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The Humble, Humble Hippo

November 12, 2010

See this photo? That's called heroism.

As many of you may know, I am a friggin’ hero. Yesterday, with great personal danger to myself, I rescued not one, but TWO animals from drowning in Kenya. Did you catch that? I RESCUED them. Can animals win the Nobel Peace Prize? Because – not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think I’d be a deserving recipient.  That’s it, I’m going to nominate myself.

In any event, I’d like to take this moment to share a dramatic re-telling of that harrowing, death-defying experience.

It was a dark and story night. Just kidding. It was broad daylight! But let’s not get into details about the weather.  Anyway, the river’s current was incredibly strong that day.  Earlier, I lost my little brother to its powerful waves. No, that didn’t happen. But it easily could have. So there I was, just wading through the water – oh right, it should be noted that I am actually very capable of crossing rivers without help, I have a muscular body that works against the current – but other animals are obviously not as blessed as I am.

That’s when I saw her. A little baby gnu. She had become separated from her mother, and was struggling against the strength of the tide. I knew if I didn’t act, right then, she would never make it across. Oh the thoughts that were in my mind at that moment – I didn’t want to be a hero necessarily. I just wanted to do the right thing, you know? But heavy is the head that wears the crown. I bravely decided to risk my own life to see that the little gnu made it safely to land. I remember how often I almost succumbed to the current, but I stood my ground. I prodded her little body, whispering encouraging words to her as she almost gave up. But she did it. With my help, of course.

Then minutes later, I saw another animal who needed my help. A little baby zebra, who was clearly having a lot of trouble keeping his head above water. I knew I had to go back and find that inner strength all over again.

I know hippos sometimes can get a bad rap for being lazy and extremely violent and aggressive, but my experience obviously disproves that. Let my story be spread all over the world.

We are all hippos today.

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