Updated: Feb 5
This is the very strange story of Abu Wishein, the two-faced camel. Now, when you hear the term “Abu Wishein" (two-faced) you would assume it means this camel is not an honest camel. That he is not what he seems. The truth is , Abu Wishein is the most truthful camel you will ever meet. So why did he get such a confusing name? Read on and find out ;-)
Abu Wishein is a very friendly Camel. He loved all creatures and especially loved social visits where he gets to spend time with them. What his friends didn’t know though, was that Abu Wishein had a very Big secret! Whenever Wishein was in a nice gathering among friends, he suddenly mumbled something they couldn’t understand and ran out, straight back to his home. No matter how many times his friends banged on his door, to see if they could come in and help him, he never opened his door. Only one friend found out his secret...the little mouse who snuck in one day through a tiny hole in the door. A courageous mouse called, Shibr (inch). This is how Shibr found out Wishein's secret, and now you get to know it too ☺️.
Shibr was out searching for some food one day. He was in the mood for a really stinky cheese for lunch and knew humans had plenty in their big cold cupboard where they kept all sorts of deeelicious food. ummmumm he could just taste it now 😋 Shibr was getting closer to the humans’ house when he saw a Goose and her 6 chicks, a donkey, a horse and a rabbit gathered outside an oddly shaped door. Very tall with an arch on top (to fit the camel hump). The animals were discussing what to do about their friend Abu Wishein who locked himself inside.
“oh dear oh dear what can we do to help poor Wishein" cackled Wizza, the goose.
“oh dear oh dear” copied her chicks.
“hmmm this is very strange behaviour . Very strange indeed” snorted Hossan, the Horse.
“Very worrisome yes. We must find out what’s going on with our friend. What if he’s in trouble!” Brayed Homar, the donkey.
“What if he doesn’t want us to know what’s going on?” Arnab, the rabbit, was the first to suggest a different approach to Wishein’s problem and his was the most considerate suggestion. Sometimes it’s better to let our friends have their private secrets, don’t you agree?
Knowing Arnab to be a kind and fair-minded rabbit, the rest of the group were thinking of leaving when up popped Shibr on top of Hossan's head! Being the tallest, Hossan provided good height for Shibr to be clearly seen and heard.
“Heeeyyyy!” Squealed Hossan. “I can get in there, no problem.” Said Shibr, ignoring Hossan's outcry, a little too confidently. “oh can you really!" said Wizza. Hope filling her gentle eyes. In her eagerness Wizza didn’t give Hossan a chance to complain about the sudden appearance of a mouse on his head!
“Easily. But I do have something I want too. Will you help me get it?”
Before Wizza could agree in her desperate state of mind, Arnab, Hossan & Homar all said in one voice “what is it you want?”
“nothing too difficult for you to bring. I want that green cheese in the humans' cold cupboard" “what’s that?” asked both Hossan and Homar.
“It’s a very stinky food humans eat” replied Arnab, who was the only one allowed to enter the humans house, because the children like to cuddle him.
“I still think we should leave Wishein alone. It’s his private affair"
“But what if he really is in danger!” cried Wizza ,fluffing her feathers in agitation.
“what if we let this mouse just make sure he’s safe. Without telling us what’s happening if he’s not in danger?” suggested Homar.
“that sounds like the right thing to do Homar. Let’s do it that way" responded Hossan. Arnab didn’t think the others would listen to his protests about forcing a stranger into their friends' home so he stayed quite. The others then told mouse to only let them know if he’s safe, or if he needs their help.
Shibr agreed to this and went on a search of any tiny hole that would let him in. While searching Shibr couldn’t help admiring the friendship between those animals and how much they cared about each other. Shibr wished he could be a part of this beautiful friendship. Oh but he was so hungry, he really wanted that cheese! But he also needed friends...
As Shibr's thoughts went back and forth between cheese and friendship, he suddenly spotted the tiny hole he was searching for. “Right. Here I go.” He bravely decided with a puff of his tiny chest.
Shibr easily slipped through the hole and into Abu Wishein’s living room. The first odd thing Shibr noticed, was how dark it was inside the house. He expected to see better once he passed through the dark hole but he still had to use his ears and whiskers to find his way to where Abu Wishein was, lying down by his fireplace. The only lit area of the room.
Now Shibr may be a brave mouse but he wasn’t a very well-read one. If he liked reading, he might have known that camels have excellent hearing. Then he might have expected that Abu Wishein would suddenly stand up, filling up the room with his height, turn his head quickly to where the sound of tiny steps were , make an angry groaning sound and spit right in mouse’s face!
Something else Shibr would’ve known, if he had paid attention in animal school, is that camels spit when they’re angry.
“How thare you thneak into my houthe!” shouted Abu Wishein.
Caught by surprise, Shibr didn’t notice at first the lisp Abu Wishein pronounced his words with but, he quickly got over his surprise and began to wipe himself with whatever was closest to him. Strangely he wasn’t getting dry but wetter the more he wiped. If Abu Wishein wasn’t blocking the only light in the room from reaching Shibr, and Shibr’s eyesight was a bit better, he would have noticed he was using Abu Wishein’s tongue to dry himself!
“Thtggnnnthphhp!!!” Abu Wishein tried to say something but this intrusive mouse kept rubbing himself with his tongue. Eeewwwww!!! Abu Wishein then lifted his head, with Shibr hanging from his tongue, and started shaking his head to release the mouse’s hold and finally managed to get rid of Shibr. Being a gentle Camel, Abu Wishein made sure the intruder landed on the blanket by the fire place, where he was sitting a minute ago.
Wishein took a deep breath then and said “now. Ekthplain yourthelf"
Shibr, now dry from camel spit, stood up as straight as he can and extended a hand to Wishein “Shibr is my name. I was sent here by your friends. They’re worried about you. Why won’t you open the door for them? Did they hurt you?” Shibr blurrted all this out in a rush to explain himself. All this time Shibr didn’t get a chance to look at Wishein’s face. Abu Wishein went silent for a few minutes, with a sad look in his eyes. With a huff of his breath directed at the mouse’s little form, Wishein blew him gently out of the way and sat back down on his blanket. Shibr finally had the presence of mind to notice the obvious. Abu Wishein’s face wasn’t the same as other camels. His tongue was hanging out on one side🤪. “That’s why he spoke with a lisp” thought Shibr. “so what do I tell your friends? They won’t leave till I tell them you’re alright you know"
Abu Wishein answered somberly “I'm ok".
“You think with good friends like these, that’ll be enough to get them to leave you alone?”
Abu Wishein thought about this then said “tell them I'll see them in the morning” strange thought Shibr. His lisp is suddenly gone and his tongue is getting shorter! The colours of his face are changing too 😯 What a curious Camel... “Are you really alright?” the intruder's voice sounded more caring than before, which softened Wishein’s heart towards Shibr enough for him to say “I am...” Shibr was about to take Wishein’s word for it then but when Wishein continued “...not", he felt he should stay a little longer and try a little harder to comfort this sad camel.
Wishein then closed his eyes and lay his head down in a tired gesture. Shibr came closer and sat by his head. He never asked Wishein about the changes on his face but Wishein really needed to talk. For some reason, he felt he could talk to this tiny stranger in his house. Or maybe he was just tired of keeping a secret alone.
Wishein explained that he had a condition. Whenever he hears someone lying, his face suddenly changes and his tongue hangs out of his mouth. He tried everything to control it. He swivelled his ears like camels do, to shut out the sound but he could still hear enough to trigger the change. He tried changing the subject but then, the animal that was lying just changed the lie to fit the new subject of conversation! So now all Abu Wishein could do was run off every time a conversation that wasn’t 100% true started around him. It didn’t matter what kind of lie it was, any little fib set him off.
“you say you tried everything but did you ever try to tell your friends? The way I see it" said Shibr “they should be the ones to stop lying.”
“You don’t understand!” cried Abu Wishein. “My friends are not the problem. My job as a member of the Animal Affairs Association puts me in the room with the biggest liars. Each animal with its own needs. To have me give them what they need, they will say anything! I have just been elected. I can’t let anyone know! And now I have to attend a meeting of all the VIAs (Very Important Animals) of the association, where all sorts of lies will be told! AND it will be broadcast on TV!! Oh!!” Abu Wishein hid his face in his paws in distress.
Now Shibr usually prided himself on his problem solving skills but, this was a tough one. There was one thing he was sure this camel needed, his friends.
Knowing Abu Wishein won’t agree, Shibr snuck away to the door and used all his strength and intelligence to get the door open. “Come in" he said to Wishein's friends. “wha..?!! Hey!” That was Wishein of course 😐. “Your friends the crocodile, the elephant...” “what are you doing?!!”, “...the parrot...” “ Wait! Stop!” “...and the lion are here" while the 4 friends stood there in confusion over mouse’s strange introduction of some other animals of his imagination , Abu Wishein made a very distressed sound and quickly tried to hide his face as it began to change. “Our Dear Wishwish, what’s going on? Why are you hiding from us?” Wizza called at him with the affectionate nickname she gave him. Abu Wishein felt like there was no other way but to let his friends in on his secret. He turned around then and asked Shibr “Why? There. Are you happy now? Are you thrying tho make me lothe my friendth you horrible mouthe” Abu Wishein was crying now. He was sure his friends would freak out and leave him. Shibr was hoping and praying he wasn’t wrong in thinking they would be better friends than Wishein thought. He held his breath till he saw the friends’ reaction. Wizza approached Wishein first, followed by Homar, Arnab and Hossan. Without saying a word, Wizza simply sat next to Abu Wishein, wrapped her wing around his neck and gently held him. The other 3 followed her lead and surrounded their sad friend on each side. Each with their paw, and the 6 little chicks' tiny wings, placed gently on him to tell him we’re here and not going anywhere. Abu Wishein then hugged them all and started telling them his secret that was not so secret anymore. At least not to his best friends.
Shibr finally breathed in relief. He was worried he made the wrong decision there for a minute phew! Back to his old confident self he said “so how are we going to help Abu Wishein avoid embarrassment on live TV?” Wizza, being a mother of 6 chicks who got into all sorts of trouble, had an idea. Anyone who passed by Abu Wishein’s window in that instance, would’ve seen and heard a very strange site as Wizza clucked and honked her plan, flapping her wings and skipping excitedly, to the others.
A week later was the day Abu Wishein feared the most. The meeting of the VIAs. Wishein put on his best bowtie, packed a lot of water in his hump as it was going to be a long day and was off. He could see when he reached the hall of meetings that the TV crew were already there. Interviewing celebrity VIAs before they entered. They were interviewing Lady bashasha the Hyena about her constant state of humour. “can you tell our viewers how it is you are able to be so happy all the time?” asked the reporter “I simply remind myself that nothing bad ever lasts, but good is fruitful and remembered forever Haha " “and with that beautiful quote from Lady Bashasha, we begin our live Broadcast of the Very Important Animals meeting"
Nice thought to start the day with, thought Abu Wishein. He kept repeating to himself “nothing bad lasts. Nothing bad lasts" as he hoped and prayed Wizza's plan would work.
Half an hour later, all the members arrived and commenced their meeting. “Let the 5th meeting of the VIAs of the AAAs commence at 9am of the 3rd of January 2022” Bong! Bong! Bong! Went the gong in the corner, as a monkey dressed in a red bowtie and purple trousers, banged it for all to know the meeting is starting. “Could the first speaker, Mr. Shakwa (the complainer), the owl, “ please take the floor" luckily, the VIAs knew by now that take the floor meant “speak”, NOT grab the floor tiles.
The first meeting was a disaster as the members thought they were meant to have a floor tile each and take it home and started digging and stomping the ground to break a tile 🙈!
“Umhhmm yeees well as the Head of the Hooting Party, I must object on the constant loud crowing of the Crow Corner Club. We can never hear ourselves hoot from their loud crowing day & night!” “Nay! Nay! I object!!” crowed Motakalim (well spoken) the Crow . “It is us in the Crow Corner Club who can barely hear ourselves crow from their endless hooting about nothing!!” “How dare you! We only hoot the most urgent Owl affairs!” “So Raghaya (chatterbox) the parrot's latest hairstyle, is important owl affairs, is it?!!!” “What well I never heard such things! 😡🦉...” and so started the fight, I mean meeting, of the VIAs . As the voices got louder, Abu Wishein hid his face deeper and deeper into a hat he brought along, to buy time until his friends saved him from what was clearly, a lie being told.
As his face began to change behind his huge hat, suddenly Abu Wishein’s small ears twitched & perked up in attention to a sound outside the assembled meeting.
It sounded like a protest! Loud noises made up of Honking, Braying, Squealing and Snorting sounds. It’s them! It’s my friends! Thought Abu Wishein relieved. “We Want to elect a judge!” “We demand to be heard!” “Who's the liar with pants on fire?!!” “where's the truth, we want proof!” Shouted the 5 friends and 6 chicks.
“Security what’what’s going on out there? What’s all the hullabaloo?” asked the head of the VIA meeting, “El Kibeer" (the big one) the elephant, secretly feeling very satisfied he finally got to say the word hullabaloo. He like that word and was looking for an occasion to use it.
“It’s a group of animals demanding the truth sir" replied the security. “what would you like us to do sir?”
“Let them in by all means. We would all like to know the honourable truth" there was really no need for El kibeer to say “honourable” but it was another word he liked so he squeezed it in with more satisfaction.
The security opened the great doors of the assembly and in entered the protestors. “well?!!” El kibeer looked severely down from his very high (and huge) chair at the protestors. For a second they were going to cower but Wizza bravely stepped forward and said “well your bigness, we have been watching the live broadcast and demand to know the truth of whether or not the Hooting Party were using their members money to gather together and discuss Raghaya’s hairstyle instead of real issues. Like...like...like...!” Wizza got herself stuck and looked at the others for help in figuring out how to finish the sentence so Arnab quickly jumped in “the lettuce shortage!”
“”And exactly how do you propose we find out the truth?” “propose" I'm going to add that to my word list, thought El kibeer.
“Through...” and Wizza swivelled around pointing her wing grandly at Abu Wishein and said “HIM"
The assembly all began to murmur curiously and stared at Abu Wishein, who was still hiding his face behind the hat. “What? Who? Put that hat down this instant and show us your face" demanded El kibeer.
Abu Wishein slowly lowered the hat, until his face was clear for everyone to see. The murmuring grew louder as everyone was surprised at the changes in Wishein’s face. El kibeer couldn’t think of any word to use to proceed. As he went through his list to choose a perfectly fitting word for the situation, “Abu Wishein has a super power you see" exclaimed Shibr “Aaah! mouse! MOUSE!” Screamed El kibeer pointing his trunk at Shibr and trying to hide his huge form behind his chair. A couple of minutes later El kibeer realised that no one else was reacting to the tiny mouse as he did, got embarrassed and sat back down, cleared his throat and said “umhhum super power you say?” “what kind of super power? “ what possible super power could this odd looking camel with a dangling tongue have, thought El kibeer and he wasn’t the only one to think it.
“He can sense a lie no matter how small or subtle it is" explained Homar.
“Rubbish! How would you know this anyhow?” argued Shakwa. “we’re Abu Wishein’s friends!” Chirped the 6 chicks in one voice. “well there you have it your bigness, they’re his friends so they will say anything to make their friend famous" said Motakalim.
“Don’t take our word for it then. See for yourself “
At this sign from Wizza, Abu Wishein lowered his hat to slowly reveal his face...”huh! Wha..!” animals who knew Wishein were surprised at the change and those who didn’t know his face before the change, were surprised he was sticking his tongue out at such a formal event. As a whole, the assembly members were confused to say the least. At first Abu Wishein naturally felt so nervous and embarrassed at having all these staring eyes on him but then, he straightened his back, held his head high and bravely said “itth the crow who ith lying!”
“Huh!! Wha...!!! How could he know?!!!” exclaimed the assembly “I object! This is slander!!” shouted El Motakalim angrily. Bong! BOng!BONG! Banged the monkey on the gong following EL Kibeer's orders. “order! Order I say!” hollered El kibeer and when the voices wouldn’t go quite from the gong alarm, he loudly trumpeted using his own trunk. So loud in fact, the smaller animals flew right onto the larger animals faces and chests, backs, ears it was a mess! But, it worked. Every one went silent as they detached themselves from each other. Embarrassingly, a certain alligator called Rumrum (snacker) had a moment of weakness and tried to hide the fact one of Wizza's chicks flew right into his mouth. Until Wizza threw a feather like an expert dart thrower into Rumrum's nose. Rumrum sneezed and out came shooting little khiffa (lightly) into her mother’s open wings.
When everyone was settled back into their seats, El Kibeer started on Wishein “These are no simple claims you make Abu Wishein. How can you prove it?”
“Itth thimple, my fathe thtarted to change only when El Motakalim thaid the Hooters hooted about Raghaya’th hairthstyle. My fathe only changes when a lie ith told. If El Motakalim now tellth the truth my fathe will return to itth normal look. You can confirm what time it changed from the camerath. “
A loud murmur was heard all over the meeting room as the animals gossiped and judged the situation in whispers to each other.
At the beckoning of El Kibeer, a Lemur, with big yellow eyes, wearing a camera on his neck, approached the Big Chair (that El Kibeer secretly liked to call, throne )
“Bring your tapes and play us the meeting from the beginning”
“Right away your Bigness" moaned Bahla'ly (stare at me) and he rushed out to return with all his equipment. All set up the VIAs and protestors, sat quietly for the 1st time since the meeting started, to watch.
It didn’t take long for them to see that Abu Wishein was telling the truth and the uproar and gossiping (this time loudly) started again. “Siiiilllence!!” trumpeted El Kibeer the loudest he ever trumpeted this time and a repeat of what happened before was inevitable. “Rumrum let her go this instant!” and out popped khifa again from Rumrum's open mouth “you should be asamed of yourshelf” chirped the little one who was still new at chirping and not quite sure where to place her Ss and Hs. She wagged her little feather at the embarrassed alligator and walked back to her siblings feeling very brave to have survived two of alligator's attacks of the munchies. While all this was happening, El motakalim tried to sneakily fly away after grabbing Wishein’s hat and hiding under it. But seeing the flying hat, Taweela (tall) the giraffe extended her very looong neck from the back of the room, all the way to the door and intercepted the hat and crow. She then graciously picked up the hat, while el motakalim was being held by two guard-dogs, and handed it to Abu Wishein with an expression of humble respect.
Now though El Kibeer had some silly thoughts in his head, he also had very intelligent & sensitive ones. Which is why the other animals appointed him as their Bigness, not for his size. Guessing Abu Wishein would be eager to have his face change back to its tidier look, he barked an order at the trembling crow, now stood in front of him. “Tell the Truth!” that was all El Kibeer needed to say for the crow to tell all. All eyes then turned to Abu Wishein to witness the change as his tongue grew shorter and his colours came back. “There we have it then. Abu Wishein, I hereby appoint you as the high judge of Animalia and...” “you might as well have his job as investigator too, after such an embarrassing display of weakness" The “he” El kibeer meant was of course Rumrum the alligator. Who was so embarrassed now he was wishing he was a lizard to crawl out of the room but all he could do was hide under the table in shame.
“Woohooo! Yaaay! Long live justice! Long live El Kibeer! Long live the honest camel!!” shouted Abu Wishein’s friends, followed by...Everyone!
Abu Wishein gained much more than just a high position on that day. Something much more important too. He gained pride in who he was... The face he always feared showing to animals was now his super power and he made sure to use it fairly, wisely and honestly forever more....
Oh wait! I almost forgot to say, Shibr was rewarded too! After showing such courage and compassion to the group of friends, they bought him his cheese. Green and stinky, just the way he liked it.
The Happy End