Punch,  60 (1871), 92.

Songs of Sixpence: The Birth of the Hippopotamus



Regular Feature, Song, Drollery


Zoology, Race, Animal Behaviour, Zoological Gardens

    Song of 'La Mere Hippopotamus' in the Zoological Society Gardens which celebrates the birth of her child. The poem is written in patois by a 'nigger'. The hippopotamus requests comfortable conditions in the gardens and wishes Queen Victoria to be informed of the birth of her child. She is annoyed that 'Massa Buckland' has not inspected her child and thinks the reason is because it is not 'fishy-tailed and finny'. Rejects the claim made by The Times that she might bite her child and insists that she will be kissing it and devouring 'any nigger' that tries to enter her cage. She thanks people for their 'inquiries' and informs everybody of her own and her child's good health.

© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020

Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]