Harvey Hippopotamus was a hippo who lived very happily with the rest of his family in a muddy pool. He was very happy, had lots of good friends and nobody had any reason to dislike him. He was just an overall good hippo.
What Harvey wanted to be when he grew up, was to be an actor. Not just any actor. He wanted to be famous! Everyone in his family and all his friends encouraged him to be one, as he was a born entertainer.
Harvey had many role models, but his most favorite one was his aunt Hillary. She was a ballerina in her time until she retired at the age of 60. She was the most amazing ballerina ballerina of her time, always won all the contests and all the animals couldn't wait to get her autograph whenever they saw her in the streets.
That was until aunt Hillary's last contest. What a dreadful day it was for her! She will never forget the humiliation of the day she lost her balance and fell to the floor, cracking the stage. After that day, she never wanted to participate again, and this had made her very bitter. She started to hate any kinds of entertainment, never watched any talent shows on television, but most of all, she didn't want Harvey to become an actor at all.
"Harvey, I'm telling you. The entertainment business is not for us!" aunt Hillary always said to Harvey whenever she saw him. Whether Harvey was talking about it or not, that's what she would say in an effort to prevent him from becoming an actor and humiliating himself, herself and their whole hippo family.
Although Harvey's parents and friends encouraged him to follow his dream, aunt Hillary's negativity started to rub off on him. He started thinking about everything that went wrong with aunt Hillary's career and he definitely didn't want to make a fool out of himself or his family. "Besides, I've never heard of any other hippo who made it to be famous!" he thought to himself.
It wasn't long before Harvey started falling into a deep depression. He didn't want to leave home, he didn't want to play and he started neglecting his friends too. He felt miserable about his dreams and doubted his ability to perform. All this because of aunt Hillary's negative influence.
One day, Harvey's parents had enough. They could not stand their son being so unhappy any longer, so they made a plan.
"Get up and get dressed, Harvey," his father said. "We're going out and no but's about it!"
Harvey reluctantly got dressed. He was in no mood for whatever his parents had planned but he knew that his father would not let him get out of it. "Where are we going?" Harvey sarcastically asked, but his mother just smiled and his father gave him the stink-eye.
Even though Harvey had no idea where they were headed, he could hear music and the closer they got, the music became clearer and clearer.
"Really? The circus? You've got to be kidding me!" Harvey was not impressed at all. Of all the things in the world, the circus wasn't on his to-do list!
"Oh sweetie..." his mother tried to win his approval but his father interrupted her with a strong voice. "You will enter the tent, you will have a seat, and you will act like you enjoy it!" his father scolded.
Harvey wasn't interested in any of the performances and just sat there with a fake smile on his face. His father made sure to keep his eye on him so he had no choice but to act like he enjoyed it .
Nearer to the end of the show, the circus master made an announcement that there will be a short break for refreshments and that he has one "very special, never seen before" performance planned that "nobody would want to miss."
This made Harvey curious. He had thought they'd seen it all, yet he could not think of anything else, or rather, any other animal left to do a "never seen before" performance.
Break was ten minutes long. Once they got back to their seats, the lights dimmed and smoke covered the entire arena. The music that started to play was something very familiar to him and it was different from the normal circus music that was heard through the whole show. Everyone started to clap hands and spectators started whistling and cheering, and as the smoke slowly started to disappear, he could not believe his eyes! What on earth?
It was aunt Hillary in a pink tutu dancing perfectly to her very own familiar choice of ballet music. She looked beautiful and not close to her real age.
Harvey looked at his father who clearly was acting as if he didn't notice his son looking at him. His mother was giving him a goofy smile, the kind that says "We've tricked you but we love you". It didn't take Harvey long to realize what their intentions were.
Everyone was cheering loudly and Harvey found himself jumping up and down as aunt Hillary finished up her routine. "Ladies and gentleman," the circus master announced. "Let's give a big applause to old time favorite 'Hillary the Hippo Ballerina', who is living proof that age is just a number and that show business is either in your blood, or it isn't!"
Harvey noticed his father raising his eyebrows and then giving him a clumsy smile. And that's when it hit him that this was all organized. He felt relieved. If aunt Hillary could overcome her fear and negativity about performing, then I can too.
Afterwards, he could not thank his parents enough for pushing him to go with them. He had so many supporters behind him that it was impossible for him not to succeed. Today, he is known as 'Harvey the Great', a very famous Hollywood actor and the first of his kind to become the most successful actor in the animal world.