Saturday, 9 April 2016

H IS FOR HIPPO : A-Z Challenge

Welcome to Day 8 of the A-Z Blogging Challenge. My theme is:


'Wildlife Encounters'


Here’s a fictionalised version of a real experience… (apart from the ending) that I wrote for a flash fiction competition.


ZINGING THE ZAMBEZI  IN ZAMBIA


The hippos wallowed in the shallows like a chaos of bruises.
“In the unlikely event of capsize from a hippo attack, use the boat as a shield and swim to the bank,” said Scott.
“I’m a rotten swimmer,” said Georgie.
“Just think ‘crocodiles’. Trust me, you’ll ‘zing’.”





Georgie tugged her bulky, ill-fitting lifejacket. If they capsized, she wouldn’t be ‘zinging’ anywhere. At least a crocodile might have trouble pulling her underwater in a death roll, she thought sourly.
Scott cut the engine. “Ready to catch some tigers?”


Sunbathing crocs slithered with silky swiftness into the water and hippos grunted warnings if they drifted too close.
Georgie hooked a tiger fish. It leapt out of the water in a luminescent flash of orange and pink. The line went slack.

“Lost him!”





In the excitement, they didn’t notice the boat’s position. A shockingly loud snort alerted them. A hippo was porpoising through the water at a speed that chilled Georgie’s blood. Scott dived for the ignition key.
The engine screamed and died. There was a sickening thud.
Georgie lay on the bank coughing up water. She didn’t know how she had managed to navigate the mighty Zambezi but she certainly had ‘zinged’.



See you on Monday – I’m heading west. Can you guess where and what the next animal will be?

As I mentioned yesterday, I've been away but will be back this afternoon, when I'll catch up with you.

If you want to blog-hop to the next A-Z Challenge blog, please click HERE


35 comments:

  1. Happy you made it to shore!! ;-)
    SW - impala in the Kalahari! :D
    AJ at Ouch My Back Hurts

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  2. Ah, but the ending is a fictional one! :)

    Now, I'm going to have to change the direction for Monday's post as that's clearly misleading - I'm going more west than south west.

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    1. Mmmmmm... back to the iguanas on the Galapagos?? I'm going to have a sleepless weekend... waiting in suspense?? ;-)

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  3. "Trust me, you'll 'zing.'. " Love that.

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    1. Thank you. I'm quoting 'Scott'(name changed to protect the innocent) so can't claim credit unfortunately. :)

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  4. Ha! When we were in Canada, we went on a picnic to a frozen lake - we skied there overland, and had the choice of going back on the little snow bikes or skiing over the lake - one of our hosts had skied there and and gone though the ice once, assured us as long as we stayed inside his tracks we'd be fine. We chose to ski back... well, it was magical. The frozen lake was surrounded by mountains covered in trees covered in snow, and as we skied, it started to snow. It was just me and OH, novice skiers, as the rest of the party went back by land and ski bike. It was wonderful, easy to ski on, when suddenly we heard a huge CRACK beneath us - and a BOOM... and realised the ice was breaking. We had only skied once before, but we were suddenly given 'zing' all right. We flew to the edge of the lake, ice cracking below ow us, and were faced by a steep bank necessitating us taking our skis off, standing on the ice. We managed it, and scrambled up the slope. My hands were completely dead - i was told all my blood had gone to my heart and away from my extremities in panic!

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    1. Wow - that's an incredible story, Liz - you had my heart racing as I was reading it!

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  5. Yup, I'd be zinging too! Hippos, they swim and run faster than people realize.

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    1. Yes, they're responsible for a lot of deaths. I was surprised at how territorial they were when we were on the river.

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  6. Can I just stay with the tiger fish? They sound so pretty and I'm a bit of a scaredy cat. :)

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    1. They are beautiful looking fish with lethal looking teeth, Jo. When the dust has settled from this A-Z challenge, I'll write a post about them. :)

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  7. Love this sentence: Sunbathing crocs slithered with silky swiftness into the water and hippos grunted warnings if they drifted too close.
    Aneeta from
    How to Tell a Great Story

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  8. Hippos always seem like gentle giants, but I had heard that they can be quite aggressive. I hope if I'm ever in a situation like that, I can "zing!"

    Tracy (Black Boots, Long Legs)

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    1. Yes, the image we're sold of big, lumbering, placid animals is wrong - they are far from it - especially the dominant males! Sure you'd zing! :)

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  9. I could hardly believe my eyes at all of those hippos! I had no idea how dangerous they were .Yikes!

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    1. You don't mess with wild hippos, Sue. :)

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  10. Hilarious take Susan! Very vivid encounters with wildlife are very interesting! More so spiced with lighter mood!

    http://imagery77.blogspot.my/2016/04/clothes-and-toys-qualify.html

    Hank

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    1. HI, Hank and thanks for visiting my blog. Glad you enjoyed the story and hope you'll drop by again to catch more wildlife encounters.

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  11. Very funny! Glad she zinged after all.

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    1. Thanks, Deb. The alternative would be too dark and depressing - I like to add humour to my stories whenever possible.

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  12. Very funny! Glad she zinged after all.

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  13. Absolutely - I'd be zinging too. No desire for an up close and personal meeting with a hippo or a crocodile.

    @WeekendsInMaine
    Weekends In Maine

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    1. No, Karen - not with animals capable of snapping you in two! But nevertheless they are fabulous creatures - we just have to respect their natures and give them their space.

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  14. I hope that wasn't you. I would not want to be in the water there. Scary. Hippos cause many deaths since they are big and surly. I am thinking iguana

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    1. No, the hippo didn't manage to ram the boat in the real event - the ending is my fictional version.

      Iguana? Maybe... you'll find out on Monday.

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  15. If you're Georige, thank gods you made it!

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  16. Love the hippos, but yeah, I'd heard they are incredibly dangerous. Great story.

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  17. I have heard hippos are dangerous. I wouldn't want to swim with one!

    Thanks for visiting my blog during A to Z.
    Yvonne V

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    1. You're welcome, Yvonne - and thanks for returning the compliment!

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  18. Replies
    1. Hi Sandra, thanks for dropping in and I hope you'll check out further wildlife encounters as the month progresses.

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Thank you for your comment!