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I don't know if I'm particularly emotional today, but I just reread "The Camel Dances" from Arnold Lobel's Fable and am tearing up because that camel is totally my spirit animal and understands my struggles and *sob*.

I have a really intense evaluation / audition coming up for the performance art I train in, and I'm getting kind of stressed about it. Like the camel (who is lump and humpy, baggy and bumpy), my body will never be ideal for this. I just started too late and don't have the background.


But the story is right; I can and WILL do this for myself because I love it.

Here' it is for those of you who don't know it:

The camel had her heart set on becoming a ballet dancer.

"To make every movement a thing of grace and beauty," said the Camel. "That is my one and only desire."

Again and again she practiced her pirouettes, her releves, and her arabesques. She repeated the five basic positions a hundred times each day. She worked for long months under the hot desert sun. Her feet were blistered, and her body ached with fatigue, but not once did she think of stopping.

At last the Camel said, "Now I am a dancer." She announced a recital and danced before an invited group of friends and critics. When her dance was over, she made a deep bow.

There was no applause.

"I must tell you frankly," said a member of the audience, "as a critic and a spokesman for this group, that you are lumpy and humpy. You are baggy and bumpy. You are, like the rest of us, simply a camel. You are not and never will be a ballet dancer!"

Chuckling and laughing, the audience moved away across the sand.

"How very wrong they are!" said the Camel. "I have worked hard. There can be no doubt that I am a splendid dancer. I will dance and dance just for myself."

That is what she did. It gave her many years of pleasure.

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