I was going though our photos from Disney the other day and ran across this tale that I never got around to sharing. David took the photo above of a hippo in the Animal Kingdom. I have never seen a hippo swimming underwater like that; it was so cool. This story was on a plaque near the exhibit.

Long, long ago Kiboko the Hippo did not live in the swift-moving river but in the open savannah among all the other¬†creatures. He had a long. silky coat of fur and a lovely, bushy tail. Hippo was so vain of his fine fur that he would admire his image in the water and boast to all the other animals. “Am I not the handsomest creature of all?”

Kadima the Hare grew very tired of Hippo’s boasting and decided to teach him some humility. He piled up a nice soft nest of dry grass and offered it so Hippo, saying “such a handsome animal as you must have the finest bed ¬†to sleep upon!” Hippo haughtily agreed and lay down to sleep.

The wicked Hare lit a fire at the edge of Hippo’s bed and sat back to watch. The fire set Hippo’s fur ablaze and he awoke in great surprise. Unable to put out the flames, Hippo ran to the nearest river and leapt in with a giant splash.

When Hippo emerged, his fine fur was gone, his tale was just a little stub and his burned skin was pinkish brown and bald. Weeping with shame, Hippo sank down into the water until only his eyes and nostrils showed, and has stayed there ever since.

Now I’ll grant you, at the beginning Hippo is too full of himself and did need to learn to not be so boastful, but I feel bad for him in the end.

Thursday’s Tales is a weekly event here at Carol’s Notebook. Fairy tales, folktales, tall tales, even re-tellings, I love them all. Feel free to join in.


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