Herbie The Hippo’s Special Swamp by R. S.

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“Look out! Here I come!” shouted Herbie the Hippo as he jumped into the swamp behind his house. A tidal wave of muddy water splashed down on top of all of his friends. “Whoa, wee,wee,” said Hank the turtle, Pickles the Alligator, and Roger the Frog as they all rolled over with glee in the swamp.  Herbie sat in the deepest part of the muddy swamp. “I want to moisturize my sensitive skin and bask in the swamp till dinner time” said Herbie.

“Herbie, are you ok? You look a little red!” asked Mrs. Snappertill, in a low voice, as she landed on his nose with her orange feathered wings.  Herbie squished around in the water. “My legs feel itchy. Oh, I can see red bumps on my arms and chest too. Maybe if I roll around, it will help stop some itching.” said Herbie.  Splash, Splash! “Uh oh!” said Herbie. As Herbie started to get out of the swamp, Mr. Smartypants the squirrel, screamed out “Hey, Herbie the Hippo has hives!”.

Herbie went to the only hippo doctor in town.  Doctor Susie Hippopotamus, III , quickly examined Herbie.  “You are allergic to water! Take this medicine for one week and your hives should clear up soon. Do not go into a swamp or anything that contains water” said Dr. Susie Hippopotamus III. “Water? I’m allergic to water?!  How can this be? Who ever heard of a hippo being allergic to water? How am I going to moisturize my sensitive skin?” asked Herbie. “Now, dear Herbie, developing an allergy to water or food can develop at any time. Although a water allergy is rare, I have seen one or two hippo patients with the same water allergy as you. Come back in one week for a check up” said Dr. Susie Hippopotamus III. Herbie sadly took his medicine bag and walked home.

News spread quickly all over Hippoland about Herbie’s condition.  Herbie sat outside his home looking down on the grass sadly wondering how was he ever going to be able to go into the swamp he loved so much, when a large shadow appeared standing over him.  Herbie looked up and saw his Aunt Biffy. “What’s the matter, dear? Why are you so sad? How come you’re not in the swamp rolling around?” asked Aunt Biffy curiously. “I’m allergic to water. If I go into the swamp, I’ll break out in hives again” said Herbie with tears in his eyes.

Aunt Biffy looked down at Herbie with her nose crunched up. “My dear Herbie, Did you know that your Uncle Chester is allergic to water too!” stated Aunt Biffy.   “Uncle Chester? Really, he is allergic to water like me?” asked Herbie. “Yes, Uncle Chester was the same age as you when his allergy to water began. He would turn red as a tomato if he touched water.  But, he didn’t let his allergy make him feel sad. He decided to do something about it! Can you guess what he did?” asked Aunt Biffy.

Herbie sat up on the grass with his eyes opened wide.  His tail curled up. “What did he do, Aunt Biffy?” asked Herbie excitedly. “Uncle Chester was sipping his favorite fizzy soda pop, wondering how he was going to create a water-free swamp.  Some of his fizzy soda pop spilled onto the mud creating a clattering of bubbles over his feet.

From that moment on, Uncle Chester decided to create his own water-free swamp with mud and fizzy soda pop! To this day, your Uncle Chester has the only fizzy soda pop swamp in his village” said Aunt Biffy smiling.  Herbie’s ears started to wiggle. “Did I hear you correctly Aunt Biffy?” asked Herbie. “Yes!” said Aunt Biffy. “Fizzy soda pop. Fizzy soda pop, yes, Fizzy Soda Pop!!!” said Herbie gleaming from ear to ear. “Well, guess what Aunt Biffy! I’m going to create my very own mud and fizzy soda pop swamp” said Herbie happily as he gave Aunt Biffy a big hug.  “Thank you Aunt Biffy!” “Anytime” Aunt Biffy said as she strolled over towards Harley’s family swamp for a visit.

After two weeks of digging up a large dirt hole near his house, it was time to pour in 1,000 gallons of fizzy soda pop. “Ah that looks just about right. Now my swamp is finished” said Herbie staring into his bubbly, fizzy soda pop, mud swamp.  Herbie’s friends and family came from near and far away to join him in his new swamp. “Welcome to Herbie’s Soda Pop Mud Swamp!” said Herbie waving happily to everyone. Herbie sat in his new swamp grinning. “Goodbye, itchy red hives. We may not be able to change the things we have, but we can change the things we do” said Herbie the Hippo to all his friends..

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