After Herold had sat with Albert for a while it was clear that Albert couldn’t hold his excitement any longer.
They decided to give their first magical travel adventure a try.
«That is just great!» chuckled Albert with excitement! «And I know just the place I want to go! Can we try? PLEEEEEEASE», he begged.
Herold smiled. He was pretty sure he knew exactly where Albert wanted to go. So much so that he was ready to bet his dinner that Albert wanted to go to the kings of the animal world and meet some mighty lions!
Herold agreed that Albert should give it a go. «Now all you have to do is imagine that we are in the place you want to go and let the Motley do the rest».
The next moment Herold couldn’t believe his eyes! He wasn’t sure if Albert was playing a joke on him or if the wish had gone totally wrong! There were no lions in sight. All he could see around him were huge hooves! What was going on?
They were standing in the center of a herd of giraffes. Albert was quite scared and he felt like a mouse in front of huge dinosaurs.
He build up all his courage – after all he was gigantic in comparison to Herold – and said, «Hello, giraffes! My name is Albert and I can speak giraffish, please don’t be scared, I come in peace and please, please be especially careful not to step on my friend Herold who is way down there on the floor.»
Some of the giraffes needed to spread their legs in order to be able to look down and see Albert, not to mention tiny little Herold! They seemed friendly enough but before he could say any more, he was pushed over onto the floor.
Albert shrieked with shock but the giraffes only laughed and said, «Sorry, but obviously our young ones want to get a better look at the boy who can speak giraffish!»
A small giraffe came up close, «Hello Albert, I am really sorry, I didn’t mean to push you over but I was curious. I wanted to have a better look at you! My name is Girlanda. But all my friends call me Gira.»
Albert looked up at Gira and was very astonished, «Hello Gira» he said, «please tell me, is it normal that all young giraffes have a knot in their neck?»
Gira looked upset. «Oh no, I nearly forgot about it! I was distracted by your spectacular arrival. We were all meeting because of the knot in my neck…»
Gira started to explain how she came to have a knot in her long slender neck.
«I was watching a bird fly in circles around my favorite tree and instead of following its movement with my eyes I followed the bird with my whole head and somehow I turned it in such a strange way that I trapped myself and put a knot in my neck! Nobody has ever seen anything like it and now we’re trying to find a solution to unknot me.»
Another giraffe introduced himself politely as Gira’s friend Roberto; «I was just saying that it would be good if Gira does the same movements again but this time backwards. That should undo the knot.»
All the other giraffes agreed and encouraged Gira to go and give it a try. Gira tried and tried but she was too tense and couldn’t do the movement backwards. It felt as if the knot was getting tighter and tighter with every try. Gira got very upset.
«Stop!» cried Albert, «this isn’t working but I might have an idea. Do you know of any other animal that has a long and wriggly bendy body?» They all looked at Albert and tried to think of any animals that would fit the description. Gira took a breath, «What about a python?»
A python would surely fit the description but it would be horribly dangerous to go near a python. A python could swallow a whole monkey, maybe not a giraffe but probably a small hog and definitely a little hedgehog.
Gira started to think out loud, «Why should a python help me? I have nothing to offer to a python and everybody knows that they are not known to be the most helpful creatures.»
Roberto thought that he had an answer, he said, «You just need to give the python something it would really like. Food is always a good idea».
Albert agreed, but one of the older giraffes said, «Pythons don’t eat regularly, they just need to feed once in a while. And if you find a hungry python it will be very dangerous even though they are not poisonous. I wouldn’t be surprised if it wouldn’t try to swallow you whole!»
Albert felt very brave. «Since I can speak with all creatures I’m sure I will be able to talk my way out of any tight spot». What danger could a python really be? Nobody was convinced that it would be a good idea for Albert or Herold to go with Gira.
The giraffes tried to talk them out of the idea.
Roberto looked at Albert and said, «I am Gira’s friend and I will stand by her as she has done for me in the past.
Also, I really think Gira and I are too big to be swallowed. We might get strangled but not eaten! And I know where we can find a python.»
Gira agreed and told Albert that he had been already very helpful since he had come up with the idea of talking to a python in the first place.
They promised to be back soon and to tell them all about what happened with the python.
The other giraffes didn’t want to let Gira and Roberto go alone and said that they were determined to go as a herd. Herold and Albert had to promise to go back home and only come back to meet them later. The herd didn’t feel at ease having Herold and Albert around. They would certainly be in too much danger.
After a lot of moaning, Albert finally agreed and said that they would be returning later that evening. The herd moved towards a line of trees, their spotted coloring making them disappear among the trunks, the branches and the leaves.
Albert blinked and then Herold and he were back in the Motley.
Albert felt dazed, had this just really happened?
Herold smiled and said: «You did well, let’s just hope that your idea will help little Gira. She did look very uncomfortable and she was starting to turn a slightly worrying shade of blue since she couldn’t breathe properly.»
Albert was in deep thought. He still couldn’t believe that he had been in Africa just a few seconds ago!
Albert and Herold went home for a snack and agreed to meet up later so that they could go back to meet up with the giraffes and find out if Albert’s idea had worked out after all.
More soon… will they meet Gira again and will she still have a knot in her neck?