You've lost your camel! The caravan is about to leave, but where has your camel gone?
"Has anyone seen my camel?" you shout. "I'll reward whoever can give me a clue."
One man says, "I saw a camel looking for grass to eat."
Another says, "Her ears were cropped."
And another, "The saddle-cloth was brightly embroidered."
Yet another, "She had only one eye."
And one more, "She had a bad case of the mange."
Everyone wants to tell you about the camel, wanting a reward for the clues they offer you. But who is going to help you find her?
Inspired by: The English prose version of Rumi in Tales from the Masnavi by A. J. Arberry.
Notes: This is story 55 in the book. Rumi has appropriated this folktale for an allegory of the seeker's quest, but the motif of the witnesses to the runaway camel has a long pedigree; there is a lovely essay about it here: The Three Princes of Serendip and the One-eyed Camel.