Why The Hippo Spins His Tail To Poop

You might think that hippos have always been herbivores. So you might be surprised to know that once upon a time, hippos ate meat. They were particularly fond of fish, impala, and egret. One day, the king of the hippos got some meat stuck in his teeth. He shook his head but he couldn’t dislodge the meat. He pawed at his mouth with his fat, round feet but he couldn’t dislodge the meat. He scraped his jaw along a rock but he still could not dislodge the meat.

A porcupine waddled by.

“Say there, fellow porcupine!” hailed the hippo. “Where do you go?”

The porcupine replied that he was on his way to the market to sell his quills to the fisherman.

Quills! The hippo thought that a sharp, pointy quill was just the thing he needed to poke the meat from between his teeth. He asked to borrow one.

The porcupine agreed but requested that it be returned on his way back from the market.

As the porcupine waddled away, the hippo dug into his mouth and just as he got the meat out, he swallowed the quill.

The hippo was frantic. He must return the quill to the porcupine! He decided to try to poop it out. As he pooped, he spun his tail very quickly, thinking that if he could scatter his dung, it might be easier to find the quill.

Alas, he never found it, and to this day, the hippo still hides from the porcupine because he cannot return the quill he borrowed. He stills spins his tail when he poops in an attempt to find the long lost quill. And he no longer eats meat in case it sticks in his teeth again because he cannot borrow another quill. So now the hippo only eats grass.


3 responses to “Why The Hippo Spins His Tail To Poop”

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  1. Bryan says:

    WOW! I almost want to believe that story.

  2. […] also: Why The Hippo Spins His Tail To Poop Why The Hippo Lives In Water More On Hippo Poop – an animated […]

  3. Coral says:

    Hi, I’m doing research into the origins of the Pokemon Slowpoke, who may be based on a hippo. In my research, I’ve come across a fairy tale called “How Hippo Lost His Tail,” but I can’t find the book anywhere, only references. I’d really like to read it or have it summarized for me. Since you’re the hippo expert, I thought I’d see if you knew about the African folktale. Could you email me please? Thanks a bunch.