Once upon a time there was a camel in a forest. The camel had lived there for many years. There were other animals and birds too, in the forest. Among them was a fox. It was a wily and shrewd animal.
The fox had been eying the camel for a while. “How nice would it be to taste the camel’s flesh!” he thought. But he could do nothing of himself. He was too small to take on a camel. He had a wicked plan. One day as the camel was grazing; he went near the camel and smiled. The camel smiled back at him. He soon struck up a conversation with the camel.
The innocent camel was happy to have found a friend. The crooked fox was happy that he was closer to his meal. Over the next few days, he became friendlier towards the camel. The camel was happy that he had found a true friend. The fox was a smooth talker.
There was a parrot living in the forest. He was a very old bird. He had lived there for a long time. He was kind and gentle. The parrot was always wary of the fox. He had seen earlier how he had deceived the other animals of the forest. Some of those animals the fox had made friends with had mysteriously disappeared.
He could see through the smooth talk and into his corrupt character. The parrot tried to warn the camel of the wicked fox. But the camel would not listen. In his eyes, the fox was a faithful friend. The camel was angry at the parrot for spreading bad things about the fox. The parrot was sad. He went away.
One day, while the parrot was going about the forest in search of food. He found the fox talking to someone. The fox and the other animal were concealed beneath some bushes. The parrot was curious and flew closer to investigate. He perched on a branch above the bush where he would be seen.
He then listened to what they were talking. “You just need to come and kill him once he has fallen into the pit”, the fox was heard saying. The parrot was alarmed. The other creature growled. The parrot knew at once that it was a panther. “Just give me a signal by howling thrice”, the panther said.
The parrot flew quickly away. “The poor camel”, he thought. The next day he found the camel and told him about what he had heard. The camel would still not believe. “You must not have heard properly”, he told the parrot.
Nevertheless, the seeds of suspicion had taken root in his heart. The next day, the fox came to him as usual. The fox turned to the camel and said, “Friend, a short distance away, there is a grassy piece of land with beautiful flowers. Let us go there.” The camel thought that would be nice. So he agreed. Soon they came to the grassy place. It was indeed beautiful.
The wily fox said, “Shall we play a game. It is a new game I learned recently.” The camel was puzzled but had become alert. The fox said, “The first part of the game is that you will be blindfolded and your legs will be tied. You will then have to hop in the direction I tell you”. The camel became alarmed but still kept quiet.
The fox gave the camel a piece of cloth to tie around his eyes and a rope to tie around his legs. The clever camel tied the cloth such that there was a small opening through which he could see. He also tied his legs such that he could loosen it easily.
Near the place was a deep pit. The camel was now blindfolded and his legs were tied. The fox asked the came to hop to the left. The camel kept peering through the blindfold. To its terror, it was hopping towards the pit on the left. He knew that the parrot was right. The fox was trying to kill him.
“Hop! Hop to your left!” the fox kept saying.” Just in the nick of time, the camel loosened his legs and removed its blindfold. “You false friend!” he yelled at the fox, “You have betrayed me.”
So saying he kicked the fox with all his might. The fox flew a distance and landed beneath a tree. His bones were broken. He went away dragging himself.
The wicked fox had planned to kill the poor camel by pushing it into the pit. He had then planned to call the panther to kill the camel and to cut open the tough skin of the camel. The fox knew that he would not be able to kill and eat the camel on his own.
The camel went safely to his home in the forest and thanked the parrot for his timely information.
Children, this story tell us to beware of false friends. We should always be careful when choosing friends.