Nature

on the wallowing…

Hippopotamus in Zambezi River, Livingstone, Zambia

A man looking at a hippopotamus may sometimes be tempted to regard a hippopotamus as an enormous mistake; but he is also bound to confess that a fortunate inferiority prevents him personally from making such mistakes.

-Gilbert K. Chesterton

That what we term beauty is a high relative concept, and even the most unwieldy nuances of creation — static of dynamic — have a purpose, these are more or less the first couple of pieces of thought that strike one as the blobbing mass of hippopotami trigger ripples on the river’s surface, roving the snout about more irate then inquisitive, the callous jet stream of the boat a cumber to the natural chorus of capillary waves

Hippopotamus in Zambezi River, Livingstone, Zambia

’Tis a creature tough to relate to for the seeming lack of contrast — both literally and figuratively —  the groggy demeanour on terra firma is not complemented by dexterity in water but rather mirrored so, the sluggishness is accentuated by the slimy hide, and the facial expression echoes a lilting disdain with the universal nature of things — it is a huge land mass, the African continent… the bastion of the Old World… and there are antiques aplenty…

But then there are those gaping hundred and eighty degree jaws, and an attitude that most predators prefer not to mess with… the big boys are forever grumpy and unpredictable… one could try to guess a reason for this permanent chagrin… maybe this descendant of the whale feels he’s not been dealt a fair hand in the game of evolution…

Hippopotamus in Zambezi River, Livingstone, Zambia

We didn’t see the hippos camping on the shore in hoards but had to be content with their crests and troughs, bouncing up the river surface — specific gravity they say — to let out a snort or two at the onlookers before disappearing again… if one had to compare it in terms of manner it’d be a bear — large, chubby and moody… in a canvas where amphibians are anyway a minority, an amphibian of gargantuan proportions becomes even more marginalised… but then, they don’t pull legs or demean one another in the animal kingdom…

Hippopotamus in Zambezi River, Livingstone, Zambia

Musings on Hippopotamus (Cape Hippopotamus, H. a. capensis), Zambezi River, Zambia… 

Author: Parth Joshi

Mountain lover ⛰️ | Hiker 🥾| Runner 🏃‍♂️ | Cyclist 🚴 | Photographer 📷... allured by the outdoors, the author is a quintessential lost soul craving for the outdoors while suffering in a desk job...

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