the wise ones


when they finally crested the top of the dune, the three kings saw only a vast ocean of desert. 
the sun stared down unblinking from its high-noon throne, haughty and hot. 
“okay,” said balthazar. “which way is west.” he glanced about, but found no shadows to show him.
“my throat is parched,” said melchior. “i wish that i were a camel.”
“you may as well be,” said balthazar, “the way you smell.”
“well my frankincense smells better than your myrrh,” said melchior. 
“does not. my—”
“enough!” said caspar, “look at you, lost in the desert with no water, arguing about who smells worse. and you call yourselves wise ones.” he shook his head. “this way,” he said. he tossed a skin of water at balthazar and moved off.
balthazar drank from the skin, grateful. he looked at melchior. 
“you,” he said, and held out the skin, “are a camel.” and he skipped off after caspar.

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