Accepting Yourself (George the Giraffe)

September 18, 2016
By kcinthehouse GOLD, Lincolnshire, Illinois
kcinthehouse GOLD, Lincolnshire, Illinois
15 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard."-Tim Notke

George the Giraffe didn’t like himself.  Other animals made fun of him for his long neck and skinny legs. Lions and tigers would nip at his legs.  Rhinos tried to charge into him.  Storks would swoop down and try to hit his head.  No matter what George did, he was always laughed at by his fellow animals.

One day, George the Giraffe decided he had enough.  If the bullying continued, he would surely snap.  So, George got down and started to kneel on his two hind-legs, brought his two front-legs together, and started to pray.  He prayed to God,” God, I don’t like how I look.  I have these long legs, this weird neck, and my ears stick up towards the sky.  Please, Please, PLEASE, change me into a different animal.”  George was about to get up, but a voice stopped him in his tracks. 
“George, are you sure you do not want to be a Giraffe?”
“Yes God, I’m sure.  I’m really sure.”
God took a deep breath and sighed.  “Okay then, tomorrow, you will look differently.  Have a good night George.”
“I will. Thank you so much God, thank you, thank you, thank you.”

That night, while George was sleeping, God started to change George’s features.  His neck became significantly smaller, and broader.  His legs became shorter, and stubbier.  His ears grew and fell to the side of his head.  Once God had finished, he left George.

In the early hours of the next morning, George woke up, for he was extremely excited to start the day.  Standing up to his full height, he realized that he could not see above the clouds anymore.  Surely that was something he would miss, but he did not really mind as long as the animals accepted him.  Lifting up his foot, he found it heavier, and it required more effort to move.  Sighing, George walked towards the African plain where the other animals were.  He expected them to treat him differently, with more respect.  Nearing the watering hole, the lions looked up at George.  For a moment, George was full of pride.  That was, until the lions started laughing at him again.
“Oh my gosh, look at those ears. Definitely too big for his head.”
“Why does his body look so huge? He’ll fall over easily.”
“I bet he’s a slow runner too.”
George suddenly felt self-conscience.  Quickly, well as fast as an elephant could run, he bolted back to his cave. 
He got back on his hind-legs, brought his two front-legs together, and started praying to God again.  “God, it didn’t work.  The other animals still don’t like me.  I have such ginormous, floppy ears.  My legs are too stubby and heavy to walk around.  Please, Please, PLEASE change me into a different animal.” 
God appeared again, sighing and asking, “George, are you sure you don’t want to be an elephant?”
“Yes God, I’m sure.  I’m positive.” George replied eagerly.
“Ok, then tomorrow you will look differently.  Have a good night George.”
“I will. Thank you so much God.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
That night, God started changing George’s features.  Fur started sprouting all over his body.  His legs became thinner, leaner.  Spots started to color the fur, and his ears were now a decent size in proportion to his head.

The next day, when George woke up, he felt extremely light.  He was capable of moving around with speed, and with ease.  But, he was shorter than he was before.  Shrugging his “shoulders”, George made his way to the African plain.  There, he started running around at his full speed.  Animals looked at him in awe, and for a while, George was filled with pride once more.  That was, until the other cheetahs showed up. 
“Wow, look at that, George is trying to fit in.”
“I bet you he’s way slower than all of us.”
“Of course he is.  He’s stupid after all.”

George’s burst of energy was suddenly drained from him.  He hung his head in shame.  All other animals started howling with laugher, and threw insults at him as well.  Starting on his journey home, a small, little weasel popped its head out from its burrow. 
“Hello, are you alright?” asked the weasel.  “You are looking a little glum.”
“No I’m not alright.  All the animals keep making fun of me, because I don’t fit in.” George replied.  His vision started to cloud over, and tears started to wet his fur.
“Why wouldn’t you like yourself? You used to be a giraffe before, yes?” George nodded.
“Who wouldn’t want to be a giraffe? They are so cool! They have spots like cheetahs, they have long legs that could carry them for miles.  They have long necks that stretch up toward the sky, and their ears stick up so they’re not in the way.”

Suddenly, George had an epiphany.  What the weasel said was true.  He should not judge himself based on what the other animals said.  He realized that he missed being able to see above the trees.  He missed being able to see above everyone.  Quickly, he thanked the weasel, and he hurried home.  He crouched down on his haunches, and brought his two front paws together, and prayed to God. “God, I want to be a giraffe again.  I miss being able to do all the things a giraffe could do.  I have been miserable before.” God appeared and asked,”Why do you want to be a giraffe?” George replied with a simple answer,”I liked myself as I was before.” God answered his answer with, “So did I.”

The next day, George was happier than he had been in days.  As he made his way to the plain, he ignored all the nasty comments he received from the other animals.  George searched for the weasel, who became his newest friend.  No one could bring him down.  He was perfectly happy with who he was, and no one would change that.  Each day, and each night, he prayed, and thanked God for making him a giraffe.  He stood out amongst everyone else, and he was happy with that. 

Each day, God would look down, and smile.  He was glad that George was finally happy with himself.  He also knew that many other animals, like George, would be unhappy with themselves. That is why, soon very soon, his son would save the world.

The author's comments:

This piece was inspired by my pastor at St. Mary.  He told the kids a basic story about a giraffe that wanted to be different during his homily. When he changed, he wanted to change back.

In my story, George was a representation of a person today in real life. The other animals represent bullies. When people are bullied, they want to change so that they fit in with the crowd.

God loves us all just how we are. God made each one of us different, none of us are the same. We have to choose to embrace our differences, and to use them for the greater good of the Church. Use our gifts to preach the gospel. We are all children of God.

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