Simon Can’t Say Hippopotamus

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    Simon can swim. I can’t even float.
    Simon can fish and row a boat.
    Simon can sing. I can’t even hum.
    But he can’t say HIPPOPOTAMUS, so people make fun.
    He can do lots of things—Simon is smart!
    With a box and two wheels he can make a cart.
    With a box and four wheels he can make a bus.
    But he just can’t say HIPPOPOTAMUS.
    He’s only a boy and not a grown man.
    He’ll say it some day—whenever he can.
    He can count to a hundred, make his own bed,
    Tie his own shoes, and stand on his head.
    He can whistle and yodel and play a bassoon.
    He can tap-dance and tumble and make up a tune.
    So why do people make such a fuss
    Because he can’t say HIPPOPOTAMUS?
    Once Simon and I went to visit the zoo.
    We saw a baboon and a gray kangaroo.
    Now Simon knew every animal there.
    I didn’t know them, but I didn’t care.
    He said, “Here’s an aardvark—they’re very rare.
    And that is a platypus, right over there.
    This small armadillo has a shell very strong.”
    Then he said HIPPOPOTAMUS—but it came out all wrong.
    It didn’t matter. I didn’t mind.
    I wouldn’t laugh. That wouldn’t be kind.
    Simon’s my friend, and I wouldn’t fuss
    Because he can’t say HIPPOPOTAMUS.
    He can make a fire,
    Roll a tire,
    Bake a pie,
    Tie a tie,
    Train a dog,
    Call a hog,
    Paint a house,
    Catch a mouse,
    Saw a board,
    Make a sword.
    But he just can’t say that GREAT BIG WORD!
    He’ll say it some day. Just give him time.
    I know he will do it. He’ll do it just fine.
    So let others grumble and mumble and sigh.
    Simon can’t say HIPPOPOTAMUS—and neither can I!

    [illustrations] Illustrated by Dick Brown