My English teacher my freshman and junior years of high school was a feared and often resented man. Mr. Schoonover drove a Harley to school, and it wasn’t a secret that he used to sport an impressive ponytail. Notwithstanding his biker appearance, his standards for the use of the English language were high. He was a harsh grader and failed an innumerable number of students. According to my mom, the line to visit him at parent-teacher conference was always incredibly long.
One lovely morning, Master Benjamin and his pet hippopotamus set about the tedious task of picking up pinecones. “Master Benjamin,” the pet hippopotamus exclaimed, “I don’t think it is feasible for us to gather every pinecone!”
“My dear pet hippopotamus, we must strive to gather all the pinecones! Otherwise, you will have nothing to eat this winter,” said Master Benjamin.
The pet hippopotamus heaved his heavy basket of pinecones over to the next tree. “Master Benjamin, this is somewhat unnecessary! I don’t particularly enjoy eating pinecones. They are far too crunchy and get stuck in my teeth!”
“Hush,” Master Benjamin whispered as he gazed deep into the woods. Master Benjamin had caught sight of a dubious dark figure climbing up a tree. Master Benjamin wrinkled his forehead, “I do not recall giving anyone the authority to climb the trees in my woods. How dare that dark figure go against my will!”
Master Benjamin and his pet hippopotamus hastened to the tree. Master Benjamin called up to the dark figure, “Excuse me, but you are up in a tree. That is contrary to what I wish.”
The dark figure then began to throw miscellaneous items at Master Benjamin and his pet hippopotamus. “Perhaps Master Benjamin could dictate that this dark figure is allowed to be up in this tree,” the pet hippopotamus suggested as he dodged a flying crock-pot.
“We are the victims in this matter!” Master Benjamin shouted as an alarm clock narrowly missed his head. “And I do not allow this dark figure to be in this tree!”
Just then, the figure called down, “Hello? Do I hear a familiar voice? I do believe that pet hippopotamus is my kin!”
Down the tree climbed a very large mammoth. Master Benjamin juxtaposed the mammoth and his pet hippopotamus. “You don’t look very much alike,” Master Benjamin said thoughtfully. “The mammoth has a very large nose and tusks that rival the nose and teeth of my pet hippopotamus.”
“The mammoth and I are portrayed quite differently—there is no possibility that we are related!” the pet hippopotamus explained nervously. The mammoth’s tusks and lengthy nose left the pet hippopotamus feeling very apprehensive.
Master Benjamin nodded at his pet hippopotamus’s interpretation of the matter. “I believe my pet hippopotamus is correct. Let us go obtain a scoop of raspberry sherbet.”
And with that, Master Benjamin and his pet hippopotamus thanked the mammoth for the crock-pot, alarm clock, and other useful objects that he had hurled at their heads, and the two of them set out for the nearest sherbet shop.