We had just driven through some of the most amazing wildlife on earth. It was the game preserve just outside of Nairobi, Kenya. Another pastor and I were being escorted by a Swedish missionary in his car through the game preserve so that we could do a pastor’s conference in the bush. We had literally passed within yards of grazing giraffe, herds of gazelle, ostriches and water buffalo. We decided to take a break near a river. While the missionary closed his eyes the other pastor and I took a walk. As we rounded a bend we saw animals in the middle of the river which was about 100 yards across.
Before too long it was clear we were looking at a herd of hippopotamuses. Suddenly something flew over my head. I turned to find the other pastor picking up dirt clods and chucking them at the hippos. I yelled at him but he just laughed it off thinking there was no way he could hit them. Then he picked up a large clod and chucked it into what he thought was open water. As the clod flew through the air suddenly a very large hippo surfaced directly in the line of fire. Sure enough, the clod hit him square between the eyes. The startled hippo roared and then submerged while my friend roared in laughter.
What we didn’t know was that when hippos get mad they can move very quickly. Instead of swimming off the hippo had decided he didn’t like being plunked between the eyes and he was swimming toward us. He surfaced about 20 yards from the river bank, bellowed loudly, and kept charging us. I immediately turned to run, and ran right into my friend. The hippo bellowed again as we tried to untangle ourselves. Fortunately the hippo stopped as he gained the shore line – probably because his anger had turned to amusement as he watched us screaming and running for our lives!