Outback camel race

This race took place in the Outback and arose from the pathological desire of Australians to bet on anything but particularly horse races. However, in this remote region there were no horses, but there were lots of camels, more than Arabia, or anywhere else, and so a camel race was arranged. Because all camels look alike, the bookmakers offered the same betting odds on each entrant. Suddenly, a flood of money was wagered on one particular camel which was the spitting image of every other nondescript camel. Almost nothing was bet on the other runners, The bookies protested to the stewards that the race might be rigged for the heavily-backed camel to win. To prevent that possibility, the stewards warned the jockeys, who were actually Afghan camel-drivers, that if they didn't ride their mounts vigorously, and try to win, all bets would be cancelled.

The race got underway and the heavily-backed camel went to the front with its jockey riding effortlessly as if he were sitting in an armchair. The other jockeys rode with great vigour, whipping and spurring their camels and trying desperately to win. But it was no use, the favourite led all the way and won easily. The race was declared fair and honestly run and the bookies lost a fortune.

That night, one bookie, to satisfy his curiosity, approached one of the Afghan camel-drivers with a question, "I'll never again bet on a camel race, so please tell me, why did that particular camel win so easily?"

"Ah, why did the sun rise today?" said the Afghan, "It was inevitable. And why did that camel win? It, too, was inevitable. That camel was the bell-camel, and every other camel learns from birth that it must never, ever, regardless of anything, get in front of the bell-camel."

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