Are We Different? Part 2

October 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

In case you missed it here is Part 1 of the story.

For your reference, the giraffe’s have been named. ‘A’ is Clyde and ‘B’ is Nelson, and they are joined by Mirabelle in this part.

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The herd murmured to one another, nodding their heads in agreement. After all, they’d come all this way, they couldn’t very well turn around. And if Clyde said they were better and deserved this land, it must be true! Surely the natives will understand.

Mirabelle spoke up, “Don’t you think these natives will be upset when we ask them to leave? Maybe we should keep going.”

Clyde scoffed, “Of course not! They have to leave, it’s our land now.”

And so the herd made plans to confront the natives in the morning; That night they all when to sleep dreaming of their new life in this new forest. As the sun came up the next morning, all the giraffes gathered together and faced the forest, ready to claim their land.

The herd strode into the forest together, with Clyde leading the way. They tromped into the trees searching for the natives. They heard voices again in the distance and moved toward them. As they neared the place of the watering hold, the voices quieted to a hum. Clyde’s herd strode into the clearing, where they stopped just a few yards away from the native striped herd.

Clyde spoke; “We have come to live in this land, you have until sunset to take your herd and leave our land, anyone who refuses to leave will suffer the consequences.” The chief of the stripes stepped forward and stood nose to nose with Clyde. “This is OUR land, and we will not leave, you and your herd are the ones who must find another place.”

Clyde snorted, he and his herd had been prepared for this response. He nodded to the herd and the sprang into action. The spots charged the striped natives, they used the vines they had gathered the night before and captured the chief and all his herd. There was chaos as the surprised stripes struggled to fight back. The dust soon settled and the cries of the new captives became quiet whimpers.  Clyde surveyed the scene. All the young were separated from their parents, tied together by vines around their necks. The adults were also tied with vines around their necks and legs, so they could not fight, or run away.

Mirabelle was ashamed of her herds behavior, and fled to the outskirts of the group.

After that day, the spotted giraffes kept the striped natives in captivity. For many seasons they forced the natives to harvest leaves for them, care for the spotted young and do whatever chores they were told to do. Any native who disobeyed was punished, tied up without food or water. Clyde’s herd prospered and were happy in their new home.  They believed they had done the right thing to claim their new land.

Not all of the spots kept stripes. Some, like Mirabelle and Nelson, refused to take part, and believed the spots were wrong to take land from the stripes. They lived on the edge of the herd and kept a distance from them.

As the seasons passed, the stripes forgot what freedom was like, they hung their heads and trudged through their days. The spots couldn’t imagine living without the help anymore, the frolicked and played since they didn’t have to work all day.

One warm summer day and alarm went up from the outskirts of the village. A huge pride of lions had been spotted prowling on the edge of the forest.

Clyde, who was very old now, called a meeting of the elder members of the tribe. They talked long into the night, there weren’t enough spotted giraffes who could fight the lions, and the stripes would just run away if they were sent to fight. What could they do? The lions would make their move soon, they could hear the roars on the night wind.

As the first light began to fill the sky, Clyde paced in the center of his elder circle.

Mirabelle and Nelson approached the circle, the elders all looked at them skeptically. Mirabelle spoke, “Clyde, if we freed the stripes, they could help us fight the lions. With them we would have enough giraffes to win!”

Clyde scoffed, “As if! They’re not good for anything but harvesting!”

This time Nelson spoke up, “How would you know? You never gave them a chance. I was with you that first day in the woods. They are the same as us on the inside, what we look like doesn’t matter. We are all giraffes, and the only way we’ll survive is if we all work together!”

By this time the rest of the herd had gathered around. The stripes listened eagerly in the shadows.  As Nelson finished all the giraffes looked at one another, new ideas forming, they nodded their heads and began to voice their agreement with Nelson.

Clyde, still self-righteous started to scoff again, then slowly realized that no one was supporting him. A quiet chant started in the herd, “Free them. Free them!” and grew louder and louder “FREE THEM! FREE THEM!” Clyde, defeated, hung his head. “Ok.” he sighed. “Let the stripes go free.” A great cheer went up and all the giraffes were glad.

The stripes cast off their bondage and danced and sang because they were free!

Mirabelle stepped forward again, “Wait!” She said. “don’t forget why this happened in the first place!” A loud lions roar sounded in the distance,all the giraffes became silent and started in the direction of the frightening sound. Mirabelle spoke earnestly “now listen, if we’re going to fight off the lions, we have to work together.” The giraffes all listened and gathered round to make a plan.

As darkness fell, the giraffes all went to their positions, spots and stripes stood side by side facing the dangerous dark.

The sound of the hunting lions grew louder, soon their glowing eyes appeared in the brush. The giraffes braced themselves, as the lions with a great terrible ROAR lept at the line of giraffes.

And the most terrible (horrific?) battle in our history began. They fought all night long. The young, who had been hidden a ways away, could hear the snarls and roars of the lions in the distance as they huddled together waiting for the sun to come.

Morning did come, the land was quiet, the weary giraffes walked back into their village. Spots and stripes walked together, heads held high. They had done it! They had defeated the lions! Together! Many were suffering wounds from the fight. They were laid in the middle of the herd as the others saw to their wounds. Clyde had been hurt badly, the herd gathered round to see him, he wheezed; “Where’s Mirabelle? Bring her here…” Mirabelle stepped to the front of the herd. Clyde looked at her with sad eyes. “Mirabelle, I should have listened to you, but I was selfish instead. I want you to lead the herd now, and to tell our story, this story to the new generations, so they never make my mistakes again. We are all the same, we are all giraffes, spots and stripes can live peacefully and equally together. If we remember our history then we can make a better future for our children.”

Clyde closed his eyes and left the herd forever, to roam the forests of heaven.

*back to old giraffe*

“From that day on, the stripes and the spots lived and worked side-by-side as equals, and they never forgot their story. Which is why every year on the anniversary of the Lion War, we gather round and tell you the story of our ancestors, so someday you can tell your children, and they can tell their children.”

The End.

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Now that the rough draft of the story is done, the next step has been to create some rough mock-ups of the different illustrations that will be a part of the book. At the moment there will be approximately 20-25 different illustrations that this book will be composed of, so stay tuned for those!

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