There was a time when Ostrich was all covered in feathers and unlike all the other birds, Ostrich wasn't very good at flying at all. One night in Tinga Tinga Spider decided to make Jackal a pair of wings so that he could fly up to the moon and stop howling! Jackal and Spider stole the feathers from Ostrich's neck and legs until she looked like a very big plucked chicken! The next day Ostrich was mortified and stuck her head in the ground so that Lion couldn't see her. And it was perfect - because Ostrich looked just like a bush!
You see there was time when Camel didn't have a hump. He lived very far away in the hot desert. But one day the desert got too hot - even for Camel. So he started walking. When Camel arrived at the Waterhole he asked the animals if he could have a drink. All the animals weren't pleased at all because the rains hadn't come and they were very thirsty. Lion allowed Camel to have one drink - but one drink, and one drink only! Camel slurped, and he slurped, and he slurped! Until: pop! A big, wobbly hump appeared on his back full of all the animals' water!
You see there was a time when Wildebeest didn't stampede. They used to stand on the plains and munch grass all day. But there were so many of them and they were eating so much grass that all the animals had to do something about it. Tortoise realized that the Wildebeest weren't the brightest animals in Tinga Tinga and they always did whatever the last beast said. So the animals decided to tell the Wildebeest that they were welcome to stay in Tinga Tinga, and they must never run! So what did the Wildebeest do? They ran and they ran and they ran! So that's why Wildebeest stampede!
You see there was a time when Chameleon wasn't bright and colourful at all. In fact Chameleon was rather dull and grey, like a rainy day. One day when all the animals are playing games and sheltering from the rains Chameleon decides to slip away because he feels boring. Butterfly comes across Chameleon sitting sadly on a rock and shows him a rainbow. Chameleon can't resist and stands on the rainbow, and he turns red and yellow and pink and green! Chameleon soaks up all the colours of the magical rainbow and now Chameleon can be any colour he wants!
You see there was a time when Leopard didn't have spots. All the animals had something special; Lion had his mane, Peacock his beautiful tail, Zebra his stripes - but Leopard was as plain as plain can be. Then one day Leopard made friends with Puff Adder with his bright colourful spots.
You see there was a time when Hyena didn't have short back legs. He was always chasing around and nipping other animals on the bottom. Then one day the animals had enough. It was time to teach that naughty Hyena a lesson!
You see there was a time when Ants didn't work together. The Ants desperately wanted to build themselves a home, but all the animals kept sitting on them, or sneezing them far away or swooping them up into tall trees! On the point of giving up, one brave, young soldier ant rallies the troops and tells them that together they can do anything. And he was right.
You see there was a time when Flea didn't jump. Flea didn't really move at all. She was very big and very round. All Flea wanted to do was to see the world. The Tinga Tinga animals try to help lift Flea high up, but she is too heavy. Then Tortoise comes up with an idea - movement and activity! After many attempts Flea discovers that she can jump. She can jump really high! Then Flea can jump everywhere and see everything.
There was a time when Hummingbird didn't hum. She was called Songbird and thought she could sing like a Bird, but sadly that was not the case. All the animals tried to help Songbird improve her singing but nothing worked. Then Tortoise has an idea, maybe Songbird can sing without opening her beak! Songbird agrees and hums the most beautiful hum Tinga Tinga has ever heard. From that day on Songbird was called Hummingbird.
You see there was a time when Baboon didn't have a bare bottom and he was very naughty. Baboon loved to play tricks. He played tricks on Elephant. He played tricks on Ostrich. He even dared to play tricks on Lion, the King of Tinga Tinga! And then all the animals decided it was time for the tricks to stop and Baboon to get a dose of his own medicine.
You see there was a time when Bees didn't sting. All the animals loved the Bees and they especially loved their sweet and yummy honey. The trouble was all the precious honey was disappearing and there is a honey crisis in Tinga Tinga. Something had to be done. Luckily clever old Tortoise has a cunning plan.
You see there was a time when Peacock didn't strut. He was a very proud bird and he wanted to be the best at everything. He wanted to be the best bird brain in Tinga Tinga. He wanted to be the best flyer in Tinga Tinga and he wanted to have the biggest and the best tail in Tinga Tinga. But as Lion so wisely points out, sometimes it's not good to get everything you want!
You see there was a time when Aardvark didn't have a sticky tongue. He had a long nose, big clumsy paws and he found it very difficult to eat. Then one day Aardvark's tongue got stuck in the honey log! All his friends pulled and pulled until Aardvark's tongue finally came unstuck. From that day on Aardvark's tongue was all long and sticky - perfect for eating yummy termites.
You see there was a time when Whale didn't spout. Then one day there is a big storm in Tinga Tinga. The winds blew stronger and the ocean waves got bigger and bigger. Suddenly an enormous wave picks up Whale and carries her all the way from the ocean to the Waterhole. But Whale was so full of water that she couldn't move! How do the animals help Whale get back to the ocean? For once, Elephant has the answer.
You see there was a time when Parrot was the best keeper of secrets in the whole of Tinga Tinga. In fact Parrot couldn't open his beak at all! Then one day some beast dares to steal Lion's mane and Parrot sees the whole thing! But how is he going to tell Lion?
You see, there was a time when Bushbaby didn't have big eyes. She had tiny little eyes and she was always getting lost. Strange things begin to happen and there are stories that Majitu the Great Giant has returned to Tinga Tinga. Young Bushbaby doesn't believe a word of it... and convinces the other animals that Majitu the Giant does not exist. She says that if you can't see him, he's not real. But then she does see the Giant and her eyes grow big as planets. Tales from Africa.
You see, there was a time when Guinea Fowl didn't have dots. She was an adventurous bird and loved to discover things. One day Tortoise challenges her to find out why the top of Mount Tinga Tinga shines. Guinea Fowl can't resist and races off, over the desert, past the ocean, up to the very top of Mount Tinga Tinga where she does indeed discover why the top of Mount Tinga Tinga shines.... Snow! Guinea Fowl is the first ever animal to see snow! Tales from Africa.
You see, there was a time when Buffalo didn't have horns. He had long shaggy hair and he lived near the swamp. But then one day the swamp moved and Buffalo had to find a new home! The swamp grew and grew and soon all the horned animals who lived on the plains risk losing their home too. So Buffalo decided to save the day and push back the muddy swamp.
There was a time when Puffadder didn't shed his skin. All the animals were afraid of Puffadder because he was very difficult to see and he had a nasty bite. Puffadder decides that if no beast wants to be his friend then he doesn't want to have any friends. He slithers far, far away to the desert where he bumps into Camel and learns that every animal needs a friend. Tales from Africa.
You see, there was a time when Eagle didn't rule the skies. She was a humble bird who kept herself to herself. But then one day things start going wrong for the birds - some beast steals Hen's eggs, Hummingbird loses her hum and Tickbird goes missing! Eagle quietly saves the day and Lion rewards her with half his Kingdom. Tales from Africa.
You see, there was a time when Skunk didn't smell. Skunk smelt as sweet as sweet can be. In fact, whenever any animal had a smelly problem they went straight to Skunk. And then one day naughty Baboon tricks Skunk into tasting the yucky Smellyfruit! Tales from Africa.
You see there was a time when Cricket didn't chirrup. In fact Cricket didn't do anything at all and it was beginning to get him down. Every animal has a use - Elephant trumpets, Lion roars...but what does Cricket do? And then one day Cricket discovers that he has rhythm. Cricket finds the beat! Tales from Africa.
You see there was a time when Mole didn't live underground. She had tiny weenie ears where every little sound made her ears hurt. Unfortunately Tinga Tinga could be a very noisy place. Then one night when Elephant's snoring, Jackal's howling and Owl's twit twooing get too much Mole decides to dig. She digs and she digs and she digs.... until she finds total quiet. Tales from Africa.
You see, there was a time when Squirrel didn't gather nuts; she was far too busy braiding her bushy tail. Then one day there is very little food in Tinga Tinga and Lion summons all the animals to pull together and help find food for everyone. Squirrel is too busy braiding her tail to join in, but when she finally realises that there is not enough food to go round she races around gathering nuts for all the animals. The thing is she can't stop! Tales from Africa.
You see there was a time when Meerkat was not always on the lookout. Meerkat used to race around Tinga Tinga bumping into things and causing chaos. She never stayed still long enough to listen to any beast. But then one day Meerkat bumps into the Sleeping Stones... and they make her listen all right! Tales from Africa.
You see there was a time when Cheetah didn't have tears. She was the fastest animal in the whole of Tinga Tinga. Cheetah was faster than even the Wind. Every year Cheetah and Wind would race to see who was the fastest and every year Cheetah would win. Until one day...