by Jennifer McRae Huls
There was an unusual stirring in the jungle, as sleepless animals tossed and turned under the light of a rare blue moon.
The giraffe, who was normally quite jovial, jabbered endlessly. 'I can’t get comfortable, I wish my neck was shorter.'
'My massive tail is muddled in a mangy mess,' muttered the monkey. 'I wish I had a short fluffy tail.'
'The zany blue moonlight is bright on our stripes,' muttered the zebra with zeal. 'I wish the stripes would disappear!'
The easygoing elephant was unaffected by the blue moon itself but, since he was equipped with such enormous ears, he heard the complaints of each creature and was especially exhausted. 'I wish I had smaller ears, then I wouldn’t hear all this grumbling. Maybe then I could sleep.'
The lighthearted lion lovingly composed a lullaby to help everyone loosen up and relax. He closed his eyes and cleared his throat but all that came out was a loud ROAR! 'I wish I had a softer voice,' lamented the lion.
The animals were completely unaware that, on the night of the blue moon, any wish made would come true!
The blue moon faded as the sun rose over the jungle. As the weary animals began to stir, something didn’t seem quite right.
The monkey woke first. He turned over, stretched and, markedly missing each branch, slid down the tree and landed with a monumental plop. That is when he noticed the magnificently fluffy stub of a tail he was left with.
The giraffe gently woke next. She attempted to stretch her neck, but it felt as though it was jammed. The jungle looked gigantic! To nibble the juicy leaves she loved, the giraffe would have to jump.
There was complete pandemonium when the zebras woke and found their zigzag stripes had disappeared. They zipped and zoomed around with a zany expression on their faces as they tried to sort out who was who.
The lusty lion began to lumber about. He became so frightened by the changes he saw in his friends that he roared, or at least tried to, but all that came out was a calming gentle lilt.
The elephant looked quite eccentric with extremely teeny-tiny ears. He could not hear a thing and slept endlessly.
'Our wishes have all come true!' they cried.
With a little imagination and some practice they have adjusted to their new features.
The zebras now wear nametags so they can tell each other apart. The giraffe, who looks much more like a tall cow, eats more grass. After lots of practice, many bumps and bruises, the monkey can climb without falling. At night, the lion sings for all the animals and they are soothed by his gentle calming voice. The elephant doesn’t hear much and is rather enjoying a lot of sleep for now.
They all hope for the blue jungle moon to appear again. Each of them has a special wish to make.
Jennifer McRae Huls lives near Toronto, Canada, and has a bachelor's degree in psychology. She fell in love with children's books while reading them to her own children, and believes in the importance of books to stimulate children's imaginations, foster curiosity and contribute to emotional development and communication skills. Jennifer gets her best ideas while walking the dog.
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