The Story behind Herbie the hippo



If you linked to this page from our photo Gallery of 2003...
What did you think of Herbie?  Isn't he real cute?
We have what is called a Pygmy Hippo.  Ever heard of those?  They stay small!  Just the perfect pet anyone with a canal backyard, should have!
You should see how cute and funny he looks.  We put a collar on him and tied him to the marker stake we have at the edge of our canal.  He floats around the area and his head bobs up with the water's movement.  Real, real cute!
We sent the photo to a few friends and to my son Pauly, the one in Colorado.  They all wrote back with comments such as:  "Are you crazy!!!!".  Our friends Daisy and Julio, who live a couple of miles away, came by the other day after work, to meet Herbie.  I had told them about him and they wanted to see him for real...  They couldn't believe that we had a hippo!  So the following afternoon they came by after work for a "Happy Hour" and we took them to the canal, where Herbie is tied..  You should have seen their faces when they saw him!  All puzzled and bewildered!  Followed by a hearty laugh when they realized the truth! 
Well..  We'll settle your mind at rest and tell you that he was made in China, with a plastic coating, so we won't have to worry too much about feeding him, getting fined by the Florida Fish & Game, etc...  Ha, ha, ha...  We got you going, didn't we??? 
Last Sunday we went to Eckerd Drugs and in the clearance section they had this hippo for $5.00 and I told Mark "I want it, I want it, I want it..." to put it in our canal.  I figured we could tie a rope around his neck and keep him on our side of the canal.  The box said it was for floating on a pool.  But floating in the canal he seems a lot more real, doesn't he?  I tell  you, he's the best $5.00 joke we have bought in years!  Ha, ha!..  He looked so good, that I told Mark to pose next to it and make it look like he was feeding him.  Those pictures came out so good, that I thought it could make a good joke.
Sorry if we disappointed you by not having the "real thing".  We were actually going to wait 'till you come over and surprise you when you got here and saw that Herbie wasn't real, but we figured that by the time you got here, he might have been eaten by a real life alligator..  you never know!  Hey!  Remember... we do have alligators down here in Florida!   
Following, I am enclosing some of the very funny comments we received...  Mark and I have laughed our heads off!  It's been a great joke!

Thought you might want to read these:


Son Pauly:

Are you guys nuts?  Is that a real life Hippo?  Does it get as big as
regular hippos?  If so do you know how big and violent that thing is going
to be?  That's not a real hippo is it?  You know if it is, Miami Dade County
will like take it away, especially if you have it running ramped throughout
the canal.  That can't possibly be a real Hippo is it?  You better get back
to me ASAP!  I can't believe you guys.  What's going on down there? 
Reply after we told him the truth:
Ha Ha, very funny!  I showed Dave, he got a real kick out of it.  It would
not surprise me a bit if you guys really did get one. 
Cousin Kenny:
Wow, that is really awesome!  Where did you get him?
I'm sure the girls would get a real kick out of him
... I'll show them the picture when I get home.  I have the girls this Saturday and am trying to think
of something fun to do for Heather's Birthday.
Perhaps, if you guys are not busy, we could come down
and see the Rhino and perhaps go to Parrot Jungle.
Let me know if that works for you.

Mercedes & Joe:
We expect to see this on the Channel 7 news any night now:
"Wild and crazy couple adopts hippo.  Hippo eats its way through the Gables canal system. 
Residents panic..." 
Good Luck and tell Herbie we say hello!
PS: I hear they turn old hippos into a ride at Disney.
J & M

Is that hippo real?????   Wow, in your backyard canal there's a hippo???  How funny.  I hope he hangs around and really becomes your new pet.  I showed Pepe and he was amazed.  He thinks hippos don't live in salt water and that he probably escaped from the zoo or something.  It is pretty amazing to see a HIPPO floating in your canal.

Martica Ibarra:
Hi Carmencita and Mark
I hope all is going great!
Tell me about Herbie.  What do you mean you adopted him.  Where did he come from.  He really is cute.
Alesia Carballosa:
This is a joke right?  You transposed that picture onto another picture right?  Hippo's are much bigger than that.  If that's real,  Mommy Hippo is not far away. Herbie would only be a baby and was born not too long ago.  It's a joke right?
Reply after she found out the truth:
That was a GREAT joke!!!!  I would have spent $50 for that joke.  You done good!!!
I'm sure you and Mark got plenty of endorphins from that one.  You got us all.
Tom Leiner:
Is that real?  It can't be.  If it is, watch out for
the mother - these animals are very mean and nasty!

Hope all is well...
Ingrid Leiner:
Love the picture of Herbie.  Didn't know that FL has hippos.  What do
they eat?  He's just a baby now, but soon he'll grow to be quite
large.  I've seen them on Animal Planet and some grow to be gigantic
but, they also live a long time too.  So, maybe Herbie won't grow
that big over the next 10 years.

Samantha Morell:
Wow - great flick!  Looks like you are having too much fun living in Sunny Florida!


Mark feeding Herbie in our backyard

 Herbie floating around in the afternoon sun