No...I'm not kidding. A few days after the contest, about the time Joe comes home from work, the doorbell rang. The kids came tearing down the hall to see who had come to visit. "Who is it?!!" No answer. Again... "Who IS IT?!!" Still, nothing. I told them to go ahead and open the door and there she stood--all alone on the front step-- Kate shrieked with glee, while I saw Jake immediately coil up and with wide eyes, slowly back his way around the corner, into the kitchen saying, "No, no, no".
The next thing we hear is Joe's laughter from around the corner. Yes, this giraffe was the grand prize for the pumpkin decorating contest. If I had known, maybe I wouldn't have tried so hard :) The kids love her now... they've named her Spotty. Joe suggested to his colleagues that she could be the traveling giraffe, taking turns in each of the homes with children. They all laughed at him and ever-so-kindly responded-- "No way-- she's all yours." Nice.