‘walking after sunset’

giraffe in!

after i read the letter, it made me feel a strange feeling in my stomach, like this was a change and i can’t go back now. when i thought about it like this i did a funny backwards walk that giraffes do sometimes to make each other laugh. it goes like this. right feet and toes look down and heels are up, then slide left feet back, then whilst you do that you slowly make left feet and toes look down and heels up. then you do it again but start with the left feet this time and keep going like that. it’s usually fun but noone was there to see it so i got sad.

oh, you might want to know what the letter said. it went like this. ‘your journey has begun. you are a young giraffe, but you cannot be a young giraffe for ever, you must become an old giraffe. but not everyone can become an old giraffe. when we walk we see the sun* far away, but no giraffe has ever found it. you must walk after the sunset. find it and bring it back to us’.

it was signed by lots of adult giraffes, some i didn’t know and some i couldn’t tell their writing. maybe they are the ones that should become old giraffes. i saw my mum had put a heart in the corner. i know it was her because she rights hearts in a funny way. she gives the tops of the heart little necks and faces so they look like giraffes kissing.

when i thought of this i thought of a girl giraffe i met before i had to leave, she was not from our village. she passed through with another group i didn’t no and they stayed in our village for a few days. she was really strange, not like other girl giraffes. i said this to her once and she looked a bit sad, and she didn’t speak to me after that. but she was also really funny and when she smiled it made me smile and i liked her. i hope i can see her again someday.

being bani-shed isn’t very fun, sometimes you just have you and your own thinking. and then sometimes you think you are seeing things. one time i thought i saw a spotty cat far away but that would be silly. so after a lot of walking and seeing things i don’t think were there i got tired, and i sat by a tree.

when i had been sitting there a while, a fly came over to say hi. i think that’s what he was saying, but i never did other wildlife studies, he was going ‘buzz buzz buzz’, you know, a fly noise. he was my friend, he stayed on my neck for some time, it was so long that the sun* began to fall. i didn’t mind so much because he was light and i am heavy. but me and my fly friend had lots of time to think by the tree. later at another time when we were sitting there i noticed two ants on their own routes. they were just walking their own ways, but after a moment one ant bumped into the other. for about three seconds they stopped and looked at each other. and then they carried off again in different directions. i wonder what they said. maybe one ant said ‘good day’ and then the other ant said ‘good day’. i think it’s nice to have a friend you can say ‘good day’ too.

when my fly friend flew away, i became lonely again. i don’t know how i will ever find the sunset. i miss my family and village, but i also think about the girl giraffe and the wildebeest and the scary pink bird that shouts ‘LETTER!’ and dr.loopy, the crazy giraffe with his crazy moon cycle thoughts who sometimes has to stand by the crazy tree. on second ideas, i don’t like thinking about wildebeest, they are so rude.

i guess i must move on now, i must walk after the sunset.

giraffe out!

* sun just means hot moon


‘giraffe no.4, leopard prints, another letter’

giraffe in!

there is a saying from moons ago, and it goes like this. there are seven giraffes. the first one has brains, and then there are six others. which has the happiest life? it is giraffe no.4.

why? no one of giraffe kind nose. our stories are passed down from old giraffe to new giraffe, and sometimes new giraffe loses the story so we don’t know all of it. then sometimes other giraffes shout at that new giraffe. but i like that each giraffe can put their own beliefs into the story. what do i believe? i just want to be giraffe no.4…

i have been bani-shed for a long time now. i don’t know where to go. at first i was upset so i tried to sneak back into the village. then one of the guards saw me and said i couldn’t cross this line which he made with sticks. so when he wasn’t looking i started nudging the sticks closer to the village with my legs, making sure i was behind the stick line. it took a long time but when i had nearly reached the village he got suspicious and turned his head around suddenly and saw me kick them. i didn’t like what he did next. but it made me angry so later when all the giraffes were sleeping i tippy-toed back into the village and went to the museum hut because there are no giraffes there at night. it has a famous painting, it’s called the ‘leopard print’. so i stole it.  it’s famous because it has a drawing of a happy, smiling leopard in a bed of flowers. he is smiling but some think he’s actually sad. but i’m pretty sure he’s happy. i feel bad about stealing it now. it’s heavy too.

i tell you this because i saw the bird that gave me a letter before. i think it was him anyway. he was wearing a hat which said ‘post’ on it. i don’t know where he got it from, it was too big for him. it covered his whole body and when he shouted ‘LETTER’ it sounded all muffled and it sounded like he was saying ‘leopard’. silly bird. i laughed at him because when he tried to fly away he couldn’t see, so he bumped into a tree. but then i was sad because after that he flew straight into my head.

after my head stopped hurting i started to read the letter he gave me, but then i thought, i really hope that silly bird didn’t say ‘leopard’.

giraffe out!

‘being a shed, toys r us, aunt hiding’

giraffe in!

so they found me, and they said i was bani-shed. i didn’t even know what bani-shed meant until my memory reminded me i had once red a book about an olde giraffe with a really big white fan around his neck, and a moustache. i didn’t even know a giraffe could grow a moustache until this book. well anyway this book wasn’t very good because it would always talk in riddles, and sometimes the words would end with shed, like fini-shed, and bani-shed, and bamboo-shed. i don’t know why this book liked sheds so much.

anyway they found me hiding under my aunt, and i’m almost glad they did because my aunt kept moving away complaining that her leg itched but i think it is because she wouldn’t take her warmers off. i was also almost glad because i’m not as small as i used to be so getting under her wasn’t easy. but once they saw where i was they weren’t very nice to me, they said it’s time i became a giraffe and they sent me away never to return to my village and family again. they said they would explain in time but i was very sad. i still feel a bit sad.

i don’t know how long i’ve been walking away now but a funny thing keeps happening around this time of year. all types of animals keep coming up to me and asking me for presents. one wildebeest came up to me a couple of weeks ago and said ‘toys r us giraffe?’. i didn’t know what he was talking about. he then said ‘give me a present then!’. i said i didn’t have a present, and even if i didn’t i wouldn’t give it to a rude wildebeest. he then got his friend wildebeest and they shouted at me to make a present, so i made them a model of a wildebeest made out of dry branches i found on the sand. i thought it was really good but they said it was the worst present they had ever had. if i could i would make all wildebeest bani-shed.

will write again when i can…

giraffe out!

‘giraffe studies, leg warmers, tree hiding’

giraffe in!

there are only three subjects a giraffe can study. giraffe studies, other wildlife studies, and psychology, though most giraffes think the last one is a soft option. saying that, not all giraffes go on to study, and i’m one of those. i’ve been told that i don’t have the brains to study those subjects. if someone told me how to get the brains i would get them, but i find that not every one is kind.

i have been worried recently because i seem to be separated from everyone, they have been treating me different and I don’t know why. i will write an example, there’s other giraffes that have been walking around with socks which cover their whole legs. one day i walked past a group of three giraffes which all had these on, so i asked what they were and they said ‘leg warmers’, and then they laughed at me because i didn’t have any on. so then i thought i’d show them so i swapped a flower book i found a while ago for three of these many-coloured socks from an old lady giraffe who made them. so i put them on and then i looked like i had rainbows on my legs. but when i was going back to see if i could find those giraffes who laughed at me, i must have fallen over from how hot they were on my legs because when i woke up there was a really big, tall giraffe looking at me with two zebras next to him. and then the big giraffe said ‘we have come, it’s time to take you away’.

that’s when i ran away. they chased me, but i outran the zebras because zebras are slow and lazy like wildebeest. i must have been running for lots of minutes when i got tired and rested by a tall tree, and then the big giraffe came up to the tree as well, but he couldn’t get to me because i was on the other side of the tree. so he said ‘come with me, you must have had the letters’ and started to walk around the tree to where i was, but i was clever and made sure wherever he was that i was exactly the other side of the tree. time went and the zebras were coming closer from the distance but then the big giraffe got distracted saying something to them, so i ran away again back home.

and that’s where i find myself now, writing this before they find me again, because it might be my last, i don’t know…

giraffe out!

‘moon cycles, a loopy scientist and more letters’

giraffe in!

there is current debate about moon cycles. i say debate, but it’s really one giraffe who’s gone crazy and is shouting his crazy ideas at everyone. ‘you won’t listen!!’ he’ll say. he’s right. we won’t, because he’s crazy. we call him ‘dr. loopy’, because that’s his name…

if you don’t know what moon cycles are, i will explain. as has been known for ever, at the beginning of each day, three ‘torch-bearers’, bearing what we think must be hot fire torches, burn the moon just before it comes up in the sky, and that is what provides us with heat and light. now, when it comes to the end of the day, the moon goes down for a rest because it’s tired and its heat runs out, so for the night it is cold and dark.

well, dr. loopy says that the hot moon and the cold moon are separate objects and that they just swap over after a certain amount of time. he also says hot fire torch bearers don’t exist. i don’t know where he must have got that idea from. my mum thinks some giraffes are crazy from birth. we recently appointed a sheriff and he says that if dr. loopy comes up with one more crazy idea he’s going to make him stand by the crazy tree.

anyway, the reason i mention moon cycles today is that i keep getting letters. this week i’ve had four, all delivered by a scary pink bird who keeps trying to surprise me. one giraffe said that one time the bird had been standing on my back for at least three hours, and when i finally noticed he screamed ‘LETTER!’ at me, and then he dropped it and flew away as quickly as he could. i remember the last letter, it said ‘you have 23 moon cycles left, enjoy your freedom’, and then it had a picture of an angry centipede on it. i don’t like getting letters.

i talked about my mum earlier, well, she seems to be getting more worried, and she also seems to be getting confused as well. yesterday she gave me a pie which had poison berries in it. i was really poorly. we don’t even have any poison berries in this area. she says she got it from the ‘famous pie selling wildebeest’, i think i knew who she meant, and i’d like to say to him that he’s rude and his pies are rubbish.

giraffe out!

‘crisis, wildebeest and killer centipedes’

giraffe in!

we’ve had crisis this week. that letter which i talked about last time… well, they, whoever they are, sent another letter, so we think it must be talking about one of us. this time it said ‘his journey starts soon, or we will let the killer centipedes know where you all are’. we all wonder what it means, but my mum seemed especially upset by it, i don’t know why.

we always try to avoid centipedes. death by centipede is one of the most feared things in all land. it’s a frustrating death all round. the suspense is slow, the slow, almost unending crawl to the target is slow, and then the death is slow also. one of my uncles was nearly attacked by a legful of killer centipedes once, there were about four of them, and they snuck up on him when he was asleep. he was lucky because one of them stepped on a packet of crispy leaves right next to him which woke him up and also lucky he always keeps a mace by his bed so he still had time to splice them before they got to him. centipedes are how one of my baby sisters died so we have to be really careful. i really miss her.

what was most weird about the letter was that they sent a strange wildebeest to give it to us. he was so rude, he said that my ‘neck was for the chop’ and then he laughed, and then after that he said ‘which is good, because your neck is ugly’, and then he left. he did wildebeest no good at all by speaking that way to me. well i’d like to say that all wildebeest are lazy and they should all go to polite school.

giraffe out!

‘leg counting, tulips, and the world of socks’

giraffe in!

so, we play this game when we’re bored. leg counting, you know, for fun. any amount of giraffes can take part, though if there’s too many playing then we find there’s no giraffes actually left to count the legs of.

what we do, is stand aside, and watch giraffes walk by. and as those giraffes go by, we count the legs of those giraffes, you know, like one, two, three, four. but, if a giraffe has less than four legs, then we take that giraffe to hospital. it’s a simple game, but fun.

anyway, i mention it because one day we were playing it, and then suddenly a tree dropped from the sky. usually this wouldn’t be anything but we noticed a kind of flower on it with a note attached, which we gave to J-SON (son of j) to read, you see i can write but can’t read, J-SON is the only one of us who can read, but he can’t write like me. anyway, the note read ‘we are coming. his time is now.’ or something like that. anyway, i ate the flower, it wasn’t the best i’ve ever had.

which reminds my memory, my sister saw a paper book once, it was called ‘the making of church flowers’ or something like that. she said she saw this flower called a tulip and she even showed me some pictures of them she’d torn out with her teeth, there were loads of tulips there: strawberry ones, lemon ones, milk ones. she says she’s going to get a tulip one day and put it on display. i think she’s stupid if she’s going to keep them and put them on a kind of show, they should only be for eating.

giraffe out!