I Had A Hippopotamus

I had a Hippopotamus, I kept him in a shed
And fed him upon vitamins and vegetable bread
I made him my companion on many cheery walks
And had his portrait done by a celebrity in chalk

by Patrick Barrington Click to read full poem

Comments about I Had A Hippopotamus

Raina Banerjee 26 Jun 10:04
Its really a very funny and hillarious poem which my sister and I enjoyed a lot.
Susan b. Anthony 29 Aug 2018 10:12
This is better than the book I wrote
Anju luke 04 May 2018 04:15
I loved this poem as a child.... Won several recitations but this was my first poem.
Elaine 16 Mar 2018 04:46
At last I have found the “hippo” poem that I studied for at o’level, back in the seventies. A very sad poem!
Morag Loftus 24 Feb 2018 11:49
A joy to find this, haven't seen it in years. Could remember most of it from primary school but great to fill in the gaps in my memory.
Kathy Clark 31 May 2016 03:23
Hurrah! I, too learned this poem when I was 8 and now in my sixties remember all but a tiny bit at the end! ! ! ! My Dad used to recite bits of this and other poems, which I loved to and he found the full copies which I then committed to memory. I would stand up infront of an audience and recite all or any of them whenever I could, .... sad eh? ! Kathy (Cookie)
Merry Patel 05 Jun 2015 02:57
My dad paid me £5 to learn this poem as a child as he wanted me to develop the art of reciting! I have loved this poem ever since but a friend found it for me on your website after telling her about flicking through every poetry book on book stands!! Thank you- after 25 yrs could remember a surprising amount but not that Percy had aided and abetted!!
Nigel Shaw 09 Jan 2012 07:43
Here's the version from the British Rhyme and Rhythm series. I had a Hippopotamus, I kept him in a shed I fed him upon vitamins and vegetable bread I made him my companion on many cheery walks And had his portrait done by a celebrity in chalks His charming eccentricities were known on every side The creature’s popularity was wonderfully wide He frolicked with the Rector in a dozen friendly tussles Who could not but remark upon his hippopotamuscles If he should be afflicted by depression or the dumps By hippopotameasles or the hippopotamumps I never knew a particle of peace 'till it was plain He was hippopotamasticating properly again I had a Hippopotamus, I loved him as a friend But beautiful relationships are bound to have an end Time takes alas! our joys from us and robs us of our blisses My hippopotamus turned out a hippopotamisses My house keeper regarded him with jaundice in her eye She did not want a colony of hippopotami She borrowed a machine gun from from her soldier nephew, Percy And showed my hippopotamus no hippopotamercy My house now lacks the glamour that the charming creature gave The garage where I kept him is as silent as the grave No longer he displays among the motor tyres and spanners His hippopomastery of hippopotamanners No longer now he gambols in the orchards in the spring No longer do I lead him through the village on a string No longer in the mornings does the neighbourhood rejoice To his hippopotamusically-modulated voice I had a hippopotamus but nothing upon earth Is constant in its happiness or lasting in its mirth No joy that life can give me can be strong enough to smother My sorrow for that might-have-been-a-hippopota-mother
J. Chiaravalloti 18 Jul 2007 11:05
And had his portrait done by a celebrity in chalk (chalks) if he should be affected by depression or the dumps (and should he be) By hippopotameasles or the hippopotamumps (lose the 'the') I never knew a particle of peace 'till it was plain (I would nurse him tenderly and leave him only when,) He was hippopotamasticating properly again Time takes alas! our joys from us and rids us of our blisses (Nature takes our joys from us and robs us of.....) My landlady regarded her No longer he displays among the motor tyres and spanners (No longer does he display) No longer now he gambles in the orchards in the spring (No longer does he gambol in...) To his hippopotamusically-meditated voice (modulated) I learned this song from a British Bermudan in 1954 (I'd hum the tune if I could) . The changes I have suggested come from his version.
Natalie Coke-wallis 27 Jun 2007 07:18
I am so overjoyed to find this poem on the web. I absolutely adored it as a child and made a little pink pillow with a grey velvet hippopotamus sewn onto it in honour of this adorably witty but sad poem. I think all children should read more innocent fun poems like this. Thank you poemhunter.com for publishing it for me as I could only remember half of the verses... boo hoo. Natalie Coke-Wallis