I’ve seen actual penguins in the wild, and let me tell you: there are the good ones and there are the evil ones. As it is nearly impossible to tell the difference just by looking, Falling Rock National Blog here presents a primer for the layperson.
Falling Rock’s Guide to Penguins.
First we shall see an example of a good penguin. In Oliver Jeffers’ treatise Lost and Found (an important document on Penguin Research cleverly disguised as a picture book), a penguin appears at the door of a young man. The gentleman attempts to help the penguin.
The young man readies a seaworthy vessel to transport the penguin back to the traditional home for penguins, the South Pole.
In the end, it turns out the penguin was not looking for home at all. He was looking for a friend. The young man gladly accepts the penguin’s silent request, and a lifelong friendship is born.
Penguins can make excellent friends if they are so inclined. They are so sensitive. If you are lucky enough to have a penguin knock on your door, I highly suggest answering. Though they have no magical powers or gold, penguins are great listeners and loyal to the end.
That is, unless you meet an evil penguin.
Evil PenguinsFeathers McGraw, nemesis to Wallace and Gromit, appeared in the animated short The Wrong Trousers. In it, the evil penguin moves in to their house as a boarder. He soon alienates Gromit with his awful music and atrocious decorating scheme. His true aim is soon discovered: Feathers wants to steal a priceless diamond from the museum and he’s not afraid to use Wallace as his patsy. Feathers is also wanted for crimes too unspeakable and numerous to mention.
It is impossible to overstate the evilness of this penguin. If you see him, run. Adding to his deviousness, Feathers is known to wear a bright red rubber glove on his head as disguise. This leads the police to put up Wanted posters mistakenly asking “Have you seen this chicken?”
Feathers is the closest penguins get to pure evil. Certainly he has spent time with the most evil men to walk the earth. Who knows from whence his pitch black soul originated; it’s a question that keeps this blogger from sleeping at night.
Thanks to the well-meaning but wrongheaded work of scientists and Morgan Freeman, people assume that penguins are just birds. As we now know, penguins can be divided into two opposing camps: good and evil. The good ones should be welcomed into our homes with open arms, given hot chocolate and a warm blanket. The evil ones should be rounded up and thrown into maximum security zoos.
If you have any questions regarding a penguin near you, refer to this primer. You either have a friend for life or a stone cold nemesis. Either way, good luck.
The gentlemen of the sea, penguins are all dressed up with places to go. As I blogged previously, Morgan Freeman has a fascination with penguins. Others who feel the penguin love include Lyle Lovett, some French filmmakers, and Gary Larson.
Penguins were never mistaken by sailors to be mermaids (that was the manatee). Penguins did not send a delegation to meet Ernest Shackleton’s ship upon his arrival to Antarctica. Penguins do not have a seat at the UN. Penguins do not live at the North Pole.
Penguins do travel to New Zealand. There they frolic in the (relatively) warm waters, dine on local fish, and enjoy weddings on the beach.
Two good friends (of mine, and of each other) recently got married on a New Zealand beach, and in honor of this momentous occasion I dug up some pictures of the only time I had the pleasure of meeting penguins in the wild. It was a different New Zealand beach, on the south island near Dunedin.
A homemade zoom lens: put the camera up to binoculors, blindly aim, hope for the best.The closest I got to a real live penguin was when the group of us were leaving the beach. We took a path through the bushes and rocks. A tiny penguin popped out from behind a rock. Before I could get my camera back out, he was scurrying away.