By the time Christmas Eve came around last week, there was little time to tell you about the rest of the build-up to the Christmas festivites in the Penguin Community, and now it seems a little late. So I’ll just give you as brief a summary as I can of what’s been happening there in the last couple of weeks…
Seeing how wonderful Market Square looked, it made me think that it would be nice if the penguins who live out beyond The Wilderness could share in the festive fun in the Hub, too. So I wondered about taking the Library Sleigh out to them to pick them up for shopping trips to the Hub of the Penguin Community. I discussed it with Timmy, the not-so-small-anymore Polar Bear cub. He was more than happy to pull the sleigh. Eskimo Eddie announced the plan on his radio show and lots of penguins from across The Wilderness phoned in to squawk that they’d love to take part. So Timmy pulled me in the sleigh, back and forth across The Wilderness on several occasions, to pick up penguins who visited Market Square, the new Cake-A-Doodle-Do! and the Igtoy. We took some penguins home later on the same day, but some loved the festive glow, the merry squinging, the red and green decorations and the spicy smells so much that they chose to stay for longer. Eskimo Eddie opened his igloo up for anyone to stay overnight, for Christmas or for as long as they’d like! (Needless to squawk, all that made Eskimo Eddie think that the Penguin Community could do with a Guest Igloo.) Those who stayed with Eskimo Eddie were treated to evening tours by fairy light, evening ice-skating on the Grand Ice Rink and film viewings projected onto the Penguin Palladium outside wall – all things that they’re not used to experiencing out in their isolated igloos on the snowy expanses beyond The Wilderness.
The Kiddy-Penguins’ Christmas Extravaganza
For anyone who has been wondering why the kiddy-penguins kept leaving the Igschool empty during the week, and their lovely decorations inside the building without admiration, it turned out that they were preparing for the Kiddy-Penguins’ Christmas Extravaganza. Though they returned to Igschool for a couple of days in order to make Christmas presents, under the guidance of Avril Lanche, and to finish the term off.
On December 19th the Kiddy-Penguins’ Christmas Extravaganza took place. The kiddy-penguins dressed in Victorian inspired costumes, some of which had been made by some of the kiddy-penguins, with the help of Peggy, and they pretty much took over Market Square for the day. A small group of kiddy-penguins greeted shoppers with glasses of spicy lemon squash. Sparky helped a group of kiddy-penguins to put on a light show at intervals throughout the day. Some kiddy-penguins sold cakes, biscuits, and sweets, that the Cooking Twins had helped them to make, on stalls. Other kiddy-penguins sold toys, which Charlie the carpenter had helped them to make, on stalls. A group of stalls were full of cards and decorations which Avril Lanche had helped some other kiddy-penguins to make. All the while, another group of kiddy-penguins, which included Spot, squang* Christmas carols and other songs under the baton of Eskimo Eddie. No kiddy-penguin was unoccupied. Market Square was heaving with shopping penguins. The nearby residents, the visitors and the kiddy-penguins all enjoyed the day. In fact, the kiddy-penguins selling goods from stalls were sad to pack their stalls up at the end of the hours of business. However, the light shows and music continued into the evening. Lots of penguies were raised and it will now be up to the kiddy-penguins to choose a good cause for the money to go to.
Everyone thought that the kiddy-penguins had done so well that the next day they gave the kiddy-penguins a surprise Christmas party. Dellia and Delilah had decorated the Cake-A-Doodle-Do! and set out some Christmas buns and cakes. Fish and chips were donated from the Chigloo. Lemonade and mintade were donated from the Coffigloo. There were even some donated toys from the Igtoy, which we wrapped and gave to the kiddy-penguins.
Spot’s Hopes of Long Distance Radio
Spot has been spending quite a bit of time on his computer in the Igstudio in recent weeks. I wondered what it was all about but I found out. During Eskimo Eddie’s last Sunday Festive Special of Talk and Listen With Eddie before Christmas Day, Spot sat on a stool on a snowy expanse some distance from the area where the penguins often gather to listen to the show. He had his computer with him and was trying to see if he could hear the show on his computer. Evidently, he could! Spot is very pleased about that because he hopes it will mean we can listen to Eskimo Eddie’s show from home in Humansville sometimes.
Christmas Eve was the busiest I have ever known it to be in Market Square. As well as the locals and the visitors Timmy and I had brought to the Hub of the Penguin Community, a lot of other penguins who we didn’t recognise arrived. They were carrying backpacks, and we learned that some of those penguins had been before and loved it so much they had wanted to come back. Others had been so excited and inspired by stories of the Hub at Christmastime, that they wanted to see it for themselves. So they had all trudged across the snow, camping up in The Wilderness overnight and continuing on their way as soon as first light seeped across the snow. They hoped they might be able to stay for Christmas. Eskimo Eddie couldn’t invite them to stay with him quickly enough!
During the afternoon, many kiddy-penguins, guests included, took part in a toboggan race. Then us adult-penguins took them to see Father Christmas (or rather Eskimo Eddie in a Father Christmas costume, in this case) in the grotto which had been reinstated in The Park. In the evening we all returned to The Park to squing* Christmas carols by candlelight.
Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s
Christmas Day was filled with Eskimo Eddie’s broadcast of a Christmas Special of Talk and Listen With Eddie, many penguins having a Roast Fish Lunch with their families at home in their own igloos, Eskimo Eddie entertaining all the new visitors for lunch in his igloo, and Dellia and Delilah hosting a communal lunch in the Cake-A-Doodle-Do! for anyone who had nowhere else to go. The penguins who had dined with the Cooking Twins or Eskimo Eddie were able to enjoy an ice-skate on the Grand Ice Rink during the afternoon and carol squinging by fairy light in the evening.
On Boxing Day there was a buffet for everypenguin. It was held in the Panquet Hall and consisted mainly of left overs from the previous day’s roast fish lunches, and gorgeous lemon puddings, pavlovas and cupcakes.
In the days that followed, Timmy and I took some of the visitors back across The Wilderness to their homes, but some wanted to remain in the Hub until after the New Year’s celebrations.
Last night there was a whirling, swirling, fizzing, spraying, sparkling fireworks display above an ice-skating party on the Grand Ice Rink. As we skated, the fireworks whizzed and popped above our heads and reflected in the ice beneath our flippers. Tables of fish, and lemon and mint themed snacks, and bowls of spicy lemon punch and spicy lemonade covered the tops of the tables around the rink’s edge. Dizzy, Avril Lanche’s cousin, was busy teaching different penguins all sorts of dance steps on ice. It was a lot of fun.
So I guess now all that remains for me to squawk is:
Happy New Year Everyone!
*sang in a squawk/sing in a squawk