The Tiny Gazelle
By Anne Spackman
Copyright 2012 by Anne Spackman
*Note: this story is for older children, not young children.
The tiny gazelle was born on the grasslands of Africa just before sunset. Her mother licked the gazelle’s fur gently and then watched as the tiny gazelle stood on her legs and wobbled about. The tiny newborn was a girl, and she was hungry. She nursed for a few minutes, and then nestled against her mother to sleep. The crickets sang a song out on the grass, and the sound of a lion roaring in the distance filled the air. There was no danger at the moment, but there was always the shadow of the lions to fear, for lions ate gazelles.
The tiny gazelle grew as the weeks passed. She remained very tiny, however, and was in fact the smallest of the herd, even among the other newborn gazelles. She felt a little sad that she was so small, but she was happy, also, for she was very fast. And she liked to run. She jumped and ran a lot, very fast, and ran around the grassland where the gazelle herd lived.
One afternoon, the gazelles were surrounded by a pride of hunting lionesses. The gazelles ran, but found themselves followed closely by the lionesses. The tiny gazelle ran as hard as she could and outran the lions! She was so happy that she had escaped the lionesses that she jumped about for joy.
That night the gazelle slept soundly under the shade of a manketti tree. The next day, she wandered away from the herd a little. Out by the water-hole, under a grove of whistling thorn, the tiny gazelle thought she heard a funny sound. It was a baby cheetah out on its own, making the chirping noises that cheetahs do.