H is For Hippo

I love hippos. It’s that perpetual smile and those stubby little legs they have. But make no mistake even with those stumps they can outrun a human. They’ve been clocked at over 19 mph. The name hippopotamus comes from ancient Greek for “river horse.” The photo below (taken on one of the rocks surrounding my pond) is of one of five carved hippos I bought in Zimbabwe twelve years ago, when I realized how much I like them. I don’t know if you can tell, but this poor guy’s feet and his right ear have been chewed, courtesy of my beloved Staffie, Sweetpea, who died three years ago, this month. It just made the carving that much more dear.Did you know that the hippo’s hide, which has a pinkish hue and covered with thin hair, is extremely tough, though sensitive enough to feel the soft touch of a fly? Despite their physical resemblance to pigs and other three-toed ungulates, their closest living relatives are cetaceans (whales, porpoises, etc.). And even though they’re herbivores (they love grass), they’re considered the most aggressive animal in Africa. This video may change your mind. My mind didn’t need to be changed, I believe that every creature responds to love.