Imagination should be hard-wired into us all but some people seem to lose it when the reach adulthood.
(This is something a little different. Think of it as a early Christmas present. I hope you enjoy it)
A number of years ago a discovery was made that has astounded the scientific world. Several young hippos and a few other tiny beasts were located in suburban homes. It does seem to defy the laws of physics that such animals can actually exist. The name that these animals have been given is the Miniature Suburban Creatures. Perhaps it is just our need for a touch of whimsy in our lives that has created these small wonders. No one knows the reason, but one thing is undeniable: these animals exist and you are lucky indeed if you ever get a chance to meet one.
While still rare, the most common of these tiny creatures is the hippo.
Miniature Suburban Hippopotamuses (also known as Sub Hippos) are a branch of the Hippopotamus amphibius or regular-sized hippos. Sub Hippos are occasionally found in suburban homes making their nests in closets. They typically feed on cat and/or dog food but they do seem to enjoy fresh vegetables and fruit. These mysterious animals are usually only discovered when tiny foot prints are noticed on food that has been left out over night. These gentle creatures are shy. And while they are extremely intelligent, they prefer to live a solitary life. The sub hippo’s lifespan is typically forty or fifty years, as is that of its full-sized cousin.
Sub Hippos average four to five inches long and two inches tall at the shoulder. Their weight is usually calculated in the ounces.
A short time ago, a young hippo was discovered in an elderly man’s closet. The hippo had made a nest out of discarded tissues, ripped up newspaper, and straw which had probably been collected from packaging that had been delivered earlier that year. He was found rather abruptly when a young woman went to clean out the closet of her recently-deceased uncle. It is not known how the young hippo had managed to find a home in this man’s closet. Since the gentleman had never notified anyone of his young house guest, there is no way of knowing how long he had been in residence. The woman who made the initial discovery is expected to recover completely but she is does not wish to take on a house guest. Consequently, this Sub Hippo needs a home.
I would like to introduce you to Horace. No one knows how old Horace actually is. He is quiet, clean and rather shy. Horace loves fresh fruit and vegetables. If you have a garden you might find him occasionally nosing in amongst your flowers. He will cause no damage to your plant life. Perhaps he just likes the feeling of playing with the petals.
In the time that this young Sub Hippo has been in the care of Miniature Animal Control (MAC for short), Horace has proven time and time again that he will not be confined. An attempt was made to temporarily house him in a bird cage, with disastrous results. Next a large aquarium was selected. It is strongly recommended that no method of confinement be attempted that requires the use of glass, or anything breakable. Horace may be small but his hide, and his willfulness, is quite comparable to his larger cousins.
Horace is not a pet; rather he is a quiet visitor in your home. It is possible that you will awake one day and find him gone. So until that time, enjoy the company of your small house guest, and please leave out the occasional banana.
When I was child one of my favorite toys was a series of action figures known as ‘the Johnny West series’. They were a series of 12 inch articulated plastic action figures centered around a Western theme. I don’t remember the names of all the human characters but there were some figures I’ll never forget. There was Thunderbolt and Thundercolt: a Mare and her foal. Then there was the pony Poncho, and the stallion Flame. When all my friends were playing with Barbie and Ken I was much more interested in Johnny West and his family. They had teeny, tiny clothes as well as guns and all the kitchen utensils required for a campfire. There were saddles and bridles and all the accoutrements necessary for the horses. It was heaven for a child with an imagination!
Playing outside in the grass with my action figures stirred my imagination and I believe it is responsible for my love of storytelling. I was not an only child and I had lots of friends but I loved nothing more than playing in the long grass in the back of our yard, just me and my imagination.
I worry about children nowadays. Their imagination is not their own. It is force fed to them through video games and 24 hour television. You don’t need to wonder what it’s like to camp in the Amazon because there is a video that shows you what it’s all about! I wonder what will happen when our ability to fantasize becomes stymied. We are starting to complain nowadays that the new movies we’re seeing are all special effects with very little substance. On the other hand we are also seeing a lot of rehashed movies. The story’s been told 100 times with different characters and in different locales but it’s the same story.
I remember when a new movie was cause for excitement. It truly was something that had never been seen before. Now people pick apart a movie and tell you exactly where they got each scene from, because it’s been done before. I find that sad. What happened to originality? What happened to children playing cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians? What happened to imaginary friends? I remember climbing to the top of the hill behind my house and fantasizing that I was conquering the Alps. I can remember playing in a Creek near where I lived and fantasizing that I was an explorer in a section of the Nile that had never seen a white woman. Don’t you miss those days?
If we lose the ability to use our imagination our lives will become stunted. It is already showing signs of that. We cannot afford to lose fantasy and idealism. We need our children to dream, to have invisible friends, to carry the spark that we had when we were children. Never lose the whimsy. If we do I fear there’s no hope for a wondrous future.