She names the baby camel Mithoo, which means sweet. The two are constant companions.

Phulan brings lunch to Shabanu, who is herding the camels. Phulan does little work outdoors anymore, preferring to stay at home to cook, mend, and sew. The girls turn to see Tipu, the stud of their herd, court a female in her first heat. They watch with fear and fascination as Tipu pursues the female, forces her to her knees, and begins to mate. Shabanu shoots a frightened glance at Phulan, and Phulan laughs at her.

Suddenly, a young male camel, Kalu, bellows a challenge to Tipu. Before the two girls can do anything, the two angry camels are engaged in a deadly battle. Dadi appears, and the three begin desperately striking the camels with their staffs. Finally, Dadi manages to wedge his staff into Tipu's mouth. Kalu trots away, relieved to be done with the battle. Now all of Tipu's rage is focused on Dadi.

Tipu charges, and Dadi throws his turban to the enraged beast. Tipu begins mauling the turban, and the three race away from him. Guluband finds them, and they climb onto his back in relief. Shabanu is suddenly seized with fear for Mithoo and insists on finding him. Dadi tells her this is not necessary. Shabanu protests, but Guluband is already on his way.

As soon as they dismount the camel at home, Dadi flies into a rage at Shabanu, shaking her violently and warning her never to disobey him again. Later that night, Mama repeats Dadi's injunction, with such seriousness in her eyes that Shabanu realized her mother is afraid for her. She struggles with her thoughts. She knows the camels better than Dadi, Shabanu thinks stubbornly to herself. She realizes that if she cannot even obey Dadi, she will have a difficult time obeying Murad, whom she has known since he was a young boy and who is only sixteen.

Mama and Dadi talk to each other quietly at night when Shabanu is almost asleep. Mama admonishes Dadi to be careful: now that he has angered Tipu, the malevolent camel will bear him a grudge for the rest of his life. Shutr keena, or camel vengeance, dictates that Tipu could turn on Dadi anytime he lets down his guard. Shabanu muses that men of the desert cling to grudges and offenses with a bitterness and ferocity equal to that of the camels.