The giraffe’s neck pushed through the foliage like a periscope splits the water: upright and rigid.
The sweet juicy foliage. O how the animal wanted to take a bite out of it. But that meant bending its neck down, something it had not been able to do since its fifth vertebra had locked up three days ago.
Ever since the other animals started mocking it for its perilous situation. Lion cubs and hyenas playfully bit its ankles without the giraffe knowing if it was for taunting or for dinner. Rhinos tickled its belly with their horn, causing painful neck spasms. And birds made a sport out of circling around its head, whistling insulting remarks.
In their mind they had every right to. The giraffe had always been haughty towards them – it was the tallest animal among its troupe and therefore of the savannah – and they had never forgotten its disdain for them. Even members of its own troupe did not come to its rescue.
This torture went on for several more days, until the giraffe, exhausted by lack of water or food, bent its knees, breathed one last sigh and fell dead onto the dried grass below its feet.
The other animals talked about how they could have helped the giraffe. How the birds could have fed it berries and the elephant could have used its trunk to spray water into its mouth. But they felt no remorse. This was the way of the savannah. No mercy for the feeble ones.
And as the scavengers and big cats feasted on the giraffe’s carcass, they knew that one day they’d befall a similar fate as that of the giraffe with the locked-up vertebra.
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