An Ode to a Hippo

Royal Chundu Hippos

First published on Royal Chundu’s blog.


It was morning, becoming late morning quickly. As it does when your head is under the duvet, denying the intrusion of sunlight. And you, an early riser, always, you let me lie in. You didn’t make a sound. I would have heard; I was listening closely, waiting for you.

It was the last morning and I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Perhaps you weren’t either. Perhaps that explained your silence. Words are never enough, are they? With soulmates we hope that mind-reading will suffice and in a way, at least for that moment, the head-under-the-covers moment, it did, even if I misread the signs, painted them with my own hopes.

What was I hoping for? I guess that you were sad too. I would never know; you didn’t even have the sleeves to wear your heart on. I hoped that you would miss me and that even though our homes were in separate parts of the world, our connection would remain. I hoped that part of you would stay with me wherever I went. And vice versa.

I knew that I would return and head-under-the-covers me hoped that you would remember our time together – the sunsets, the late night baths, those Autumn picnics, counting shooting stars after the seeming rest of the world had gone to sleep.

I hoped that you would greet me again with that mysterious gaze that I could never read – how I loved your mystery!

How nervous you made me always, even then… on the last morning.

Looking back, maybe it was merely lust. Perhaps that explains it all. A wanderlust. But a little bit of love too, I thought. I hoped.


Royal Chundu River Lodge


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