I love giraffes. I have pictures and figurines of giraffes all over my home. I have stuffed, carved wood, glass, ceramic, and metal giraffes. I love how unique giraffes are. They are tall with long legs (with front legs longer than the back), long necks, and long tongues, but they have short tails and short horns on their head. They have big eyes and spots all over their bodies. They are the tallest mammals and can grow up to 19 feet tall!
Have you seen the trees where they live? The trees look like umbrellas or upside down plates on top of a stick. The foliage or leaves are WAY up on top. Do you know why they are like that? It is because giraffes are herbivores, and their favorite food is the tender young leaf. So, the leaves from the bottom to all the way up to where they can reach their long tongues are gone. Mandisa, pronounced Man-Dee-Suh and meaning sweet, is a giraffe that lives in a savanna in Africa. A savanna is grasslands. She lives with her family or group. They migrate, or move, up and down the savanna close to a water source. They eat leaves and grasses. I think they look funny when getting a drink.
Mandisa has other animal friends. One special friend is a monkey named Bello, pronounced Bell-Oh, which means assistant. He lives up to his name because he helps Mandisa. Mandisa is not as tall as some of the other giraffes because she is not fully grown. She is only 10 ft. tall. She has trouble reaching the leaves that are high up in the tree. Most days she just eats grass and chews on fallen branches.
This is where Bello comes in. He climbs up on to Mandisa’s neck and jumps high into the tree where leaves are. If possible, he bends the skinny branches down to where Mandisa can then reach them with her long tongue. If this is not possible, he shakes the branch or pulls off the leaves and drops them. This way, she can eat them off the ground or snatch them in midair as they float down.
Mandisa thanks Bello by giving him rides on her neck. Have you seen a giraffe run? Their necks go back and forth as they run. The faster they go the faster their necks go. This is fun for Bello. It’s like going to an amusement park and riding a fast ride.
Bello helps Mandisa get food she really likes and Mandisa gives Bello super fun rides. They cooperate with each other and help each other. They tell each other thank you. That is what friends do. It is what people, especially family and friends, should do. God wants us to cooperate, or help each other, and say thank you.
Here are some suggestions of what you could do for others. If you are taller, help others reach things. If you are better at math, then you can help someone who is struggling with it. When you are leaving the house or coming home, help your mom carry things. Put your coat and shoes away when you take them off. Another thing that can help is to take your dirty dishes to the kitchen and set them on counter or sink. Take out the garbage or trash. Some of you are old enough to get your mom or dad some tea. If you already have been given permission, you could surprise them with some cold or hot tea. I bet you could come up with other things you could do for others.
You may be thinking that I’m asking you to cooperate and help when it seems no one is cooperating back. Well, your parents work hard so you have a home, clothes, a bed, and food. Some of your parents both work outside the home. They shop for food and clothes, make your meals, and provide you with entertainment. They read to you or with you. Some of you have one parent working outside the home while the other takes care of you and the home. Some of you are homeschooled and that means one or both of your parents are your teacher. Think about all the things your parents do for you.
Have you told them thank you? Do you say thank you when your mom or dad gives you your food? Do you tell them thanks for your bed and clothes? What about that movie, book, or Wii game? Did you thank them for letting you play? It would be nice to thank your parents for the swimming or music lessons. Have you thanked them for soccer, baseball, basketball, or hockey that they take you to play?
We should cooperate, help others, and be grateful for what we have. "Thank you" is an easy thing to say. I hope it comes out of your mouth often.
The Bible is full of verses on thank you or thankfulness and praise. Philippians 1:3 I thank God upon every remembrance of you. Colossians 3:16 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts…And be thankful. Praise is another way we show we are thankful. Psalm7:17 I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the LORD MOST HIGH. The Lord is our helper. Psalm 121:2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. We are to be like the Lord. Acts 18:27c he greatly helped those who had believed through grace. John 21:16c He said unto him tend my sheep. Tend is another word for take care of or help. Jesus wants us Christians to tend to, or help, one another. Matthew 7:12a Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them. Matthew 22:39b You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Memorize: Matthew 7:12a Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them.
Verses in NKJV unless otherwise stated.