Mary and the Mayor

A pink silhouette of a hippopotamus, with the caption: A pink hippopotamus named Gertrude.

Mary and the Mayor

Short story by Iris Carden

Mary Lamb had a pet which went everywhere with her.  It was a pink hippopotamus named Gertrude.

One day Mary decided to take Gertrude to the beach.  They walked to the bus stop and waited for the bus.  

When the bus arrived, the driver said Gertrude could not get on.  

“She’s got a go-card.” Mary said.

“It’s not about go-cards,” the driver said.  “Hippopotamuses can’t get on the bus. It’s the rule.”

“Well, who would make a silly rule like that?” asked Mary.

“It’s a council bus, so I guess the Mayor makes the rules,” the driver said. Then he drove the bus away.

“We need to talk to the Mayor.  He works at the Town Hall. Let’s go there,” Mary said to Gertrude.

It was a long walk to the Town Hall, and Mary and Gertrude were both tired and grumpy when they got there.

They walked into the Town Hall to find a terrible kerfuffle!

Two bad men had hold of the Mayor and were trying to kidnap him!

“Stop!” said Mary, “you must not kidnap the Mayor!”

One bad man looked at Mary and said, “You’re just a little girl.  You can’t stop us.”

Mary said, “I’m not just  a little girl. I’m a little girl with a pink hippopotamus, and I am going to stop you.”

Mary whispered in Gertrude’s ear.  Gertrude went over to the bad men.  She stood on one bad man’s food.  The man yelled and let go of the Mayor.  

Gertrude stood on the other bad man’s foot. That man yelled and let go of the Mayor.

“Now,” said Mary. “You’ve been very bad men.  You must go home and tell your Mummies what you’ve done.”

The man who spoke before said, “But if we tell our Mummies, we won’t get any pudding.” 

“You don’t deserve any pudding,” Mary said firmly.

The two bad men went home.

Then Mary said to the Mayor, “Mr Mayor I’m Mary Lamb and I want you to change the rule that says Gertrude can’t ride on the bus!”

The Mayor, who was very grateful to Mary and Gertrude for rescuing him, made a new rule: Pink hippopotamuses named Gertrude could ride on the bus any time they wanted.


By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.

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