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Thinking about a new short tale, the word Zebra came to mind. But how could I write something a bit unusual? It didn’t take too long for the words to flow but something nagged away inside my head.

Eventually, it came to me. Why not write a piece of flash fiction together with pictures? A picture book if you like.

Thus the idea was born and I am proud to present - Earn Your Stripes.

But you know me. There is always a twist at the end.



The day of the annual gathering had arrived. The road for many had been long and hard, yet now, all the animals of the vast plains stood quietly, awaiting the coming of the King.

The mighty elephants stood sentinel; the antelopes and buffalo lowered their heads. Nearby, the giraffes barely moved, yet looked down on the host of beasts as if uninterested. Only the impala moved around, their tails twitching in unison like a tribe of exotic dancers.

They sensed movement from within the ranks of the mighty zebra herd and, as one, turned their heads. Like a huge wave losing energy as it hit the beach, the animals slowly moved apart. Yet all eyes remained fixed on the majestic zebra leisurely trotting through the mass of animals.

None moved a muscle; no sounds were made.

As if walking on water, he unhurriedly turned around to proudly stand before the vast host of herbivores.

‘Together, we can fight the predators, especially the lions, but alone we die. I am the Zebra King and I do not lie.’

“How?” asked the nearest buffalo.

“By standing together, unbowed to the so-called, king of the jungle.”

‘Why should we believe you?’ demanded an old elephant missing a tusk.

‘Be quiet, you’re in my army now and I’m the one with the stripes.’


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