Hippos on Holiday
A story for children aged four to seven
by Robert Hanrott
Henry and Jemima went on holiday with Mummy,Daddy and Chalky
On a beautiful sandy beach they found a sailing boat
"Let's take the boat for a sail," said Henry
So they sailed away from the beach. Chalky was in the bows
They came to an island where they met a funny looking Potamus with pink spots.
Other Potamuses, with green spots, stood by and laughed. Hah, hah, hes got pink spots, they cried.
Its not nice to tease people who dont look exactly the same as you, said Henry. You should be kind to all Potamuses.
But the green-spotted Potamuses just laughed. So they took the pink-spotted Potamus back to the boat and sailed away, with Chalky in the bows.
On the next island they spotted a very sleepy Potamus. Why are you so sleepy? asked Jemima.
Because my friend the Hyperpotamus is so hyper that he tires me out, replied the sleepy Potamus.
I bet Chalky would tire him out, said Henry. So Chalky chased Hyperpotamus ten times round the island, and Hyperpotamus was still hyper It was Chalky who was exhausted.
So Henry, Jemima and Chalky led sleepy Potamus back to the boat. They understood her problem.
Suddenly, in the distance, they saw a cannibal heating up a pot. Cannibals eat other Potamuses. In the pot was one he had just caught.
You cant eat a Potamus, cried Jemima, It isnt nice. And dashing forward, they rescued the poor Potamus, who was getting very hot indeed, and the put him on board the boat.
As they unfurled the sail, they saw a pirate ship coming into the bay. The pirate captain had a big, curved sword in his hand. A parrot was flying around, squawking furiously, and the pirate was lashing his crew with a big cat o nine tails.
Ramming speed, shouted the pirate, trying to cut the sailing boat in half and sink it.
But in the nick of time Henry jumped into the water and pushed the boat out of the way. The pirate ship only just missed and ran aground with such a jolt that the pirate captain hit his head on the ships wheel and knocked himself out.
Now there were rather a lot of people on the little sailing boat, but Henry and Jemima were happy that they had rescued them. Chalky wagged his tail furiously.
Next they came across the famous Pointypotamus, who lived happily by himself. Rescuing him was pointless, so they sailed on.
Far in the distance they spotted a spaceship, hovering above an island. It couldnt land because there was a palm tree in the way. An moment it would run out of rocket fuel.
Splash! The spaceship had to land in the sea. Henry and Jemima hurried to the spot and were just in time to rescue the alien, who thanked them and joined everyone else in the boat.
No sooner was the alien aboard than Chalky started barking at the water. Jemima looked and saw a Potamus swimming along beneath them, unaware that behind her was a Great White Shark, about to attack and eat her up.
Shark attack, cried Henry. Chalky barked a warning and the terrified Potamus scrambled into the boat.
They then sailed away to a big island that was ruled by Potentatepotamus, a nasty Potamus who cuts off the heads of anyone who is rude and answers him back.
Going ashore the children and their friends saw that Potentatepotamus had caught the runaway and was about to chop off the heads of twenty captive Potamuses.
A great battle started and Henry and Jemima over-powered the wicked Potentatepotamus. All the poor captives joined the victors aboard the sailing boat.
The boat now was overloaded and began to sink. Oh, dear, said Jemima.
But fortunately, Potamuses can swim. So they all swam in a long line back to the beautiful, sandy beach where they had begun their holiday.
Mummy and Daddy were a bit surprised to see so many wet Potamuses, but Mummy gave them all orange juice without bits and Daddy made a shepherds pie.
Is this Potamus Pie?, asked one of the guests, but didnt wait for a reply. He was very hungry.
And Chalky was very pleased to be home. Dogs don't like too many adventures in one day.