Gateway to the Classics: Display Item
Horace Elisha Scudder

The Arab and His Camel

One cold night, as an Arab sat in his tent, a Camel gently thrust the flap of the tent aside and looked in.

"I pray thee, master," he said, "suffer me but to put my head within the tent, for it is cold without."

"By all means, and welcome," said the Arab, cheerfully, and the Camel, moving forward, stretched his head into the tent.

"If I might but warm my neck also," he said, beseechingly.

"Put also your neck inside," said the Arab. Presently the Camel, who had been turning his head from side to side, said again.

"I will take but little more room if I place my fore-legs within the tent. It is difficult standing without."

"You may also plant your fore-legs within," said the Arab, moving a little to make room, for the tent was very small.

"May I not stand wholly within?" asked the Camel, finally. "I keep the tent open by standing as I do."

"Yes, yes," said the Arab, "I will have compassion on you as well as on myself. Come wholly inside." So the Camel came forward, and crowded into the tent. But the tent was too small for both.

"I think," said the Camel, "that there is not room for both of us here. It will be best for you to stand outside, as you are the smaller. There will then be room enough for me," and with that he pushed the Arab a little, who made haste to get outside of the tent.