Ok... of course I'm not really a giraffe.
But in another life or another universe...
I might have been, or I might like to be.
When I was little, I loved giraffes.
The family legend is that at the end of a visit to my grandparents' house when I was still very small, I refused to let go of a green giraffe from a Noah's Ark playset. I had named him "Raff Giraffe." It was time to go home. I wouldn't put down the giraffe. My grandparents eventually told my mom just to let me take it home. Over twenty years later, "Raff Giraffe" lives on top of a bookshelf in my room at my parents' house.
Today, I still love giraffes.
They're oddly-shaped. Extra-long necks, long legs, spots, two or more small antlers, long black tounges -- giraffes are an odd assembly of features. Yet, they're beautiful! They're beautiful not in spite of their odd assembly of features, but because of it.
I've always been a bit odd. Growing up, I never quite fit in -- not with classmates at school, not with the cousins near my age, not with any of the typical peer groups. My interests were different. I didn't like sports. I didn't care who had a crush on whom. I liked to read. I liked to watch science-fiction shows on television. I liked to draw and make things.
And sometimes it would be nice to have a giraffe around.
Giraffes have a different view of the surrounding territory. They can see trouble coming from much farther off than, at 5'2", I could ever imagine. In my life, it would be nice to have someone who can see trouble coming from far off. Here I mean "trouble" in a more metaphorical context. I'm not particularly worried about an attacking pride of lions showing up on the university campus. But troubles often arise in life; troubles can be sneaky. For me, troubles can grab me by the throat before I even realize they have teeth.