Kickoff written by Rudolph

When the Hippo hated dandelions

A short story explaining feelings

Gary the Hippopotamus was a friendly creature but one thing that really really really bothered him was dandelions. When the dandelions would pop up each spring, Gary would angrily march around the grass to stomp on and rip out all the dandelions. Even though Gary tried very hard to get rid of each one, those pesky dandelions always came back.
Gary would get so upset over this one dandelion. It was the biggest and ugliest dandelion in the grass. This big one would never go away no matter how hard he tried. He stomped it 100 times a day and did this with the strongest amount of anger he could muster but it always grew back.
One bright summer day, Gary went out in the grass to begin his daily dandelion stomping but before he could begin, a beautiful butterfly with the most amazing colors landed right on his nose. This particular butterfly had the most vibrant colors. She was greenish/blue with some white and had small brown dots all over.
Gary said “Hello, my name is Gary. What’s your name?”.
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The butterfly said “Nice to meet you Gary. My name is Colby”.
Gary responded “Colby, you are the most amazing and beautiful butterfly. I really like your colors”.
Colby said “Thank you Gary, I think everything in this world is amazing and beautiful if you simply take some time to look at it and appreciate it. I see you out here all the time being angry stomping on all these beautiful dandelions. If I was you, I would try to accept the dandelions as part of life and then look at how amazing and beautiful they are. Once you do this, you will realize that not only are dandelions beautiful but you can eat them too!
That big one over there is probably really tasty. I’d like you to go over there and first take off all the amazing bright yellow flowers and go make some tea or wine with them. Next, pick the beautiful leaves off and make yourself a healthy salad to eat. Then, take your giant foot and dig down really really deep until you get to the very bottom of that amazing dandelion root and
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pull the entire thing out. Finally, lay down in the warm sun, take a rest, and enjoy the tasty crunch of that dandelion root.
You know Gary, dandelions are actually a lot like the feelings inside of us. Once you accept them as a never ending part of you and see how beautiful they are, you will realize they also have very very deep roots that you can continue to dig out and enjoy. The best part is after you’re full, there are so many more that you can accept, dig out, and give to others to enjoy. This is what those
humans call compassion.”
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