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Gina's Spots

A Children's Story

There once was a place called “Little Bitty Creek” located in Africa. This was the place where Rachel Rhinoceros, Leo Lion, Millie Monkey, and Gina Giraffe lived. They were all best friends.

One day while Leo and Gina were playing by the water hole. Leo said to Gina, “I think a couple of your spots are missing.” Gina replied, “That’s impossible.” As they were walking home, they came upon Rachel Rhinoceros and Millie Monkey playing near some trees. Rachel and Millie stared at Gina a minute and then exclaimed, “Gina, you are missing some spots!” Gina shouted at her friends, “Stop it you guys.  That is not very funny.” Millie said, “We are not joking Gina. Take a look for yourself.” Rachel gave her a mirror. Gina saw that it was true. She began to cry. Leo told her, “Everything will be all right.” Gina was so upset, she galloped away.

The next day when Gina woke up, the first thing she did was look in the mirror. She said, “Oh no!” She had lost more of her spots. Now she was scared. She raced over to show Leo Lion. He said, “I will take you to see my friend Tammie Turtle. She is a veterinarian.” They went straight to Tammie Turtle’s office. She examined Gina from head to toe, and took some of Gina’s blood. Gina was so frightened. Tammie said, “I am sorry, but this blood might help me find what is causing you to lose your spots.” Tammie left to run some tests. When she returned she said, “I think you have a disease called alopecia areata. It is a disease that causes Giraffes to lose their spots. It is not contagious, and you will not die from it. I am sorry, but I do not know what causes the disease. Gina protested, “You mean I might lose all my beautiful spots? Will I ever get them back? Is there a cure? She had a lot more questions, but she was too scared to ask them. Tammie was nice and explained, “Doctors are doing research. There are several treatments that have had success. We will try a treatment and see if we can help get your lovely spots to return.”

One month went by. Two months went by. By now Gina had lost almost all of her spots. She kept doing the treatment, but it didn’t seem to help. She was embarrassed to be seen. She thought her friends would make fun of her, but to her surprise, they did not. They were very supportive. One day they were at the water hole and Gina was feeling very sad about losing her spots. Rachel Rhinoceros said, “Do not worry. We like you because you are our friend, not because you have spots.” Millie Monkey said, “Karen Kangaroo has a store in the North Woods. If you want to have spots, she sells fake spots.” Gina said, “Thank you all for being so nice.” Gina did not know what to do. She went home and cried herself to sleep.

Gina woke up the next morning and like every morning since she began losing her spots, she hoped it was all a bad dream. But when she looked in the mirror, now all her beautiful spots were gone, every last one of them. She made a decision. She knew she was smart. She knew her friends liked her for who she was, but she liked her spots. She wanted them back. She rushed to Karen Kangaroo’s store and bought a box of fake spots and glued them on. The spots looked almost like her old spots. She liked looking the way she used to look.  She knew her friends knew they were not real, but because her friends were true friends, they never said anything about her spots again.



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