BACK TO 3 camels

The Three Camels
By Harrison Woodard

A long time ago, there were three camels named Erin, Nina and Penda. They wanted to travel to distant lands and visit wonderful places. The wise men that owned them rarely left their palace.
Instead, they spent their days studying ancient writings, and their nights searching the stars.
  The three camels prayed, “God, please send us on an adventure.”
  And God answered their prayer.

Several nights later, the wise men loaded their camels and headed west, towards a bright star. They traveled all through the night and into the next day until they reached an oasis. There, they rested in the shade of the big palm trees.
Erin said, “I think I know where we’re going.”
“Where?” asked the other two.
“My master, Melchior, placed a jar of myrrh on my back. This is a gift given to a great general. A man willing to serve his people and give his life for them if necessary. His house will be large and he will have hundreds of servants and soldiers attending his needs.”
The other camels nodded, “You may be right.”
At sunset, they approached a large house.
“See, I told you,” bragged Erin.” This must be the general’s house.”

The three wise men spent the evening with the general who provided them with delicious food and entertainment. The camels were treated kindly as well.
After dark, they talked with the animals in the stable.
“Who lives here?” asked Erin. “He must be a very great man.”
“He is my master General Kadar,” said a donkey. “He is a great warrior and faithful servant to his King.”
The camels went to sleep, honored to visit such a great man’s home.
The next morning the wise men continued the journey. After traveling all morning, they stopped at another oasis to rest.
“My master did not leave his gift with General Kadar,” said Nina.
“Neither did mine,” said Erin. “I must have been wrong.”
“I think I know where we are going,” said Penda.
“Where?” asked the other two.

“My master, Balthazar, loaded a chest full of gold on my back,” said Penda. “Gold is a gift given to a king. This king must live in a fabulous palace somewhere to the west.

The other camels nodded, “You may be right.”
After several more days, they arrived at King Herod’s palace. The wise men stayed in the palace as the King’s guests.
In the stable, the camels were given water, food, and a place to sleep.
“See, I knew we were visiting a king,” bragged Penda.
The other camels said, “You were right.”
But the next morning, the wise men continued their journey without leaving any of their gifts.
“I don’t understand,” said Penda. “If not a king, then who?”
“I think I know where we are going,” said Nina.
“Where?” asked the other two.

“My master, Gaspar, put a container filled with sweet-smelling frankincense on my back,” said Nina. “Frankincense is the gift given to God. I believe we are going to a great temple. There will be many people offering their gifts and prayers to God.”
“You must be right,” said the other two.
Later that day, they came to the great temple in Jerusalem.
“See, I knew we were visiting a temple,” bragged Nina.
The other camels said, “You were right.”
The wise men walked around the grounds and admired the beautiful structure. But after a short time, they mounted their camels and continued the journey.

Nina asked, “If the gifts are not for God, then who?”
They had visited a great general, a king, and God’s holy temple, and none were worthy of their masters’ gifts.
“We must be visiting someone really special,” said Erin.
The other camels nodded, “You must be right.”
It was nighttime as they approached a small town called Bethlehem. The great star led them to a very small house.
“Why did we stop?” asked Erin. “Who could possibly live here?”

The three wise men knocked on the door.
A man named Joseph greeted them, “May I help you?”
“We have traveled many miles to visit the new king,” said Balthazar.
“We followed his star,” added Gaspar.
“We want to worship him,” said Melchior. “Is he here?”
Joseph called to his wife, “Mary, bring Jesus here. He has some visitors.”
Mary appeared in the doorway, holding a small child.
“This is Jesus,” said Mary.
The three wise men knelt down in front of Jesus and worshiped him.
“I have a jar of myrrh for Jesus. A gift to honor a great warrior and the life he will give for everyone,” said Melchior.
“Thank you,” said Joseph.
“I have brought a chest full of gold. A gift worthy of the new king of the world,” said Balthazar as he handed the chest to Joseph.
“Thank you,” said Joseph.
“Here is a container of frankincense. A gift worthy of the Son of God,” said Gaspar as he handed the container to Joseph.
“Thank you,” said Joseph. “God has granted great wisdom to you all.”
The three wise men bowed.
“Will you be returning to your country tonight?” asked Joseph.
Gaspar answered, “We will spend the night in Bethlehem and leave in the morning.”
“God bless you and protect you,” said Mary as she and Joseph waved goodbye.
  That night, the three found rooms in an inn. They praised God for what they had seen.

During the night, the camels couldn’t sleep. They talked about all that had happened. Suddenly, an angel appeared before them.
“Do not be afraid,” said the angel. “I bring you great news.”
“What is it?” asked the camels.
“Each of you thought you knew who you were going to visit. Erin said it would be a great warrior willing to give his life to save his people. You were right. Jesus will give his life for all people and he will return and conquer all evil.”
“Penda said it would be a great king. You were right too. Jesus is the eternal king. His kingdom will never end.”
“Nina said it would be God. And this was right as well. Jesus is God’s son,” explained the angel.
“Wow!” exclaimed the camels. “There is nobody greater in the world!”

They thanked God for allowing them to see Jesus and be part of such a great event.
And then the angel told them, “Tomorrow morning I will lead you home. Don’t turn to the right or left, but follow me wherever I lead you.”
The three answered, “We will obey.”
  The next morning, the three wise men mounted their camels and tried to turn the camels towards the north, but the camels refused to turn. They then tried to pull them to the south, but they still wouldn’t budge.
And then Gaspar said, “Last night I had a dream. I was warned not to go back and tell King Herod where to find the child. He wants to hurt Jesus.”
“I had that same dream,” said Melchior. “How will we get home?”
“We are to trust God,” said Balthazar. “He will show our camels the way.”
And then the angel appeared in front of the camels. But the wise men could not see or hear him.
  “Follow me,” said the angel.
The camels followed him all the way to their own country.
Back at their home, they told all the other animals about their trip. For the rest of their lives, they praised God for choosing them for such a great adventure.