Dan, the Hero Giraffe

Author's Note: This story has a christian message in it.

Dan the giraffe was walking through the forest looking for food. While he was walking his hooves made crunching sounds. He walked pass two trees and a bush because he was looking for his favorite leaves to eat. He also walked carefully through some vines because he did not want to get entangled in them. He passed by some wild flowers that were growing including anemones, and blue bells, his mother's favorite. He did not care for them and would only eat them when is very hungry.

He loved his mother and wished that he could still be with her, but his mother told him that he was old enough to be on his own. He knew that his mother was right. He was a half grown giraffe (a teenager,) and she was too busy caring for his younger siblings who needed her more than he did. Maybe he'll start a family of his own.

Dan passed a few more trees until he came upon his favorite, an oak tree. The oak tree branches were covered with leaves, and some of them had acorns hanging on them. He began to munch on the leaves which tasted a bitter, yet sweet. While he was eating he saw two squirrels pulling acorns off the tree limbs and carry them off to their holes and some robins were singing while they landed on the branches. He paid no attention to them, and continued to savor the taste of the leaves till he heard a scream rip through the air.

"HELP ME SOMEBODY, PLEASE!"

Dan stopped chewing, and pricked up his ears to listen to where the voice was coming from.

"HELP!"

The voice seemed to be coming from ahead. He knew that the animal was in trouble and wanted to help him. He walked towards the animal who was screaming for help, and the closer he got to the animal, the louder were the sounds the animal was making. He passed by two bushes and a few trees. A few rabbits were scampering around the second tree. He passed a few more trees, some bushes, and some vines, until he came upon another very tall tree. Tied to that tree with vines was a zebra. He was struggling frantically to free himself from the vines.

He walked closer to the zebra and discovered that it was Stripes.

He looked into Stripes frightened eyes, while stripes cried, "please help me, Dan; some lionesses have tied me up and they are going to feed me to their families after they finish eating the gazelle."

Dan looked passed a few trees and bushes and saw a small clearing, and in that clearing a group of lions were feasting upon a gazelle. He kept himself camouflaged behind the bushes and trees so that the lions wouldn't spot him. He was also glad that the trees were tall enough for him to hide behind. After he peaked at the lions eating he turned back to Stripes.

He saw how tightly Stripes was tied to the tree because no matter how much he was struggling he couldn't move an inch, he also noticed that the lions were more than halfway done eating the gazelle, and that they would come for him in a few minutes. Stripes needed to be freed right away.

Should I help him? thought Dan. Should I risk my life for him?

Stripes had been unkind to him all of his life. When they were little he used to call Dan names, especially long neck. He used to come home crying to his mother. When he got older Stripes treated him worse. He always bullied him with the help of his friends, and whenever they were on the same eating ground they chased him away with threats even when he got there first.

Risking my life for him would be very hard because he is my enemy, but I would do it anyway because my heart would not allow me to leave him to be eaten by the lions. I care about him despite how he has always treated me.

"Where is the knot, Stripes?"

"Towards the back of the tree, I think," Stripes answered. "I tried looking for the knot near me and couldn't find it."

Dan walked to the back of the tree and saw a knot towards the right side of the back of the tree. He began to pull the knot with his teeth until they became loose. When they became lose Stripes was able to pull himself free from the vines. Dan helped Stripes push the vines to the ground.

As soon as they were finished, they heard a voice that frightened them to the core of their beings.

"HE ESCAPED!"

"AND LOOK, ANOTHER ANIMAL IS WITH HIM!" shouted another lioness.

"LET'S GET THEM!"

"Run, Stripes," Dan said to him.

Dan and stripes began to run fast to escape from the lionesses. They saw that the lionesses were chasing them. They ran passed a few bushes and trees. Both of them were frightened and hoped to escape from the lionesses. Dan looked behind him and noticed to his horror that one of the lionesses was very close behind Stripes and would catch him any moment. He knew what he had to do. To Stripes and the lioness's amazement he ran back towards them and placed himself between Stripes and the lioness. The lioness jumped on Dan and tore him apart with the help of her sisters.

Stripes watched the horrible scenery. While he was watching a thought came to his head. I was never kind to him, and yet he gave his own life to save mine. Why would he do that? He must be a noble animal to risk his life for mine because only a noble animal would do that.

For the rest of his life he had respect for Dan and always called him by his real name instead of, long neck, whenever he talked about him to his family and friends.

The End