The Camel's Conclusion
camel set forth on his journey across a vast and arid desert. He knew
of the value of water, the most precious commodity in this unrelenting
climate. He had always been able to appreciate the sparkling refreshment
that came from drinking the water, but he feared not the prospects of
going without it for days, for he knew that his ability to transform it
in his humps meant that he could always enjoy its rewards.
_____Before making his journey he drank a
great quantity, knowing that it could be a dry trip for days on end. Setting
out, he happened upon an oasis very early in his journey and enjoyed a
quick drink, for his humps were still full. On the next day, he encountered
another watering hole, again briefly stopping to wet his lips. As the
journey continued he was amazed at the initial frequency of the pools
he discovered. Measuring their frequency carefully, he concluded that
he would see at least three per week. "This," he thought, "will
be an easy journey, for my beloved water will be there to carry me along."
_____The pattern continued for over a month,
and by now he saw no need to stop at each pool, for time was precious
also and he felt a need to move on. He remembered the nourishment of past
fulfillment and carried this memory in his humps, knowing this alone could
sustain him. Enamored with the incredible time he was making, he pressed
onward, never looking back. Three watering holes went by without so much
as a sip, for he felt he could make his journey in record time. As his
mind became overwhelmed with the road before him, he lost all recognition
of where he'd been, and his humps grew more and more dry. Just as his
body called to him loud and clear, telling him he was almost doomed, an
oasis appeared on the horizon. Struggling to make his way to the water,
his senses came back to him and he realized the error he had made. Traveling
for three hundred miles on water barely sufficient for seventy-five had
taken its toll. But he had survived.
_____Filling his humps once more with water,
he thanked them for his deliverance, and promised not to take them for
granted ever again. It was at this moment he felt the deepest love for
the gift nature had given him, for without it where would he be?
Refreshed, he set forth to complete his journey, not knowing what lay
deep within or before him. His humps had been mortally damaged by the
prolonged drought, and the next oasis lay nine hundred miles ahead.
© 1993 - Paul Stephens