The little girl crept through the grasses, trying to sneak up on her big brother. He was up ahead of her, turning over rocks by the water’s edge. She got closer, and closer, and just as she was about to yell and spook him, he turned around. He smiled at her and held out his hand. “Here, Noni, would you like a snack?” She took the treat and ate it, smiling at him. Mama and Dada called from up the river, and the children scampered to them. Their littlest sister was already there. She had gotten tired, and Mama was carrying her now. Suddenly the river seemed to rise up, and a hippopotamus rose up out of the water. The family edged back away from the water and continued down the riverbank, looking for good things to eat.
This little vignette was inspired by the 800,000 year old footsteps recently found on the banks of an ancient river in southern England.