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MISCELLANY: A Hippo and a New Island are Born

February 26, 1946

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Toto Hippo at the Brookfield Zoo, Chicago . . . a bouncing forty-pound baby. Mrs. Hippo, the 3600-pound mother had been at the ex¬pecting stage for two weeks. Every day crowds at the zoo flocked around the confinement tank and speculated about the size and sex of the infanticipated. Informal wagers laid that it would be a boy hippo. The odds are not given. The worst of it is, they still don’t know.

Yesterday Mrs. Hippo proudly nosed her offspring into shallow water and jockeyed into position to get its nose in the air for the first sniff. This brought a big hand from the crowd and the waiting photographers were able to get their shots, but it will be several days before the new arrival will be removed for closer study. Until then, all bets are in abeyance.

This is the sixth offspring for Mrs. Hippo and she is really blase about it. Acts as if it’s the most natural thing in the world. She stared at the crowd of curious yesterday as if to say . . . What’s all the fuss about? If I shouldn’t give birth to a baby hippopotamus, who should? And the point is well taken. Poppa Hippo, whose name is Toto, is being quartered in a tank three removed from the blessed event chamber. As usual he takes all the bows. The crowd showered him with peanuts!


Murdoch tells me his scouts report that a new island is rising out of the Pacific about 200 miles off the coast of the main island of Honshu in Japan. It is a strange and awesome sight! Fliers returning from the area say they saw clouds of smoke and vapor rising from the ocean. Must be a little like being present at a re-enactment of the creation, on a vest pocket scale. If the Japanese really wanted more room to spread themselves they might have saved themselves a lot of trouble if they’d just waited around while the Pacific coughed up more land mass. I’m no comprehender of topological phenomena, but the way I get it, when the smoke and vapor clear away, there will be a brand new island sitting out there where before there was just salt water. It’s a toss up as to who gets a hook into it first. The clambering house-hunters or the as-yet-unlocated UNO permanent headquarters.