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Hustle and Bustle

Click to return to index    Author:  Louis Slobodkin
Copyright Date:  1948
Publisher:  Macmillan
Pagination:  36 p.


Were two happy Hippopotamuses

Who lived in the Zoo.

They were very good friends—


          Almost every day we walked to the Zoo

          To visit the good friends Hustle and Bustle.

          We walked all through the Zoo

          Past the Lions, the Tigers, the Monkeys and the Elephants.

          But ONE day when we came to Hustle’s and Bustle’s cages

          They were sitting FAR APART!

Their friendship was over!      

They really seemed angry with each other!      

We ran to tell the Zoo-keeper.      

He had been so busy feeding the Seals      

He had not noticed, and he was surprised      

To see how sad and very unfriendly      

Hustle and Bustle had become.      

          The Zoo-keeper ran to tell the Park Commissioner.

          He was so busy planting trees—he had not noticed

          How unfriendly the good friends had become.

          The Commissioner went with us to tell the Chief of Police.

          Because we all know that when good friends

          Become unfriendly—there’s usually trouble.

          The Chief buttoned his great coat

          And we all walked back to the Zoo

          To see what we could do.

          But we could do nothing!

          The Chief said, “Now, now, Hustle” and “Now, Bustle”

          But they would not listen. They were too angry.

At last we went to see the MAYOR!

And his Honor, the Mayor, talked it over

With the Councilmen. And everyone worried

About the good friends, Hustle and Bustle.

We lived in a friendly city

Where everyone was friends with everyone else

Or they had to move away. We all loved Hustle and Bustle

And we knew we would miss them if they moved away.

A Town Meeting was called at the Zoo

And everyone came. The sun was setting

And it was getting dark.

Our Mayor made a speech about Friendship

It began “Please be friends because—”

And we all felt very unhappy.

We all cried a little. We could not help it

Because it was all so sad.

The Police Band played a sad song

Called “Never forget the forget-me-nots!”

Tears gathered in the eyes of Hustle and overflowed

At the Mayor’s sad speech and the sad music.

And tears gathered in the eyes of Bustle.

And soon they were crying very hard.

And they cried so hard their tears overflowed

And flooded down on all of us!

We ran for higher ground—

To keep from being swept away by the river of tears

That came from Hustle’s and Bustle’s cages.

As we looked back, we saw in the dim light

That Hustle and Bustle were walking

Towards each other VERY SL-O-OWLY!

Would they fight? We all asked ourselves.


They both lay down with their noses touching once more

Just the way they had always touched noses

When they had been good friends.

Then we wiped our tears and all went home.

The next day we hurried to the Zoo

And we did not stop anywhere along the way.

We raced quickly past the cages

Where the Lions, Tigers, Monkeys and the Elephants lived

To get to Hustle’s and Bustle’s cages.

Yes, they were very Good Friends again!


And we never found out why they had been unfriendly

Because they never told anyone.

And we never asked them.

Perhaps this sometimes happens

To all Good Friends

And they don’t know why.

But Hustle and Bustle were never unfriendly again

And we all lived happily ever after.

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