…from a Giraffe?

Seriously, you've got to be kidding!

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-five years later, “Raff Giraffe” lives on the bookshelf in my room.

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.

Adapted from “Why I'm a giraffe.” posted April 17, 2007 at 21:28.