Ludlow, Fitz Hugh - Becomes a hippopotamus
Type of Spiritual Experience
I have no idea what the symbolic meaning is for a hippopotamus, I'm sure there is one.
A description of the experience
The Hasheesh Eater – Fitz Hugh Ludlow
A lordly hippopotamus, I wandered in from the wilderness and with my fore leg knocked at the door of a friend of mine celebrated for wasting the midnight burning fluid in the pursuit of classical and mathematical researches.
‘Tidings!’ I cried; ‘tidings from the interior of Africa!’
With a look of astonishment and half terror, for he had never seen me in the hasheesh state before, the lover of books opened unto me, and I passed in.
An unceremonial hippopotamus, I sat down, with the most incongruous disregard of the breadth of beam proper to my species, in the nearest chair, without explanation or apology. A poetical hippopotamus, I soared into a sublime description of equatorial crags, medio-terrene lakes, and marshy jungles. I expatiated upon the delights of an Ethiopian existence; I grew rapturous over the remembered ecstasy of mud baths and lunches upon succulent lotus stems by riversides where nature kept free restaurant for pachydermatous gentlemen forever.
Ed was a man of strong social impulses, most kindly heart, and high appreciation of the beautiful. Yet at that moment, being ensconced in a tremendous munition of tomes, and supplied with stores of reading which might sustain the most protracted siege, pleaded preoccupation and begged me to defer my lecture on the African far niente.
I consented, with some indignation, however, at his lack of taste. I opened the door to leave his room for the sake of finding a more respectful auditor, when lo! To my shame, I had altogether mistaken my species, for I was the tallest giraffe that ever dallied amorously with a palm bud. Abasing my exalted head to suit the dimensions of the door, I passed out, and was again restored to human semblance.