Limerick About A Hippo

This poem is in the limerick form, and it is unusual because limericks are carried through all eight stanzas. It is also an example of a rhyming poem. As for me, I am a retired university professor who enjoyed a tenure of 32 years at Chicago State University where my job was to prepare teachers for children with special needs.

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I enjoyed the quality presentation of the hippo story. The rhyme style was very skilled, and there was care for rhythm while telling a coherent and entertaining tale.

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Harvey The Hippo

© more by Alan Balter

Published by Family Friend Poems July 2021 with permission of the Author.

Harvey is a huge hippopotamus
Who bathes in a bay that is bottomless
HIs mouth is as large
As a riverboat barge
And he weighs ten times more than a lot of us

Harvey wears a red cummerbund
And sewn on the back is the number one
He plays the tuba
Not far from Aruba
While dancing around in the summer sun

Once Harvey met up with a crocodile
Together they decided to walk a mile
Near the shore they strolled,
But the water got cold
So they sat down to talk on the dock a while

Eating Oreo cookies about four apiece
They talked about matters of war and peace
They discussed the economy,
Art, and astronomy
And the huge immigration of foreign geese

Then walking back toward his new shiny house
Harvey stopped for a chat with a tiny mouse
Her name was Du Barry;
They decided to marry
And soon come a baby named Stanislaus

A handsome young child was Stanislaus
Dressed up in his fine silken Spanish blouse
They all had made history;
This was no mystery
For Stan was the first Hippopotamouse

Huge Harvey adored his sweet ladylove
From her wee little feet to her head above
He brought her some strings
And other fine things
Including a snowy white turtledove

Harvey has grown really mellow now
He seldom produces a bellow now
But if you're down by the bay,
You can still see him play
This wondrous and gentle old fellow now



Alan Balter was born May 25th, 1939 in Chicago. He worked as a teacher for children with special needs before becoming a professor in the Special Education Department at Chicago State University. There, he prepared teachers for children and adolescents with learning disabilities and developmental delays. Along with Poetry for my Grandchildren...

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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • Kristyn Rae by Kristyn Rae
  • 3 months ago

Did this poem ever get published? It is adorable. Superb.

  • Naphtali Smilowitz by Naphtali Smilowitz, Yonkers, new york state u.s.
  • 1 year ago

I enjoyed the quality presentation of the hippo story. The rhyme style was very skilled, and there was care for rhythm while telling a coherent and entertaining tale.

My wordy, wordy, brilliantly penned. I can picture this as an illustrated children's book. Worthy indeed. Find a publisher ASAP.

  • Rita Loughlin by Rita Loughlin
  • 2 years ago

Dear Alan,
You wrote a lovely poem. I think it would make a delightful book for children. You just need to find an illustrator and publisher. Good luck!
Rita Loughlin

Hi Rita, thanks for the kind words about Harvey the Hippo. I've got about 20 other poems like Harvey. I can also furnish an illustrator. You go ahead and find a publisher, and we can be partners.

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