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The Not So Wise Owl
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Run Jeffrey Run
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Long ago giraffes did not have the long and lean neck and bodies that they have today.
Instead, they were short, round animals with hardly any neck.
They were fat, lazy and slow. They did nothing but lay around all day eating grass and leaves from the ground around them.
One day as Jeffery the Giraffe was lying in the field with his family munching away, he noticed in the distance a group of horses running a race.
He didn't pay much attention to them and went back to eating his grass.
The next day, as he was doing his normal lying and eating, he noticed them running again.
He watched them for several days and thought to himself how majestic and beautiful they looked running and how cool it would be for him to be able to run in a race just like the horses.
He laughed to himself and went back to eating "Like that would ever happen," he said quietly.
One morning Jeffery went out to start eating a little earlier than was normal.
As he ate, two horses ran past him on their way to a race. One of the horses took one look Jeffery and laughed.
"Ha-ha, look how fat he is, what a sorry excuse for an animal," he said to the other horse as they kept running.
Jeffery was sad, but knew that this was who he was and nothing could be done to change it.
The days went by and there Jeffrey stayed, sitting and eating his grass while he watched the horses and the zebras that had now joined them run their races.
One afternoon, while Jeffery and his family were sitting and eating, another horse ran past them, chuckled a little bit and went on his way.
That was the breaking point for Jeffery, he had had enough!
He stood up and started walking towards the racing horses and zebras.
"What in the world are you doing, Jeffery?" his mother called after him.
"I'm going to race!" he said as he kept walking.
"Sit down, boy, you're a giraffe, not a horse!" shouted his father.
Jeffery stopped, "I see them running every day, it doesn't look that hard, I want to run too!" he said.
"Oh Bob, let him go" said his mother.
"Fine, go. He'll just have to learn the hard way," replied his father.
Jeffery walked right up to where they were racing and got into position for the next race.
A few of the horses came up to him laughing, "What are you doing? This is a horse and zebra race, not a grass eating race!"
"I'm racing too," he responded without looking their way.
"Ha-ha! OK boys, this fat boy has decided he wants to run too, try not to embarrass him too much!"
The racers got into position, the drum sounded and they were off!
Jeffery started running and took no more than 5 steps when he got a cramp tripped and fell. He looked up as the horses and the zebras crossed the finish line while everyone was cheering and hugging the winner.
Jeffery was devastated.
He stood up and slowly walked back to his home.
Jeffery still wanted to run but knew he would need to make some changes.
So, every night after his Mom and Dad went to bed, he went outside and started training.
He stretched and ran all night every night.
One day, his mother noticed something different about Jeffery. "Honey, has Jeffery gotten taller?" she asked his father.
Jeffery had gotten taller.
His legs were longer and he was thinner.
He decided to give the race another try.
Jeffery got into position and as before the other racers laughed at him.
The other racers also got into position and as the drum sounded they were off!
Jeffery started running and was neck and neck with a horse.
As the approached the finish line, Jeffery pushed himself and stuck out his neck a little. They both crossed the line, but it was too close to call.
They asked Vincent the Vulture to determine the winner with his 'Birds Eye View' camera. After reviewing it, Vincent came out and announced the winner.
"After reviewing the footage, it appears that Jeffery the Giraffe won by a neck!" announced Vincent.
"It can't be!" one of the horses said in a shocked voice.
Jeffery was also shocked!
Had he actually won!
He had beaten the zebras and the horses!
Jeffery soon became a local celebrity with not only other giraffes but with the horses and zebras too.
He began training other giraffes to run in races as well.
He stressed the importance of stretching their legs and warming up before a race and their necks while running just in case it ended up, 'neck and neck!'
Soon, giraffes from all over were getting up from their grass and started running.
They were all becoming taller, thinner and their necks longer.
They even discovered a new leaf that only grew at the tops of trees which they loved!
Since then, their necks continued to grow to the long and lean neck they have today and they could run faster than ever, (but only when they needed to.)
Even though they found a new love for running, they still enjoyed a lazy day every now and then. Just doing nothing but eating leaves but now it was from the top of the trees and not the ground!
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