A Little Character
BIG Hippo sculpture
$140.00 - Buy at my Etsy Store
Belita sucked in a great lungful of air and held it. Held it, calmly looking about with all the intense curiosity young hippos are known for. She held that breath, waiting and counting before finally expelling it out in a terrific whoosh of noise that any other hippo would recognize as one of triumph!
That was much longer! It seemed like tons more time than the last attempt. If she kept practicing soon she'd be able to stay under the water as long her Mama. And how fun that would be, down in the cool murky depths with all her older cousins who could already spend several minutes. But no one was as good as Belita's own Mama, who on a good day, could submerge for 30 minutes.
Belita was the baby of the hippopotamus pod, but she wasn't going to stay a baby for long. Nosireeeee no, she was going to eat and grow and practice her breath holding until she was the biggest, mightiest, longest underneathest the water hippo ever! EVER!
Tickled by the notion, Belita giggled, and rolled over in the cool mud she'd chosen to lounge in. Sighing she looked up at the hot sun and her stomach rumbled. Tonight she knew the family would go on a walk, away from the waters to where the fields of juicy green grasses grew, but Belita was hungry now. NOW!
She flopped and fidgeted, squishing mud beneath her toes and occasionally sighing. Sometimes she sighed twice in a row, extra loud, in case her Mama might hear and then she'd know Belita was bothered. Bothered by a growling stomach and empty belly.
Belita flipped and wiggled and rolled about her pleasant pile of mud so much that it took a very long time before the occasional odd sound made itself known to her. A sort of gentle thud.
Curious, frustrations and mud and trying to get her mother's attention with dramatic sighs, forgotten, Belita turned towards the direction of the sounds. "Thud," went another mysterious thing in the bushes.
Hmmmm, Belita glanced at the pool of slow moving water. Saw the comforting sight of ears and eyes just above the surface, the bubbles from where her cousins undoubtedly swam far beneath. None of the older hippos seemed alarmed by the odd noise. Though Belita knew for sure it was one she herself had never heard before.
"Thud." There it was again!
Belita hefted herself to her feet and padded towards the bushes, just beyond which she could hear yet another soft "Thud".
She peered through the dense foliage that acted as a natural protective wall around the hippo family's favorite watering hole. But, try as she might, all Belita could see were still more leaves and one startled bird who did not expect to have a young hippo eying it's nest. Belita stared hard at the little bird, trying to see if it was capable of making mysterious thuds. The little bird cheeped and stared back.
Belita sighed, the noises could not have been coming from the little bird, who squawked and chittered indignantly about invasion of privacy. If they were beyond the bushes there was nothing Belita could do. Her mother's warnings were not to be ignored. Belita could wander around the pool and swim as much as she wanted but was never, ever to go beyond the bushes. Darn it!
"Thud." Belita's little round ears perked. They strained towards the sound, she was sure was just on the other side, just past where she could see. Once more frustration wormed it's way through the young hippopotamus. Finally something interesting and unknown and she couldn't investigate. There was no way to see further.......unless.............
An idea took root. It wasn't something Belita had seen the other hippos doing but it didn't mean she couldn't.
Easing more of her weight on to her back feet Belita slowly and carefully lifted her front. The thrill of the unknown, and the sight of the top of the bushes had her wavering. For a moment Belita wondered if she was about to fall on the ground, not that it would hurt her tough hippo skin, but it would be very embarrassing. Especially with that nosy little bird in it's nest still watching.
Belita pressed her lips tight, straightened her back and rose as high as she could on her back legs.
The delight of success almost had her tumbling down anyways. Not to mention the distraction of a whole new world on the other side of the bushes. There was sandy dirt, more bushes she'd never once got to investigate, birds scratching, a big ol' tree full of fruit and... "Thump."
Belita gasped. Even as she watched, wobbling on her back legs, front ones held just so for balance, she saw one of the heavy fruit fall from the tree to thud onto the dirt, a little plume of dust rising around it. Looking about, as the dust cleared away Belita saw something even more fantastic, the ground was littered with fruit! Her stomach growled and this time Belita called out in chorus with it. The bellow that would bring her Mama out of the water.
She licked her lips in anticipation, so focused on those tasty fruits her Mama would take her to, that she didn't even realize she was still standing on her back legs.
$140.00 - Buy at my Etsy Store