Aster the striped giraffe
Once upon a time there lived a stripy giraffe. Well… Not so much as lived but existed.
She was ostracised. She was bullied.
Why? Because she looked different.
Instead of being yellow with brown spots, it was stripy. The other giraffes didn’t like it. Not one bit at all. They couldn’t understand why she had stripes.
And so no one wanted to be her friend. No one wanted to be associated with her…
But she didn’t know that. She thought it was something she did. She tried very very hard to please the other giraffes, hoping that she would be accepted one day.
This continued for many years… Until one day after an especially bad episode of bullying, she thought “I have had enough of this!” So she sat up and gave all those who bullied her a good dressing down, and then she left the herd.
She walked, she walked, and she walked even more. She encountered many other animals, some who treated her nicely, and others who treated her with disgust.
She came across dangerous animals. Many looked at her with suspicion because of her unusual colour.
As she walked aimlessly across the grasslands, she would watch the beautiful sun rise above the horizon, and then watch the exact same sun go down.
She felt the cooling breeze caress her body. How the trees and flowers swayed side to side under the wind’s gentle touch.
She watched the clouds float by and forming cloudy shapes of castles, flowers and faces.
There were also days where she thought of the herd. Of how maybe, just maybe, if she had stayed, everything would have gotten better. And then she would feel lonely as she thought longingly of the past that she could have had.
And then one day she saw…
Down below was…
Another stripy giraffe.
She blinked once. She blinked twice. She almost did not dare believe it. And then she started running towards the other giraffe.
Her name was Emma. She was absolutely gorgeous. The stripes she had on her skin complemented each other perfectly. And she too had left the herd for a life of solitude.
Emma tilted her head in surprise when she saw another stripy giraffe running towards her.
“Hello dear, what is your name?” Emma asked
“What… is a name?” the giraffe replied quizzically.
“Oh… A name…” Emma frowned as she tried to explain it, “A name is a word used to distinguish someone. Umm… Something used to identify one from the other? It is like your identity… Sorry dear. This is really hard to explain.” Emma said in an apologetic tone.
“I see” came the simple reply.
And then they walked together, each enjoying the comfort of the silence between them.
Breaking the silence first, Emma asked “You know, I was thinking… Would you like it if I gave you a name?”
“Give me a name?”
“Yeah. Actually I was thinking Aster would be a nice name” Emma replied cheerfully.
“Aster?” Aster said, as she tried to say her name. Pausing for a moment, she discovered she quite liked the sound of it.
“Yes. It is actually the name of those purple flowers centred with yellow you see over there.They sometimes come in pink shades as well. Don’t you think they look absolutely beautiful? Exactly like you.” Emma said as she looked admiringly at the flowers.
“But I am not beautiful,” Aster replied
“Oh, don’t be silly.” Emma said as she rolled her eyes dramatically, “Everyone is beautiful in their own way. Don’t let others’ illusions of perfection cloud your beauty.”
“But I had no friends” Aster replied sadly.
“And? Since when did the number of friends determine what you should think of yourself?” Emma said in a teasing voice.
“If you don’t have any confidence and walk around moping all day, expecting one day some kind soul will to accept you unconditionally… Well then, I think you are very… Idealistic. Well not to say that it would never happen… But it is rare to have such things happen.” Emma told Aster bluntly.
They continued walking in silence.
So now there were two stripy giraffes walking across the grasslands.
Their names were Emma and Aster.
Emma taught Aster many things. She taught Aster that sometimes, you mustn’t take everything too seriously. She taught her confidence, kindness, respect.
On nice windy days, Emma would make sure they stopped and watched the formless clouds float by.
Sometimes, when they came across a lake, they would stay around for a few days and splash around in the water.
One night, as they were watching the sun setting from a cliff, Aster asked Emma “do you ever regret leaving your herd?”
There was a pause as Emma thought to consider.
“No… I don’t regret leaving them. In fact, I think it was one of the best things I ever did for myself.” Emma said sincerely.
“How about you?” She asked as she looked kindly at Aster.
“I think I feel the same way too… After all, I would rather be with someone who enjoys my presence then otherwise” Aster said, as she looked back towards the setting sun.
As she said that, she thought back on her journey through life so far and realised something. Life doesn’t get better on its own. If she had just continued enduring the teasing hoping one day the other giraffes would accept her, she would not have met Emma, and she would not be having the life of happiness she was having now. If you want something to get better, you have to do something about it. But along our way to achieve what we want ultimately in life, we must never forget the simple pleasures of life. Otherwise, all will be naught.
As the last of the sun disappeared down the horizon, Aster thought she heard Emma whisper, “it is so good to be alive isn’t it?”
On many side notes:
It is a striped giraffe and NOT a zebra. (Must never be confused for a zebra of any sort)
And the pattern to this awesome pattern is from here.
It is also good to note that there is something called the invisible join invented by planetjune (it makes perfect stripes!!!)
And actually I modified the whole pattern -__- because I made a mistake at the start and was too lazy to correct it. (But I basically got the idea from Emma’s blog ^_^). The story was a joint thing with the striped giraffe as a birthday present for my younger cousin.
And YES! I finally finished it! *clapclapclap* I shall never do something so stupidly large again. (This took me 1 month •__•)