The following is a piece of flash fiction I wrote yesterday for the express purpose of writing it in permanent marker on a hydration backpack. Thus, the story itself is neither polished nor meant to be very good. I can’t remember what gave me the idea, but it worked and I’m happy with the result. I hope you enjoy the story!
There was once a man who set out to test the old proverb “Never feed a camel with a knife.” He bought a camel. He bought a knife. He bought a large brick of smoked Gouda. He bought a lawn chair, in which he sat as he sliced the Gouda, laid it on the flat of the knife, and offered it to the camel. The camel did not eat.
The experiment had failed. The camel had not eaten, the man had not fed it, and the presence of the knife meant nothing whatsoever. The lawn chair was the only thing that had done what it should. So the man tried again.
The man offered. The camel refused. The cheese and knife began a long-term relationship. The lawn chair bore it all. Man and camel began starve.
On the nineteenth day, the man fainted from hunger. When he awoke, the camel was looking down at him. He offered the cheese in his hand, and the camel, at least, ate.
So pleased was the man that he did not notice the camel had pilfered the knife while he was senseless, and had cut his wallet from his pocket while he was feeding it, and was now galloping away at speed with his identity and credit cards, and a small fortune in mixed coin.
Moral: Nunquam pascere camelum culto.
Veritas in fabella omnia.
Note: “Nunquam pascere camelum culto” is very bad Latin for “Never feed a camel with a knife.” The clause “with a knife” is ambiguous, presumably the reason for the above story. “Veritas in fabella omnia” is also very bad Latin for “Truth in every story”. It has no relevance to the story— as if the author needed a short sentence to fill up the final remaining blank space on a certain hydration backpack. Whatever the case, it seems to imply that camel muggings at knifepoint are commonplace. This translator cannot say for certain without risk of lawsuit by someone who had a terrible day with an ungulate.
Note to the note: These notes were not included on the original hydration backpack transcription.