Short Story – Riding Camel to School

On some days Sarojini went to school on a camel. She often scraped her knee while jumping off. And often she forgot her water bottle that she carefully hung around the camels neck.
The best part about school is getting there, thought Sarojini. This camel is somewhat smelly, she thought and held her breath as she climbed on. And then she was fine. The camel waited patiently for her to come down from her crowded flat. It was quietly chewing a piece of newspaper.

The camel didnt hurry her like Veenas mother did. It didnt honk noisily like her brothers school van. And the camel had plenty of room unlike autos. But it was almost as bumpy, she thought.

She looked around her as she held on tightly. She was on the same level as the people travelling in a bus. How nice to be free without being pressed against a window. She could see the trees and telephone poles. She could feel the morning sun getting warmer.

The camel didnt mind the traffic. It walked slowly at an even, steady pace. It didnt stop at the street light. The two-wheeler riders made way for the camel. It didnt mind the cars or the honking. It kept walking. Sarojini wished it would take the longer route. Maybe she could persuade it to go via the beach.

Could you take the road to the beach, please,” she asked in her sweetest voice. But the camel didnt listen. It took the usual route. One overbridge. One turn to the left. Another left again, and there she could see her school.

Sarojini made a grand entrance. She smiled as she saw her classmates staring at her. Even her stiff old maths teacher riding his motorbike looked impressed.

Tomorrow, Ill get to school on a tiger, she thought, as she parked her cycle in school.

Sarojini, dont daydream while you cycle. You looked as if you were driving a tractor or something!” her maths teacher scolded, cornering her in class.

A camel,” Sarojini corrected mentally, nodding meekly.

– Dhanya Parthasarathy

Teacher’s Corner:

dopt a classroom pet. A pair of love birds, a goldfish in a bowl or even a couple of snails in an enclosure are easy to start with.

You can keep the cage/jar in the corner of your class. Students should take turns to feed and clean the pet. Do some research to learn about the food habits and other needs of your class pet.

Think of a name for the pet and give all students an opportunity to interact with the class pet. At the end of the year, ask the students to write an essay about their experiences with the pet.

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