Once, in a dry desert, a man was urging ten camels forward to a water pool. After walking a few miles, he mounted one of the camels and counted the rest. He counted nine of them, then immediately dismounted and walked back in search of the lost one.
Seeing no sign of any camel, he thought he had lost it. He discontinued the search and hurried back to the camels, grieved and dismayed. There, to his great joy, he found all ten of them. Happily he mounted one, and after a while he thought of counting them once more.

Nine of Ten [Illustration by Kusum Chamoli]
Nine of Ten [Illustration by Kusum Chamoli]

They were nine! He got down, perplexed, and started the dismal search again. The lost camel could not be found. He rushed back to the herd, and counting it, he was surprised to see that all his ten camels were lazily walking along. He blamed the heat of the desert and got on the last camel, counting the rest for the third time. He just couldn’t understand why one was still missing. He jumped down, cursing Satan, and tiredly repeated the counting. There were ten camels!

“All right, O crooked Satan,” he grumbled, “I would rather walk and have all my camels than ride and lose one!”

213 words | 2 minutes
Readability: Grade 4 (9-10 year old children)
Based on Flesch–Kincaid readability scores

Filed under: stories
Tags: #deserts, #camels

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