Don't make 'em too vulgar-big. I wouldn't look like Giraffe—not for ever so.
Leopard started out as the 'sclusivest sandiest-yellowest-brownest of them all. No spots at all! When he lived on the High Veldt, O Best Beloved, he could easily hide and surprise Giraffe and Zebra and all the rest of 'em out of their jumpsome lives. He could indeed! After a time, though, they learned to avoid anything that looked like a Leopard. And finally Giraffe and Zebra moved to the forest, which was all 'sclusively speckled and sprottled and spottled, dotted and splashed and slashed and hatched and cross-hatched with shadows.
Leopard wondered where his where all his breakfasts and dinners and teas had gone. And when he went to look, he stood out like a sunflower against a tarred fence. Leopard needed to change his skin. And he did, O Best Beloved! He did indeed—he got all fulsome spotty and dappled. Now Leopard can lie out on the bare ground and look like a heap of pebbles. He can lie out on a leafy branch and look like sunshine sifting through the leaves. He can lie right across the centre of a path and look like nothing in particular. And he can catch Giraffe and Zebra. Oh yes he can!
I'll tell you a secret, O Best Beloved....
The Ethiopian didn't press on those spots. He didn't do it with his five fingertips. He didn't indeed! Forget what's in the "intelligent design" section in your new biology text books, O Best Beloved! (I don't think even grown-ups would keep on saying such a silly thing if their president didn't say it—do you?) No—it's called natural selection, O Best Beloved, and you can look it up!
Photo credit: Dianne Chamberlain.
Gratitude and heaps of acknowledgement of course to Rudyard Kipling.