Ox: O Man, I told him to come and plough like the rest of us, but he wouldn’t. He is excruciatingly idle.
Man: Three, O Three, I am very sorry for you, with the world so new and all, but that Humph-thing in the Desert can’t work, or he would have been here by now, so I am going to leave him alone, and you must work double-time to make up for it.
Exit Man. The three animals sit down and have a heated discussion. They are all very angry. The camel enters chewing some milkweed, excruciatingly idle, and laughs at them. Then he says ‘Humph’ and goes away.
Enter the Djinn in charge of All Deserts, rolling in a cloud of dust (Djinns always travel that way because it is Magic), and stops to palaver and powwow with the Three. Horse: Djinn of All Deserts, IS it right for anyone to be idle, with the world so new?
Djinn: Certainly not.
Horse: Well, there’s this thing in the middle of your Howling Desert with a long neck and long legs, and he hasn’t done a stroke of work since Monday morning. He won’t trot.
Djinn: Whew! That’s my camel, for all the gold in Arabia! What does he say about it?
Dog: He says ‘Humph!’ and he won’t fetch and carry.
Djinn: Does he say anything else?
Ox: Only ‘Humph!’ and he won’t plough.
Djinn: Very good, I’ll humph him if you will kindly wait a minute.
Djinn rolls himself up in his dust cloak, and heads off through the desert. Scene 3: In an oasis in the middle of the desert. Camel is looking lazily at his own reflection in a pool of water.
Enter Djinn rolling in a cloud of dust.
Djinn: My long and bubbling friend, what’s this I hear of you doing no work, with the world so new and all?
Djinn: Sitting down and beginning to think up a magic spell.
Djinn: I shouldn’t say that again if I were you. You might say it once too often. Bubbles, I want you to work.
Suddenly the camel’s back starts to puff up into a great big lolloping humph.
Djinn: Do you see that? That’s your very own humph that you’ve brought upon your very own self by not working. Today is Thursday, and you’ve done no work since Monday, when the work began. Now you are going to work.
Camel: How can I with this humph on my back?
Djinn: That has a purpose. You missed those three days. Now you will be able to work for three days without eating, because you can live on your humph; and don’t you ever say I never did anything for you. Come out of the Desert and go to the Three, and behave. Humph yourself!
And the camel humphed himself, humph and all, and went away to join the Three. And from that day to this the Camel always wears a humph (we call it a ‘hump’ now not to hurt his feelings); but he has never yet caught up with the three days that he missed at the beginning of the world, and he has never yet learned how to behave.