Hippodile And Crocopotamus

While expediting on the Nile, I found a beast of curious style.
He rose from out the river’s deep; at once I asked, “Please stop the jeep.”
It seemed at first a river horse, but now this claim I can’t endorse;
For, though his nose was broad and flat, and gaping jaws fed tons of fat,
His farther end was green and scaled, his hind legs clawed, and longly tailed.
As the one with the Ph. D., I knew his name was up to me.
He watched me, and I saw him smile; I, grinning back, guessed, “Hippodile.”
He winked and twitched one tiny ear, then munched greens from the river’s sheer.
I began to cry, “Friends, let’s go! this novelty the world to show –”
Just then, a roaring river fount; another head the foam did mount:
Eyes close-set on long narrow snout, razor-sharp teeth clutched river trout.
“Wait, ” I breathed. He clawed his way up onto a slimy rock to sup.
Beyond the middle, his body bulged, as if in excess he indulged.
A leathery hide and smallish tail, trunk-like legs – I turned very pale.
I caught my breath, the sweat did flow; he turned and grinned; I cried, “I know! ”
Relief swept through, I smiled at last, the moment’s doubt was quickly past.
The wisest of the lot of us, I hailed him, “Crocopotamus.”
With photos of those brothers twain (in case you doubt that I am sane) ,
We hurried back. And now I speak at Oxford every other week.
For that find (I won’t be slighted) , I’ll have you know, I was knighted.

by Fred Lee Newman, IV

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