197. The Camel and Her Seven Companions

Camel had seven companions: Lion, Snake, Thorn-Bush, Fire, Flood, Honesty, and Deceit.
Deceit said to Snake and Thorn-bush, “Let’s kill Lion! Snake can bite Lion, then hide in Thorn-Bush.”
So Snake bit Lion and hid.
Camel was angry. “Fire, burn Thorn-Bush and Snake.”
Fire obeyed.
Then Camel said, “Flood, douse Fire!”
Deceit shouted, “Flood is drowning us.”
“Flood cannot go uphill,” said Honesty. “Carry us uphill, Camel!”
Camel carried Honesty and Deceit up the hill.
Deceit said, “Let’s kill Camel!”
Deceit and Honesty killed Camel and cooked her.
But when they ate her flesh, it choked them.
They died.
All gone.

[a Somali story from eastern Africa]

Inspired by: "The Camel's Possessions" in Specimens of Somali Tales (published in Folklore) by J. W. C. Kirk, 1904.
Notes: You can read the original story online. Kirk heard this story from "Ismail, Habr Toljaala: Ahmed Farah, professional poet, aged about 24." More about the Habr Toljaala clan.  The thorn-bush is a "zareba" in the story, a fenced enclosure made of thorn-bushes used for keeping flocks.

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