man standing above him.
“Here take this and drink,” said the strange man. The camel was too tired to question, so he drank what the strange man was holding. It turned out that it was some cool, crisp water, exactly what the camel needed. When the camel finally realized where he was, he took a good look at the little strange man. He was unlike anything the camel had ever seen before.
“Who are you?” asked the camel. “More importantly what are you?’
“My name is Abu, and I am a desert wanderer,” replied the strange man.
“A desert wanderer?” inquired in the camel. “What is that?”
“I travel through the desert and help people and animals in need, and
right now I think that you need my help. You’ve been wandering through the desert for a while now haven’t you?”
“Yes,” replied the camel. “I’ve been looking for a place to drink and quench my thirst, but when I find one it dries up and I have to look for a
new place to drink. While I’m wandering it becomes so hard to keep going just because I have nothing to drink with me. Can you help me Abu?”
“Oh yes little camel,” said Abu. “I think I can help you. I will give you a
way to carry water around with you so that when you are wandering the desert, you can have something to quench your thirst. Now close your eyes, young camel.” The camel closed his eyes and when he opened them, he realized that something was in his way. He couldn’t see the sand in front of
“What did you do to me?” asked the camel. “I can’t see a thing!”
“I gave you a hump on your nose for you to store water in on your long journeys,” replied Abu. “I thought this is what you wanted.”
“I do want a way to have water with me wherever I go, but with this hump on my head, I can’t see where I’m going.”
“Ok,” replied Abu. “I’ll try again just calm down and close your eyes.” The camel did as he was told and closed his eyes. When he opened his eyes, he could see, but there was a growth on this stomach. He thought this one was better, so he tried to walk around and see if it would work. It didn’t though because the hump on his belly was so big that he couldn’t even reach the ground with his feet. The only way that he could move was if he slithered across the sand like some of the desert snakes.
“Abu! This isn’t going to work either. I can’t even walk and its taking more energy for me to slither then it would to walk,” exclaimed the camel.
“You can learn to slither like the desert snakes,” replied Abu. “Walking isn’t really that important.”
“Please lets just try one more time to get this right,” pleaded the camel.
“Alright, alright but this is the last time, then you’re on your own.” The camel closed his eyes one last time. When he opened them, the hump on his stomach was gone. There wasn’t a hump on his head either. He could walk around and he could see fine.
“This is amazing! I can walk and see, but where is the water?” exclaimed the camel.
“I know you can’t see it, but I’ve put the water in a hump on your back,” replied Abu. “Now it is out of your way so you can see where you’re going, and it’s out of the way so that you can walk on your legs. Most importantly, you now have a way to carry water with you to quench your thirst on your journeys.”
“Thank you, Abu!” said the camel. “This is the greatest day of my life!” So the camel ran away from Abu to give his new hump a try. He was so proud and happy that he now had a way to make his life easier. He could now go for days without water, and when he needed to drink, he didn’t have to drink that much.
One day, when the camel was continuing his travels through the desert, he ran into his friend, the fox. He hadn’t seen the fox since before he had gotten the hump on his back, and he was really excited to show it off to his friend. As the fox approached, the camel yelled, “Hello friend!” The fox looked up and at first didn’t even recognize the camel. When he finally did he said, “Camel! My good friend what has happened to you?”
“What do you mean?” replied the camel.
“What is that thing protruding off your back? It looks really painful.”
“Oh isn’t it amazing! A desert wanderer gave it to me to solve my problems with water. My life has been so much easier.”
“With that thing on your back? If I were you, I would go right back to the wanderer and get it removed. What an eyesore!” exclaimed the fox with
“You don’t like it?” asked the camel.
“Like it? What’s there to like about it?” the fox said still laughing.
“Oh ok,” said the camel timidly. “I’ll find the desert wanderer and get it removed.” The camel walked away sadly in the quest to find Abu, the desert wanderer. Just to his luck, the camel happened upon Abu only a few moments after his conversation with the fox.
“Oh hello camel! Are you enjoying your new way to carry water?” asked Abu.
“Not really,” replied the camel. “I was hoping that you would remove it for me.”
“Remove it?” exclaimed Abu. “Why when you left the last time, you were so happy to have it, what has changed?”
“Everyone is making fun of me because of it!” yelled the camel. “I just want to be excepted like I was before!”
“I understand,” replied Abu. “You would rather give up something that
makes you happy to be accepted.”
“You make it sound so awful,” said the camel.
“I told you I understand young camel. You would much rather change just because someone didn’t like it, then you have to change immediately. It would be so much easier follow the crowd then to make your own path. Oh I
understand, but the question is do you understand what you are getting ready to do?”
“I think I get what you’re trying to say, Abu,” replied the camel. “It shouldn’t matter what other people think of me as long as I’m happy. The only opinion that should matter to me is my own, and I shouldn’t be ashamed
of who I am.”
“Now that you have realized this, do you still want me to take away your hump?” inquired Abu.
“No,” replied the camel. “I like myself the way I am now, and others are just going to have to learn to live with it. Thank you for helping me Abu.”
“You’re welcome young camel.” The camel turned and left the desert wanderer with his new found lease on life, and the hump on his back. He never let any of the comments animals made about his hump get to him again because he knew that his opinion was the only one that mattered in this regard. The hump that this camel had became a trait that was passed down from generation to generation, and this is why the camel has a hump.