This is the story of Pendergrass E. Penguin (that’s E for Emperor, which of course he is!). Pendergrass was originally named Pendyce E. Penguin, Jr. – after his Daddy. Shortly after he shed his down and came into his true colors, he started venturing away from his parents and exploring all that was around him. “It is a big world out there,” he thought, “but it looks so ‘blah!’ Everything’s either ice white, stone gray, or penguin black/white/yellow…even the mean old walruses are only a brownish gray!”
Pendyce Jr. set off to find something more exciting and interesting to look at and another color to see. One Spring day, he wandered off to the very top of a cliff of melting ice. From there, he saw, off in the distance, way far away, something he had never seen before! It was a completely different color! “Oh goodness me!” he said out loud, “I have to go see what that is!” So he set off to find that strange thing, gleaming on the horizon. When he finally arrived,(it took him almost three hours to waddle there), he was amazed! This stuff was beautiful, and even more than that, it was warm and soft! It felt so good on his poor, cold, sore feet (your feet would be cold and sore too, if all you did was walk around on ice and stone!).
Pendyce, Jr. was so excited, he ran off to find his family and friends. He just had to spread the word about this wonderful thing he had discovered! When he finally got back home, his Mommy and Daddy were angry, because he had been gone for such a long time. They had almost decided to send out a search party to find him. “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?” they shouted . “Oh, goodness me! Mommy and Daddy! – Hey, everybody! – I have discovered the most wonderfulest, beautifulest, awesomest thing EVER, and it’s an entirely new and different color than anything around here! Come with me and see!”
“After we eat,” said his Mom.
“After I nap,” yawned his Dad.
Poor Pendyce Jr. He was just itching to set out again, but he had to wait! At last, everyone was ready to go and see this marvelous new thing that Pendyce Jr. had found. When at last they arrived, (it took more than three hours this time – some Emperor penguins can be awfully slow!), Pendyce, Jr. threw wide open his wings and shouted
“What!? Where!?” they all said.
“LOOK!” he cried. “Here! – on the ground! Isn’t it the most wonderfulest, beautifulest, awesomest thing you have ever seen?”
Nobody said anything, and then some of the older penguins started grumbling, “Do you mean to tell me that he dragged us all the way up here just to see some stupid old grass?”
“‘Grass’?” said Pendyce Jr. “What is ‘grass’?”
“It’s just stupid green stuff that starts coming out of the ground every Spring, and then hides every Winter,” they replied.
“What is ‘green”?” Pendyce asked.
“That’s its color!!” they all blurted out as they yawned.
Everyone started to leave and go back home, mumbling as they went:
“That’s the last time I listen to any of those Pendyces. . .what a wild goose chase!”
“Or maybe it was a wild grass chase!” some of the rowdier young ones giggled.
Poor Pendyce Jr. He was heartbroken to see everyone leave. He wanted to stay and live in the amazing place! It was so pretty! And there was such variety, wherever you looked! His Mom and Dad pulled him home with them, even though he begged them to stay and explore with him.
“No, dear,” said his mother.
“COME HOME NOW, JR.!” shouted his Dad.
A sad and forlorn Pendyce Jr. followed along behind them and went to his boring old home. But once home, he could not keep from talking about the beautiful place had found, the grass, and all the other wonderful things and colors he had discovered for himself. “I want to go and LIVE there. . .in fact, when I’m old enough, I WILL go and live there!” he thought out loud.
When his friends heard him, they all jeered at him:
“Your name is Pend-ICE! Not Pend-GRASS! You’re supposed to hang around on the ice and not the grass! You’re DUMB! Nyaah, nyaah, nyaah!”
When word of this got around, it wasn’t long before everyone started calling him “Pend-GRASS.” Even his Mom and Dad slipped occasionally and called him by that name, instead of Jr. Eventually, Pendyce Jr. got used to his nickname.
At last, the time came when he was old enough, and he knew he was ready to leave this boring place and head off for greener pastures. So, he set off to find the beautiful place he remembered. This time, when he arrived at his new home, he was not alone there. He saw there were other Emperor penguins, just like him, waddling about, who had first made their home there many years ago. Pendyce didn’t know what to think when he saw one of them coming toward him.
“What’s your name?” asked the very pretty young girl penguin.
“Well, um…um…it’s Pend-er-GRASS E. Penguin!” he stammered.
“What an interesting name, – Pendergrass!” said the pretty girl named Penelope E. Penguin (that’s E for Empress).
“Yep,” he said, blushing. “Th-th-they called me that because I always want to hang around on the grass!”
Penelope laughed and then smiled at him and said, “Let’s go exploring! I have some beautiful flowers to show you, and you won’t believe the colors!”
Pendyce, that is, Pendergrass E. Penguin, smiling his happiest smile ever, ran to join Penelope. He knew he was home at last.
Having proved this will probably never by my genre, I close, wishing you all enough. . .