The Giraffe Phenomenon

I don’t usually participate in memes. I do a weekly blog hop here, and I’ll change my Facebook profile picture to a poppy for the first half of November if I can find a picture that’s free to use without copyright infringement, but I don’t do any of the “share if you’re against Wall Street fat-cats wearing live baby penguins as shoes,” or the “post this if you love your children. IF YOU DON’T POST THIS, YOU HATE YOUR CHILDREN” stuff. Likewise, if you ask me to describe you in one word using the letter you were given, I’m all over that and will try to give you a big ol’ warm fuzzy, but I won’t re-post if you give me a letter. It’s a fun game, it’s just not for me, personally.

But then a few days ago, my friends started turning into giraffes. They were still posting statuses and stuff, but guys? THEY WERE GIRAFFES. It was right there in their new profile pictures, and I was getting super jealous of their to-die-for eyelashes. When I found out it was all because of a riddle, I knew I had to participate. Either I got to be smug about answering a riddle correctly (and the trick to the question seemed fairly obvious to me), or I got to be a giraffe for a few days.


So I answered, confident that I’d nailed it.

And I received the answer, “Sorry! Giraffe time!”

Another obvious answer came to me a few minutes later, but it was too late. I asked, was told my second answer was correct, but I took my lumps like a lady*, got the necessary supplies together, and transformed myself into a small-ish giraffe. Sadly, I couldn’t work my camera after I transformed and my husband isn’t here to take pictures, so I had to steal my friend’s picture of Sophie the toy giraffe.

I should think these things through better in the future. But I do have this self-portrait I drew yesterday. It’s not bad, all things considered.

In any case, I had upheld my end of the bargain. It was fun at first. I was ADORABLE, even if I had to bend my elegant neck down to see myself in the bathroom mirror. I didn’t need mascara anymore, and that was a good thing. Have you ever tried to hold that tiny wand in any hands without opposable thumbs? Or fingers, for that matter? But hey, I could pick my nose with my tongue. Sounds gross, but I have a cold, so it was pretty darned convenient. STOP JUDGING ME.

The problems started when I broke a light fixture with my adorable head. Even a small-ish giraffe is too darned tall for a house. Worse, I had a lot of trouble cooking for the kids and getting them dressed in the morning. A prehensile tongue is handy (and yes, I’m avoiding the obvious “too bad my husband’s away” jokes here, YOU’RE WELCOME), but beyond a bit of tongue-typing on the computer, I was feeling kind of useless. Oh, and you would not BELIEVE the cravings I was having for acacia leaves. Have you ever tried to get those around here? Good luck, sweetheart.

Could I have changed back? Sure. I lost a silly riddle, I wasn’t cursed or something. But I wanted to play fair, and the rules said I had to be a giraffe for three days, so three days it would be.

Imagine my relief when I woke this morning to learn (from an online article) that my answer had been RIGHT! Well, so these people claimed. I still think the answer I was given was technically correct, marking the first time I’ve ever come close to arguing that I was wrong, but I wasn’t about to quibble when my physical shape was at stake. I changed back, told my friends that they could do the same if they’d given the same original answer as I had, and went to make the cup of tea I’d been craving but was unable to drink as a giraffe.

BUT THEN. I happened to mention that I’d kind of miss the prehensile tongue, and someone sent me a private message (because she’s a decent sort, and didn’t want to embarrass me) saying that I wasn’t actually supposed to turn into a giraffe. All of my friends had just changed their profile pictures to images they’d found on Google. They weren’t giraffes at all.

Well, I was flummoxed. I thought I’d been playing by the rules, but it turned out that not only had I answered the riddle correctly (or perhaps “correctly”), I had also gone to a whole lot of unnecessary trouble over my answer.

So now I’m feeling quite foolish. I have a light fixture to replace and two holes in the ceiling to fix, and a whole lot of giraffe spit to wash out of the kids’ clothes.

All of that, I can deal with. The only question I’m left with is what to do with six bales of acacia leaves when FedEx delivers them this afternoon.

*This has nothing to do with Fergie or the Black Eyed Peas. Just for the record.


About Kate Sparkes

Kate Sparkes was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but now resides in Newfoundland, where she tries not to talk too much about the dragons she sees in the fog. She lives with five cats, two dogs, and just the right amount of humans. USA Today bestselling author of the Bound Trilogy (mature YA Fantasy), Into Elurien, and Vines and Vices. Writing dark, decadent, and deadly Urban Fantasy as Tanith Frost. View all posts by Kate Sparkes

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