The following story was told to me while I was living in Lusaka as being an old Zambian folktale. The photos are from my trips to South Luangwa and Chobe National Parks.
In the beginning, when God had finished making all the animals of the world, there was one lump of clay remaining.
“Oh!” said the lump, “Please use me too! You don’t need much effort—just leave me as a lump, and I’ll be a hippo.”
“Hmm….” said God. “I don’t know. I have balanced the land and water animals perfectly. Where would I put you?”
“No problem. I could live in both the water and on land.”
“But you are so big,” said God. “You would eat up all the other animals.”
“No!” said the lump. “I could be a vegetarian, and I could prove to you every day that I have not eaten any animal. I will open my mouth wide so you can check my teeth, and when I poo, I will spin my tail to show you there are no bones!”