The title character would be Anne. So, I guess that makes me the beast she married. I suggested the title Beast Mistress, but she wanted none of that she wanted to be my master. Well, thing didn’t go exactly according to plan today. First, we overslept. I used this along with a number of other excuses to get out of doing another long bike ride today, besides I didn’t want to do the Cottleville Classic anyway. So instead, we launched towards the park, but before too long, it began to rain. We ducked into the zoo and spent a couple of lovely hours there, but maybe just a wee bit too much time in the bird house, where we had hunkered down during the storm and soon found ourselves trapped. After the rain, we toured some of the outdoors exhibits and then trundled home, just missing the next round of storms.
We really should go to the zoo more often than we do. It has been a long time since we last saw the hippos. They were much smaller back then and the water that they swam in was full of their own feces. Fast forward more than a few years and voilà the hippos are grown and the water is way clearer than it was before. The solution was that the zoo introduced the same fish that naturally eat their dung in the wild. There is a cute little billboard that explains all of this to the kids and me too. Entitled, “What’s so special about a hippo’s hiney?” The answer is the tail. It acts as a “manure spreader” to shoot dung everywhere. A cartoon shows a hippo in the wild pooping and a couple of fish with forks and knives are talking smack like, “That’s good eatin’!” and “Yum!” There is even a wheel to twirl the cartoon hippo’s tail.
Years ago, my parents were visiting South Africa. They were staying at a resort, with a golf course. Members of their tour were warned that if they played golf, they should not go near the water hazards, because the water hazards were home to hippos, which are very territorial. One dumb duffer chose to ignore this warning and provoked a hippo charge. A hippo can do 30 MPH on land, much faster than a man can do. This poor guy found himself about to be rundown by a two-ton angry hippo that was just a few feet behind him, when he zigged. Hippos are fast, but they don’t corner very well and he escaped. He lost his ball, but got a good story, but was still viewed as a fool by the rest of the tour.