Ever wondered why the herds of giraffes and zebras stay together?
Ok, did you know that they always stay together?
If you know, great!
If you didn’t, you now do. That’s great too!
Now let me tell you why it is so.
Let’s begin the story.
Once upon a storytime, in the Savanna grasslands of Africa, there were many zebras and giraffes. They had a lot to eat, fresh creeks to drink water from and a very pleasant climate to roam about. But like every other plant-eating animal, they had a problem.
Every second day, one among them was attacked and dragged away by the lions and leopards.
“What to do? We are so helpless?” said a zebra.
“Why has God made us so weak?” said another.
“The cheetahs can run fast. The lions are clever attackers. What a pity! We neither have strength nor brains,” cried another.
There was a crow sitting on a tree nearby and listening to them.
“I am surprised. I heard exactly the same conversation yesterday. But it was between some other animals,” said the crow.
“Who can be as helpless as us?” said one of the zebras.
“They are called giraffes. Why don’t you zebras and giraffes sit together and discuss your problem? There might be a solution,” advised the crow.
The zebras liked the idea.
A young and wise zebra called Stripes set out to meet the giraffes. He was surprised to see the long-necked beasts. He had never seen such tall animals in the entire grassland!
When he met the giraffes, he was offered delicious grass-cutlets, grass soup and a lot of other snacks.
“It seems you were expecting me, already! Did you know, I am coming to meet you?” asked the pleasantly surprised Stripes.
“O yes. We saw you coming towards us when you were a few kilometers away,” said the head of the giraffe herd, Longie.
“What? How is that possible?” exclaimed Stripes.
“Our long necks help us to see things from far away. We can right now see the elephants gathered near the river for a bath at the other end of the clearing,” said Longie smiling.
“Oh! That’s wonderful. You have a boon! You can even see dangerous flesh-eaters approaching you from really far away. That gives you enough time to run. Am I right?” asked the amazed zebra.
“Yes. That’s the only defense we have. One of us is always on the watch. But we still are attacked by the leopards and cheetahs at night,” said Longie.
The zebra got an idea! A great solution to the problem zebras were facing as well as the giraffes.
“We zebras have really powerful night vision. Almost as powerful as owls’. We can keep a watch for you at night. But would you mind if we zebras stay near your herd so that your long necks can help us too? We can run when we would see you run. And when thousands of zebras run together, the flow of black and white stripes creates a very confusing image. This would puzzle our enemies for a while.”
“That makes a deal!” the giraffes jumped with joy.
From that day, the giraffes and zebras stay close together. They graze together, drink water together and stroll together in the grasslands.
The giraffes would keep a watch on the attackers with the help of their long necks and tall body. If they spot danger, they would alert the zebras and all of them would run out of the reach of their enemies.
While the zebras with their sharp night vision would guard the place at night.
“We aren’t as helpless as we thought. God has given all of us our strengths. And our strength is in being together,” said Longie and Stripes.
Danger, danger, danger
Lurking behind that bush
Staring with two shiny eyes,
Ready to jump with a swoosh
Scared, scared are you?
Trembling head to feet,
He is strong but just one
And you seem to have a fleet!
Just blow a whistle,
Or wink and wave
Call up your friends
Stop trembling and be brave!
You’ll see he’ll disappear,
The way he came
That is how unity,
Puts danger to shame.