The Lion and the Hippo.

by Katy Staplehurst

One fine day there was a lion and he had a lioness. They were in the rain forest with palm trees all around to make a cave. The lioness had a baby and she called it Jago. The lion had an enemy. It was a hippo that was grey and wrinkly. The hippo had a baby and called it Noamy. Jago liked Noamy and Noamy liked Jago. One day Noamy decided to climb a tree.
"Bye bye mum" she said and went to the old oak tree. There she found Jago. There was a pool of mud and a tree stump. Jago was sitting on it, fast asleep. Noamy jumped in the pool of mud and splashed Jago. He woke up immediately and howled.
When he saw who it was he said "Oh, it's you Noamy."
"What are you doing here?" asked Noamy.
"I'm having a nap" said Jago.
"It's time to go home," said Noamy. "I can hear my mother having a bath."
"I can hear my daddy roaring and my mother licking her paws" said Jago.

Next morning mother hippo decided that she was going to get her own back on the lion. So when it was dark she went to the lake where the lion always had a bath in the morning. She put banana skins by the bank and hid behind a palm tree and waited until it was morning. The next day the lion had a surprise. He went skidding down the hill and 'SPLASH' he fell into the water. The lion came out of the lake all soaking wet. He looked around and he saw the hippo.
"That was the most horrible thing in my life!" he said. Then they went back home. The next morning the lion did not go and have a bath in the lake - instead he stayed in his palm tree cave and tried to think of a plan to get his own back on the hippo.

There was a pool of water which the animals used to wish in. They called it the wishing pool. What they had to do was throw a scraping of the wishing tree which was just by the wishing pool. They had to throw it right in the middle of it. Then they had to climb up the wishing tree and make their wish.

Back in the cave the lion was racking his brains to find a plan because he was finding it so complicated to get an idea. Suddenly he had a brain wave.
"I know, dear" he said to his wife the lioness, "why don't I go to the wishing pool to make a wish to have a plan." So he went to where the opening was in the palm tree cave but the opening wasn't there.
"Good heavens! "said the lioness "the door isn't there!"
"Now I remember" said the lion, "we've made a new palm tree cave and I forgot to put the door there. Oh dear."
So he climbed up one of the palm trees and his wife and Jago climbed up too. All their weight made it bend over. Slowly Jago climbed down the palm tree and he went to get a branch and bent it to make a peg. Then he came back and he climbed up on another palm tree next to the first one. He couldn't bend it over to meet the other tree because he wasn't heavy enough and so he went to get help.
Finally he found his little friend the elephant. Jago told him what was the matter and his friend the elephant said "maybe I can help. I've got an old tool box which my daddy had when he was a little elephant and he gave it to me when he was too old for it." They went and got the tool box and opened the lid. Inside there were all kinds of different things. There was an axe with a wooden handle and a saw with a sharp pointy end, but there was no time for looking at any more things. Jago and the elephant knew that the lion and the lioness would be getting tired of holding on to the palm tree. Almost at once Jago found what he was looking for. It was a rope made of short vines all tied together.

"Come on" said Jago "we haven't got a second to lose."
So they hurried back to the palm tree cave and squeezed in between the palm trees. Jago tied the vine rope around the little elephants neck. It was rather hard but he managed it in the end. Then Jago climbed up the tree with the other end of the vine rope and tied it around the top. He held on tightly to the top of the tree and called down to the little elephant "PULL!" and when it touched the other tree he put the peg on both trees to hold them together. When he'd done that the lioness and the lion got off the tree and said "well done Jago" and so did the little elephant.
Now they had got their arch doorway and the lion went out of the palm tree cave and went straight to the wishing pool. He scraped off some bark from the wishing tree and threw it right to the middle of the wishing pool. Very carefully he climbed up the wishing tree and made his wish.
He went to the pool and stared into it very very hard. Suddenly he thought he saw some letters floating about in the water. Then the letters moved around and made some words and those words made a plan.

"Dig a hole and cover it with branches and then leaves" it said.
"Hmm" said the lion "What a good idea. I'll dig it just beside the mud pool so that the hippo will fall into the trap when he comes for his mudbath."
That night he started digging but he couldn't dig fast enough because he'd just eaten a baby lamb for his supper and his tummy was quite full up. So he asked his wife the lioness to help him. By five o'clock in the morning it was finally finished. The monkeys gave him a hand by throwing leaves and twigs down from the treetops so the lion didn't have to do that himself.

The lion climbed up the tree with the monkeys and waited. The hippo came along for his early morning mud bath and just as he reached the mud pool BANG! CRASH! CRASH! BANG! he fell headfirst into the trap.
The lion laughed a very loud laugh - "HA HA HA".
The lion got down from the tree and helped the hippo out. "That banana skin slide was very funny really" said the lion.
"And that hole was very good as well" said the hippo. Then they both started laughing and they made friends almost straight away. As for Noami and Jago, when they grew up they got married and everyone lived happily ever after.


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