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Giraffe and Baby

Giraffe and Baby
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Lankia outstretches her long neck to scout the horizon. Vast expanses of grassland as far as the eye can see. It is morning, and all is calm in the land of giraffes. Lankia's skin is an elegant tan with a lovely print of sandy-to-chestnut spots. As she saunters, it caresses a beautiful mimosa tree. Her son, Zirafah, watches with admiration.

- "Mother," he exclaims, "one day I shall be 30 tall as you!"
- "Even taller, I should think:" replies Lankia.

Zirafah is also long on curiosity. He likes to play and run here, there, everywhere. Today is his first day at daycare. Two grown- up giraffes will watch five or six little ones, while their mommies roam the sun-drenched savannah.

- "Watch him carefully," warns Lankia.

The giraffe is the tallest animal in the world. It can be three times as tall as your average home. Zirafah is but three weeks old, yet he would have to bow his head to enter your bedroom.

And with the grace so typical of the giraffe, she leans into the wind and strides her two right legs together, and then her left ones, and so on. Giraffes can travel several miles non-stop. Once they reach water, they must spread their front legs wide so their heads can touch the ground to drink. However, they have no problems browsing in the tree canopy of wooded grasslands - a feat that only elephants can match with their elongated trunks. One such elephant, Emma Mafafa, loves to share her meals with giraffes.

Content and gratified, Lankia ambles her way back to the daycare. Zirafah is famished. The feathery foliage of shrubs and trees is fine fare, but he still prefers the taste of his mother's milk. Newborn giraffes are breast-fed until the age of ten months.

- "Let's go home," says Lankia, "we'll come back tomorrow."
- "Hooray," shouts Zirafah, " I can't wait to see my new friends again."


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