Area news hounds were surprised and journalistically pleased when Harry the Hippo escaped from the Yuengling Brothers circus and waddled into the Airport Hilton swimming pool a few weeks ago. The happiest person was probably Tubber’s Towing owner Mack “Tubber” Cummins who was called to remove the meandering mammal from the swimming pool after it wandered across the main east-west runway of Canisteo International Airport (CIA).
Harry’s ramble delayed more than half an hour the arrival of the afternoon Lufthansa flight from Stuttgart to CIA.
The flotilla of circus trucks carrying Harry from Williamsport to Toronto was stopped west of the Willow Bend curve on Route 36 for a routine check of the animals when a handler forgot to lock the gate on the massive mammal’s metal mansion, according to circus spokesperson John Miller. “Hippos love water and try to take dips whenever they can,” Miller said.
Hippopotamus is derived from the ancient Greek term “swimming-pool horse,” the circus staffer said.
Circus owners were concerned that the 2,900-pound Harry would crush a car or porch during a self-appointed rest from carrying more than a ton of mammal meat. The herbivore ate his way through a corn crop and wheat field plus several rows of chrysanthemums and okra in a backyard garden.
Traffic delays grew when a truck filled with potatoes overturned near the circus trucks and spilled tons of tubers along Route 36.
Towing titan Tubber was rewarded with a complimentary dinner for his family at the Greater Jasper Roadkill Restaurant and almost non-stop coverage on every media outlet from Greater Jasper area televisions stations to Associated Press articles as far away as Gobblers Knob, Pa.
Roscoe Hamhock was sponsoring one of his signature Greater Jasper Summer Hicknics and watched with amazement as the mammoth mammal meandered merrily around the east end of the airport..
Overcrowding gets owner’s goat
An animal rescue farm in Massachusetts experienced a goat overload and is seeking public help, the Associated Press reports.
Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Nevins Farm in Methuen recently received nearly 50 goats and asked people to step forward and give them new homes.
The goats are an assortment of alpine, pygmy and angora mixes that were voluntarily turned over by an owner in Montague who couldn’t handle the growing herd. Some the herd are nursing kids and pregnant does.
Nevins Farm barn manager Gia Barss says people who want to adopt the goats should have experience raising them and be willing to adopt more than one because goats are highly social.
Most of the goats tested positive for a bacteria that causes intestinal upset and parasitic infections, but they’re expected to recover, the AP reported.
Frau to blue jays: what are you doing?
Blue jays are attractive creatures that sometimes play the role of protective avian dive bombers to guard a nest of chicks and at other time attack wooden structures such as squirrel feeders or patio gates for the sheer deviltry of the exercise.
A-E once watched a huge male of the species over and over attack a cat he deemed worryingly close to his brood. After half a dozen near misses, the ‘fraidycat backed down from the tree trunk and let the belligerent jay enjoy the Greater Jasper equivalent of domestic tranquility.
Frau recognizes that birds lead cruel lives and several times each month stokes the bird feeders.
The birds in generous gratitude decorate the hood, windshield, roof and trunk lid of Frau and A-E’s car.
Right greeting, wrong century
Frau’s touching birthday card to A-E featured a personal birthday greeting with the following text: “I’d have put on a pretty dress and baked you a cake…(turn to inside) but it isn’t 1952 any more.”
Editor’s note: Come hippopotamus or high water, A-E will report weakly from his Canisteo hut