The Gnu Way

February 9, 2017
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Take a look outside your window. What do you see? The sky, the trees. The fluffy cream clouds. Now, take a moment. Train your eyes on the horizon. Do you see that tree sticking up? That’s the Sawtooth Oak tree. To us humans, this one particular tree seems to have no meaning, but to the inhabitants of this wonderland, it is everything. They call it The Land of Blu.

In the Land of Blu, there live the Gnu. They don’t wear shoes, but love to sing.

I am a Gnu. I am a Gnu. I am a Gnu in the great big Blu.

They sing their songs all day long while clanging their gongs to work. Gnus work in the trunk of the Land of Blu. They dig new pathways up the tree. This was frivolous work for these creatures because as you already know, the Gnu don’t wear shoes. Their teeny tiny feet were heavily calloused from the many voyages the Gnu took. Each little Gnu was smaller than a single green pea and just as squishy. Their skin shone like the sun and their stocky bodies were plump. Atop their burlywood brows lay their Conical Hats. Those hats were the most important part of the Gnu lifestyle.

Because of their small size, it was very difficult for the Gnu to avoid predators. Squirrels for example were particularly mean creatures. They liked to steal the houses of the Gnu. Their Acorns. Thus, the Gnu were forced to climb higher and higher into the Land of Blu. As they climbed and climbed, their paths became fewer and fewer, so they needed to lean their heads down and push through with their Conical Hats.

As you can see, these hats were very dear to the Gnu. Their creation dated back to the founder of the Gnus, Gnu the Great. He was more commonly known as the Big G because he is the largest known Gnu in history. Before the Big G, no Gnu dared to enter the tree. It was a land of bigger creatures. Bugs and such. The Big G discovered that with a Conical Hat any Gnu could survive in the Land of Blu. The Big G called upon the Gnu to follow him up the tree, and as he was so large, they all listened. He became their Gnome, or Gnu guru.

As the Gnome, the Big G called upon each Gnu to make their own unique hat with each new voyage. Perfect Conical Hats would provide the utmost safety and would allow for the Gnu to blend in with the bark. Now, most Gnu listened, but not all thought that making their own Conical Hat was worthwhile. Specifically, Gnu Min.

Gnu Min was the smallest Gnu. Smaller than a poppy seed even.. Though he was so small, he believed he was better than all other Gnu because he was the smartest. There wasn’t an idea in any of their heads that Gnu Min hadn’t thought before. While climbing up the tree after an Acorn was eaten, Gnu Min thought. He thought about his Acorn and all of his past Conical Hats, and he was not pleased. Gnu Min felt that if he was just going to have to keep making a new Conical Hat with each voyage, he shouldn’t have to make one at all.

So after the Gnu had settled just a little bit higher in the tree, Gnu Min snuck over to the Acorn of his dear friend Gnu Nah. Gnu Min and Gnu Nah had been friends since they were Gnu Babies in diapers together. They spent many a night curled up on the leaves of the Sawtooth Oak just watching the stars glisten together. Gnu Min often went over to Gnu Nah’s Acorn just to watch her speedy hands make Conical Hats. Naturally, this made Gnu Min feel little remorse towards taking her Conical Hat. He gathered, with his big brain, that she would just make another.

Predictably, Gnu Nah did make a new hat. She was sad her other one had been stolen, but grudges were not in the vocabulary of the Gnu. Her new Conical Hat was her most beautiful creation of all in her past. It dawned perfect teardrop green leaves, a veil of orangey red flowers, and an amazingly styled cone tip. She wore it proudly of course, and ventured to show Gnu Min. But, she never got there. From the lowest point in the Land of Blu, the warning horn was sounded three times. T’was a saddening call. A three horned blast meant that there had been a Gnu death.

All the Gnu raced into the tree trunk to find out who died. One Watch Gnu named Gnu Neel spoke to the crowd in his shrimpy voice. “Hello fellow Gnu. I regret to inform you that a squirrel attacked this morning,” tiny nanoliter sized tears fell from his eyes, “and our fearless leader Gnu the Great was inside the taken Acorn. I have here his Conical Hat. We will give it a leader's bury while we go through the tree to our next location. Go on. Through the path up the tree!” The Gnu gave 3 shouts for the Big G and solemnly entered the pathways singing their songs.

I am a Gnu. I am a Gnu. I am a Gnu in the great big Blu.

Gnu Min followed after the larger Gnu clutching his Conical Hat. It was unusual. Usually, Conical Hats didn’t move while on the head of a Gnu. They fit snugly and protected whoever wore them, but Gnu Min’s was loose. It sloshed around atop his head so much so that it was impossible for him to let it go to dig. His squishy head was being sloshed around, and because the cave was nigh explored, he couldn’t continue. Gnu Min thought and thought about why he was so endangered, then it clicked. This was why the Big G was so particular. If you wore somebody else’s Conical Hat, it wouldn’t fit you correctly no matter how brilliantly it was built. The Big G knew that stealing somebody else's creation could never be as beneficial as doing it for yourself.

Gnu Min ran on his stubby legs to find Gnu Nah. He needed to apologize. He took turn after turn, going deeper still into the tree trunk until the caverns opened up. Before him stood Squirrel Heaven. Acorns were strewn about the cavern, cracked and gutted of any signs of Gnu. From there, Gnu Min could see no light. There was a faint grey glow from the moving squirrels, but that was it. He knew he needed to turn away, but a presence compelled him to stay. Chi-chi. He heard. Chi-chi. Scratching up the wall to him. Chi-chi. Gnu Min shut his eyes and...

Let’s just say, they are the Gnu in the Land of Blu, and they know from Gnu Min to always do their own work.

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