Sunday, June 4, 2017

Everyone Loves Fiona




Dear George,
Thanks to YouTube videos, our Cincinnati Zoo’s baby hippo, Fiona, has become the most famous hippo in all of history.  She has over half a million followers on Facebook, and views of her videos run into the millions.  Born six weeks early on Jan. 24, 2016, Fiona weighed less than half as much as the average hippo newborn, and there was grave concern about her survival.  Now her size, weight, and health status are equivalent to hippos born after a full-term pregnancy.  Katja and I check for Fiona updates every day, and I have to admit that I’ve adopted her as my muse.  Here’s my update.
Love,
Dave


      Everyone Loves Fiona

My wife says Fiona is beautiful
I myself think she’s ugly-cute
She could be hired by Looney Tunes
Such a pudgy little hippo galoot

Fiona was a six-week preemie
They doubted they’d keep her alive
She weighed only twenty-nine pounds at birth
The smallest had been fifty-five

This newborn was too weak to nurse with her mom
The humans took over her care
She got early food through an intravenous tube
For months it was scare after scare

Twenty-five people joined Fiona’s team
Keepers, techies, and vets
They called her “Little Spoon” from snuggling
Perilous work but they had no regrets

Fiona gained pounds, got ready for her pool
She learned how to climb down the ramp
Soon she was paddling from side to side 
As though it were summer camp

Now Fiona’s at home in the water
She glides along the bottom of her pool
Then she’ll come up for a quick snootful of air
Dive back down through her own whirlpool

Fiona’s been learning to run here and there
She’s speedy though not a gazelle
Curious about every new plaything
Which she seeks out to nudge and to smell

This baby is such a good eater
All day long she has formula and hay 
This week she reached over two ninety pounds
She will wind up three thousand, they say

Her parents are Bibi and Henry
Together they weigh three point five tons
This youngster must get bigger to be with them
So she won’t be squashed by their buns

We keep a close eye on Fiona
Her YouTube videos are grand
This hippo’s the source of our smiles and laughs
When we meet her we’ll do a handstand



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