Chased by a Camel
In the steppe, having been silent for the whole winter, the land is preparing for the new life in the early spring. The restless vibration of life seems floating in the air.
Once entering their yurt, the educated female youths took off the heavy cotton-padded coats and started dressing up. Wu Ming even put on a red coat, which was uncommon at that time. She was the first that came out of the yurt. She ran on the softening land, yelling: “Steppe, I'm coming.” That was when the crisis occurred.
Suddenly, she heard a weird sound. She looked up and saw a giant taupe creature from afar, roaring and running toward her. At first, she didn’t know what it was and why it dashed at her like a tank. Then she heard someone screaming: “Run! The camel is rutting. It’s dangerous!” It was then that she turned around and ran to the yurt, looking back from time to time.
The camel held his head up high, mouth spitting saliva. He moved his gigantic feet, spurting at full speed. She could hear its heavy breath.
Wu Ming panicked, forgetting where to run. The mad camel was about to catch her. Danger was approaching. Just then, Wu Ming heard someone yelling: “Take off your red coat! Throw it away!”
Hearing that, Wu Ming tore off the buttons and threw her coat away in a hurry. Then she heard the monster roaring again. Instead of chasing her, the camel ran at the red coat...
Later, the local people told Wu that when a male camel is rutting, it chases after colorful things if it can’t find a female camel. If she hadn’t taken off the coat, the camel would have run her over.
Since then, Wu Ming became “camelphobic,” trembling at the sight of camels.
What she didn’t expect was that the camel she feared and hated would save her life in the future.
One night, Wu found a few sheep were missing from the flock she was responsible for. She headed out on her horse to find them. Unfortunately, on her way back, she encountered wolves. The wolves noticed she didn’t bring a gun, so they came toward her and the horse boldly.
There was nothing on the steppe except for the hazy dusk of twilight. Noticing a group of camels eating grass nearby, Wu realized that she had no choice but to ride as fast as she could towards them.
Unexpectedly, the camels were very helpful. Seeing her chased by the wolves, they burst out in loud cries and surrounded her. Then they turned around to fight against the fierce wolves. They frightened away the wolves with their feet and heads and sent the panicked Wu Ming back
After the incident, Wu Ming changed her view towards camels. It was then that she realized that camels were the friendliest animal in the steppe. Only during mating season do the male camels become irritable. Just like horses, camels are helpers of the shepherds. Wu Ming started to make friends with camels and soon she gained a great number of camel companions.
When she was called back to the city, she held the neck of a camel, crying for hours. Surprisingly, tears also rolled down from the camel’s eyes.
Decades later, Wu Ming went to visit the Great Wall. She found a camel standing there for people to take pictures. It was very thin and weak. When it wanted to bend over and have a rest, the owner whipped it to keep it standing. Seeing this, Wu Ming came to the man and yelled: “You can’t treat a camel like that.” The owner glanced at her and said ironically: “Lady, this is my camel. Mind your own business.”
Wu Ming gave a sudden gasp and said: “I will buy it. I want your camel.”
The man said: “Fine. Ten thousand yuan please.” Wu Ming said: “Wait.”
Wu Ming went to the bank nearby, withdrew ten thousand yuan, handed it to the man and pulled the camel away.
She took the camel to the zoo. However, the staff refused to take it saying: “We can barely make it with our own camels.” In anger, Wu Ming decided to rent a car and send the camel to the steppe. In that way, she could also see the steppe again.
After a three-day ride, they arrived at the steppe. However, the sight in front of her eyes shocked her. The green steppe disappeared. Except for some enclosed pastures, most of the land was severely desertified. Little green was to be seen on the land. What depressed Wu Ming the most was that no one was willing to take the camel. People said that camels ate too much grass and many of the plants they liked had become extinct. No people bred camels in the steppe now. She looked around and, as expected, no camels were to be found.
Wu Ming talked herself hoarse. Finally a shepherd agreed to take the camel. She rubbed the camel’s head, saying goodbye to it. Then she got on the car and left. As the car left, she heard a roar from behind. The camel shook off its ropes, running madly after the car. Dust rose up behind the car. A tail of smoke also rose up behind the camel. The two yellow dragons of the sand competed on the devastated steppe.
Wu Ming saw the camel in hot pursuit. The scene reminded her of the first time when she was chased by a camel. Tears fell off from her face like beads on a broken string. She made up her mind, asking the driver to speed up.
In her mind there was a voice saying: “Camel, my dear camel. Don’t chase me. Go on living in the steppe. You’ve got to survive!”