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From The Wish Fairy of the Sunshine and Shadow Forest by Alice Ross Colver; Henry Altemus Company, Philadelphia, 1919; pp. 23-28.



“WHAT under the sun are you doing, Miss Squirrel Fluff?” Mr. Giraffe asked her, curiously.

Miss Squirrel Fluff only whisked her tail at Mr. Giraffe, and scampered up the tree for the hundredth time with something small and brown in her mouth.

Mr. Giraffe stretched his neck as far as he could in order to see. It wasn’t very far, because in the long ago years Giraffes’ necks weren’t long at all — not longer than a cat’s neck, or a dog’s neck. So, of course, he couldn’t look inside the squirrel’s home, which was up high in the tree.

Down scampered Miss Squirrel Fluff again, hunted around awhile, picked up something from the ground, and raced up to her nest 24 again for the hundredth and first time. Mr. Giraffe’s eyes nearly popped out of his head, he stared so hard as she whizzed by him, but not a glimpse did he have of the thing in her mouth.

“Ha! Ha!” laughed Miss Squirrel Fluff, teasingly, as she peered down at him. “Don’t you wish you knew?”

“Yes, I do,” he said. He was a very curious animal, you see. “I do wish my neck were long enough to reach up to your home. Then I’d find out.”

It happened that the Wish Fairy was hidden underneath a mushroom, and she heard what Mr. Giraffe said. She gave a quiet little chuckle to herself, waved her wand and said:

“You’re a silly, inquisitive old Giraffe.

Your wish shall come true and everyone will laugh.”


A Giraffe with his long neck is seen peering in a hole in a tree, with a squirrel on the branch in front of it, looking at him.


First thing Mr. Giraffe knew, his head was going up — up — up. It certainly felt funny to have his neck stretch and stretch. He had to twist it around so that his head wouldn’t bump the branches, and he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

At last his nose was on a level with Miss Squirrel Fluff’s nest, and he could peer in. Humph! There was nothing but nuts there, after all.

He decided he’d pull his neck in again, and not waste any more time on Miss Squirrel Fluff, but, dearie me! he couldn’t! He wiggled and twisted, but his neck didn’t settle down any shorter. Miss Squirrel Fluff began to laugh at him, and pretty soon all the beasts and birds in the Sunshine forest came running to see what the joke was, and they laughed and laughed at poor Mr. 27 Giraffe, till he stretched his neck as far up as he could and hid his face in a hole in the tree.

“Oh! dear!” he thought to himself. “I wish I hadn’t been so curious, and that my neck would grow short like it used to be.”

But alas! Miss Wish Fairy makes only one wish come true in a lifetime, so Mr. Giraffe’s neck stayed stretched.

And now I’ll tell you something else.

When Mr. Giraffe found that his neck would always be long, he very sensibly decided he’d make the best of a bad matter. So what do you suppose he did? He invited all the little girl and boy Squirrels, and the little girl and boy Monkeys, and the little girl and boy Kitty Kats to use him as a toboggan slide! Such a good time as they had, and such squealings 28 and slidings and scamperings! They’d climb to a branch over Mr. Giraffe’s head, then they’d swing on to him — and whizz! Down his long lean slippery neck they slipped like lightning. And they had such a good time they never laughed at him again.


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