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Imagination Giraffe


Dear children,

Sorry I’ve taken so long to introduce myself; as you have probably noticed I’ve been busy enjoying your school over the past week since I first arrived here. Before I share a bit about who I am, would you try something for me? I’ve put together a few clues about my story; can you imagine what it might be?

As a young calf living in a beautiful savanna in North Africa, I was responsible for listening carefully as my grandfather and grandmother told us stories of the giraffes who had roamed these lands before us. They told me it was my job to learn the stories, to memorize them so that one day I could pass them on to young giraffe calves and continue the cycle.

I tried desperately to learn these tales, practising them as I grazed on the twigs of trees. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get the details to stick. I didn’t want to let my family down: all I wanted was to make sure these special stories were remembered.

Near the point of giving up, I was grumpily pulling off bark from the branches of my favourite tree when an idea appeared. It occurred to me; a tongue this long and flexible might be useful for more than just gripping food. So I put it to use. Knocking fruits to the ground, I began to mix their juices to make dyes and paints. Using my tongue, I painted the most beautiful pictures: pictures of animals living long ago; pictures of the most amazing adventures; pictures that told a thousand words. All the words that my memory could not retain.

I kept my paintings for many years, holding onto the precious memories of my family’s history, ready for the time when I would share these most special stories. When that day arrived, I gathered the young calves close under the shade of my ‘Eureka’ tree. I lay down the pictures in front of them, ready to pass on the stories as I had once been asked to. To my surprise, the calves began to smile and laugh before I had even begun. Looking at the paintings, they began to create the most wonderful stories, bringing to life all of my colours and details with their excitement and joy. And with that, I let go of the memories of my old stories and finally allowed my imagination to run free.

I had always thought I was a failure for not being able to remember the original stories and pass them on as I had been asked. Now, I realise that I was given a far greater treasure; my imagination. And boy have I made the most of it since!

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