By Bracha and Tova Goldberg and Safta
We went to visit the penguins yesterday at the zoo. We noticed that the oldest penguin sat there watching over his family; most likely most of them were his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. He seemed to have an eye on us as well. What he didn’t know was that he had turned quite gray and his feathers were all of a mess. His normal tuxedo was untidy and scruffy. We were wondering why.
Apparently, it all began that morning when the old penguin, whose name was Dudu, went into the water to get his morning exercise. The zoo attendant, Haim, came just then to feed the colony of penguins. As you can imagine, the entire colony came running to get their fish. Well, you can’t call it running by a penguin because they waddle. They all waddled over to Haim and waited in line like they do every day for their personal fish and a good word from Haim.
Dudu was in the water and swam to the side of the pond where the Haim was standing with his buckets of fish. When he got on to land, he slipped and somersaulted in front of everyone. He slid into the bucket, and all the fish fell out. This caused a ruckus by all the younger folks jumping at the chance to get their fish earlier than expected. Dudu was covered with fish since he landed under the bucket. Thus, all the penguins were nibbling at him as they tried to get their breakfast. That is why Dudu’s feathers were all astray.
Since he is so old, he had gotten out of the habit of pruning himself on a regular basis. Since he gotten up in the morning and already did his morning toiletry duties, it hadn’t occurred for him to do it again.
We came a bit after this story happened and that is how we found him sitting there quite a mess while he tried to catch his breath for the escapade. Although Dudu had been covered with fish, no one had noticed including Haim, the zoo attendant, that Dudu didn’t get anything to eat.
There Dudu sat forlornly with no one showing him any care. Since the Penguins were regularly fed one fish at a time, Haim, realized that someone hadn’t eaten since there was one fish left over in the bucket. None of the Penguins seemed upset.
Haim looked around trying to figure out which penguin missed his meal that morning. Since he knew all their names and personalities, he looked them over and called them out. They were all busy eating. That is when he noticed Dudu just sitting there looking at us. Haim went over to the old fellow.
“Dudu! Hey, old man, where is your fish? You had quite a fall today. Is that why you are sitting here in a mess?” Haim petted Dudu’s head.
Dudu jumped back and looked hurt. Haim realized he was the one who didn’t get breakfast and threw the fish at Dudu. Dudu caught it and swallowed happily. He still didn’t clean his feathers until he took another bath that day.
That is why; we found out, Dudu was a scruffy Penguin.