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Hiram The Hippopotamus's Hanukkah
By Qzeebrella
Author's note: Just like Hiram, I do not know if it is appropriate or not to make wishes on Hannukah candles. However, I do hope all of you who celebrate Hanukkah, or read this fic, or both enjoy this story.


Hiram the hippopotamus had a secret, one that he cherished even more than the mud he loved to wallow in. Everytime his mother lit one of the candles on the Menorah, he made a wish. He wasn't sure if he was supposed to, for they were not birthday candles and yet, just like birthday candles they were lit for a special occasion and only once a year.

On the first night of Hanukkah, as his mother lit the shamash he wished for a hug. And when his mother used the shamash, or guard candle to light the first candle, he wished for happiness. Closing his eyes tight as he made the wishes, hoping they would come true. Opening his eyes to see the two candles flickering with warmth as his mother smiled at him. His mother came to him and hugged him tight, the warmth of the hug flickering inside him, filling him with light and happiness. Hiram was so happy that his wishes had been fulfilled and so quickly that he decided to continue making wishes for all the nights of Hanukkah.

On the second night of Hanukkah, as his mother lit the shamash, he wished for a hug again for he thought it would be cheating to wish for something else. As his mother used the shamash to light the first candle, he wished for happiness again and as his mother lit the second candle, he thought hard about what to wish for. He wanted it to be a good wish. An extraordinary wish. A wish so special that it would be worthy of a Hanukkah candle. But what? He closed his eyes again and thought hard, but the only thing he could think of to wish for was hope. He opened his eyes and saw the three flickering candles and his mother smiling at him. His mother came to him and hugged him, filling him with warmth and happiness again. "Tonight we are going to do something special," she said.

"What?" Hiram asked, his little grey ears twitching with excitement.

"We're going to put together a basketful of food, toys and other things to take to a family that needs help. This will help them to see that no matter how dark or dreary their current circumstances are, there is hope." Mrs. Hippopotamus said.

Hiram smiled and danced happily. So glad to see that the wish he had made on the third candle was going to be filled with such speed and in such a way that showed him that the wish he had hoped would be special enough for Hanukkah truly was so.

All throughout the next day Hiram the Hippopotamus thought of things he could wish for as his mother lit the candles for the third night of Hanukkah. As he did his best to think of something, anything, he overheard his mother say, "I wish I had a helping hand." He knew that meant she wished someone would help her with whatever she was doing and since she was washing clothes he decided he would try to help her with them.

"Mama, what can I do to help?" He asked.

"Well if you could match up all the socks together, fold them together and put them away, well that would help." Mrs. Hippopotamus said. And so that's what he did. He carefully sorted out all the socks into piles of his mom's, his dad's and his own and then did his best to find four matching socks to fold together (Hippopotami needing four socks as they have four feet) and then put all the socks away.

That night as his mother lit the shamash and the other three candles he made his wishes. Wishing again for a hug, happiness and hope, and then whispering quietly. "Help me to remember to TRY to be a helping hand more often."

On the fourth night of Hanukkah, Hiram heard his grandfather sneezing and coughing and complaining about his cold. So he wished for a hug, for happiness, for hope, for him to do his best to be a helping hand and then he wished hard that his grandfather would be healthy again soon.

On the fifth night he held his cousin Hannah's hand and wished for a hug, for happiness, for hope, for him to do his best to be a helping hand, for his grandfather to be healthy again soon. And then he made his next wish, for him and Hannah to be allowed to sit at the grownup's table and not the kids table for he was a big hippopotamus now (or almost was) and so was Hannah and surely they were old enough to be granted the privilege of sitting at the grownup's table.

One the sixth night he wished on the new candle for a handkerchief of his own because he had caught his grandfather's cold and was sneezing a lot, so he could use one. Besides, his grandfather had told him that all gentlemen should have one and Hiram the hippopotamus was determined to do his best to become a gentle man like his grandfather.

On the seventh, and last night of Hanukkah, Hiram made his most important wish. On the shamash he wished for a hug. On the first candle for happiness. On the second for hope. On the third to do his best to remember to be a helping hand. On the fourth for his grandfather's good health. On the fifth for his cousin Hannah to always be happy and to know that he loved her. On the sixth for all men and boys who had handkerchiefs to remember to do the best they could to be gentle men. And on the seventh candle he wished as hard as he could that all children everywhere, whether they were hippopotami or not, to have a home. A place or person they could go to for refuge, comfort, love and all the other things that made a home a home. And like his other Hanukkah wishes he hoped hard that this one would come true.

The End

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November 2012

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