The Hippo and God

God created Hippo to live on land, and Hippo got fat eating grass along the river's edge. The fatter he got, the harder it was to endure the sun's heat.
"Please, God," Hippo prayed, "let me live in the river's cool waters."
"No," said God. "You'd eat up all the fish. I can't trust you."
"I promise not to eat any fish!" insisted Hippo.
"I need proof, not promises," God replied.
"I'll poop on the land," Hippo said, "and you can see for yourself: no fish bones!"
God agreed. Now Hippo lives in the water and poops on the land.


Inspired by: "Look N’gai, no Fishes!" in The best of African folklore by Phyllis Savory, 1991.
Notes: You can read the original story online. This Kikuyu story comes from Gwido Mariko. The Kikuyu name of God is N'Gai. The story also adds that the hippo scatters his poop about making it easy for N'Gai to inspect.

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