My Dozen Animal Friends

The first gifts I ever gave to my niece six-year-old Amber was an animal book. This was my way of influencing her into developing a fascination for animals and a love for books; for I myself, as a child used to, and now continues to be fascinated with the peculiarities of animals and to be smitten by books.

Amber’s seventh birthday is approaching, so I’d been thinking of what book to give her this time. Then, voila! I thought of making a children’s book about animals, for I feel that there’d be no nicer gift to give her but an animal book authored by myself!

After finalizing the book concept that had long been playing in my mind, I took my journal and started to scribble the words for the book. I was able to profile at least twenty animals, but I decided to feature only a dozen. Because it is a children’s book, the simpler and shorter (yet precise) its textual content, the better.

Here’s the textual content of the children’s book I made:

‘My Dozen Animal Friends’

I have a friend *anteater*.
She lives in the forest.
She has no teeth,
But she has a long snout.
She feeds on ants
And on termites as well.

I have a friend *seahorse*.
He is a caring father.
He has a pouch on his belly,
Into which the mother lays her eggs.
He takes care of their eggs
Until these hatch into baby seahorses.

I have a friend *platypus*.
She lives near the river.
She has webbed feet and the beak of a duck.
She lays eggs, instead of giving birth.
She is a mammal;
Not a duck nor any other kind of bird.

I have a friend *mudskipper*.
He is a kind of fish.
He is named mudskipper
Because he loves skipping in the mud.

I have a friend *sea dragon*.
He lives in the ocean.
He looks like a seaweed.
He is good at hiding among the plants,
Every time big fishes are around.

I have a friend *ostrich*.
She is the largest bird
And lays the largest egg.
She surely cannot fly,
But she is the fastest-running bird alive.

I have a friend *panda*.
He lives in China.
His fur is woolly.
His fur is white and black.
He looks for bamboo shoots and leaves
When it is time for his meal or snack.

I have a friend *koala*.
She lives in Australia.
She stays atop the eucalyptus tree,
Feeding on eucalyptus leaves.
Just like a kangaroo baby,
Her young is called ‘joey.’

I have a friend *carabao*.
He is the Philippines’ water buffalo.
He has a pair of large spreading horns.
He is a cousin of the cow.
He is a hardworking mammal,
Helping farmers till their lands.

I have a friend *orangutan*.
She lives in the jungle.
She has a shaggy brownish-orange coat.
She has very long arms.
She is an ape—not a monkey—
Because she lacks a tail.

I have a friend *pangolin*.
She is also called ‘scaly anteater.’
She lives in the forest.
With its long sticky tongue,
It feeds on termites and ants.
It rolls up into a ball,
When it is frightened or alarmed.

I have a friend *narwhal*.
He lives in the Arctic.
He is the kind of whale
That has on its head a long spiral horn.
He has also a spotted pelt.
He is sometimes called ‘sea unicorn.’


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