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A poem by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

The Camel and The Pig

Title:     The Camel and The Pig
Author: Carolyn Sherwin Bailey [More Titles by Bailey]

A Camel and a Pig chanced to meet in a far country, and as neither had seen the other before, they began at once to boast.

"The greatest distinction and the most good in the world comes from being tall," said the Camel. "Look at me, Pig; behold how tall I am!"

The Pig looked at the Camel, so far above him in height, but he had made up his mind not to be outdone by him.

"You are in the wrong, Camel," argued the Pig. "There is nothing in the world so important as being short. Look at me, and behold how short I am!"

The Camel looked down at the Pig but he was not of his opinion. "This matter must be settled by a test," he said. "If I fail to prove the truth of what I feel about myself, I will give up my hump."

"That is well spoken," replied the Pig. "And if I cannot show you the truth of what I have said I will give up my snout."

"It is a bargain!" said the Camel.

"Agreed!" said the Pig.

So the Camel and the Pig started on a journey together to find out which of the two was the more honorable, and in the course of time they came to a garden. It was entirely surrounded by a low stone wall in which there was no opening.

The Camel stood beside the wall and looked at the green plants, growing in such profusion inside the garden. Then he stretched his long neck over the wall and ate a hearty breakfast of juicy green leaves and stalks. Then he turned and jeered at the Pig who stood at the bottom of the wall and could not catch a glimpse even of the good things in the garden.

"Which would you rather be, Pig, tall or short?" asked the Camel as they travelled on again, and the Pig did not answer.

Soon, though, they came to a second garden, enclosed by a very high wall. At one end there was a wicket gate. The Pig quickly squeezed himself under the gate and went into the garden. He ate a hearty meal of the ripe vegetables that he found there, and came out, laughing in his turn at the Camel who had not been able to reach over the wall.

"Which would you rather be, Camel, short, or tall?" asked the Pig, and the Camel did not answer.

So the two thought the matter over and they decided that the Camel had reason to keep his hump and the Pig to keep his snout. For it is good to be tall when height is needed; and it is also important, at times, to be short.

[The end]
Carolyn Sherwin Bailey's short story: The Camel and The Pig