The Far Oasis

Sharayah and I have both been sick for several days - me since last Monday, and Sharayah since Friday or Saturday. Pretty miserable sometimes, but we're toughing it out together. Today Sharayah asked me to tell her a story to help her feel better. She asked for a story about a camel and a porcupine who become friends. Well. This was the best I could do. It's obviously just silliness, but it was well received. When I was done, we drew pictures to illustrate the story, so I've included those here.

Warning: if you are not a 5-year-old little girl, or in the state of one, this story may not be for you.

Now, on to the story.

The Far Oasis.

Once upon a time, Camel was going on one of his long walks in the big desert.
Camel loved going on these long walks, but there was a great peril to the desert. You see, Camel never paid attention to where he was walking and, as you know, deserts are full of cacti. Camel was always getting cactus pricklies stuck in his legs where he would bump into them. Camels are not very good with opposable digits, so Camel usually left the spikes where they were.
This day would be different.

Camel was walking through the desert as we mentioned before. He already had 2 spikes in one leg and 3 spikes in another because the clouds were very pretty today and he kept looking up. It was while he was looking up when he suddenly stumbled upon a strange little creature. It was like a cactus because it was covered in spikes, but it wasn't green and it had feet and eyes. Well, it had a whole face. If this strange creature hadn't seen Camel coming, he might have been kersplatted, and Camel would have had a very sore foot. As it happened, Steve the Porcupine saw that big foot coming and let out a yelp.
When camel looked down and saw the strange creature, he said, "Oh hello there, little brown cactus. Sorry I almost stepped on you." Steve said, "I'm not a cactus. I'm a porcupine."

Camel and Steve talked for a while and found out that unlike most porcupines, but much like our friend Camel, Steve liked to go for walks in the desert. However, he couldn't go far because he wasn't  good at finding water and he was scared he would get lost. However, he was good at getting spikes out of camels, which he did while they chatted.
He was so good at it that Camel barely noticed. It didn't hurt a bit. Camel told Steve that he could come along on his walk and he would be sure they would find plenty of water and not get lost.

Thus began the greatest companionship between camel and porcupine that ever would be.

Steve began to join Camel on his daily walks. They both had plenty of water and no one had spikes stuck in them for very long, unless you count the spikes that were a part of Steve. On one of these walks, they decided to go all the way to the Far Oasis. This was a very long journey, and even Camel had never gone so far, though he had heard it was a wonderful oasis. Camel assured Steve that all would be well because he knew of a good route that should have enough stops for water. They set off immediately.

When they were about half way, they encountered a strange thing. A big lone bird was circling in the sky. He swooped lower and lower as they walked. As they approached their third pit stop of the day, the bird landed on a small tree by the water.
The bird's name was Phil, and he was a vulture. We can't say why, but he didn't want them to get all across the desert. He wanted them to get stuck in the middle. Phil pretended to be polite. "Hello there, old chaps. You wouldn't be headed toward the Far Oasis, would you? I was just there this morning. They have bad weather. You don't want to go there. Plus, there was a giant cactus patch halfway in the way. You'll get covered in spikes. You should head down to the Dark Valley. From what I hear, there's a big family reunion of camels and porcupines in the Dark Valley, and it starts tonight."

Well, when Phil first began his speech. Steve and Camel were skeptical. To start with, Camel was usually good at sensing weather and, furthermore, there wasn't a cloud in the sky. However, Camel and Steve had often longed to find a herd of camels and porcupine to call their own. "Say, Camel," said Steve, "maybe this strange bird is right. Let's go to the Dark Valley instead."

They set off at once. At first, everything seemed fine. The farther they got from their original path, the more they were unsure. Camel couldn't find an oasis where he thought one should be. The clouds started showing up and looming over them. Sometimes they thought they spotted that old vulture circling above. What finally tipped the scales was when they found the cactus pit. Far and wide, cacti as far as the eye could see.
They were sure this wasn't right. Camel did not want to go through such a big cactus pit, even with Steve there to help remove the spikes. Regretfully, they had to turn back. They were very sad they would not find that herd of camels and porcupines, but by now they were not sure it ever existed.

Slowly and wearily, they made their way back to the oasis where they had first met Phil. It was a long walk and they were very thirsty. Camel was doing pretty good, but little Steve couldn't store nearly as much as water and he was beat. They walked and walked, the hot sun beating down, and just when Steve thought he couldn't go anymore, Camel found the oasis. After they refreshed themselves, they had a hard decision. Should they go on to the Far Oasis or should they head back home? They decided to press on to the Far Oasis. It turned out it was smooth sailing. The weather was crisp and cool, and there was an extra oasis along the way. There were barely any cacti, and Steve only had to remove 2 spikes from Camel the rest of the trip. Finally, they reached the Far Oasis.
They could not believe their eyes. Not only was there a great oasis with sparkling streams of water and tall, cool trees, there was a strange herd on the other side. They could swear they saw some camels. Not only that, they were quite sure there were porcupines.
Why had that grumpy old Phil sent them the wrong way? They just couldn't figure it out, but they decided it didn't matter. They ran as fast as they could to join their new friends. Of course, Steve and Camel were always the best of friends, but they enjoyed having a whole new group to be a part of.

Sometimes on a very clear day, they thought they might see old Phil circling in the distance. No one knew for sure why he had been so mean. Maybe he was just lonely and jealous. Sometimes Camel and Steve went for walks in the desert, but Phil never talked to them again. They always enjoyed their walks together, but instead of going home alone, they came each day to Far Oasis to join their very own herd. They lived happily ever after.

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