The Singing Hippo

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Story File


acceptance, avoid envy

Main Lesson

Envying what is natural in others but not in yourself, can drive you to unwise forms of behaviour


A river on the savannah


A hippopotamus and a bird

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The Singing Hippo

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Moral stories for kids
Moral stories for kids

A short story about  avoiding envy

Once upon a time, a hippopotamus lived in a river next to a big and solitary tree.

One day, a bird came and nested in the tree. The songs and the flight of the bird caused such envy in the hippo that he couldn't think of anything else. Every day he would lament the fact that he had been born a hippo. This, despite the many times the bird told the hippo he was so lucky to be so big and such a good swimmer.

Finally, the hippo made his mind up that he would come out of the river, climb the tree, go out to perch on a branch, and start singing. However, when he tried to climb the tree it was all too clear that the hippo didn't have wings, nor claws to climb with, and neither could he hop.

Realising that he would never manage it, he angrily rammed his whole weight against the tree until it came crashing to the ground. Then, triumphantly, he stepped onto the leaves of the fallen tree, and began singing.

Unfortunately, hippos can't sing either. All that came from his mouth were horrible noises, and when the other animals heard this they all gathered round to make fun of the hippo standing on the branch of a fallen tree, trying to sing like a bird.

He was so embarrassed by this that he decided to never again regret being a hippo. He also felt bad about having knocked the tree over. He used all his strength to raise the tree back up again, replant it, and look after it until it had completely recovered.

Let's work on this story, now that is fresh on our minds!

A minute for thinking

Do you realize that in order to do some things you have to give up other things? Think about which things you could not do if instead of a child you were one of your favorite animals.

Let's talk!

Talk to your child about the qualities of your character you value the most, and tell her what you've had to give up in order to develop them. Tell the things you've had to stop doing by dedicating yourself to your family and why, though sometimes it is difficult, you do not regret it.

Why don't you try this?

To learn to accept that you can not have all, I suggest you an artistic experiment: creating a super character. You have to make a huge list with any feature you would like for your new character. Then, using Lego pieces, you will have to make it with two constraints: the maximum size should be that of an open hand, and every feature must be associated to at least one piece. Is it difficult? Sure!! You can leave the resulting character in a prominent place to bear in mind that to have some things you have to give up other things

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