The Right Ammo for Shooting a Hippopotamus

Our Literary Outdoors…
literature of the Sportsman’s Guide lifestyle.

Gun control or other gun-related stories frequently make headlines. In relation, there have been multiple stories around hunters–some even teenagers–getting in all kinds of hot water for posting pictures of their hunted animals.  Last year, Kendall Jones made pretty big headlines. And what about Axelle Despiegelaere…her rise and fall was so fast I almost missed it overnight. But even when things get too serious, I end up finding something humorous about the situation…which brings me to this poem I ran across about shooting a hippopotamus.

Below is a short poem by Hilaire Belloc, known for writing comic verses and perhaps most famous for his 19th century work Cautionary Tales for Children. This is called “The Hippopotamus”:


I shoot the hippopotamus

with bullets made of platinum,

Because if I use leaden ones

his hide is sure to flatten ’em.


Well, that made my day. It even rhymes and sounds like something you could teach your child to recite. And I can only imagine what the next moments would look like…if the shooter did not knock the hipppo down, I am not sure how the shooter would contend with the hippo when angry! Still, it can also serve as a cautionary tale about choosing the right ammo for the purpose.

Have you ever had a moment where you did NOT have the right ammo? Or, ever think you had the perfect shot, only to get unexpected results?

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2 Responses to “The Right Ammo for Shooting a Hippopotamus”


    Until I found this I thought I’d have to spend the day inside.


    Good to find an expert who knows what he’s talking about!