How the Camel got His Hump

- By Rudyard Kipling
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Joseph Rudyard Kipling (/ˈrʌdjərd/ RUD-yərd; 30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)[1] was an English journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist. He was born in India, which inspired much of his work. Kipling's works of fiction include The Jungle Book (1894), Kim (1901), and many short stories, including "The Man Who Would Be King" (1888).[2] His poems include "Mandalay" (1890), "Gunga Din" (1890), "The Gods of the Copybook Headings" (1919), "The White Man's Burden: The United States and the Philippine Islands" (1899), and "If—" (1910). He is seen as an innovator in the art of the short story.[3] His children's books are classics; one critic noted "a versatile and luminous narrative gift."[4][5]

How the Camel got His Hump

1. In the beginning of years, when the world was new, and the Animals were just beginning to work for Man, there was a Camel, and he lived in the middle of a Howling Desert because he did not want to work. He was terribly idle, and when anybody spoke to him, he just said, “Humph!” and no more. 
2. Presently, the Horse came to him, with a saddle on his back and a bit in his mouth, and said, “Camel, come out and trot like the rest of us.”
3. “Humph!” said the Camel, and the Horse went away and told the Man.
4. Presently, the Dog came to him, with a stick in his mouth, and said, “Camel, come and fetch and carry like the rest of us.”
5. “Humph!” said the Camel; and the Dog went away and told the Man.
6. Presently, the Ox came to him, with the yoke on his neck, and said, “Camel, come and plow like the rest of us.”
7. “Humph!” said the Camel, and the Ox went away and told the Man.
8. At the end of the day, the Man called the Horse and the Dog and the Ox together and said, “That ‘Humph’-thing in the desert can’t work, or he would have been here by now, so I am going to leave him alone, and you must work double-time to make up for it.” 
9. That made the Three very angry, and they held a pow-wow on the edge of the desert, and the camel came chewing on milkweed and laughed at them. Then he said, “Humph!, and went away again.
10. Presently, there came along the Djinn (a magical creature) in charge of the deserts, rolling in a cloud of dust (Djinns always travel that way because it is magic), and he stopped to pow-pow with the Three.
11. “Djinn of All Deserts,” said the Horse, “is it right for anyone to be idle, with the world so new?”
12. “Certainly not,” said the Djinn.
13. “Well,” said the Horse, “there’s a thing in the middle of your Howling Desert with a long neck and long legs, and he hasn’t done a stroke of work. He won’t trot.” 
14. “Whew!” said the Djinn, whistling, “That’s my Camel, for all the gold in Arabia! What does he say about it?”
15. “He says ‘Humph!’” said the Dog, “and he won’t fetch and carry.”
16. “Does he say anything else?”
17. He only says, ’Humph!’ And he won’t plow,” said the Ox.
18. “Very good,” said the Djinn. “I’ll humph him if you will kindly wait a minute.”
19. The Djinn rolled himself up in his dust-cloak, and took a bearing across the desert and found the Camel, looking at his own reflection in a pool of water.
20. “My long and bubbling friend,” said the Djinn, “what’s this I hear of your doing no work, with the world so new?”
21. “Humph!” said the Camel.
22. The Djinn sat down, with his chin in his hand, and began to think a great magic, while the Camel looked at his own reflection in the pool of water.
23. “You’ve given the other Three extra work, all on account of your terrible idleness,” said the Djinn, and he went on thinking magic, with his chin in his hand.
24. “Humph!” said the Camel.
25. “I shouldn’t say that again if I were you,” said the Djinn; “you might say it once too often. Bubbles, I want you to work.”
26. And the Camel said, “Humph!” again, but no sooner had he said it than he saw his back, that he was so proud of, puffing up and puffing up into a great big lolloping humph.
27. “Do you see that?” said the Djinn. “That’s your very own humph that you’ve brought upon your very own self by not working. Now you are going to work.”
28. “How can I,” said the Camel, “with this humph on my back?”
29. “That’s made a-purpose,” said the Djinn, “all because you missed three days of work. You will be able to work now for three days without eating because you can live on your humph, and don’t you ever say I never did anything for you. Come out of the Desert and go to the Three, and behave. Humph yourself!”
30. And the Camel humphed himself, humph and all, and went away to join the Three. And from that day to this, the camel always wears a humph (we call it ‘hump’ now, not to hurt his feelings); but he has never yet caught up with the three days that he missed at the beginning of the world, and he has never yet learned how to behave.

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Word Lists:

Lollop : move in an ungainly way in a series of clumsy paces or bounds

Plow : a large farming implement with one or more blades fixed in a frame, drawn by a tractor or by animals and used for cutting furrows in the soil and turning it over, especially to prepare for the planting of seeds.

Deserts : a person's worthiness or entitlement to reward or punishment

Idle : (of a person) avoiding work; lazy

Presently : at the present time; now

Yoke : a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull.

Fetch : go for and then bring back (someone or something) for someone

Reflection : the throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it

Behave : act or conduct oneself in a specified way, especially toward others

Desert : abandon (a person, cause, or organization) in a way considered disloyal or treacherous


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Words: 896

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