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Bubbles Breaks Out

The story so far: Bubbles the hippopotamus is having great fun in a lake near her pen at the zoo. She does not want to go back.

March 08, 2001|KAY HAUGAARD

When Bubbles got loose in the lake, all she really wanted was to stay there so she could eat grasses and water plants. But now the guards had caught her!

They herded her back to her pen, and Bubbles didn't like it at all. She liked the cool, dark, skluppy lake and the delicious plants.

Once she was in her pen again, the zoo sent some men to make it much stronger. They put in more posts. They made it taller. Bubbles was very unhappy. After having such freedom in the lake, she wanted more than ever to go back. Her little pen and mud puddle pond were not enough. It was harder to break out, but Bubbles tried harder and harder and broke down the fence once again.

Once again, the zoo guards had to find Bubbles. They were getting tired of it.

Then one of the guards said, "Bubbles likes it so much here in the lake, it would be nice if we could let her stay."

"Let her stay!" the other guard shouted. "Are you kidding? How about the people who live around the lake? They don't want a hippopotamus crushing their pansies or coming to their barbecue parties. Besides, Bubbles might hurt someone. She is big and strong and has big teeth."

"Maybe we could put a fence around the lake."

"Then it would be like Bubbles' lake. How could the people go boating in it?"

There seemed to be no way to let Bubbles stay in the lake she loved. There also seemed to be almost no way to keep her out of it. When they took her back again, Bubbles bellowed and roared sadly.

*

Friday: Will Bubbles have to stay in her little pen?

* Kay Haugaard never had a hippopotamus in her yard, but once she saw a deer chewing an orange from her tree while juice ran out of its mouth.

* This story will be on The Times' Web site at http://www.latimes.com/kids.

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