The sky was growing dark, the wind was picking up, a storm was brewing. Boris stood in the prairie as the rain began to pelt him. He didn’t care about the rain, he was wearing a thick coat. Staring into the distance he sighed. He missed his herd, but they were probably far away by now.
Unfortunately Boris did not have the greatest sense of direction. He had only wandered away for a short bit, but when he had turned around to rejoin the herd, he must have taken a wrong turn. His herd was nowhere to be seen. He knew they had been planning to head out soon for new territory. They may have waited a bit on him, but they wouldn’t have waited around too long. What had made him wander off in the first place? Why did he care about following a rabbit? His curiosity had got him into trouble once again.
What did he do now? Should he stay, or take off for somewhere new? The wind was blowing harder now, and making a strange sound. A rather awful sound, thought Boris. Like a screeching sound that he had never heard before, this was some weird storm.
Ahh! The screech appeared to have gone away. No, he was wrong, there it was again, and it seemed even louder this time. What was that in the distance? There was some dark shape that was coming his way.
Boris’s senses went on high alert. He didn’t have to worry too much about predators, he wasn’t someone you wanted to mess with. Mountain lions though sometimes got too daring. Usually they went after the young, smaller buffalo, but some liked to take on a challenge. At least Boris only saw one shadow moving his way. A lot of them could spell trouble.
“Screeeeech!” Boris shook his head and looked again. No, he could tell now that the shadow was not a mountain lion, much more bigger than that. Was it another buffalo? Did someone from his herd come back for him?
The shadow moved closer and Boris couldn’t believe it! Now this he had never seen out on the prairie before! Apparently this animal must have a bad sense of direction as well! What was it doing here, and what was that awful sound coming out of its mouth! Boris realized that screeching sound was not the wind, seeing that the animal’s mouth was open.
The animal was almost in front of him now. Fortunately it had closed its mouth and the screeching sound had stopped.
“HI! I am Henrietta the hippo, what is your name?” Henrietta asked with a smile, showing off her pearly white teeth.
Boris was a little taken back with her outgoing personality. They were standing in a the middle of a storm and she acted like there was nothing strange about her being here in the middle of a prairie.
“I am Boris.” he replied.
“Well nice to meet you Bo, do you mind if I call you Bo?”
Boris shook his head, not knowing what to say.
“I guess you are a little surprised to see me here, me being a hippo and all.” said Henrietta.
“You could say that.” replied Boris, finding his voice again.
“I like adventures and I told my friends Bobo, and Myrtle and Tulag that I was going to go on an adventure, so here I am. Its as simple as that. I want to see the world.”
“Are your friends hippos too?”
“Oh no, Bobo is a bear and Myrtle and Tulag are turtles.”
Now Boris really didn’t know what to say. This was the strangest animal he had ever met!
The rain was starting to slow down, and the sky beginning to clear. Boris shook himself to dry off, splattering Henrietta, but she didn’t care. She loved getting wet.
“So Bo, are you out here all alone?”
That name sounded so strange. He opened his mouth to tell her he preferred to be called Boris, but there was something about her that stopped him.
“Yes, I am, I got lost from my herd.”
“Oh, I am sorry, but now its your lucky day, for I am here! I knew there was a reason I came this way!”
Boris almost laughed, she was so cheerful. He had to admit it was nice to have someone to talk to again.
They chatted a little more, she told him about how she used to be in the zoo. He was glad he had never been in a zoo. He couldn’t imagine leaving the big, open prairie. He didn’t blame her for wanting to get out.
Pausing in conversation they were both standing in silence, when “SCREECH!” Boris jerked his head around, looking at Henrietta, whose mouth was open wide.
“Wh-what are you doing?” he asked.
“I am singing! I was in Vegas for a little bit you know.”
“Vegas? What is Vegas?”
She proceeded to tell him about her show that sold out every night, for people came from all around to see the singing hippo. She didn’t stay too long though, for she was afraid that they would try to cage her up again. After she told him about leaving, she opened her mouth to sing once more.
“Wait, wait… tell me more about Bobo, and that lady that you said he scared.
Henrietta started laughing. “That was funny, we laughed about that for days. The day had started out in an ordinary way, I was down by the river ….” and she continued on, as they started walking.
All he had to do was keep her talking. Shouldn’t be so hard, after all she was a female. His ears may grow tired, but at least it was better than that awful screeching that she considered singing!
Boris shook his head, longing again for the silence of the prairie.