NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander reached Mars today after 10 months of flying through space. Touchdown on the surface was successful and the probe will soon be searching for signs of life on Mars. Hippo is very happy for all the hard working space nerds.
Even though Hippo considers himself to be a celebrity, he likes to bond with his staff and help out with the work. Of course, when he does, he expects a regular salary like everybody else.
After some heated negotiations with himself, he has agreed upon a pay rate. One-quarter cookie an hour up to 40 hours a week, and three-quarters cookie an hour for overtime. Benefits are insurance – including snout and vision, paid vacation (lots of time to eat cookies then), sick leave (for when he gets a tummy ache from eating too many cookies), and retirement.
(Hippo probably won't retire. He doesn't understand why anyone would tire themselves out a second time if they are already tired.)
Hippo is very skilled:
He is good with filing – except when he can't find the "Elemenohpee" folder or reach above the bottom drawer.
He types 2 WPM and is an expert on shorthand (his are very, very short).
He works well with spreadsheets – especially when they are spread on the bed for his afternoon nap. He is also willing to travel extensively, especially on car trips.
Since I live where so much of our nation's history happened, I like to go exploring. A couple of weeks ago, I went to see where George Washington lived – Mount Vernon.
The grounds are really big, and there are a lot of buildings. I had a little trouble finding my way from the parking lot.
"Mr. Washington? Can you tell me how to get to the mansion?"
With a little help from my map and Mr. Washington, I found my way to the visitors' center. The center had a lot of artifacts, some films, and other educational stuff that hippos like to see and do.
I also met Martha Washington and one of the girls.
The mansion is really cool. George had a harpsichord, a game room (hippos like games), and a lot of books! Even the ceilings were decorated – the main dining room had molding that looked like wheat and other crops.
The estate grounds are so big that there is room for four farms! A lot of people and animals (no hippos) still work there to show how the farms worked and to answer questions about what things were like when George lived there.
These are the historic chicken reenactors. Very convincing.
When we finished touring the farms and were just about ready to go home, some cute little sheep added extra excitement to the day. Several of them escaped and were playing tag with their caretakers.
Most of them went back to their pen, but this one wanted to play a little bit longer.
Hippo has quite a BIG nose. Or at least it's a big nose in comparison to a small hippo. But sometimes he wishes he had a loooong nose.
His friends the anteaters have long, pointy noses for poking around in the sand and finding tasty bugs to eat. Well, maybe not tasty. Hippo thinks they're probably chewy and sour, kind of like raisins. But the anteaters seem to like them.
An anteater nose would be handy to snuffle for candies that dropped between the sofa cushions or sniffing flowers without having to bend down.
His friends the elephants look like tall hippopotamuses with long, strong noses. They call them trunks and use them to pick up food without a fork. They also use their trunks to play soccer, tag, and boxing.
Hippo heard a story about how a satiable elephant child got such a long nose. Maybe he should get one too!