Gilly The Giraffe: A Path to Self-Acceptance


This is a bedtime story about Gilly the giraffe. She feels out of place because of her height but learns it’s a gift that helps her save a friend and embrace her uniqueness.

Once in the sunbathed savannas of Serengeti, there lived a young giraffe named Gilly. Unlike the other giraffes, whose coats were a gentle mix of tan and brown, Gilly sported a striking pattern of golden yellow and deep maroon that shimmered under the sun. Moreover, she was a full head taller than the tallest adult giraffe in her herd.

Gilly often felt like a palm tree among bushes, towering over both her friends and the adults. Whenever they played hide and seek, Gilly could be spotted from afar, her head peeking out above the acacia trees. This height made her self-conscious, and she often wished she could shrink just a little to blend in with her playmates.

One particularly warm afternoon, as the sun painted the horizon in shades of orange and pink, a crisis unfolded: a baby zebra got lost near the river. The herd was anxious, and every animal joined in the search. They looked behind the bushes, around the watering holes, and in the muddy patches, but the baby zebra was nowhere to be seen.

Standing at the back, feeling somewhat detached from the action due to her height, Gilly watched the search efforts. Her mother, sensing her daughter’s discomfort, nudged her gently. “Why don’t you take a look from above, Gilly? Your height could be just what we need right now,” her mother suggested with a knowing smile.

Encouraged but still a bit hesitant, Gilly stretched her long neck even higher, her heart thumping in her chest. She felt a wave of fear—what if she still couldn’t see the zebra, or worse, if she spotted danger too late? Pushing past her doubts, she scanned over the trees and tall grasses.

Then, she saw it—a tiny stripey figure huddled near the river, far beyond where the others were searching.

With newfound confidence, Gilly called out loudly and led the herd to the baby zebra. Her unique height, which she had always thought of as a disadvantage, became the hero of the day.

That evening, as the herd celebrated the safe return of the baby, Gilly felt a warmth in her chest that spread all over.

Over time, Gilly grew to appreciate her height. She helped her friends pluck the freshest leaves from the tallest trees and kept a lookout for distant dangers, serving as a gentle giant sentinel. The very thing that made her feel out of place now made her an integral part of her community.

Her friend, Ellie the Elephant, once remarked, “Gilly, we’d be lost without your lookout. You see things we can’t even dream of from down here!”

Gilly learned that sometimes, what makes us different doesn’t just make us stand out—it makes us special. Her unique qualities were not just features to be tolerated but were strengths that could help others in ways no one else could.

From that day on, Gilly never wished to shrink again. Instead, she stood tall, proud of her golden yellow and maroon patches, and grateful for her unique view of the world.

Also Read: Fuzzy the Squirrel is Hosting a Show

Follow Up Questions

What makes Gilly special?
Have you ever felt different like Gilly did? How did it make you feel?
How did Gilly’s view of her height change by the end of the story?

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