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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Burgoon London

Mr. Penguin's Smirk

My New Friend Mr. Penguin
My New Friend Mr. Penguin

Mr. Penguin and I bonded at The Aquarium. If you look at his face it looks like he was grinning at me, but in a way that let me know he thought he was "all that". He knew he had a leg up on me because he's aquatic and I like to swim, but I could never match his ability or gracefulness. Mr. Penguin waddled around upright on the stones. I appreciate that because I waddle a bit too. A touch of arthritis in the old hip joints will do that to a lady in her 50's. Penguins can move right along and from what I understand they are not afraid of humans. Another thing we have in common. If the glass partition was not between us, he may have walked right up to me and I think we may have bumped elbows. Those big flappers allow him to plunge into the water and glide around with ease. It can be quite peaceful soaring around under the clear water drowning out the noise from the outside. I have done it a few times myself in my very own pool, so I can relate. This little guy is a Humboldt Penguin and about 2ft tall and maybe 15lbs from my best recollection. However, his ego is quite large. I mean really, just look at that smirk. Penguins like to colonize and select a mate to be monogamous with. Although from what I understand there are "serially"monogamous Penguins that acquire a new mate each season. Both situations seem like another parallel to the human condition. When it comes to raising babies, it is not just females that do the rearing. In a pinch a male will happily take on the responsibility when needed. As I was checking this guy out he seemed to know that I was watching him. He was quite the ham as he glided along the glass wall showing me his little tricks in the water. It took me a bit to get a good snap of him with my camera. He made me really work for it. But in the end he stopped toying with me and offered up a full face photo-op of which I was very grateful. Sometimes when I am out taking photos it is difficult to tell what story the picture will tell until it's downloaded onto my computer. I really appreciated how photogenic he was, another quality he trumped me on... In the end I was left with the conclusion that he and I had quite a few things in common. Most of which he was better at than me from the hobbling, to the gliding to the cunning way he could use avoidance in a way that made him cute! I hope this little light hearted Post brings you a smile with the help of my friend Mr. Penguin. And remember no matter what challenges fall upon us, just keep hobbling and gliding along with the confidence of a Penguin and you will be OK. Fun fact - A Humboldt Penguin once scaled a 4 meter high fence and navigated through barbed wire to frolic in the Tokyo Bay for 82 days before being found and brought back to The Tokyo Park. Sometimes you just crave a little escape!

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