ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Leadership Fable: The General's Royal Camel (The Balance of Power)

Updated on March 22, 2013

When he was of age, King Hammurabi’s son was sent away to receive tutorship from the greatest leaders in his kingdom, to teach him what leadership is comprised of.

He sent him first to the General of his Eastern Army, General Abisare.

Over the years he gleaned valuable insight from the wise old General, and the following tale is one of his many lessons:

One day, as the Prince trained a horse sent to him from the royal stables, he tripped over a bucket the stable boy had left in the open. The Prince cursed and chided the servant,

‘You fool!’ he exclaimed, ‘Your one task in life is to keep the stables clean and organized; you’ve not only failed at that, but nearly killed me with your negligence.’

The stable boy apologized profusely, and walked away with his head hung in shame.

The General observed silently from the window.


The Unbalanced Power of the Camel

Later in the day, the General greeted the Prince as he admired his horse,

‘You understand horses well, perhaps you can help me’

‘I can certainly try’ said the Prince.

‘I’ve been brought a camel from Arabia that shows potential, but my servants say he is worthless. I cannot understand why, because he is swifter than any horse in my army, and stronger than the ox that pulls my farmer’s plow. I need you to spend a day with the creature and report back to me.’

So the next day the Prince rose early to train the camel. The beast was majestic to behold, and the Prince was surprised at it’s size; next to it his horse seemed like a pony. As climbed on the beast as it knelt, he felt powerful; the world seemed to shrink when the camel rose to his feet. When the camel galloped, the speed caught him off guard, and his eyes grew in wonder at the magnificent creature.

But when he returned to the General, he led the camel by rope, walking angrily back to the stable.

‘Well? What report do you bring?’ asked the General.

‘The beast is a fool,’ the Prince grumbled, ‘At first he seemed powerful; noble and majestic. My horse could not keep up with him, and he bore my weight as if I were a child. His value seemed to surpass the gold of the kingdom until we stopped by the lake.’

‘As soon as we stopped, I climbed off to get a drink; as I knelt to scoop the water into my mouth, the beast kicked me into the water! I rose to beat him, but realized that I could not because his pride would not accept discipline, and his strength was far greater than mine. How can I train such a foolish beast? So my only advice to you General, is to destroy the creature, for as your servants say, he is worthless.’

The General nodded, scratching his beard in thought. Then he turned to the Prince.


Respect and Balance of Power

‘Your horse Prince, has sense; it knows that you hold power over it’s life, even though it could crush your head with a single kick. There’s power on both sides.'

'Yesterday, the words you spoke against the stableboy reveals something in your character – you were not wise like your horse, but foolish like my camel.’

‘When you become a ruler of men, you must realize - like your horse - that they have the power to destroy you, and if you treat them without respect, they will do exactly that. There’s strength on both sides, and to maintain a proper balance, you must both show respect through your words. Otherwise they will think, ‘He is a fool; who can train such a beast? We must destroy him, for he is worthless.’

'Just as my camel fails to acknowledge your power, you have failed to respect the power of your people. Remember this lesson when you become their ruler.'


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • jrueff profile imageAUTHOR

      Joshua Rueff 

      5 years ago from Kansas City


    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Fantastic tale. I will always remember and teach to others!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)