Over the bridge: a penguin's tale of 'the walk'

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*sips martini*

You humans have such a myriad of trivial things to incessantly complain about. Why must you be like this? Have you not learned already that your persistent and oftentimes melodramatic lamentations accomplish nothing when they concern the most nominal issues, particularly when those issues are the ones that could have been avoided with the swift and thoughtful utilization of common sense? *sips martini* It seems as if you humans hold yourselves in the highest regard, essentially entitling yourselves to a perfect, worry-free livelihood. *sips martini* Such a debaucherous mindset will inhibit your abilities to accept various inevitabilities, which makes you oblivious to the harshest realities of life. It is for these very reasons that in the end, the human race will be its own undoing. *sips martini*

What would distinguish me, a penguin, from you humans on a basic level is that I am an animal (a flightless bird, to be exact). But I would argue that the more definitive distinguishment between human and animal is that animals are far more cognizant of the harshest realities of life on Earth. *sips martini* Managing to find food whilst simultaneously managing to not be another animal's food in the increasingly frigid and bleak environment of the Antarctic would seem deplorable to any human, yet it is what we as penguins must face as a means of surviving in this extreme environment. Therefore, we know that complaining about an intangible reality will accomplish nothing to improve our conditions. *sips martini*

Now, one may ask: *sips martini* why have I made this speech on the distinctions that can be made between animals and humans based on their acceptances of various realities? It is to establish the premises in which I recount this story involving a bridge and an abominable undertaking that I continually refer to as "the Walk." *sips martini* Let us begin.

It was on a Saturday, about seven years ago...[edit]

In all honesty, Francis has the appearance of an indolent Goth.
I need not say more about the Adelies' suicidal curiosity.

I was with my friend Francis, one of the few chinstrap penguins that inhabit the area. We met through a shared disgust of those horrid and unruly Adelie penguins that live further down the coast, with their inherently idiotic behavior and an insatiable lust for necrophilia and suicide. I still distinctly remember how Francis and I witnessed one of them excitedly rush to their death when they interpreted the angry bellowing of a Bi-Polar Bear as a display of friendly and inviting behavior. It seems that it was a sort of ritual for them. Francis did not seem to care. I, on the other hand, was laughing hysterically. *sips martini*

Anyway, I am veering off on unrelated material. As I was saying, I was with Francis and we were walking down the coast between and amongst various groups of penguins, all of which belonged to their respective rookery; in essence, it was a gathering. We were searching for a few penguins that could take us inland to see the estranged rookery of king penguins who were renowned for their fine etiquette and are purveyors of the finest caviar (absolutely unparalleled in quality, I may add) that the seas have to offer. *sips martini* We were unsuccessful in finding someone, so we decided to head back to our dwellings. However, our search was not entirely in vain. We learned that the emperor penguins were facing a slew of issues, such as deciding who should lead the great migration (apparently they are never happy with where they live), and what to do about an incident in which a boat arrived on their shores and took the fairy penguins, which are their very posh yet delicate neighbors, to a land called "Australia" so that "tourists" can observe them. I could only suppose that a "tourist" is a kind of human who likes looking at what they perceive to be unearthly oddities, namely penguins. *sips martini*

Anyway, as we commenced our short trek back home, it was then that we spotted an unusual individual that was amid the other penguins, and it seemed that he was going about relatively unnoticed. He was very short and had a sign around him that read as follows: I STEAL JEWELS *finishes martini, sets down glass*


What particularly made this penguin stand out from all the others was his appearance. He had large black eyes that bulged out in a somewhat cartoon manner, a small yet very pointy yellow beak, and an abnormally smooth body; it was as if he had the sleekest feathers in all of Antarctica to the extent that you would think he had the skin of a seal. His "feathers" were also the color navy blue, which made his appearance far more peculiar yet intriguing.

"Ugh, those mutations are becoming worse by the day," muttered Francis. "One day we get one born with actual wings that now demands that she be called a puffin and the next we have a bioluminescent hermaphrodite that can summon a pile of fish that could feed its entire colony!"
"You neglected to mention the purple fellow with glowing eyes and crane-like legs. Furthermore, how many times have I told you, Francis; it's 'rookery,' not 'colony,'" I said.
"And we both forgot the two-and-a-half meter-tall albino with the shiny, metallic beak and claws. And how many times have I told you, Till, that we both reached an agreement to respect each others' terminology for a group of penguins, no matter how incorrect we may deem them to be?" countered Francis.
"...Touché, mon ami."

We studied this cartoonish fellow for a few seconds and approached him. From thence did the true story begin.


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