The assignment: 500 words. Describe a situation in 1st person with only 2 references to yourself. The idea is to be very descriptive without being too personal. And no they didn’t tell me to write about hippos – all it said was describe a situation in 1st person with only 2 references to yourself – I just thought hippos would be fun.
The Green Tawking Hippo Academy
It’s not like I’ve never been to school before. it’s just… Well, when did hippos start wearing polka dot bikinis?
Maybe the name of the school should have given it away. Green Tawking Hippo Academy for Women. But it sounded so cool! For a budding environmentalist, it seemed perfect! What could be better than a school located in the heart of Tawking Canyon , on the banks of the Green River , and named after an endangered species? Can we say “nothing?”
Oh if only it were that simple and if only Hippos knew how to spell. Even though the school WAS in the middle of Tawking Canyon , the school wasn’t named after it. In fact, it wasn’t named after the Green River either. The founders of the school MEANT to name the school Green Talking Hippo Academy after all of the rich, successful Hippos who work there and can talk. But although these hippos have mastered speaking, they have yet to learn to spell. So yeah - tawking hippos – talking hippos. Talk about a trip!
It wouldn’t really have been so bad to learn from the hippos. They are very unusual peop… umm … they are very unusual mammals. But the hippos weren’t interested in teaching about their ways. Nope. They were more interested in other things; though those other things did APPEAR to be of an environmental nature in the course catalog.
First Period – Blossoming Flowers. “Oh nooooooo, Ms. Nooncy,” the instructing hippo, wearing a burgundy mini skirt and a black tube top, shouted to a fellow classmate. “Grey is the WORST color for you to wear. It blends right into your skin. You must stand out! Be noticed. No wall flowers in my class. We are blossoming flowers! Beautiful! Bold! B… AHH! Ms. Pugmore, a corset is NOT going to help you hold your tummy in – and goodness gracious, why would you want to? We’re hippos – we’re fat – it is our defining feature and we must not try and hide it. Love the skin you’re in Ms. Pugmore. Love it.”
Second Period – Don’t Hunt. The instructor of this class wore the most ridiculous blond wig. It was fantastic! “First things first class.” She said as she paced back and forth in front of the class, “You are all Big, Beautiful, and Bold Hippos.” Long pause. “Now, I want you all to take a deep breath and feel the air cleanse your body, nourishing your beauty. Ok. Down to the important stuff. It is imperative that you, as female Hippos, do NOT, I repeat, do NOT hunt for male hippos. We are NOT rhinoceroses. We are Hippopotamuses and we do not hunt or chase our men like THEY do. Our men chase after us and if they’re LUCKY we may pay them some attention. But as a side note I don’t blame the Rhino men from running away from their women – I mean come on – just look at them! I’d run away from MYSELF if I looked like that.”
Third Period – The Study of Mother Earth. This one HAD to be an environmental class right? A petite hippo, if there is such a thing, stood up in front of the class. “Mother Earth has given us amazing gifts. The gift of water and the gift of earth. If we mix these gifts together we create the gift of beauty. Today we will be learning about mud baths, mud masks and the power we have to be beautiful.”
You know what? Hippos are a little intimidating all on their own. But having to hide behind a rock to avoid being trampled by a herd of hippos racing to the banks of the Green River for a mud bath is down right scary.
Fourth Period – Tree Huggers 101 – “And one and two and three and four…” The teacher stopped her squats to welcome the class. “Hello everyone. Go ahead and take your place by a tree stump and rip it out of the ground like this. Ok good. Except you over there – honey I think a tree is too big for you. Why don’t you sit this one out?” No problems there! The rest of the class ripped out their stumps and placed them firmly between their teeth in the proper “hugging” manner. I shook my head and sighed as they did squats, while “hugging” their trees. Apparently it improves balance as well as muscle tone in Hippos. Go figure.
Fifth Period – Meteorology. Everyone raced to the changing rooms after fourth period to change into their bikinis. Hmm … meteorology and bikinis? And then everyone rushed to fifth period – which was being held at the sandy nook along the southern end of the Green River . “Alright class – settle down,” the instructor announced. “Today we learn about how the sun darkens our skin and makes it even MORE beautiful. Find a beach towel, lie down and let the sun soak into your skin. I’ll remind you in a half hour to flip to your other side. I hope everyone remembered to bring their unique bathing suit shapes because you will adore the patterns they leave on your skin later.” Tan lines are adorable? When clothing is optional and you are hippo… seemingly they are.
Not long after everyone had settled in, each covering four beach towels a piece, the principal arrived. After welcoming all the lovely new students she asked “Would the non-hippo please escort me to my office?”
Her office was close by and once she was settled into her snakeskin chair she apologized for a grave misunderstanding. “This is the Green “Tawking” Hippo Academy for Women as you well know, and although you are a woman… you are not a hippo and the school is for talking Hippos only. My sincerest apologies for the misunderstanding.” She went on, “It’s just that dear … when we saw your name – So Hippo – we just knew you had to be one of us. Who else would name their child So Hippo? hahaha! Anyway you’re dismissed.”
Walking out the door I muttered back to her, “It’s Sohi … Poe. The name is Sohi … Poe… NOT so hippo.” Not that the correction really mattered. It may as well be So Hippo to a green “tawking” hippopotamus.