Poor Spot…

…this is how he felt during his Halfway-Through-Term-Holiday a couple of weeks ago.


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Hi There!


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Our April Fool!

Yesterday morning the post-penguin, waddling his rounds while all the igloo curtains were still closed, gasped at the sight of Podge waddling across the snow with a tin of paint and a large, bulging holdall. Squinting at Podge scuttling past, the post-penguin stashed his sack of letters in the porch of the Postigloo and followed Podge at a distance.

Podge’s first stop was the Igschool. Hiding behind a nearby fir tree, the post-penguin’s beak dropped open as he witnessed Podge pick the lock of the Igschool door. Podge disappeared inside with a tin of paint and then came out again without it. The post-penguin looked across at the Poligloo, sucking at his wingtip.

“Should I tell Police Penguin Polly?” he squawked quietly to himself.

Creeping off in that direction, he turned to peep over his shoulder. Podge was skulking off the opposite way. The post-penguin looked at the Poligloo, then at Podge, then at the Poligloo again.

“Perhaps I should see what else he’s up to,” the post-penguin squispered* to himself with a sigh.

So the post-penguin followed Podge at a distance, taking care to stay out of sight. Podge waddled to the Chigloo door where he paused momentarily, then across the Hub to The Park, where he went through the gates, out of sight behind some fir trees for a couple of minutes, and then out and across to the other side of the Hub to where Noel’s now abandoned beehives stand. The last stop on Podge’s route was the Penguin Community Hub’s noticeboard, where he changed the communal calendar on the noticeboard to May 1st. Looking around him, Podge turned and raddled** off back to his own igloo, carrying a very saggy, empty looking holdall.

The post-penguin rushed off to the Poligloo. Minutes later, PP Polly waddled purposefully out of the Poligloo and retraced Podge’s flipper prints. Cautiously, PP Polly entered the Igschool, looking all around her. Above the door into the classroom, she spied a precarious tin of paint waiting to be disturbed. She took it down and carried it with her.
When PP Polly arrived at the Chigloo, she spent several minutes looking all around the building and the snow around it, her wings folded behind her back, along with the paint tin. Then she stared at the door, squinted at it and leaned in towards it. Reaching her wingtip into the lock, she fished out a gummy lump of sticky tack. She shook her head and frowned as she wound the sticky tack around the handle of the tin of paint.

Waddling across to The Park, PP Polly instantly spied some artificial flowers which were all screwed up and ripped.
“As if you can buy artificial dead flowers!” she squawked to herself and gathered them up.

With a sigh, PP Polly waddled a little way over the snow to the abandoned beehives and stood looking at them, scratching her head. Bending down closer to them, she flinched. A buzzing sound was coming from inside the beehives.

“Strange,” PP Polly squawked. “Noel’s bees died ages ago.” Without hesitation she opened up one of the beehives and reached inside, pulling out some sort of little whirring fan. “Evidence,” she squawked and waddled across to the noticeboard. Having changed the calendar to the correct date, she went back to the Poligloo.

Within an hour, penguins were beginning to come out of their igloos, waddling to Igschool, to the shops, to other public igloos and to go about their tasks of the day. Podge raddled over to the very same tree that, unbeknown to him, the post-penguin had hidden behind earlier. There Podge waited and watched.

All the kiddy-penguins arrived at Igschool, squawking with one another as they waddled into the building. Through that igloo’s windows they could be seen sitting down at their desks. Tuck the fryer arrived at the Chigloo, unlocked the door and waddled inside. Minutes later, smoke began to puff gently out of that igloo’s chimney. No penguins went anywhere near The Park or the beehives. Any penguins who passed the noticeboard merely glanced at it briefly as they waddled by.

Podge narrowed his beady little eyes, scrambled out from behind the tree and stamped across the snow with a crinkled face, slapping his flippers down hard. PP Polly stepped out in front of him holding a tin of paint, some sticky tack, a raggedy bunch of artificial flowers and a buzzing fan.

“Looking for these?” PP Polly squawked.

Podge gulped.

Other penguins gathered around, squaughing***

At 11.45am Tuck stepped out of the Chigloo door.

“Podge!” Tuck squawked out loudly.

Podge, who was sitting behind the aforementioned tree, looking like a sheepish penguin(!) peeped around at Tuck.

“We’ve got a surprise for you.” Tuck squawked.

Podge snapped his eyes and bustled over to the Chigloo where he went inside and sat himself down at one of the blue and white checked table cloth covered tables.

Tuck presented him with a large plateful of fish and chips. “Just a little something we all ‘chipped’(!) in for to show you there are no hard feelings,” Tuck squawked.

Podge’s eyes lit up, he parted his beak in a large penguin grin, and rubbed his wingtips together. “Thanks!” he squawked, picking up a bottle of red sauce from the table top and smothering his fish and chips with the bottle’s gloopy contents. “I do love ketchup!”

Did I mention Tuck had a lot of almost out of date curry sauce to use up?! ;)
*a squawked whisper
**waddling at running speed
***a cross between squawking and laughing

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Avril Lanche Received A Valentine’s Card Yesterday



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Floods and Snow

Well, things have been a little bleak in some parts of Humansville of late.  There has been lots of water in all sorts of places people don’t expect it, like on fields and roads.  When I try to explain this to the other penguins up in the Penguin Community, though, they look at me with wide curious eyes and ask me to draw pictures because they don’t really understand what I’m telling them.  You see, they usually only see water when they make a hole in some ice to go ice fishing, waddle to the icy coast to go fishing, or when they turn on the taps inside their igloos.

     Nevertheless, they show more interest in that than they have done in the past on the rare occasions when I’ve told them there is snow back home in Humansville.  You can see them thinking “So what?” as they frown, roll their eyes and waddle back to their business of the moment.  Just imagine the ridicule I would face if I were to contact the Penguin Community from back home in Humansville and squawk:  “Sorry, but Spot can’t get into Igschool today because of snow.”  Oh the squaughter (squawked laughter) I would be met with!  Spot and I, however, find it quite exciting to leave home in the mornings in snow, fly to the Penguin Community to spend the day surrounded by snow, and then fly back home to snow!  I don’t suppose that means much to any of the other penguins since they don’t make trips to and from Humansville but are surrounded by snow all the time.  No disrespect to my wonderful penguin friends, but I guess most of them just don’t appreciate snow as much as Spot and I do.

  Today Spot went to play with Cecil, so that was another trip to and from that treasured snowy land for us.  On our way home Spot squawked to me that he thinks that Cecil’s mother must have had a lot of mince pies over the festive season because she looks a bit larger than she did.  I cleared my throat and told Spot to watch where he was flying.

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Eskimo Eddie Fizzing With Inspiration

As much as I love snow, and despite the fact that we get some of our heaviest snowfalls in the Penguin Community in January, this month is my least favourite of the year in the Penguin Community.  After all the colour of twinkly lights and green and red foliage and after all the merriment of squawking shopping penguins, Christmas carols and delicious festive cakes in December, January seems a bit flat.  There is snow, there are grey clouds.  The Igshop windows are iced up and devoid of decoration.  Kiddy-penguins slouch back and forth to Igschool.  Penguins scuttle back and forth quickly between their errands and tasks and their igloo homes.

     All except Eskimo Eddie!  Well, wouldn’t you know it?  Always one to break the mould.

     There he was early this morning, before hardly a penguin was out on the snow.  I saw his silhouette waddling along at a brisk pace, being tugged along by his ferret, ferretlet, miniature porcupine and miniature pig pets tugging on their leads.  No sooner had he taken them home than he was out raddling* to the Igstudio, around the Cake-A-Doodle-Do! beyond Market Square, past The Bandstand, towards the Grand Ice Rink and then out in the direction of The Park.  Half an hour later I saw him jumping across the snow from his igloo to the Chigloo, where he met Tuck the fryer to open it up for the day.

     Later in the morning, during a break from answering my backlog of agony uncle letters for the Penguin Periodical, I waddled into the sweet Igshop in search of a little sweet treat to brighten my day.  To my surprise, I saw Eskimo Eddie in there, too.  As soon as he saw me, his eyes lit up, his beak flew open and he called my name from the other side of the Igshop.  I looked around, shyly, wondering how embarrassed I should be.  Eskimo Eddie rushed in my direction, waving a thick wingtipful of papers.  When he showed me the papers, I saw that they were covered in drawings, drawings of plans for buildings.  All the buildings Eskimo Eddie would love to build this year!  His current favourite, following all the extra guests we had in the Hub of the Penguin Community in December, is some kind of Guest Igloo or Ighotel.  In theory, the idea is a good one, but the thought of another round of pleading with the Penguin Community Parish Council for permission makes me feel both dizzy and exhausted – and I wouldn’t even be the one to have to do it!

     Scanning the shelves of the sweet Igshop with my eyes, I noticed there were a lot of new flavoured sweets, including pineapple allsorts, cupcake flavoured chewies, fish and chip pastilles (!?!) and extra fizzy lemon fizzy fish.  My wandering eyes rested upon a large collection of the latter in a shopping bag over Eskimo Eddie’s wing.  Perhaps that would explain why he’s fizzing with inspiration!

*waddling at raddling speed

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Ice Cream Parlour “Happy Day”

From time to time the Ice Cream Parlour in the Penguin Community holds what it calls a “Happy Day”.  On such days, the idea is that penguins can go into the Ice Cream Parlour and pretty much name their flavour.  It doesn’t matter what culinary combination they come up with or how outlandish, the ice cream sundae of their choice will be made for them.  Even if they have to go away for a short time while it is created and come back a little later to enjoy it.

However, on the extremely rare occasions when a chosen dessert really cannot be constructed, the customer is awarded free ice cream in the Ice Cream Parlour for a week!  As you can imagine, penguins are always trying to catch the proprietors out with crazy ideas, like popcorn and raspberry jam flavour, and lime and liquorice!

Late this morning, I took Spot into the Ice Cream Parlour for a post-Igschool treat.  McCluck, Eskimo Eddie and Charlie the carpenter joined us.  Eskimo Eddie pointed to a sign advertising that today was a “Happy Day” there.  You could nearly hear our brains whirring as we tried to think of unusual flavours!  Spot had a scoop of honey ice cream in a pink cone.  McCluck fancied a cupcake flavoured ice cream.  Charlie the carpenter opted for a more usual mint choc chip sundae, while Eskimo Eddie enjoyed a liquorice ‘n’ cream whirl.  I chose a Friday Special.  The daily specials are rarely identifiable but are a lovely combination of flavours – the mystery is half of the fun!

All in all, our ice creams were very tasty treats, but no one outwitted the penguins behind the counter with impossible recipes, so we will all have to pay for our ice creams this week. ;)

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