Rudyard Kipling, Just So Stories: HOW THE CAMEL GOT HIS HUMP?

OW this is the next tale, and it tells how the Camel got his big hump.


In the beginning of years, when the world was so new and all, 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; and besides, he was a Howler himself. So he ate sticks and thorns and tamarisks and milkweed and prickles, most 'scruciating idle; and when anybody spoke to him he said 'Humph!' Just 'Humph!' and no more.


Presently the Horse came to him on Monday morning, with a saddle on his back and a bit in his mouth, and said, 'Camel, O Camel, come out and trot like the rest of us.'
'Humph!' said the Camel; and the Horse went away and told the Man.
Presently the Dog came to him, with a stick in his mouth, and said, 'Camel, O Camel, come and fetch and carry like the rest of us.'
'Humph!' said the Camel; and the Dog went away and told the Man.


Presently the Ox came to him, with the yoke on his neck and said, 'Camel, O Camel, come and plough like the rest of us.'
'Humph!' said the Camel; and the Ox went away and told the Man.
At the end of the day the Man called the Horse and the Dog and the Ox together, and said, 'Three, O Three, I'm very sorry for you (with the world so new-and-all); but 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.'
That made the Three very angry (with the world so new-and-all), and they held a palaver, and an indaba, and a punchayet, and a pow-wow on the edge of the Desert; and the Camel came chewing on milkweed most 'scruciating idle, and laughed at them. Then he said 'Humph!' and went away again.
Presently there came along the Djinn in charge of All Deserts, rolling in a cloud of dust (Djinns always travel that way because it is Magic), and he stopped to palaver and pow-pow with the Three.


'Djinn of All Deserts,' said the Horse, 'is it right for any one to be idle, with the world so new-and-all?'
'Certainly not,' said the Djinn.
'Well,' said the Horse, 'there's a thing in the middle of your Howling Desert (and he's a Howler himself) with a long neck and long legs, and he hasn't done a stroke of work since Monday morning. He won't trot.'
'Whew!' said the Djinn, whistling, 'that's my Camel, for all the gold in Arabia! What does he say about it?'
'He says "Humph!"' said the Dog; 'and he won't fetch and carry.'
'Does he say anything else?'
'Only "Humph!"; and he won't plough,' said the Ox.
'Very good,' said the Djinn. 'I'll humph him if you will kindly wait a minute.'
The Djinn rolled himself up in his dust-cloak, and took a bearing across the desert, and found the Camel most 'scruciatingly idle, looking at his own reflection in a pool of water.
'My long and bubbling friend,' said the Djinn, 'what's this I hear of your doing no work, with the world so new-and-all?'
'Humph!' said the Camel.
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.
'You've given the Three extra work ever since Monday morning, all on account of your 'scruciating idleness,' said the Djinn; and he went on thinking Magics, with his chin in his hand.
'Humph!' said the Camel.
'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.'
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.
'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. To-day is Thursday, and you've done no work since Monday, when the work began. Now you are going to work.'
'How can I,' said the Camel, 'with this humph on my back?'
'That's made a-purpose,' said the Djinn, 'all because you missed those three days. 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!'

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.

THE Camel's hump is an ugly lump
Which well you may see at the Zoo;
But uglier yet is the hump we get
From having too little to do.

Kiddies and grown-ups too-oo-oo,
If we haven't enough to do-oo-oo,
We get the hump--
Cameelious hump--
The hump that is black and blue!

We climb out of bed with a frouzly head
And a snarly-yarly voice.
We shiver and scowl and we grunt and we growl
At our bath and our boots and our toys;

And there ought to be a corner for me
(And I know there is one for you)
When we get the hump--
Cameelious hump--
The hump that is black and blue!

The cure for this ill is not to sit still,
Or frowst with a book by the fire;
But to take a large hoe and a shovel also,
And dig till you gently perspire;

And then you will find that the sun and the wind,
And the Djinn of the Garden too,
Have lifted the hump--
The horrible hump--
The hump that is black and blue!

I get it as well as you-oo-oo--
If I haven't enough to do-oo-oo--
We all get hump--
Cameelious hump--
Kiddies and grown-ups too!


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Tags: camel, fairy, kipling, stories, tale

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Comment by Lucy on October 30, 2010 at 2:55
I love it!! I really love it!!
Thank you very much for putting videos funny and charming, I like to see those, especially the little camel and a dog, wow! great! and also that amazing photo. camels on the beach, beautiful! :)
Comment by Natasha on October 30, 2010 at 1:38
Hi Inga,
I can see a new feature of your blog.. - you've added some videos! That's great! We can read, listen to and watch the tales! I like it. Thanks a lot!
Comment by Rosenmaiden on October 29, 2010 at 13:40
Hello, Bob!
You are right! Kipling was a really good English author! Besides, Kiplind was the first Englishman, who was awarded Literature Nobel Prize (1907).
He was born in India. His childhood was happiness (first five yeas), but his school years was sad... Madam Rose, owner of the boarding school, didn't love little boy and punished him... It was cruel treatment! Kipling suffered sleeplessness through maltreatment in the course of his life!
This story was published in 1902. Today we can read this tale in the Internet!
P.S. Bob, thank you for the link! You are very kind!
Comment by Rosenmaiden on October 29, 2010 at 12:45
Hello, Bob!
Thank you for your praise! I like these illustrations too! :-)
As for Kipling... I don't know... Perhaps, you are right! :-) One century ago there were not such photos and the Internet! It's interesting to know - is it possible appearing of such a person and a writer, like Kipling, nowadays, during advanced industrial processes and Internet Technologies? I think, no... :-(
Comment by Rosenmaiden on October 29, 2010 at 7:09
Oh, Deuce 666!
Excuse me, I make a mistake! The word "rhithmic " shoulg write "rhythmic"! :-)
Comment by Rosenmaiden on October 29, 2010 at 6:43
Hello, Nida!
Thank you very much for your comment! I'm glad, that you like photo illustrations for my blog! :-)
Yes, you are right - it's a kinda story for young children. But not only! It's story for adults too! It's story for adults, who have young children! :-)
It's sad, that beautiful tradition of night story is fading lately - in your country, in my country!..
Cartoons and other such stuff on TV attack us and win! :-(
It's was a real beautiful tradition!
I think, you know - home reading can give happiness for our children, feeling of love and caring! :-) We should do it now, because children grow up quickly! :-)
Besides, moral lessons! You are right! Children learn about ethical values, while having fun. This tale is such kind of story! :-)
Comment by Rosenmaiden on October 29, 2010 at 6:02
Hello, Deuce 666!
Thank you very much for your comment and question! It's question of a real philologist! :-)
I'm glag, that you like Kipling! I adore him for his great literature talent!
You know, Kipling was a officer, he was not a professional writer, so we should to estimate at one's true worth his priceless iterature heritage!
As for his genre... I think, you know, it's especially Kipling's style - a kind of rhithmic prose... :-) Poems and prose - all in one! :-)
Comment by Natasha on October 24, 2010 at 23:39
By the way, by clicking the reference of Bob, I found only poetry, yet, I thank you, Bob! I know there are sites, where you can find this writer's stories, but there aren't such good illustrations there. ^_^
Inga, you've selected eminently suitable pictures, so that the process of reading becomes more fascinating!
Comment by Natasha on October 24, 2010 at 23:32
Hi Inga,
Unexpectedly, it appeared to be very absorbing reading! ^_^ Besides, it's not a very complicated text for the beginners. I thank you for the post!
Comment by skyandhill on October 24, 2010 at 7:03
Profound!! I enjoyed it.

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