Editors: Before Christmas, Cat kept singing a stupid song about wanting a hippopotamus for Christmas
Apparently she was only kidding, or the other humans had more common sense, because there were no animals under the tree. Don’t get us wrong. You know we’re all about animals here in Cheeseland. But most of the animals work from their native habitat, and we weren’t sure there is enough space here for a hippo.
We wanted to do some research and asked R. Tavi, our Asian correspondent, to take a trip to Africa.
I went to Kenya to speak with Nala, an East African hippopotamus. I first thing I noticed was that hippos are really big.
Tavi: Good morning Nala
Nala: Good morning. Don’t bother asking. I weigh 1,200 pounds. I don’ know why everyone is so interested in my weight. I have a big skeleton. In fact it runs in the family, the hippo family. We’re big animals. My husband weighs 2,000 pounds. Get over it.
Tavi: I apologize. I just don’t get around large animals much. I live in India. We have elephants, but that’s about it.
Nala (huffily): Then you should have seen someone bigger than me.
Tavi (trying to change the subject): So what do hippos generally eat?
Nala: You want to find out why I’m so big? For your information, we hippos live on salad. I have never touched meat. And I don’t eat sugar. I’m not fat. It’s just genetics.
Tavi: I apologize. I obviously have offended you. Perhaps we could start over.
Nala: I suppose that might work.
Tavi: How do you spend your days?
Nala: It’s pretty hot here. I like to be submerged in the water most of day. There is excellent eating in the lake. Once in a while I go over there. (Points at some yams growing in a field.) I love yams.
Tavi: Doesn’t the farmer object to you raiding his field?
Nala: What do you mean “raiding”? If he didn’t want hippos in his field, he shouldn’t have planted so close to the lake.
Tavi: So it’s an amicable relationship.
Nala: Not really. I’d really be just as happy if he would just go away. Then I wouldn’t have to try to kill him every time he comes after me.
Tavi is beginning to wonder if there was anything they could talk about that wouldn’t upset the hippo.
Tavi: What do you like to do for fun?
Nala (giggling): My favorite is to fling dung at people and other animals.
Tavi: It doesn’t sound like you’re very fond of humans.
Nala (growling): I hate humans! They bring their stupid boats into our lakes and try to take pictures of us. It serves them right when we tip over their boats and kill them. They’re lucky we’re not carnivores.
Tavi: I suppose you’re right. You’re very fond of living here, aren’t you?
Nala: It’s a wonderful place. Cool water, good food, warm sun.
Tavi: I don’t suppose you’d be interested in traveling, would you?
Nala: Never. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.
Tavi: Thank you for your time. I wish you well.
Nala: Thank you.
Tavi returns home understanding why hippos have a reputation for being aggressive. He can’t imagine why Cat would want to bring one home.
All pictures courtesy of Google Images, video from Youtube.