Rinaldo the rhinoceros lived with many other animals in the wildest part of the Savannah desert. Unfortunately, he was born with a very long ivory horn, twice as long as that of the other rhinos, and it had a thin, sharp tip. Because of his horn, Rinaldo always ended up landing himself in trouble.
Impulsive and distracted just like all the other young rhinos his age, Rinaldo ran around the Savannah from place to place, continually slamming against plants, trees and even other animals.
One time Rinaldo got himself tangled in some branches, while on another occasion he destroyed a bird’s nest. He even accidentally risked hurting his friends running around with his long horn. After awhile, Rinaldo’s friends couldn’t take it anymore and started to distance themselves from him.
Slowly, Rinaldo began to feel more and more alone and guilty for being born with his long horn.
Only Rinaldo’s mother and father consistently told him to not get so down on himself. They encouraged him to think about finding his own path. Instead of running from one side of the Savannah to the other, perhaps Rinaldo could slow down and take the time to pay attention to everything he encountered along the way.
One morning, while Rinaldo was walking slowly trying to put his parents’ lessons into practice, he got caught in a piece of fruit hanging from a tree branch. Forced to stop, he noticed that underneath the juicy fruit, there was a small meerkat looking at it with hungry eyes. Unfortunately, the meerkat could not reach the fruit because he had a wounded paw that prevented him from climbing along the tree trunk.
In that instant, Rinaldo immediately realized that this is what he was meant to do with his long horn! Help animals in need to grab whatever was too difficult for them to reach on their own, whether it was something too high for the smallest inhabitants of the Savannah, or too low for tall giraffes and giant elephants!
From that day on, Rinaldo made an effort to help others. The word spread quickly and every morning a large group of animals began to crowd in front of his lair, each with her own request for help.
How nice it was to finally feel useful, loved and a part of something important!
And to think it took so little, just paying closer attention to the world around him to be able to notice the signs for help and opportunities to be useful, thanks to his own gifts.