Children Fiction posted August 6, 2015

This work has reached the exceptional level
A short story.

Penelope Penguin Preens

by Carolyn 'Deaton' Stephens

"Peter Penguin get over here now and help me move this rock."

"Penelope, if you will just wait a minute, you don't know if our egg will come today or not. I have lots of time to move that rock."

"No, you don't have lots of time Peter. I tell you, we mother penguins just know these things, and we need at least a dozen of these rocks to make a suitable nest for our egg" Penelope said as she stubbornly pushed the well rounded rock along the ice. She knew just where she would place it. She could see it now. The first rock in the nest. Oh what memories she was making. She and Peter were going to have the best looking nest in the neighborhood.

As Penelope finally slid the first shiny black rock into place, Peter was not far behind her with a beautiful dark grey one. "Oh Peter, Penelope crooned, you have picked out the most beautiful rock I have ever seen. Thank you so much, now put it right here and go get another one." As Peter turned to locate another rock for the nest he grumbled just a little bit... " I still don't know what all the rush is about."

As Penelope and Peter worked and worked moving rocks to the nest, it took them most of the day to get all the shiny stones arranged. As the last rock was rolled into place by Penelope's beak, she looked up at Peter with a soft proud look on her face, and said, "Now Peter, you can take a break, I'm going to try out this new nest for comfort and when you come back I'll have a surprise for you."

Peter took his well deserved break and wandered around checking out all the other nests in the neighborhood. He also noticed that many of the mother penguins were resting on their newly made nest. After visiting with friends for awhile he decided to go home and see what Penelope was up too.

As Peter came close to his nest he noticed something different about Penelope. She was preening so sweetly, he didn't think he had ever seen her look more lovely. "Look Peter," she said as she moved slowly backwards. And there in the nest lay a perfectly formed penguin egg. "You are going to be a Papa Peter."

As Peter stroked Penelope's neck with his beak, he finally understood why all those rocks had to be moved today. After all, mothers just know those things.

Peter stood tall and proud beside Penelope, as he knew he would get the first shift of keeping their precious egg warm. As Penelope moved out of the nest and Peter took his place, she said, " see you in about two weeks Peter and don't you worry I'll bring you a nice warm meal when I return."


I so enjoyed my study of Penguins. The species in the story have a gestation period of about 32 to 50 days. The male and female share in the incubation of the egg. The chicks will be completely dependent as with most birds for the first several weeks. The parents take turns fishing and return after about a 2 week period to feed each other and the fledglings as the parents do not leave the nest for fear of the egg freezing and or predators getting the chicks once they are hatched. God is so good in His creation.
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© Copyright 2018. Carolyn 'Deaton' Stephens All rights reserved.
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