A Penguin Story
I saw this image in November and thought it was adorable. I have been looking for a place to use it in the blog during the holidays. Since I could not find a way to work it in, I’m writing a blog/short story about Penguin Carolers.
The Story Begins
Four penguins, Southie, Emperor, Glazier, Lifer, were swimming away looking for food and caught a large wave that pushed them pretty far out to sea. There are a lot of penguin predators once you get out that far. And, not being able to see land wasn’t helping them gain their sense of direction.
Luckily they were together, because if they were alone, they’d be shark bait for sure. So, there they were, out to sea, looking for predators. That was no fun. Every blip in the water made them jump. Was that a leopard seals, fur seals, whale and shark. Ahhhh. They were freaking out.
Great, this is exactly what they needed. They had a families to feed. Their only job at the moment was to go out, grab some chow and bring it back to the family. Their wives were not going to buy this wave story.
Let’s just pick a direction and go for it, was Southie’s idea. His name alone gave him confidence he’d head in the right way.
That’s when Glazier saw the hump of a whale. “Great, just great.” He indicated the hump and the penguins began to dive and flutter.
“Cut the splashing,” was Lifter’s advice. But the whale got closer.
As the penguins began to say their prayers and write their wills, they noticed the whale approaching them was a Baleen whale. Not a meat eating whale at all.
Were They Saved?
The Baleen whale, who went by Jolene, approached them; and asked what the heck they were doing so far out to sea. They told the wave story; she didn’t buy it. Why was the truth so hard to believe?
Emperor decided it was time for him to take control of the situation.
“Does it matter how we got here?” he asked. “What matters is how we get home.”
You gotta admit, he had a good point.
The four penguins tried to describe the coast, snow and rock formation that they came from. However, the whale only could find his way based on his sense of smell; and the penguins couldn’t describe the smell of their rocks. At least not in a way that helped Jolene.
“I’m going up North,” she said. “You can hitch a ride on me. You’ll be safe. As long as you don’t mind me diving down every so often, we’ll find a safe place for you to land.”
So, off they went. Within a day, it started to get warmer. This concerned the penguins. They were used to it being –4°F, falling as low as – 58°F with winds that gust up to 124 miles per hour.
They were sweating bullets. The farther north they went; the warner they felt.
The good news is, they started to see land.
How Warm is Too Warm?
The Baleen whale was feeling it was getting warm too. She was ready to head South again. But, she wanted a little rest. Leaving the penguins not far from shore, she headed to some cooler water.
Being a conscious breather, she has to remember to breathe, even while sleeping. Jolene and her family normally rest quietly in the water. Some like to sleep vertically; others like horizontally. Jolene liked to sleep vertically. Jolene and her family sleep alone in their pod. Some others sleep while swimming slowly next to another animal, but this wasn’t her thing. Anyway, the penguins are too small to help in this respect.
Off Jolene went.
What’s Happening on the Shore?
Swimming toward the shore, the penguins saw these pink and tan animals. They walked on two legs like them; and even splashed along the water. They made sounds that had more tones than they did. At first it was strange. Then it became interesting.
Their sounds changed from ones with lots of stops between them to sounds that were smooth and all linked together.
The penguins really liked it. Some of the sounds were fast and spunky. Others were soft and calming.
They swam closer. They watched closely. Glazier was paying closest attention of all. He tried to mimic the sound. After a few tries, he got it.
In his excitement, he clicked and cawed at his friends telling them how to make the sounds.
After a half hour, they were all able to make the smooth sounds too.
As they listened, the penguins heard more and more sounds. They listened and looked around, taking everything in; capturing every detail of the area and animals. There were strings of lights. Two-legged animals had colors over them. Some were bright at the bottom and fuzzy around the rim and at the top.
The animals making the most sounds held flat weeds in front of them.
They felt they may have stumbled into a celebration. It looked fun. Everyone was so happy. Maybe it was some kind of holiday.
Being penguins, they really had no sense of time. And, being so far from home, they really didn’t know all the customs of the holiday.
“Should we show this to the quins when we get home?” asked Lifer. All agreed this was something everyone would enjoy.
“Wait until the wives get to see this,” said Southie.
If only they can find their way home.
Warmth was finally taking over. They couldn’t take it anymore. Jolene Baleen showed up. Thank goodness.
“Who would of thought going North would be warm verses cold,” Emperor said. “I mean it was only two days of swimming, wasn’t it?”
“Jolene, did you know going North would be warm versus cold?” asked Southie.
There’s No Place Like Home
“Normally, I swim much faster and am in cooler waters in just a few days,” she said. “This is highly unusual, but it feels like heading back South is going to be best for everyone. Maybe with calmer waters, we will find your home.”
She was ready to head back; and so were the penguins.
Sure there were many twists and turns, but in 72 hours, they had found the penguins rocks.
“Why didn’t you say, this was the place where the seaweed smelled sweet, the air smelled like volcanic ash and the shore smelled phosphorus?” asked Jolene.
“Well, most of Antarctica has no scent. The glaziers and objects hold their aroma because of the cold,” said Lifer. “Next time, we’ll know.”
“Next time?” everyone said. “There won’t be a next time. There’s no place like home.”
After thanking Jolene, they swam as fast as they could to their shore and rocks.
When they landed on the shore, the other penguins were happy to see them. It was time for the male penguins to return to the females and meet their babies. Then the woman would leave the kids with their dads and head off to find more food.
Upon returning to their colony, the wives heard their story and were pretty skeptical of the whole thing.
Then the penguins grabbed their seaweed in their flippers and began to make the sounds they learned off the shore in the place that was warm.
They stood with pride and made smooth sounds and bouncy sounds for an hour. This had the other penguins and their new babies in awe.
So, their story was true.
A Note from MPG
Hope you like the picture too. If you liked the story, share it with a friend or just let us know.