by Iris Carden
Mary Lamb had a pet. It was a pet hippopotamus. In fact, it was a pink pet hippopotamus. The pink pet hippopotamus was named Gertrude.
Mary and Gertrude were inseparable. Everywhere that Mary went, Gertrude went.
One day, Gertrude followed Mary to school. The teacher was very angry. She said: "Mary, you must write out a hundred times, 'I will not bring a hippopotamus to school.' "
"Oh, wee bum poo," said Mary.
Then she had to write out a hundred times, "I will not use bad words at school."
From then on, when Mary went to school, Gertrude stayed home and wallowed in a lake that was conveniently placed in Mary's back yard.
One Saturday, Mary decided to take Gertrude to the museum. "There's all kinds of interesting things to see at the museum," she said.
Mary and Gertrude walked to the bus stop, and waited for the museum bus.
The bus stopped, and the door opened. Mary and Gertrude started through the door.
"Stop," said the bus driver. "You can't bring a hippopotamus on the bus."
"But she has a go card," Mary said.
"The rules say you can't bring a hippopotamus on the bus," said the driver.
"That's a silly rule," said Mary. "Who would make a rule like that?"
"Well, it's a city council bus," said the driver, "so I guess the Mayor makes the rules."
Mary and Gertrude decided to go and see the Mayor.
They went to the town hall by taxi, because Gertrude couldn't go on the bus.
There was a big fuss at the town hall. Kidnappers were taking the Mayor.
"Stop!" said Mary. "I've got a hippopotamus and I'm not afraid to use it!"
"What's a hippopotamus going to do?" asked one of the kidnappers.
Mary whispered to Gertrude. Gertrude walked over and stood on the kidnapper's foot. The kidnapper said: "Ow, my foot!" He let go of the Mayor.
Then Gertrude stepped on the other kidnapper's foot, and he let go of the Mayor, too.
Mary and Gertrude made the kidnappers write out a hundred times: "We will not kidnap the Mayor."
"Now, go away and don't come back," Mary said to the kidnappers.
Obediently, the two kidnappers limped away.
The Mayor was so grateful to Mary and Gertrude for saving him, that he changed the rules. Instead of "no hippopotamuses on the bus", the rule is now "Pink hippopotamuses named Gertrude can ride on the bus any time they want."