Tuesday, January 03, 2006

What about the Hippos?!

My dear sweet Becky has queried into the depths of my knowledge for the wisdom of the Hippo. I shall try to oblige.

First of all, what is in a name? The lovely African "Hippopotamus" comes from the Greek language and means literally, "River Horse." If you wish to speak of these creatures in the plural you may say, "A pod of Hippopotamuses trampled my field" or, "A bloat of Hippopotami ate my kiwi." They live almost as long as we do (up to 50) and become senile around 35.

They are commonly thought of as "Hungry, Hungry Hippos." This is basically because they usually eat over 100 pounds of food per day. That's kind of like eating me. Which I guess isn't that much, but they only eat vegetation, so if I was made of grass, then that would be a lot. They are also known for more human deaths than any other African land animal. So, try not to mess with them. Calling them fat is generally not advised. They prefer "pleasantly plump."

For fun, the happy purple hippo will frolic in the fields, paddle in the ponds, secrete weird reddish goo for sunscreen, run around at about 18 mph and headbutt anyone who dares to come near his, uh, "marked" territory.

On your next African safari, be sure to schedule time to visit a hippo herd or two. They are relatively close to extinction. Please stop poaching them. It's not very nice. Hippos are our friends.


Becky said...

Thanks for the answer Anne! I love Hippos.

anne said...

You're welcome. I am now also a fan of them. Especially purple ones who frolic in fields. :)