Hungry, Hungry Hippo

Preparing to make the ever-popular Cookies ‘n Cream cupcakes from VCToTW for about the hundredth time, I barely need to crack open the book to know what step comes next. Constant requests have kept my memory sharp on the exact ingredients and measurements required, so baking up a batch is more a matter of mechanical follow-through than conscious thought. Moving in stride to the cupboard where the Joe Joe’s are housed, my easy progression is brought to an abrupt halt as my hands scrape along an empty shelf. Having just bought a new package only days ago, there was no way that they could have all been finished already, so where were they? Did I forget to unload them with the rest of the groceries? Did they get misplaced? Forgetting about the mixer still churning away with cupcake batter, becoming more glutenous by the minute, I searched high and low throughout the entire kitchen cabinet.

No luck; Not a crumb of the requisite sandwich cookies to be found. Flipping off the mixer and looking warily at the over-beaten dough, I wondered what else could possibly be an adequate substitute for these to still be considered Cookies ‘n Cream cupcakes. Maybe if worst came to worst, I considered if it would be possible to freeze the raw mixture and finish it off after buying a new pack of cookies later. Turning off the oven and preparing to pack up the operation for the day, the crinkling of plastic wrap caught my attention. Seeming to emanate from the table behind me, I turned around and wandered over to see who was there, having assumed I was alone at the moment. Well, would you believe what I found…

My Joe Joe’s! And not just that, but the thief as well, munching away without the slightest concern that he had just been caught red-handed. Who knows how long this hungry hippo had been pigging out, but considering the greatly diminished total of cookies still to be seen, it’s a good thing I discovered him when I did! Any later, and I may not have been able to finish my cupcakes after all.

Hastily grabbing the package away for fear of loosing even more into his ravenous appetite, chowing down as though he hadn’t eaten in a week, he issued a a moan of complaint. Amazingly, he still wasn’t satiated, demanding more to sooth his bottomless pit of a stomach! I hesitated, not wanting to deprive him of his tasty treat entirely but still not willing to surrender my vital ingredient, and considered who deserved them more. Ultimately, we were able to compromise; Since the hungry hippo had already gotten quite a substantial head-start on his snack, I gave him just a few more cookies to tide him over until we could have a real meal, and I continued on my way to turn the rest of the Joe Joe’s into crumbs for the cupcakes. No need to horde the sweets on either of our parts; This way, we both got what we wanted.

If you would like to make your own hungry hippo, it’s a very easy pattern indeed! I must warn you though, your hippo may eat more than even a typical college student, so I won’t be held accountable if you find various snacks missing from your cabinets!

Snout:

With an F hook, Ch9, sc into 2nd ch from hook, sc1 into next 6 ch, sc3 into last st. Continuing around, sc1 into back posts of next 6 st, sc2 into last st (18 sts)
Sc 8, sc2 into next st, sc 8, sc2 into next st (20 sts)
Sc 8, sc2 into next 2 sts, sc 8, sc2 into next 2 sts (24 sts)
Sc 3, sc2 into next st* around (30 sts)
Sc around for 8 rounds
Break yarn, leaving a long tail with which to sew.

Head:

Sc 6 into a circle
Sc2 into each st (12)
Sc 1, sc2 into next st* around (18)
Sc 2, sc2 into next st* around (24)
Sc 3, sc2 into next st* around (30)
Sc 4, sc2 into next st* around (36)
Sc 5, sc2 into next st* around (42)
Sc 6, sc2 into next st* around (48)
Sc around [6x]
Sc 6, sc2tog* around (42)
Sc 5, sc2tog* around (36)
Sc 4, sc2tog* around (30)
Sc 3, sc2tog* around (24)
-Insert safety eyes and stuff-
Sc 2, sc2tog* around (18)
Sc 1, sc2tog* around (12)
Sc2tog* around (6)
Break yarn, gather remaining stitches together and pull tight, knotting off. Leave a sizable tail for attaching to the body.

Body:

Sc 6 into a circle
Sc2 into each st (12)
Sc 1, sc2 into next st* around (18)
Sc 2, sc2 into next st* around (24)
Sc 3, sc2 into next st* around (30)
Sc 4, sc2 into next st* around (36)
Sc 5, sc2 into next st* around (42)
Sc around
Sc 6, sc2 into next st* around (48)
Sc around [10x]
Sc 6, sc2tog* around (42)
Sc around
Sc 5, sc2tog* around (36)
Sc around
Sc 4, sc2tog* around (30)
Sc around
Sc 3, sc2tog* around (24)
Sc around
-Insert stuffing-
Sc 2, sc2tog* around (18)
Sc 1, sc2tog* around (12)
Sc2tog* around (6)
Break yarn and gather remaining stitches, tying tight.

Legs (Make 4):

Sc 5 in a circle
Sc2 into each st (10)
Sc 1, sc2 into next st* around (15)
Sc around for four rounds
Sc 3, sc2tog* around (12)
Break yarn

Ears (Make 2):

Sc 5 in a circle
Sc2 into each st (10)
Sc 1, sc2 into next st* around (15)
Break yarn

Assembly: Embroider nostrils on snout before stuffing, and attach to the head centered between the safety eyes. Fold each ear in half with the right sides out and sew the first two stitches next to the tail together. Sew the ears to the head, directly opposite each other.

Stuff legs lightly and attach to underside of the body, evenly spaced, with each pair (front / back) sewn directly next to each other. At the slightly tapered end of the body, sew on the head. For the tail, braid three separate strands of yarn to desired length and attach to rear of the hippo.

Hide all cookies in the house, or expect quite a few snacks to go missing in short time!