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Submitted by cummy on January 2, 2022

 Ah, it seems that you have met your end. Ah, what a pity. You know I, I don’t feel too bad about it though, after all, if it weren’t me, it would’ve just been one of the others I guess… I’m honestly just glad to be out of those air ducts. You know it’s… it’s not easy for a hippopotamus to fit up there… and… not easy to get down either. I’m not as young as I used to be as you can see, I used to be able to do all sorts of things, you’re young, you’re vibrant, you have that sort of pep in your step. Ah, it reminds me of a conversation I was having with one of my good friends Orville. We were having a nice picnic one day. I believe it was summer? Oh, perhaps it was… was it the fall? Yes, yes, it was the fall because the leaves had turned already. But I said to Orville, I- I say, “Orville, I have a story to tell you.” And Orville looked at me, you know, kind of odd and- and said, “Well what’s it about?” I- I said to him, “Not every story has to be about something Orville. Sometimes a person just wants to talk, why does it have to be a story?” I said to him. He just looked at me and he said, “Well y-y-you said you had a story.” You know, he was quite right, I did in fact. I told him I had a story. I suppose if a person just wants to talk, it’s best to not announce that you’re tellin’ a story. Tellin’ a story does come with its own pressures and expectations I- I suppose. After all, if you’re just talking to a friend then, there are no more expectations than if you were talking into the wind. Words… by themselves are not expected to carry… aren’t expected to stick. But if, you know if you announce that you’re tellin’ a story well then… there better be a point to it all. No one wants to sit and listen to someone ramble on and on and on with absolutely no end in sight. So, you know, it’s- it’s good to be mindful that when you tell someone that you’re about to tell a story, that you have something to say. Tellin’ someone that you’re gonna tell a story is tantamount to asking them to stop what they’re doing, and pay attention. You’re basically saying “hey, hey, hey buddy, stop everything, stop what you’re thinking, I have a solution to everything.” And well, I didn’t really have any story to tell. In- in hindsight, I probably just misspoke when I said that I had a story. I think it would’ve just been better to tell Orville that I had something to tell him rather than tell him that I had a story, but you know e- even then it might’ve put too much importance on the whole thing. Either way, it was quite a nice day. I remember- I remember that we were drinking tea.