A long time ago in Africa, all the animals and humans who lived there were coloured sandy-yellow which made them blend in with the savannah. Among them was an Ethiopian boy and a leopard who lived together and were great friends.
They'll never find us here!
The pair were brilliant at hunting together as their camouflage meant they could ambush their prey. The leopard would use his sharp teeth and claws, and the boy would use his bow and arrow.
You need to seek new land as the other animals did and you must change your ways.
Please help us, we are starving and have no food!
One night, the animals decided that it was time to leave the savannah as too many of them were being eaten. So, they followed the giraffe to search for a new home far away from the leopard and the boy.
We must find the animals
The animals eventually found a jungle filled with trees and bushes for them to hide in. After a long time of standing in the stripey and patchy shadows of the jungle, some animals grew stripes, some grew patches and others grew darker in colour. This enabled them to blend in with their new home.
With all the other animals gone, the leopard and the boy grew tired and hungry as they had no prey to hunt. So they went to see the wisest animal in all of Africa, Baviaan the baboon, to seek his advice.
I've caught something
Baviaan told the boy that it was time for a change and told the leopard that the animals had gone to other spots and that he should too. Taking Baviaan's advice, the leopard and the boy travelled across the land to search for the animals.
Stay in the darkness and your skin will change
The leopard and the boy came across the jungle and were confused by the light and dark shadows. They could smell and hear the other animals, but neither of them could see them as they were camouflaged. After hunting all day without success, they decided to wait until night.
Why can we smell and hear them, but not see them?
Under the cover of darkness and following the animals scents, they were able to leap on two animals and decided to keep them until daylight to see what they had caught. In the morning they were shocked to see that they had a giraffe with patches and a zebra with stripes!
The giraffe and the zebra told the leopard and the boy that they would explain how their camouflage worked if they let them go. The pair decided this was a great idea so the boy made his skin darker and used his dark fingers to cover the leopard with dots. This is the story of how the leopard got his spots.