Synopsis: A clue is in the Title...
...Following on from last year’s Xmas and New Years’ article, “Scream and Shout,” where I retold of my childhood lust and tantrums for a coveted Xmas present and then only to realise that just because it may be the new thing on the block, you may (as my experience shows) get bored of it in due course and chuck it into the wasteland of Christmas Gift Past. For, just like relationships, if there is no true depth and substance – your love for the superficial will ultimately void.
However, unlike last year, I have managed to send my one Xmas wish to the real Santa and so now I just have to sit back and wait for delivery of this precious gift; I am pretty sure I've been good enough to warrant it so fingers crossed it is on its way – at least in time for Xmas 2014! In the meantime, I take time to consider another love of so many and that is their animal companions. Of course the phrase, "A dog is not just for Xmas," is very true, but what happens if we think wider than just a puppy or domestic cat? Many children will be asking Santa for a cute puppy or a kitten for Xmas (which of course the parents will end up having to look after!), in addition, to their shiny new PS4. Some may even be into more exotic animals such as snakes (errr!) or piranha’s, but I doubt many would have considered the prospect of having a giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) for a companion?
I acknowledge that it could prove a “tall order” for Santa, as his eco friendly blue hatchback really isn’t suitable for couriering the highest mammal in the world and trying to get even a baby one down the chimney (or even through the front door) will be problematic.
However, if we look beyond the initial hurdles and examine the wider picture, I am sure you will agree that having a beautiful, elegant giraffe greet you in morning with a gentle nudge and lick, as its head slopes in through the upstairs bedroom window can only be described as a magical experience.
They are such graceful creatures who will stay with you for ‘life’ (an adult giraffe can be expected to live 15 years in the wild and 25 years in a zoo); and they are very easy to get on with and loving to all the family with a huge heart that is 2ft long!
They are also excellent at looking out for predators (for obvious reasons) and if you train them wisely they will be a valued member of your local neighbourhood watch. In a chat with Colchester Zoo in preparation for this article (www.colchester-zoo.com), they said they can easily be distracted, as if they see something in the distance they are off to check it out, but in my eyes this further adds to their crime fighting appeal. After all, which burglar would want to try and gain unlawful entry into a home where it is being spied by an 18ft tall giraffe which is just itching to gallop over and send them packing and their hooves pack a kick where even the most ardent of aggressors will be neutralised. No intruder would be able to enter or escape unseen, as their watchful heads tower over all but the grandest of family homes and if you live with many trees around and enough living space I am sure they would thrive and become a much loved part of the community. And whereas other animal guardians sleep for hours - a giraffe sleeps for only 20 minutes in the wild per DAY!
Now, admittedly, just like a pet isn’t for everyone, a giraffe equally isn’t for everyone, but they are such majestic creatures and admittedly very tall creatures, that if you have the space in your back garden then I think it would be a shame to give this chic animal an oversight; and how heart-warming it will be to return home to your giraffe after a stressful day, whose playful nature will brighten you up in no time.
Generally, a giraffe will grow to around 18-19ft tall and there are several types of giraffe such as the Rothschild and Thornicroft, but the Reticulated giraffe comes in around a mere 15ft tall fully adult and eats approximately 35kg of pellets, carrots, hay, twigs or leaves a day (willow tree or hawthorn are their favourites) . Their natural habitat is, of course, in hotter climates such as Kenya, but they are adaptable and if in a cold climate you will need a heated enclosure for them, but what better time spent than to bond with them in the heated triple story shed on a cold winters’ day with a can of beer and a bale of hay and a wheelbarrow brimming with carrots?
A giraffe really is a person’s best friend and if looked after and nurtured will be a trusted companion for years to come. You will be the talk of the town and all the neighbours will want one. Plus, should it accidentally escape, it is easily recognisable as its plush skin pattern is unique to that particular giraffe – just like a fingerprint.
So get down to your local zoo and enquire about how you can acquire one of these endearing animals and have a fabulous Xmas, one and all.
NB. Colchester Zoo in no way endorse or approve this article!
[Also read Isaac's latest posts, "One Last Sleep", 'She Died in my Arms Tonight... RIP Mum, 1st June 1935 to 13th June 2014;' "A Kiss from a Rose", 'A Champagne and Rolex Affair...;' and, "Sex on Fire", 'Making you Shine' for Valentine's Day; an emotional aphrodisiac and Isaac's steamiest article yet...']