Long ago, our world was different. Back then, elephants didn’t have trunks, snakes didn’t have rattles, and zebras didn’t have stripes. In fact, zebras weren’t even called zebras, back then. So long ago was this, that not even your grandpa or grandma could remember. This is how the story goes…
Long ago, when the world was very young, zebras were called “Chevals”, which means “blessed”. The Chevals had long luscious tails, and the purest white coats. All the creatures on the earth admired these beautiful Chevals, but at the same time, they also were jealous. The Chevals had another enemy as well, the Night. They had angered the Night when they danced among the Stars. “
“The darkness is for other creatures, such as bats and moths, not for the Chevals.” thought Night.
Thus every day Night grew angrier and angrier at the joyful Chevals. Not knowing otherwise, the Chevals continued to dance and frolic among Stars. Night grew furious, he began to plot his revenge. The darkness around him grew even darker in his rage. Despite this, the Stars and the Chevals shined brighter in the dark.
All the creatures, growing tired of such a bright night, so they told Night that they would help him take revenge on the Chevals,
“We will help you Night! For we dislike the Chevals for they are much more glorious than us! Besides, the Stars dote on them, pampering them spoiled! Let us help you punish the Chevals!”
“Rally to me creatures! Very soon, we shall make the Chevals pay!” screeched Night. Then he told them his devious plan.
The very next the day, all the creatures invited the Chevals to a party. They lured them to where Night was hiding. The Chevals, happily danced and jumped with glee, not suspecting a trap. Suddenly, Night jumped from his hiding place and chased the Chevals. The Chevals ran, screaming in terror and surprise.
Night was yelling also, “Zebre Hiecoma!” (Which meant ‘curse you’ in magic)
Night’s magical claws tore at the Chevals. He ripped their flanks, his claw marks leaving black scars. His teeth ripped their long manes and tails short. At this, the Chevals dropped to the ground, dead, because Night’s magic was one of death. Every single one of them laid there until Night put on his giant cloak, and wrapped the world in its darkness.
The Stars awoke and saw their friends on lying on the ground. Weeping, they touched them with their sparkling hands. Slowly, the Chevals rose from the ground. Their once white coats were ripped and black.
“Can you make us white again?” asked the Chevals hopefully.
“No, my dear friends. We cannot, for Night’s magic is too strong.” answered Luciane, the princess of the Stars.
“We are Zebra! We are cursed!” replied Buliden, the king of the Chevals.
“Cursed! Zebra!” lamented the Chevals.
“Do not lament, my friends. We will take care of you. As long your kind roams on the earth, we will watch over you.” promised Luciane eagerly.
At this the Chevals brightened up, and from that day on, the Chevals were called Zebras, meaning ‘cursed ones’. Zebras, even though scared, were watched and loved by the Stars. The Zebras lived harmony with the other creatures for they weren’t glorious anymore. The Stars, however, punished wicked Night by illuminating the sky, making Night’s darkness weak. So now you know the story about how the Zebra got its stripes.