Like Man

Like Man

“Nearly all men can stand adversity,
but if you want to test a man’s character,
give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln

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the 1st of ten nominees
for 2017 Song of the Year
To Leave Something Behind by Sean Rowe

∞∞∞

You must not fight too often with one enemy,
or you will teach him all your art of war.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

LIKE MAN
written & edited by Kendall F. Person

In the remote and untamed Katavi National Forest in Tanzania, the infamous dry season does not simply refer to its lack of rain, but its shortage of water. The rivers that flow in abundance during the rainy season, like drunken patrons after hours, have their source cut off from the sky as well as the mountain waterfalls and lakes. As the searing heat penetrates the scorched land, water becomes a precious commodity, and the wild animals that are generally use to wide open plains, are reduced to patronizing the same watering holes, eventually stressing all but the fittest inhabitants, until they break.

Even in times of plenty, the Hippopotamus is one of nature’s most aggressive and dangerous animals, but they are also the most sensitive, as the hippopotamus are prone to dehydration faster than any other mammal, having the need to keep their entire 3000 pound body completely submerged in water, during the hottest times of the day. As the dry season lingers, water sources in some regions dry up completely, forcing a mass migration of animals – hunters and grazers – by air, land and dwindling river streams.

Cape Buffalo and elephants, the other mammoth herbivores, bulldoze their way to the waters, not meaning to make a ruckus, but frankly, not giving a damn if they do. Crocodiles, the only survivor of the dinosaur age swarm in large numbers, patrolling the water, with lion prides blocking all the exits on land. As the heat intensifies, and as water sources disappear, and as the number of animals invading their space skyrockets, it is the hippos that become the most intense.

cities

Hippos tend to huddle among each other, delivering, quite convincingly, the allusion of civility and uniformity. But even the allusion is a precarious one at best, and can be broken by the same straw that men use in breaking the camels back. As the water level lowers, and the temperatures soar, everything becomes an annoyance – a bump, a jump or the slightest breeze, all  a wild card, as to which the straw will be.  And once the calm is broken, the aggressive 3000 pound hippo  explodes, setting off a calamitous chain reaction, usually leaving the young and the weak, wounded or dead.

So truth be told, with all of the hazards and trap doors that the dry season brings – be it the ruthless sun or the circling carnivores or the encroachment of the poachers – the number one killer of the hippo, are other hippos…. like man.


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27 comments

  1. Funny; we were just discussing hippos last night (my son wanted to know which would win if a lion and hippo got in a fight). I didn’t know they were 3,000 lbs. Guess I’ll be betting on the hippo. Thanks so much for the cool info!

    Like

  2. An observance most of us would not have the opportunity to make, and as Tammi said, a great analogy. I would add to it that as we continue to abuse the natural world, we will become as these animals, trying to escape somehow, but having no good options.

    Like

      • Thank you for your thoughtful and important blog. I appreciate that you started following my blog, especially since I just blogged about water conservation in California, USA. I just shared your blog with the founder of Wholly H20 and my Facebook friends.

        Your work looks intriguing. I will explore here more and I will put it as a post I like in my blog (as soon as I can figure out how to do that again).

        Peace to you.

        Like

  3. I’m having trouble listening to soundcloud. I’ve updated my adobeplayer, firefox. But it still plays a few seconds at a time. Loving what I have heard so far of The Hussel Crowe story. Any suggestions?
    Man’s best friend is not man. 😦

    Like

  4. TY for tweeting me this. All animals fascinate me, but the hippo, despite their size always seemed quite gentle to me for some reason, but they can be nasty. I can’t imagine being chased by those 3000 lbs. What an amazing article. I learned something new today. 🙂

    Like

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