Friday, 15 July 2011

We Had A Hippopotamus

Back in 1985, my class, 3C1, had won the Choral Speaking competition for two successive years and we were desperate to make it a hattrick. We valiantly combed all the poetry books in the library and came up with this gem!

The poem may appear simple, or even inane to the unenlightened mind, but don't be fooled. There are plenty of clever tongue twisters that make it a very challenging choral speaking poem. But the best thing is - WE WON!

We Had A Hippopotamus

We had a hippopotamus, we kept him in a shed.
And fed him upon vitamins, and vegetable bread.
We made him our companion,
On many cheery walks,
And had his portrait done, by a celebrity in chalks.

His charming eccentricities, were known on every side,
The creature's popularity was wonderfully wide,
He frolicked with the Rector in a dozen friendly tussles,
Who could not but remark upon his hippopotamuscles,
If he should be afflicted by deppression or the dumps,
By hippopotameasles or the hippopotamumps,
We never knew a particle of peace,
Till it was plain,
He was hippopotamasticating properly again.

We had a hippopotamus, we loved him as a friend
But beautiful relationships are bound to have an end.
Time takes, alas, our joys from us
And robs us of our blisses.
Our hippopotamus turned out to be a hippopotamissus!

Our housekeeper regarded him with jaundice in her eye,
She did not want a colony of hippopotami,
She borrowed a machine gun,
From her soldier nephew, Percy,
And showed our hippopotamus, no hippopotamercy.

Our house now lacks the glamour, that the charming creature gave,
The garage where we kept him is as silent as a grave.
No longer he displays among the motor tyres and spanners,
His hippopotamastery of hippopotamanners.

No longer now he gambols, in the orchards in the spring.
No longer do we lead him through the village on a string.
No longer in the mornings does the neighbourhood rejoice
To his hippopotamusically-modulated voice.

We had a hippopotamus, but nothing upon earth
Is constant in its happiness, or lasting in its mirth,
No joy that life can give us,
Can be strong enough to smother
Our sorrow for that might have been a hippopotamother.

3C1, the Intermediate Choral Speaking Champions of 1985

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