In a little village in the middle of the savannah, there lived a young girl who was fearful and shy. She had a few good friends, and she enjoyed nothing more than playing in the fields with them or splashing around the river. As she grew up, she noted her body was changing, and she was so afraid that her friends would make fun of her, that she refused to go down to the river with them anymore to bathe. “What if they make fun of me and stop being my friends when they see how weird I am?” she said to her mother. And so, she stopped going down to the river with her friends.
“Why on earth don’t you go by yourself, then?” her mother asked.
“I am far too afraid to do that,” she replied.
After several weeks, she smelled so bad that her few friends started avoiding her completely. Soon, she had no friends at all, and was lonelier than she had ever been all her life.
“Oh, what a fool I have been,” she lamented, as tears rolled down her face, “Because I was so afraid to lose my friends, I never let them see me as I am. And now I have no friends left.”