The Hippocatamus

by Sarah Venable

The hippocatamus*
looks like a cat.
It’s furry and fat
but enormous.

It has a yawn
As big as your lawn.
When you call it,
It comes – bigly.
When it plays, though,
It’s quite wiggly.

After eating a meal
It washes its face
quite delicately –
Some say “with grace.”

Though it’s cute when it naps,
Keep it off your laps!
It’s helpful in your house
For hunting the enormouse.

If you’ve never seen
A hippocatamus
Look deep between
The this and that-amus.

By this I mean
Your imagination.
Make animals up!
It’s called creation.

*The plural is hippocatami. They often ask themselves “Whatami?”


About the author...

Sarah Venable was born in the United States, educated all over the world, and has lived in the Caribbean since 1992. This broad perspective influences her work as a writer, painter, tutor, and culinary creator. Her poetry, fiction and nonfiction has been published in regional and Barbadian magazines such as Maco and Ins & Outs of Barbados, Poui, in a previous issue of Anansesem, and in The Truth About Oranges, an anthology of NIFCA-winning work. Having come out of the poet’s closet a few years ago, she is preparing to open another door with her collection of children’s stories. Meanwhile, working with children in the WISE (Writers in Schools and Education) programme gives her a pleasurable challenge which sometimes leaves her hoarse. She lives in Barbados.

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About Anansesem

Anansesem is an online magazine of Caribbean children's and young adult literature by adults and children. We strive to bring you the best in news, reviews and creative content from the world of Caribbean children's publishing.
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  1. Dr. Seuss is alive. love it...

  2. AnonymousJune 05, 2013

    This is one to learn! To teach to wiggly little boys and girls. Nice job Sarah on the enormouse!



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