The Camel's Hump is an ugly Lump...


(notes by Philip Holberton)

the poem

[December 31st 2017]


First published in Just So Stories for little children, following "How the Camel Got his Hump". Listed in ORG as No. 790.

Also collected in:
  • Inclusive verse (1919)
  • Definitive Verse (1940)
  • The Sussex Edition vol xiii and xxxiv (1939)
  • The Burwash Edition vol xii and xxvii (1941)
  • The Cambridge Edition (2013) Ed. Pinney, p. 890

The poem

This poem, like the story, is a cautionary tale about what happens if “we haven’t enough to do”.

Notes on the text

[Verse 2] cameelious Kipling’s made-up word, clearly meaning “like a camel”

[Verse 3] describes the symptoms of getting the hump.

[Verse 4] There ought to be a corner for me being made to stand in the corner of a room, facing the walls, used to be a punishment at Nursery School. Kipling suggests it should be used on grumpy grown-ups too.

[Verse 6] the Djinn of the Garden a reference back to the story, where the “Djinn in charge of all Deserts” gave the Camel his hump.


©Philip Holberton 2017 All rights reserved