Up to the Giraffe’s Knees

One day, a giraffe was standing in a pond while a monkey was sitting in a nearby tree. The monkey, who was not a good swimmer, saw the giraffe and asked him, “How deep is that pond?”

The giraffe replied, “The water’s only up to my knees.”

The monkey heard this and went in the water. Shortly later, however, he was on the verge of drowning, and shouting for help. The giraffe quickly rescued him and took him out of the pond.

The monkey angrily looked at giraffe and yelled, “Why did you trick me!”

“I didn’t tell you that the pond was shallow,” the giraffe replied. “I said that the water was up to my knees—that doesn’t mean the water isn’t deep. After all, I’m much taller than you, and just because the water isn’t deep for me, it doesn’t mean that it will be the same for you!”

an African folktale reminding us to pay attention to context and different points of view

Author: Craig Butcher

Craig Butcher is an award-winning educator who has taught critical thinking skills for more than two decades. In addition, he has worked on Capitol Hill as a congressional staffer and has been a top-rated broadcaster.