Once upon a time in a herd of grey rhinos a little rhino boy was born, and he was called Ryan. Ryan the Rhino was all white, unlike all the other rhinos who were (like we said) grey colored. When Ryan would go to the lake with his Mum, he was always teased. ‘Ryan, you look a little pale’, said for instance one rhino while he laughed. ‘Ha, look at him, he is white’, another rhino would say. ‘Mum, why are the other Rhino so mean to me?’, asked Ryan. ‘It’s only because you are different, you will make friends, Try not to worry’, replied his mum. So Ryan decided to look for some nice animals of other species to become friends with.
‘Hi, I’m Ryan’, said Ryan when he approached a giraffe and an elephant. ‘What type of animal are you?’, the tall giraffe asked. ‘I’m a rhino’, said Ryan sadly, because they couldn’t tell him he was a rhino, just because he was a different color. As Ryan walked off he was a big wet mud puddle and decided to go play in it. He jumped in, and thought it was fun and decided to stay for a while. Once Ryan stopped playing he got out and found that the mud was good for his skin. ‘My mum said never give up’ he thought, so he decided to find someone to talk to again.
And after walking for a while he saw a group of young rhinos playing near the lake, so he decided to talk to them. ‘Hi I’m Ryan, can I hang out with you guys?’ ‘Sure’ said the rhinos. After a long time of playing together the rhinos decided to cool of at the lake. The rhinos, including Ryan, splashed and played in the water. But suddenly all the other rhinos started to stare at Ryan. ‘What?’ asked Ryan, happily playing in the water. ‘You have changed color’, replied the smallest rhino shyly. ‘Oh, it must have been the mud’, Ryan replied. ‘You were white and now you are grey’, said a bigger rhino stunned. ‘Ewww, mud’, said the smallest rhino. ‘You should try it, it’s very nice! And why does it matter that I’m white and you are grey?’ Ryan responded sadly. ‘But you are different,’ the smallest rhino said. ‘My mum always says that being different is good’, said Ryan.
‘Maybe I should be myself too’, responded one of the rhino. He then jumped into the water, washed himself too and then he turned white. After that all the rhinos thought it was good to be themselves and to like different things. And so the all became best friends!
By Jasmine Maftei-Muirson at https://www.storyjumper.com/
Eight fascinating facts about rhinoceros
- It’s estimated that there are only around 29,000 rhinos left in the wild, compared to 500,000 at the beginning of the 20th century. It’s predicted that a rhino is poached every 8 hours. At this rate, rhinos could become extinct in 15 years.
- Two Greek words, ‘rhino’ meaning nose and ‘ceros’ meaning horn, combine to create the word rhinoceros. Javan and Indian rhinos have one horn, whereas the white, black and Sumatran rhinos have two.
- Rhino horns are not bone, but made of keratin, this is the same material that is found in hair and fingernails. The rhino’s horn is a compacted mass of hair that continues to grow throughout the rhino’s lifetime, just the way our hair and fingernails grow.
- The difference between the white rhino and the black rhino does not emerge from their color. The white rhino name likely derives from the Dutch word ‘wijd’ meaning wide, which refers to the animal’s wide mouth, whilst the black rhino was so-named to distinguish it from the white rhino.
- The white rhino with its wider mouth has a long flat upper lip that is designed to graze grass. He prefers to walk with its enormous head and squared lips lowered to the ground. The black rhino is a browser and gets sustenance from eating leaves from trees and bushes with his hook-lip.
- Rhinos have fantastic hearing and a great sense of smell, but have terrible eyesight. They will struggle to spot something further than 100 feet away.
- With the consumption of large amounts of plants for nutrition, the rhino has got to get rid of the food in some way – this would be in the form of 23 kilograms of dung in a day! Did you know that each rhino’s smell is unique and can identify its owner? Rhinos actually communicate by using these piles of dung to leave ‘messages’ for other rhinos. This is one way of marking their territory.
- Oxpeckers have a symbiotic relationship with rhinos (= relationship that is sustainable and mutually profitable for two living organisms). Rhinos have a host of ectoparasites on their hide that the birds eat, keeping the rhino free of parasites. The oxpeckers can also raise the alarm, warning the rhino if any danger is about.