Once upon a time, on a wildlife sanctuary, in deepest, darkest Africa,
..there lived a hippo...
and a lion...
and an elephant.
But they noticed that, on this wildlife sanctuary, they were not living much of a wild life. They had all their meals brought to them. There was a cozy place to sleep at night. And their days were spent grazing and napping and wallowing with other hippos and elephants and lions.
One day Hippo and Lion and Elephant got to chatting over buckets of grasses and unidentifiable meaty bits. "I'm king of the jungle," said Lion. "Yet I've never had to roar or make other animals bow down before me."
"I'm the second most dangerous animal in Africa," said Hippo, "But no one here seems particularly frightened of me."
"I'm known for my intelligence and memory," added Elephant. "So far, I haven't had to remember anything!"
"And this wild life they keep talking about? I've never lived it."
"Neither have I," said Hippo mournfully.
"Me, neither," grumbled Lion, as he settled down for a nap.
"Then we must find this wild life!" said Elephant.
"We must test our mighty skills out there in darkest Africa!" added Hippo.
"Zzzzzz," said Lion.
With that, Hippo and Elephant woke Lion. Together they headed for the gate and the wild life they knew existed outside.
Out across the African savanna they went.
They passed a zeal of zebras. When the zebras saw the unlikely trio, they stopped to stare. "Do you know where the wild life is?" asked Elephant.
"It's right here," answered one of the zebras. "Poachers hunt us for meat and for our striped skins. What we really need is a sanctuary."
With his trunk, Elephant pointed in the direction from which they came. "There's a good sanctuary that way," he told them. "When you get there, tell them Elephant sent you."
The zebras were quite grateful and bounded off toward the sanctuary as the three travelers continued on their quest.
From the east African savanna, they traveled on to the West African jungle.
There they met some mountain gorillas. "Have you seen the wild life?" asked Elephant.
"We certainly have," answered one of the gorillas. "There are poachers who kill our families for meat. We're looking for a sanctuary where we can be safe."
"We know where you can find one of those," Elephant told them, "Head back the way we came."
Then Hippo and Lion and Elephant continued on, searching for the wild life. They walked and walked and walked until they reached East Africa. In the river, the trio saw hippos nibbling greens and soaking their skins.
"Have you seen the wild life?" asked Elephant.
"Have we ever!" answered one of the hippos. "Every day poachers hunt us for meat, and for our beautiful long teeth. We are in serious need of sanctuary."
"No problem," Elephant told them, pointing with his trunk. "Head back that way. Just follow the band of gorillas and the zeal of zebras. We came from a very nice sanctuary, and I'm sure you'd be quite happy there."
The hippos whooped jubilantly as they filed out of the river and headed off. By now, Hippo was getting a little worried. "What if poachers come after me?" he asked.
Elephant and Lion reassured him. They would protect Hippo. And so the three continued on their journey to find the wild life.
They walked and walked and walked, until they reached the southernmost edges of the Sahara Desert. There they came upon a herd of elephants. "Have you seen the wild life?" asked Elephant.
"Oh yeah," said one one the elephants. "Poachers hunt us for our tusks. Every day we need to watch out for danger. If only we could live on a nice sanctuary."
"Right that way," Elephant assured them, pointing with his trunk. "Follow that herd of hippos, that zeal of zebras, and that band of gorillas."
Finally the trio traveled south, toward the eastern coast of Africa. There they met a pride of lions. "Excuse me," said the Elephant. "We are looking for the wild life. Can you tell us where it is?"
"It's right here," answered one of the lions. "Day by day our habitat is shrinking, and new diseases come and wipe us out. Being king of the beasts isn't all it's cracked up to be. We could use a nice sanctuary."
"Just follow the herd of hippos, the zeal of zebras, the band of gorillas, and the herd of elephants," said Elephant, "and you will reach of very tranquil sanctuary." The lions thanked the trio, took a nap, and then started on their way.
That night, while Hippo munched on greens and Lion ate some leftovers the pride of lions had left, and Elephant grazed on the grasses, they had a chat. "You know," Hippo said, between mouthfuls. "This wild life sounds less appealing by the day."
Lion agreed. "There's danger everywhere, and it's hard to find a nice safe place for a nap."
Elephant nodded. "I think we have seen enough of the wild life. We don't really need to experience any more of it."
And so the next morning, Hippo, Elephant, and Lion headed home... right behind the herd of hippos, the zeal of zebras, the band of gorillas, the herd of elephants, and the pride of lions.
"When you think about it," said Elephant, "there's no place like home."
"Especially if it's a sanctuary," added Hippo. Lion just snored.
You can follow them to their necklace right here.