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Why Camels Roll in Ashes
Long ago, when Borhan had finished naming eleven of the twelve months of the Mongolian calendar after animals, there were still two animals left, the camel and the rat. They both fought over who should be the twelfth animal. Borhan did not want either of them to become upset, and told them they would have to settle the problem on their own.
The camel and the rat made a bet that whoever would be the first to see the rays of the sun the following morning would win. The camel stood facing to the east waiting for the sun, while the rat climbed atop the camelís humps and fixed his gaze toward the mountains. When the rays of the rising sun shone across the mountain tops, the rat was the first to see them. The camel was so upset at having lost the bet that he tried to stomp the rat to death. The rat, however, was able to run and hide under a pile of ashes.
Now it is said that ever since, whenever a camel sees a place where ashes have been scattered, he attempts to exact revenge on his enemy the rat by stomping and rolling about in them.


The Origin of the Evergreen Trees
In the early days of the earth, all trees used to lose their leaves in the fall. Since Erleg Khaan had brought disease to the world, humans sicken and die when they grow old. The raven, however, felt pity for mankind and desired to restore the original immortality of human beings.
At that early time, a giant mountain, Humber Ula, grew at the centre of the world, and its summit touched the entrance to the upper world. At the top of this peak grew an aspen with golden leaves, which stood by the spring of the water of life. Whoever drank from this spring was restored to health and could live free of all illness.
The raven flew to the spring of the water of life and took up as much water as he could in his beak. He planned to bring the water to the human beings so that they would get a few drops and become immortal. As he flew back down to earth, he neared a grove of pines standing beside the humansí camp. Suddenly, an owl cried out from the trees. The raven, startled, opened his beak, and the water spilled down onto the pines.
This is why pine trees stay green throughout the year, while the leaves of other trees, like humans, grow old, falldown, and die.