Updated: Aug 3
You’re probably thinking this is a book about a hippopotamus. It is not. This is a story about Hippo. Hippo is a dog. More specifically, a dachshund puppy. This is Hippo.
Just like all puppies, Hippo, loves food, naps, playtime, and especially adventures. Today, Hippo thought it was an especially fine day for an adventure. She gobbled up her breakfast and dashed out the doggie door, into the great big world.
“A perfect day it is indeed,” Hippo said to herself with the warm sunrise, and cool morning air keeping everything just right. “Perhaps I’ll go to the bakery where they always give me freshly baked biscuits.” And with that thought, a spring sprung to her step.
“Good morning, Daisy!” She said, cheerfully greeting her flower friend.
“Good morning, Hippo! Got a big adventure planned today?”
“I’m going to the bakery!”
“Oh, that sounds tasty! I hope you enjoy this sunshine as much as I do!”
Hippo had only ever been to the bakery with her Mama before, but she was pretty sure she knew the way. Besides, she thought the smell of those biscuits would surely guide her way. She walked three blocks this way and two blocks that, then started up a very big hill. No sooner had she begun to smell the biscuits did she notice the most splendid sight she ever did see.
There was a bridge overlooking the most glorious park. She could see for miles from the top of the bridge. There were willow trees, birds singing, grass blowing in the soft breeze, and a big pond glimmering like a million polished sapphires in the morning light. Very far in the distance, almost out of sight, Hippo could see a small cellar door in a little hillside.
“Oh boy, oh boy! This looks just like the adventure for me today! I’ll just take a few minutes to explore before going to the bakery.” Hippo could hardly wait. Before she had a second thought, she felt her paws moving swiftly towards the park. She was going so fast she thought she might be gliding, or flying even! She couldn’t wait to jump into that big beautiful pond.
“Tweet, tweet, tweet! Where are you going so fast?”
Hippo nearly rolled over as she tried to stop. “Who said that?”
“Tweet, tweet, it was me, Chick-a-dee-dee-dee.”
“I’ve never met a Chick-a-dee-dee-dee before.”
“You mustn’t be very old then.”
“No sir, hardly at all, I’m still a puppy, there’s so much I haven’t learned,” said Hippo, thoughtfully.
“Just knowing that is more than most can say.”
Hippo wasn’t sure she understood what Chick-a-dee-dee-dee meant by that, so she politely said, “I’d really like to go to the pond, want to come?”
“I would but I’m gathering breakfast for my soulmate, she is busy keeping the babies warm,” Chick-a-dee-dee-dee gestured towards the nest in the willow tree.
“It was lovely to meet you.” Hippo turned around and started bounding towards the pond, again.
“Be careful,” Chick-a-dee-dee-dee hollered after her, “this park is bigger than meets the eye!”
Hippo wasn’t sure she understood what that meant either, but she soon found out.
Hippo’s little legs were getting tired. The pond had looked so close at first, but now she thought she should turn back. She turned around to go home, but she was terrified to discover she could not see her way back anymore, everything was just a haze of fog and light. She decided to keep going. Soon, she saw the cellar door and a tiny statue sitting beside it.
The Statue sat quietly. You could tell they had been there for a very long time. They had turned green, and a tuft of moss was growing where you would normally have hair.
Hippo was feeling scared and exhausted, and she needed to know about the pond, and how to get home. She decided to ask The Statue.
“Yes?” The Statue’s voice was steady and much deeper than you would expect for such a tiny statue.
“I think I’m lost.” Hippo’s voice shook.
“When we lose our way, we gain the freedom to forge a new path.”
“What about the pond?” Hippo was very thirsty.
“Once you feel at peace, the pond will be in reach.”
Hippo sat beside The Statue in silence until it was nearly sunset. She was thinking very hard about the things The Statue and Chick-dee-dee-dee had said to her. She had started to become quite sleepy and wondered if her Mama was worried about her.
“How do I get home?”
“Home is in your heart.”
Suddenly, Hippo understood exactly what she needed to do. She closed her eyes and thought with all her might about her Mama’s warm lap, and how content she was when she felt safe and loved. She felt truly peaceful even though she had much to worry about.
Hippo opened her eyes, and to her astonishment, the pond was right there in front of her! She dipped her paws in and had a drink, water had never tasted so good before. Suddenly, she understood!
“Sometimes when you feel most lost, you find yourself exactly where you need to be!”
When she looked up, the fog had cleared and she could see her way back and she began to run towards the bridge.
As she got to the top of the steps, she saw the bakery across the street and stopped in for a treat.
She thought of her Mama again and started to run as fast as she could. She could hear her Mama calling in the distance. At last, she saw her!
“Oh, Hippo! I’ve been looking everywhere for you! I am so glad you’re safe!” her Mama’s arms were open wide and Hippo raced in for a big hug.
Hippo cuddled into her Mama’s lap, with her blankie while they gently rocked, back and forth on the porch swing.
Slowly, Hippo's big eyes began to close as she thought to herself, “What a good day to be Hippo.”