Once upon a time there was a camel, who lived in the dry, scorching desert. Long ago, he had drunk poisonous water out of an oasis, and it had made him very, very sick. What a bitter experience! He had very nearly died.
So this camel had become a very cautious camel: he avoided water so that he wouldn’t be sick again. He was thirsty, of course, but he preferred that to risking death again. He would wander around and go past the oases without so much as touching their water. He was a very thirsty camel.
Once in a while, however, he would reach an oasis where other camels were drinking. When that happened, he would start drinking there too, as the water was obviously safe. But this camel was so thirsty that once he started, he would drink up the whole oasis, leaving nothing behind him but a dry patch of mud.
But, will you ask, how did we get to know about this camel and his strange behaviour? Actually, the answer is pretty simple (aside from the dried-up oases, of course). You see, as this camel drank only so very rarely, and so much at a time, he had developed no less than twenty-seven humps on his back, attracting the attention of all the camel-watchers in the desert.
Parable told by J.-F. H.
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