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Dmitri couldn’t believe his eyes! Perhaps the camel was just a mirage. He rubbed his eyes and then made sure to open them really wide, and he looked again. The camel was still standing there, looking back at him.
Dmitri had never rode on a camel before, but it sure would be nice to give his legs a rest. Dare he approach it? Were camels nice? Cautiously he walked closer to the camel.
The camel wasn’t walking away from him, so Dmitri guessed that was a good sign. So far so good, the camel just stayed in its place as Dmitri approached him. Dmitri wondered what the camel was thinking. He was standing right in front of the camel now, trying to figure out how he was supposed to get on top of him! He had never even rode a horse before!
Suddenly the camel started lowering himself down. Dmitri wondered if the camel was planning on going to sleep, but nope, his eyes remained wide open. It was if he was beckoning Dmitri to climb up on him. Did he dare?
His fatigue urged him to try. He climbed up onto his back and the camel slowly rose up. Dmitri wrapped his arms around the camel’s neck trying to hang on. Then slowly the camel started plodding along through the desert sand.
After they went a little ways Dmitri relaxed his grip some, beginning to feel more relaxed. It felt so good to be off his feet!
The farther they went the more the motion of the camel started to lull Dmitri to sleep. He felt his head bobbing and he fought to keep his eyes open. Finally he couldn’t fight it any longer and sleep overtook him.
Dmitri woke up sweating. The desert sun was beating directly down on him. The camel continued to plod along. Where was the camel going? Were they headed in the right direction? He really did hope to get out of the desert soon. It had been exciting at first, this adventure he started out on, but now he felt lost. He dug in his pockets for his compass, but it must have fallen out somewhere along the way, now what was he to do!
He took one more swig from his canteen, and sadly realized that he had only a very little bit of water left. Somehow he needed to find a way out of the desert. Why hadn’t he listened to his wife! She had warned him about traveling in the desert alone, but he was the adventurous type and thought he would be fine. He needed an escape from the craziness of the world.
Now every direction he looked in, all he could see what stretches of sand and more sand. No water in sight! He saw a scorpion crawling across the sand, at least he knew to stay away from them! He had seen an armadillo lizard earlier in the day, they were kind of cute.
He patted his camel on the neck. Dmitri was becoming fond of the camel. The camel was a good listener, he occasionally interrupted Dmitri with by groaning or bellowing in response to his chattering, so Dmitri felt like they understood each other. He was glad he had something to talk too and was very glad for the ride, even if it was kind of bumpy.
“Well buddy, I really need your help, I hope you can lead me out of this desert soon. Unlike you, I can’t go a week without water!” The camel responded again with a couple groans and a bellow.
He found himself wondering again about why the camel had been standing all alone in the desert. He didn’t know much about camels, but he did know that they usually traveled in herds. He hadn’t seen any other camels around. Was this poor camel lost, just like Dmitri was?
Speaking with more confidence than he actually felt, Dmitri said to the camel, “Don’t worry buddy, we will stick together and be just fine!” The camel let out a loud bellow, Dmitri smiled, he was glad that the camel agreed.
After a few more steps the camel stopped. Dmitri guessed he wanted to rest, and that was fine with him. It might be good for him to get off the camel for a little bit and stretch his legs.
He climbed off of the camel and stretched out on the desert sand, it was hot, but it felt good to lie down for a bit.
After resting, he stood up and he gasped at what he saw! There were camels coming towards him, and people were riding on them. His heart started to beat faster, did these people have water they could offer him? Did they know the way out of the desert?
He anxiously waited for them to get closer.
“Hello!” Dmitri called to them and waved his hand as they came towards him.
They smiled back and when they arrived the one gentleman spoke.
“Hello! Are you out here all alone?”
“Yes” Dmitri nodded, “I am.”
“Its not wise to travel alone in the desert, where are you headed?”
Dmitri now was a little embarrassed as he had to admit that he really didn’t know where he was headed, what had started out as a fun adventure, had got him hopelessly lost.
Fortunately the travelers had water to offer him and Dmitri gratefully accepted it. Oh, pure water had never tasted so good!
The travelers told him that they would gladly lead him out of the desert.
Dmitri was so relieved. He climbed back up on the camel. ” See buddy, I told you, it would all work out!” he said, as he patted the camel’s neck.
After traveling for awhile, they came to a stop. They were out of the desert! Dmitri gave them his sincere thanks. They nodded and smiled warmly at him, quickly disappearing as they rode away.
“Well, we made it home buddy!” Dmitri said, “Would you like to stay with me?” Dmitri got a little choked up about thinking of saying goodbye to his friend. The camel bellowed and Dmitri took that as a Yes! He hugged the camel around the neck as he headed for home. He only had one question ringing through his head, how was he ever going to explain to his wife about bringing home a camel?