Richard the Meerkat and the Blue Sapphire

Uhr Icon Reading time: approx. 7 minutes
Richard the Meerkat and the Blue Sapphire

Early one morning, Richard the Meerkat was making his way to the river where all the animals liked to cool off before the water evaporated in the summer. 

He jumped from one boulder to the next, chatted to a few antelopes and then looked for a nice spot to watch the sunrise. He found a comfortable rock, took some fruit out of his rucksack, and nibbled on it with relish. 

Suddenly Richard’s attention was caught by something shiny and sparkly in the water. 

“What could that be?” he wondered. “It’s probably just the sun reflecting off an old tin can through the water.” 

But no matter how hard he tried to ignore it and concentrate on his breakfast, Richard’s curiosity about the shiny object could not be ignored. He stalked carefully along the riverbank, skillfully hopping from one boulder to the next, always careful not to get his fur wet. 

Once down on the sandy shore, he stretched his neck out further to get as close as possible to the glittering object. He looked around several times and was relieved to see that he was all alone. 

With a quick, skillful movement, he fished the object out of the water in a flash and could hardly believe his eyes. He was holding a beautiful blue gemstone. 

“What a gorgeous stone,” Richard thought to himself as he happily made his way home. 

He was mesmerized by the shine and cut. He couldn’t take his eyes off it. He didn’t think he had seen anything more beautiful in the whole world. 

“Everyone should see that it belongs to me,” he thought. 

When he got home, he dug out an old leather cord from a chest of drawers and quickly attached the blue stone to it. Then he stood in front of the mirror and put on the necklace. 

“The others won’t be able to take their eyes off me,” he thought. He was looking forward to the start of school like never before. 

The next morning, Richard made his way to school early. He wanted to be the first one in the schoolyard so everyone would see him and admire his necklace. 

And indeed, a wildebeest, an antelope, a leopard and two monkeys came running into the schoolyard with a soccer ball. They ran towards Richard when they spotted him. 

“What’s that beautiful stone on your necklace?” one of the two monkeys asked immediately. They could hardly take their eyes off of it.

The leopard circled his classmate and also enquired about the stone. 

“If I’m not mistaken, it’s a blue sapphire. Where did you get such a magnificent treasure?” he said, not taking his eyes off Richard and the blue stone. 

Richard had no idea that it was a sapphire and put the leopard off. “Oh, it’s a long story. I’ll tell you another time.”

“How about today after school?” the leopard called out, but Richard had already disappeared into the school building. 

The bell rang for the start of lessons and Richard had to hurry. He was very excited to see what his two best friends, Jasper the Lion and Susan the Zebra, would think about the special stone. 

Richard made his way to his classroom full of expectation. He was one of the last students to enter the classroom. 

He felt the many eyes on him and his necklace as he took his seat. But his two friends were hardly paying any attention to his special treasure. 

Instead, Jasper whispered anxiously: “Richard, where were you this morning? We couldn’t find you anywhere.” 

Susan also looked at him questioningly. 

After class, the two approached him, but even then they didn’t look at the stone. Disappointed and a little annoyed, Richard joined his other classmates in the schoolyard. 

Over the next few days, Richard was a changed meerkat. He enjoyed the full attention and admiration of his classmates. He even forgot Susan’s birthday and missed Jasper’s long jump competition. The two of them had trained together for months. Richard didn’t seem to notice that he no longer had any time for his best friends.

A short time later, as it was getting hotter and hotter in the savannah, Richard made his way back to the river. 

“Before the river dries up and reveals its treasures to everyone,” he thought, “I want to see if I can find a second sapphire. Where there’s one treasure, there might be another.” 

Full of hope, he hopped from one boulder to the next. This time, however, he was not as careful. He slipped on a wet rock and fell into the water. He struggled, trying to keep his head out of the raging river to avoid drowning. He yelled and stretched his arms up in the hope that someone would hear him. 

Nearby, Jasper and Susan were watching the hippos play water polo. Suddenly Susan heard a loud and shrill scream. 

“Jasper!” she gasped. “Someone’s calling for help!”

They dashed off and saw their friend Richard struggling in the river from a distance. The two didn’t hesitate for long before throwing an old rope into the current and calling out to Richard to hold on tight. 

Together they managed to pull him out of the raging river. Once he was safely on the shore, he frantically felt his chest fur with his paws, but the necklace with the sapphire was gone. 

“It’s gone forever, isn’t it?” Richard asked his two friends sadly. They looked at each other hesitantly. 

“We’ll help you find it again,” said Jasper and together they wandered along the entire river for hours. 

Just as they were about to give up, Susan shouted, “Up ahead! I think I can see it.” 

And indeed, the sapphire was hanging, seemingly unharmed, from its leather strap in a thorn bush, swinging dangerously close to the surface of the river. 

Using a long branch, Richard managed to get the stone. Beaming with joy, he put the chain back around his neck and skipped home with his friends, happy and cheerful. 

When he was home, he set off in search of a heavy, sharp-edged stone. He placed the sapphire on the floor and let the heavy stone fall onto it. The sapphire shattered into three pieces and Richard went to sleep relieved and content. 

The next morning, the three friends met in front of the school building as they used to.

“I have a little present for you,” he said with a grin. When the two of them opened the gifts, they each saw a small blue stone on a leather cord. 

“Joy is only good if you can share it,” said Richard.

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