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The Zebra who lost its stripes
Imagine. Create. Share.
Since 2008, the Kids4Kids My Story Creation annual story writing and illustration competition has provided primary students across Hong Kong with a creative platform that enables the budding writers and artists to imagine, create and share their stories.
This story was written and illustrated by kid(s) who participated in the Kids4Kids annual 'My Story Creation competition'. We hope to celebrate all the kids who used their creativity and imagination to create a story by giving them an opportunity to custom print their story, and be able to share and inspire other kids to create their own story.
Proceeds from the sale of this custom print story will help fund the Literacy Development Programmes at Kids4Kids to provide creative learning opportunities to low resourced communities in Hong Kong. By buying a Kids4Kids custom print story, you are not only applauding the future artists & authors of Hong Kong but you are also making a difference in a child’s life!

On the plains of Africa, a herd of zebra stood above the rest, with a leader that has no stripes. They stayed away from the lions better than other herds.

Some years ago, Zera and his family were grazing on the lush grasslands. The herd became extremely nervous as they sensed danger approaching.

A pride of lions had quietly surrounded them.

When the lions reached the right distance, they jumped up and charged. The zebras scattered in all directions. Zera just followed and ran blindly.

Zera ran desperately for his life but he slipped. Just when a lioness was about to leap onto Zera, a few wild mountain horses ran by and shielded Zera from the lioness.

Seeing that she was out-numbered, the lioness retreated.

The horses left as swiftly as they came, leaving Zera alone and shock to the core. When he came to his senses, he went to have a drink at the waterhole.

As he stooped, he saw the reflection in the pond and was terrified. His stripes were gone!

“The extreme fright must have done this.” he thought, “What shall I do now?”

He returned to his herd, but they kicked him out. They said, “Without the stripes, you don't look like a zebra. You look like a wild mountain horse.”

Zera returned to the water hole and cried bitterly.

Some wild mountain horses came to drink. “Are you that zebra we met earlier?” they asked, “Why are you crying?”

Zera explained what happened.

They felt sorry for Zera and invited him to join them. They stayed mostly in the hills but came down to the plain to drink and graze everyday.

As time went by, Zera had a question, “We zebras are always attacked by lions. Now I see you crossing the lion territory daily. How do you remain safe?”

Mounty, the wild mountain horse leader, replied, “ We planned ahead, set up outposts, defense lines and escape routes. We trained and drilled regularly. We are always prepared and act as a team.

But, to be honest, you zebras are quite disorganised. That is the difference.”

Zera was fascinated. In one whole year, he took part in every action and learnt every trick. When Spring came, he missed his family so much that he had to leave.

“You are already one of us and will be so forever.” said Mounty, “Now go and help your herd.”

Zera still had no stripes and the herd still rejected him. But Zelu, the zebra leader, saw something different in Zera.

He insisted on letting Zera stay.

Zera shared what he learnt from the horses. Together, the zebras studied, trained and drilled.

In Summer, when the lions came out to hunt, the zebras escaped in coordinated groups and fought back under the command of Zera.

There was zero casualties that summer. The herd now looked at Zera's ability rather than the colour of his fur.

“It is time for me to retire.” Zelu announced, “Zera has shown leadership well above mine. I am handing over the leadership to him.”

No one disagreed. So it was done.

On the plains of Africa, a herd of zebra stood above the rest, with a leader that has no stripes.

Written by 文


illustrated by 圖