Sunday, February 9, 2020

The Camel Dances

When the kids were young I bought a slim volume titled FABLES written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel. It was a favorite of the kids at bedtime. They're short, all of them one page with a moral at the bottom. Just for fun I thought I would post them now and then. I'll start with this one. As I recall it was a favorite of the kids.

The Camel had her heart set on being a ballet 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 pirouettes, her releves, and her arabesques. She repeated the five basic positions a hundred times each day. She worked for long months under the hot 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 an invited 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 a spokesman 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 ballet dancer!”
Chuckling and laughing, the audience moved away across the sand.
How very wrong they are!” said 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.


  1. I really like that. Is this the Frog and Toad Are Friends writer? He's very good on seeing what's important, and not relying on outside approval. Great stuff for all of us, not only kids! Thank you.

  2. I think I've seen that camel once or twice, in my journey across the sands.

  3. Oh excellent! That’s sort of what I do with my crochet - & then I foist my projects on other people :)

  4. What a delightful story, and I even like the moral. I’ve been a camel once or twice - maybe even more times - in my life, but who cares. Perfection is not all it’s cracked up to be. Pleasure is more important.

  5. What a great story. It's kind of like blogging. LOL

  6. Yes, that is true for us all. If it is our love, screw everyone who disagrees.

  7. I have loved Arnold Lobel via Frog and Toad. Thank you so much for the illustration from The Camel Dances. I hope to find a copy of Fables at our public library (-:

  8. I'm so glad you posted the illustration, too. It's just perfect -- what a smile it gave me this morning. Those slippers and that tutu just cracked me up. I think I forgot to say that I've never heard of Arnold Lobel. I'm going to look up the book at the library.

  9. Great writer and even greater illustrator Arnold Lobel.


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