The hippopotamus is said to symbolize strength and courage, being calm during a crisis and the ability to handle your emotions with clarity. It also finds a place in ancient mythological tales. According to African folklore, when all the animals were being given their place in nature, the hippos wanted to live in water. However, the river animals were against this as they feared that the hippo would all their food. The hippo explained that he eats only grass and plants. To ease their fears further, the hippo promised to open his mouth wide daily so that they could check it for fish scales or bones. In keeping with this fascinating story, this brass hippopotamus can be seen with its mouth wide open. It makes for a quirky paper weight or simply a beguiling piece of decor.