The Camel Dances

A Parable Submitted by Lillian "Illiana" Lehman of El Cerrito, CA

The Camel had her heart set on becoming a dancer. "To make every movement a thing of grace and beauty," said the Camel, "that is my one and only desire."

Again and again she practiced her turns, her belly rolls, and her shimmies. She repeated the six basic rhythms a hundred times each day. She worked for long months under the burning desert sun. Her feet were blistered, and her body ached
with fatigue, but not once did she think of stopping.

At last the Camel said, "Now I am a dancer!" She announced a recital and danced before a group of camel friends and critics. When her dance was over, she made a deep bow.

There was no applause….

"I must tell you frankly," said a member of the audience, "as a critic and as a spokesperson for this group, that you are lumpy and humpy. You are baggy and bumpy. You are, like the rest of us, simply a camel. You are not, and never will be, a true artist of the Danse Orientale."

Chuckling and laughing, the audience moved away across the sand.

"How very wrong they are!" cried the Camel. "I have worked hard. There can be no doubt that I am a
splendid dancer. I will dance and dance just for myself."

That is what she did. It gave her many years of pleasure.

Satisfaction will come to those who please themselves.

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