A hippopotamus attends the fair.
By chance, the first thing she sees is her own reflection in the fun house mirrors.
"How beautiful I am!" she cries, preening and proud that her diet is working.
Afraid of being trampled, the crowd scatters before her.
"Everyone here loves me! They treat me like the Queen of England!"
And yet, she does have sense enough to stop short of giving the little royal wave.
All day, her broad simple face is lit with a smile,
Her few teeth gleaming from the great chasm of her mouth,
And her heart is filled with a big fat lump of joy.
You mightn't know it to look at her,
But she is possessed of a great and singular talent.
Despite her lack of thumbs or physical grace,
She can play the violin so beautifully
That bounty hunters and professional wrestlers embrace each other in tears
At the sound of a note coaxed forth by her.
And so her sensitive nature is stung
When a girl
--the sort of honey-haired young stunner who can crawl from a dumpster and be crowned Miss Universe without even brushing the barf off last night's jeans--
"Get a load of the fat cow," and snickers as only one so entitled can do.
But a cow could never have snapped the girl up like that.
A cow could never have trotted with such surprising speed over to the games booths and dragged that beauty queen to the bottom in a hail of yellow plastic ducks.
In an interview from jail, the hippopotamus, manacled and wearing an enormous and unflattering orange jumpsuit, confides:
"There is no such thing as too much beauty,
But no one should be expected to look too much reality in the eye
And not flinch."
The article goes on to add
That in the deep cinder block evenings at the county jail,
A sound as heartbreakingly pure as first love and summer roses
Makes even the screws weep
Like little children.