If Wishes Were Hippos

Conversation with Duncan, nearly five

“Duncan, my goodness, you’re weeping! What’s wrong, honey?”

“I’m so sad!”

“Why, my love?”

“It never works… never ever,” he says with quiet despair.

“What is it? What never works?”


“Oh… Oh, I’m sorry.”

“I maked so many of them and they never comed true!”

“That is sad… Want to tell me about them? What kinds of things have you been wishing for?”

“They’re… all the same.”

“Your wishes?”


“Oh. There’s something you’ve really, really been hoping for?”

“Yeah, every birthday I maked the same wish… every time you let me have a money to throw in a fountain I maked the same wish… my whole entire life!”

“What is it? Can you tell me your wish?”

With a sob, he says, “Hippo.”

“A hippo?”


“You wished for a hippopotamus?”

“Yeah… A pet one. It’s the only thing I can think of to wish for.”

Any thoughts to add?