Never say ‘No’ to a hippo,
They don’t really like it you see,
And all of the hippos that I know
Rarely ever listen to me.
If a hippo just wants to get past you
Then probably let him, I’d say,
‘Cos they don’t really listen to reason
If they feel that you’ve stood in their way.
If you think they’re like George out of Rainbow*
Then I’d urge you to please think again –
If you stand between hippo and water
You will land in a sea full of pain.
*Rainbow was a UK educational programme made for pre-school children and watched primarily by adults. Everybody watched Rainbow, but few admitted it. George was a pink hippopotamus – everybody’s favourite. George, Bungle (an androgynous bear) and Zippy (a puppet so inclined to ‘shoot off at the mouth’ that the others kept zipping him up) all lived with human companion Geoffrey and the show promoted social development: the importance of kindness and understanding. This was many years before the Rainbow was adopted as a symbol by the LGBT community and even further ahead of its adoption as a sign of hope in the UK during the covid pandemic, but it always spoke of inclusion and hope. Best of all, Rainbow gave the world Rod, Jane & Freddie.
(Ask any UK adult between the ages of 40 and 60 to sing you the theme tune to ‘Rainbow’, you’ll see…)
‘Up above the streets and houses,
Rainbow climbing high.
Everyone can see them smiling
Over the sky.
Paint the whole world with a rainbow…’