Even if I hadn't liked the original hippo, I couldn't have refused to sew this softie, because Arnna's email was so heartfelt:)
Arnna allowed me to quote from her letter (the original hippo was bought from a small back street store in a small town in New Zealand, and the family have searched the world for a replacement...)
"My son was three months old and eldest sister bought him his first Christmas present (all of the age of four). Hippo was born. He has painted the fence, been to kindergarten, ridden bikes and never been far from our son. Hippo left the shores of New Zealand and travelled to the Middle East two years ago. On a weekend to Dubai, Hippo went on his own adventure and we haven’t been able to find him. Our son has cried for months and months since. We have been back to the hotel, every stop we visited at and offered a reward wherever we can think. He has not been found. We are one year and two months since Hippo took his own OE and we still have tears. He is a link to our home country. We haven’t visited for over two years. Our son is nine, growing up but a real softie at heart."
Old and new hippo:
Elveszett, "meglett", újjászületve.