Without a doubt the worst thing about being Giraffe is the diet. It’s all leaves leaves leaves. One day I’d like a lovely bowl of sprouts, just one bowl, I’m not greedy, perhaps with some gravy, a joint of beef and a pint of real ale. Is that too much to ask?
Last month I went over to my friend Adrian’s house, he’s a Panda but you wouldn’t know it to look at him. He’s almost completely black with the only bit of white being around his anus. Well I think he probably has other white bits but he had to disguise himself when he escaped the Zoo. Apparently he used the wrong kind of hair dye and it won’t come out. I told him ‘you should have used a wash in – wash out colour’ but he just rolled onto his back and shoved a pawful of grass into his mouth.
Anyway – as I say – I went over to his bit of the Serengeti, he’s done it up nice, just like home really. There is however one thing he misses: bamboo. You can’t get bamboo anywhere on the plain, mostly its dry grassed and trees. However he makes do usually, chomping his way through the limited vegetation at his disposal but on the day I visited him he was craving the boo like a junky craves opiates – I watched the Discovery Channel through a skylight once. He was sitting against a tree rocking slowly backwards and forwards while attempting to hollow out a tree branch to substitute for his favourite snack.
He barely noticed me as I strode into his clearing, so I nudged him with a hoof. He looked up and I could see that he had tears in his eyes. He told me that it was his birthday and he wanted celebrate with his chums and a slap up bamboo nosh. This concerned me, as it felt like he was anthropomorphising himself and the animals of Africa but I didn’t say anything, instead I bowed my head as far as it could go and nuzzled his ear. “Leave it with me,” I said and headed off across the plain. Before long I found myself at the boundary of the Serengeti Zoo and beer garden. It took some time but I managed to swing myself over the high fence by gripping the topmost branch of a nearby tree with my teeth and swinging my body until I could let go of the branch and drop soundlessly onto a hut on the other side.
Then the problems began. Being a Giraffe I’m not very good at getting down from things like huts so it took me quite a while to work out, that if I gripped the edge of the roof with my teeth I could front flip to the ground; which I eventually did, landing not too far away from a man drinking whisky from a bottle. He was alerted immediately to my presence. However instead of raising the alarm, he just looked at me, then at the bottle and back at me again before walking away slowly and pouring the booze onto the ground as he went.
It didn’t take me long to find the food store and I kicked open the flimsy door and peered inside. It was a treasure trove of yummy food and I nibbled at nuts, berries and dates for some time until I heard voices approaching. Quick as a flash I gathered up as much bamboo as I could and made a run for the perimeter. The voices grew louder and I heard the unmistakable sound of a tranquiliser dart flying past my right ear. Fearing for my liberty, I swung around and knocked over my pursuers with the bamboo between my teeth. This seemed to unsettle them and they fell back, however the man with the tranquiliser gun took aim and fired. In a split second I turned my head and the dart hit me on the ear and dropped to the ground. This was my signal to get out of there, so with a quick run and a jump I pole vaulted over the fence and ran across the plain and back to Adrian’s clearing.
Adrian was still sitting against the tree sobbing when I got there, but when he saw me, he leapt up and hugged my leg. He was a very happy Panda. Before long the rest of his chums arrived and I told them the story of how I’d got the bamboo. None of them believed me! That’s animals for you.
Leaves for tea again.