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198

Hippo Funereal

Wayne Wolfson By

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It has been raining for five days. The sky remains dark, but all the leaves of the trees have become strangely luminescent. A Deagas painting set outside the city with its theaters which he loved.

Except for when they are very young, no other animal preys upon the hippo.

After their first year they gain about one hundred pounds a year.

Each herd has one leader. They live about thirty years. The only thing prematurely disrupting their life cycle being privation due to drought or a young challenger being killed by the king.

Females never fight, except to protect their young from other animals.

Sometimes a king becomes too old and is killed by the challenger.

The next morning the entire herd will start licking him in a display of affection, and to try to wake him. When this does not work they will each, one by one nip him. When he still does not wake all the males will open their mouths as a sign of respect, and cry.

Five days of rain, the type that comes straight down in little broken lines.

Below, in the lagoon, trash and little bits of branch float by. The current gives it all a bobbing motion. Happy little animals waltzing out to sea or on their way to a funereal.


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