How the Leopard got His Spots
This is the story of how the Leopard got his spots
and it happened - Just So.
Long ago in the High and Far Off Times there was a place in Africa called The High Veldt…
and it was sclusively bare and hot and a sandy yellowish-brown all over.
The Giraffe and Zebra and Eland lived there and they were all sclusively sandy yellowish-brown all over too.
but the Leopard was the most sclusivest , sandiest, yellowest- brownest of the all.
He matched the colour of the sandy yellowish-brownish High Veldt to a hair.
Which was very bad for the Giraffe and Zebra and Eland.
and also there was a Sandy-Yellowish Ethiopian who used to hunt with the Leopard. Till the Giraffe and Zebra and Eland
just didn't know which way to jump next.
Finally they all decided to run far and far away until at last they came upon a great tall forest full of stripy speckly patchy-blatchy shadows and there they hid.
After a time, what with standing half in and half out of the shade and what with the slippery slidey shadows falling on them
they began to change. The Giraffe grew blotchy. The Zebra grew stripy and the Eland grew darker and darker with little wavy lines on his back. So they melted into the sclusively speckly spickly forest and had a lovely time.
Meanwhile the Leopard and the Ethiopian were hunting round the sclusively sandy yellowish-brown, very hot, High Veldt
wondering where all their breakfasts, dinners and teas had gone. Till at last they came upon Baviaan the Dog-Headed Baboon
who is quite the wisest animal in all Africa.
Wake up Baviaan said Leopard and tell us where all the games has gone. Then, said Baviaan, the game has gone into other spots Leopard and my advice to you is to go into other spots too. Please excuse my impetuous friend, said the Ethiopian, but he has rather forgotten his manners through not haven eaten for such a long time. What he means is…
Could you please be so kind as to tell us of the present whereabouts of Giraffe, Zebra and Eland? Otherwise known as "Fair Game". Then, said Baviaan, the game has gone away for a change and my advice to you Ethiopian is to change too.
The Leopard and the Ethiopian thanked Baviaan for his help, and still, rather puzzled, they continued on their way hunting for the lost Game.
After ever so many days they came upon the great tall forest all speckled and spockled and spotted and splashed and slashed hatched with shadows. What is this place ? said the Leopard. I don't know said the Ethiopian but it must be the new home of our lost game. For I can smell Giraffe and I can hear Giraffe but I can't see Giraffe. That's curious, said the Leopard, I suppose it's cos we've just come in out of the sunshine I can smell Zebra and I can hear Zebra but I can't see Zebra
It's such a long time since we last hunted them. Said the Ethiopian, perhaps we've forgotten what they looked like.
Huh said the Leopard, I remember them perfectly. Giraffe is taller, sclusively sandy yellow. Zebra is smaller sclusively yellowish-brown. Well, said the Ethiopian they ought to show up in here like ripe bananas in a coal hole, but they didn't.
The Leopard and the Ethiopian hunted all day and though they could smell game and hear game they never saw any game at all. As darkness fell Leopard could hear something breathing sniffily in the starlight. He jumped at the noise, and it smelt like Zebra and it felt like Zebra and it kicked like Zebra but he couldn't see it. So he said. Be still oh you person without any form, I shall sit on your head till morning so you will not escape and then I might discover who you are.
Then the Ethiopian shouted. I've caught something I can't see it smells like Giraffe and it kicks like Giraffe but it hasn't any form.
Don't you trust it, said the Leopard, sit on it's head 'till the morning, then we'll find out what this is all about.
So they sat on them hard until the morning came and then Leopard said. What have you at your end of the breakfast table Brother? Well it ought to be sclusively sandy yellow and it ought to be Giraffe but it's all covered with orangy browny blotches.
What have you at your end of the breakfast table brother? Well, said the Leopard, it ought to be sclusively yellowish brown and it ought to be Zebra but it's all covered with black stripes. This is a really clever trick isn't it. Yesterday we couldn't see them at all but now we can. Tel me Zebra how is it done? Let us up, said the Zebra , and we'll show you. Now watch, said the Zebra.
This is the way it's done. One, two, three and where's your breakfast? Now watch, said the Giraffe this is how it's done. One, two, three and where's your breakfast?
Well, gasped the Ethiopian, that's a trick you should learn Leopard, then you wouldn't show up here like a sunflower against a tarred fence. Hun, you could use a trick like that too, you show up this place like a jar of mustard in a dark cupboard. Be that as it may, calling each other names is not going to catch dinner. Giraffe and Zebra perfectly match their background and we don't. So I'm going to take wise Baviaan's advice and change. That really is a change for the better said Leopard. But what about me I still
stand out like a bar of soap down the plug-hole. Well, said the Ethiopian, how about taking wise Baviaan's advice and go into spots! Like this, and this and this. Thank you Brother grinned the Leopard the game will never spot us now so let's get even with Mr. One, Two, Three where's your breakfast!
And ever since that day the Ethiopian has never changed his skin again and the Leopard has never changed his spots both are quite happy as they are just like that first sclusively sandy yellow brownish spotted Leopard in the world.