A Giraffe Named Stretch, a Walter Anderson Audio-Book, and a Free Book - Three Unexpected Gifts

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The note on the coupon, "Free book with any purchase," caught my attention.
How easy is free? And since I recently became an avid reader, I manage finding time to browse in most bookstores.
My thoughts quickly sorted through names of my favorite authors.
I wandered through the aisles looking for clean humor.
That's when I accidentally found the audio books row.
"Winning at Work," a two audio-book sold for $1.
00.
Being a seasoned and frugal shopper, I read the acknowledgements.
"Yes," I remember thinking to myself, "this is definitely a good find.
" Continuing on my hunt for more treasure, I found Walter Anderson's audio book, "The Confidence Course" which sold for $7.
99.
I was thrilled.
Turning to my husband I said, "He's the editor of PARADE Magazine! This is great.
" He listened, however, it did not seem like he shared my enthusiasm for this additional book.
I even heard someone in the background say, "Who listens to audio books anymore?" I silently said to myself, "I do.
" My daughter called to me from another aisle in the bookstore.
"Mom, look at what I found.
You are going to love it.
" I was curious because she was in the children's section and she had just completed another year in college.
"Where are you and what did you find?" I asked.
I saw her holding a stuffed giraffe in her hands.
"I know how much you love giraffes," she announced.
Continuing, she said "It's on sale for $5.
00.
" I was interested as I realized this was another treasure.
I read the name on the giraffe's ear, "Stretch.
" A cute name, a cute size and the perfect price range, I reflected on the hidden treasures discovered because of curiosity.
I knew I had found a wealth of treasure at bargain prices.
Several years ago, the former pastor of our church had used an illustration of giraffes in one of his sermons.
I remembered the analogy when I held Stretch.
Last year I purchased a few photos from a local photographer of a giraffe in Namibia, Africa.
The giraffe stood at the edge of still water in one photo, and ate leaves in the top of a tree in another photo.
I can still hear my Pastor tell about the hard knocks a baby giraffe endures after being born.
The mother giraffe kicks her baby until it's legs are strong enough to stand for protection from predators.
Like everyone else, I have had hard kicks in life.
But, this time I saw something different.
My thoughts returned to that illustration.
It was only a few years ago when I lamented over the hardships I have endured.
However, now I understand those hard kicks were preparation for the future, today.
Angela Scott © July 4, 2007
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