The Giraffe Bridge


Gerald, the giraffe lived happily in a small village with all his giraffe friends. One sunny morning, Gerald got a letter from his cousin Gabriel who lived in a village very far away. The letter said:

“Dear Gerald,

Please come visit me soon. I miss you my friend. There are lovely trees here with green leaves for you to eat. And I want you to meet my new baby giraffe!

Love, Gabriel.”

Gerald was very happy to get the letter. “I must go see Gabriel!” he said. So Gerald went to the village bus stop with his long neck stretching high in the air. He waited patiently for the bus.

Soon a big blue bus came rumbling up and stopped with a screech. “Can I ride your bus to visit my cousin?” asked Gerald politely. But the bus driver took one look at Gerald’s very long neck and yelled “No no no! We don’t allow giraffes on the bus! Your neck is too high and might bump our roof!”

Poor Gerald. His long neck stopped him from riding the bus. The big blue bus drove away leaving a trail of dust. Gerald coughed and sighed. Just then, an orange bus sputtered up to the stop. Gerald asked hopefully “May I please take this bus to see my cousin? I promise to duck down low.”

But the orange bus driver frowned and said “Your neck is too long for my bus! There is no room for giraffes here!” And the orange bus zoomed off with a roar.

Gerald sat down feeling very sad. “I must see my dear cousin Gabriel. I will walk there myself!” he declared bravely. So Gerald set off on his long wobbly legs. He passed many villages and farms along the way. Cows, goats and sheep gazed curiously at the tall giraffe walking by.

After many miles, Gerald felt achingly tired. His long legs hurt. Just then he saw a little river up ahead with lovely green trees on the other side. Gerald smiled happily at the soft grass. “I will take a little nap there under the trees before continuing my journey.”

He gently placed his head amidst the leaves and grass. They felt nice and cool against his skin. In no time Gerald was fast asleep. His long legs sprawled on one side of the river, while his head and neck rested peacefully on the other side. They looked just like a bridge across the water!

Soon two little rabbits named Robby and Rachel came hopping through the grass. They stopped and twitched their noses at the sight of the strange long “bridge”.

“Look!” said Rachel. “We can use this thing to get to the bushes on that side. Let’s hop across this bridge and play.” They paddled into the shallow water and then hopped up onto Gerald’s long neck. One, two, three, and four light hops later, they were across the river underneath the shady trees.

“Come on over!” Rachel called to her brother who stared worriedly from the other side. Carefully, Robby hopped along Gerald’s neck to join his sister. Then they munched on crunchy leaves and frolicked together.

Just then, their squirrel friends Scooter and Sandy scampered down from an oak tree. “Wow cool!” said Scooter, “Now we can all play together utilizing this excellent bridge!” The squirrels scurried over Gerald’s long spine, their bushy tails tickling his thick skin.

Soon woodland creatures from all around were using poor Gerald’s long body as a bridge between the riverbanks. Baby field mice passed tiny ants carrying huge crumbs. A family of otters rolled laughing across his back. And a porcupine named Prickly Pete waddled over leaving some quills in Gerald’s hind leg.

“Ouch!” cried Gerald, jolting awake. All the little animals froze in fear. Gerald lifted his sore head from the grass as his neck straightened up towards the clouds. The creatures climbed and leapt off his long limbs in a panic.

“Oh please Mister Bridge, don’t leave!” the rabbits cried.”We need you to play with our friends,” squeaked the mice.

“Don’t go away strange bridge thing!” whimpered Scooter.

“A bridge?” thought Gerald, “They think I’m a bridge?” He smiled gently at the anxious creatures who needed his body for safe passage.

“Dear little ones, I cannot stay as your bridge. I must continue my long journey to see Cousin Gabriel. But do not worry or fear! Stay here; I will be back soon.”

Gerald galloped gracefully into the woods. Using his strong giraffe legs, he kicked down small trees and carried them in his mouth back to the riverbank. The squirrels and rabbits watched curiously as Gerald placed the logs side by side across the bubbling water. Soon he had built a sturdy wooden bridge from one grassy bank to the other!

“There you are my new friends! Now you can easily visit each other whenever you want. I must be off now, farewell!” The forest animals leapt happily onto their new bridge as Gerald the Giraffe continued his quest to find Cousin Gabriel.

After a few more days of walking and nibbling leaves from the tops of trees, Gerald arrived in Gabriel’s village. His cousin ran out to meet him with a joyful gleam in his big brown eyes.

“Gerald! You made it! Welcome dear cousin.” Gabriel led his tired relative into his cozy home where baby Celia napped sweetly in her nest of straw. After eating tasty acacia pods and drinking cool water from the well, Gerald told Gabriel of his strange napping adventure. His cousin laughed loudly at the idea of a “giraffe bridge”. And after a wonderful week playing with Cousin Gabriel and tiny Celia, Gerald began his journey back home once more.

When Gerald returned to the little river, he was happy to see how all the creatures were still using his wooden bridge to roam between the shady oak trees and sunny field grasses.  The rabbits, squirrels, mice and other little animals waved and danced delightedly upon seeing their old giraffe friend come back again.

“Thank you for building us this sturdy crossing, kind Gerald!” cried Robby Rabbit. “Now our families are together and new friendships have been made, thanks to you and your wonderful trip!” Gerald smiled warmly and ambled over his own creaky but beautiful bridge—this special gift left behind from a magical journey.

The creatures of the woods never forgot the long-necked giraffe who once lay sleeping as the best bridge they ever knew. And Gerald never forgot the joy of connecting with friends as he followed the winding road home once more.

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