Saturday, November 7, 2009

Why Do Israelis Like Porcupines & Sabra Fruits?

Shalom Yeladim:
I’m on my way to visit the animal hospital at the Ramat Gan Safari.I want to thank them for taking care of three cute porcupine babies that some nice animal lovers brought to the hospital because they were so teeny tiny, and had lost their way from their parents. The kind people that found them understood that these orphaned baby porcupines needed a warm home and someone to teach them how to survive. The zookeepers and veterinarians at the Safari hospital did just that for three months. They were recently put back in their natural surroundings because the Safari people felt the porcupines were ready to be on their own.
All the newspapers covered the story and it got me thinking…thinking about the Israeli version of Sesame Street and one of its main characters – “Keepee” (“Keepod” is porcupine in Hebrew). You can see a picture of “Keepee” on top of the porcupines. See any resemblance? “Keepee” is a giant porcupine and is Israel’s equivalent to Big Bird. That’s right, there is no Big Bird on Rechov Sumsum – Sesame Street in Hebrew. Israelis are very nice and caring, but Big Bird was just a little too gentle for them. The Israeli Sesame Street producers felt that Israeli boys and girls needed a character that’s like the country’s sabra fruit – prickly on the outside – just like in the picture next to “Keepee” – and warm and wonderful on the inside. That’s why everyone in Israel is called a Sabra…and that’s why they created “Keepee”. Ouch, his hair is long and spiky! But boy is he a sweetie deep down.
Hey, sounds like me. I’m a Sabra. My tentacles are not soft to the touch. With all my buzzing around I’m not exactly the softest being, but hey, aren’t I the nicest fly you’ve ever met?
WHOA! I got to go. I have to contact the Sesame Street people and ask them if they’d like me to appear on the show. I’m a natural!

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