Many years ago, the hippopotamus Isantim was one of the largest animals in the land. Only the elephant was bigger. The hippopotamus had seven hippopotamus wives whom he loved very much. Sometimes he threw big parties for all the animals, but the strange thing was that no one, except his wives, knew his name.
At one such party, just as the animals were about to sit down, the hippopotamus said, “You are sitting at my table to eat, but none of you know my name. If no one knows my name, you will all leave without dinner.”
No one could guess his name, so everyone had to leave and leave all the delicious food behind. But before they left, the turtle stood up and asked what the hippopotamus would do if he told him his name at the next party. The hippopotamus answered that he would be so ashamed that he and his family would leave the land and live in the water forever.
Now, it was the habit of the hippopotamus to go to the river every morning and evening with his seven wives to wash and drink there. The turtle was aware of this habit. One day, when the hippopotamus and his wives went to the river to bathe, the turtle made a small hole in the middle of the path. When the hippopotamuses returned, two wives stayed a little behind. The turtle buried itself halfway in the hole, leaving most of its shell visible. When the hippopotamus wives passed by, the first wife hurt her foot on the turtle’s shell and cried, “Oh Isantim, I hurt my foot.” The turtle heard this and went home in a happy mood.
At the next party, the hippopotamus again said that someone had to know his name, otherwise no one would get anything to eat. The turtle stood up and said, “Promise me that you will not kill me if I tell you your name?” The hippopotamus promised. Then the turtle shouted as loud as it could, “Your name is Isantim.” Everyone cheered and sat down to eat.
When the party was over, the hippopotamus kept his promise and went to the river with his seven wives. From that day on, the hippos have always lived in the water. Although they come to land at night to eat, you will never find a hippopotamus on land during the day.