Thursday 31 July 2008

Penguins, Penguins, Penguins

If you like penguins, this post is for you! It is inspired by Drowsey Monkey, who has some penguins in her sidebar. I felt rather guilty when I was playing with them, since you can make them follow you, dictate their every move, all of them moving as one, none with a mind of their own. Then I suddenly realised that this was just how the penguins behaved when I was watching them in South Africa last summer. Let's look at the photos below:

So, here is a group. They are above the viewing platform, but they want to get to the sea, which is below the platform. This means that they have to waddle past us, but they are not too sure about that. You can almost hear their little brains ticking over:

"You go first - I'll follow."
"Oooh, I'll go too, if you go."
"Me too."
"Well, I'll go, if you go."
"You go first then."
"No, you go first."
"Well, someone has to go first."
"OK, I'll go first if you all follow me."
"OK then, go."
"OK, I'm going, are you following?"
"Yes, we are, go.........."

So, off they waddle, all watching each other and making sure that all are going. If even one hesitates, they all hesitate. And then..........

...........something spooks them. One of them falters, one of them vacillates, one of them starts to turn back, and then they all reverse waddle back, en masse, into the boulders.

"Did you see that?"
"I don't know, but I am sure that I saw something."
"Well, I am going back then."
"Well, if you're going back, so am I."
"Don't leave me."
"Or me."
"Run away."
"Run away."
"Wait for me."
"And me........"
"And me........"

So, there you have it. Go play with Drowsey Monkey's penguins, guilt free. Enjoy. But before you go, here are a couple more penguin photos for your viewing delight.

When in Africa, I saw all the big ones - lions, elephants, giraffes, hippos, rhinos -but of all the animals that I saw, the penguins won my heart. Look at that face - how could you not love them? OK, so they are not all cuddly and furry, they are not magnificent, fierce, impressive or imposing with their strength and power. But they are so comical and endearing. Their faces and body language is very expressive. They are curious and inquisitive and I love the way they seem as interested in you as you are in them. Now, that might be because they are worried that you are about to eat them, but perhaps, just perhaps, they think we are curious and cute too.

Here is a teenaged penguin - ready to fly the coop - oh, wait, no, hop, jump, waddle or swim the coop.

These photos were taken at Betty's Bay in South Africa.


Anonymous said...


Great photos, as usual. Hope to see many more in the very near future.

With respect to the conversations you attribute to the Penguins - do they remind you of humans at zebra crossings? I swear I have heard timid pedestrians saying much the same thing - go, no don't go, wait, look left, look right....... now, no wait, the light is changing! Run!

MYM said...

AHAHAHA! I love it! I do love penguins. Love the dialogue, very accurate, I'd say ;)

The photos are very cool. I don't think I've ever seen penguins in real life...maybe at a zoo when I was a kid.

Thanks for the mention :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the beautiful photos. I've never seen penguins, except in magazines or on TV. What a privilege to be amongst them.

Whad'd you do to Moon? Haven't heard from him in a while. Hope all is well after the earthquake.

Anonymous said...

Those are great photos! And I love the little conversations you've given them! I can just imagine them doing that!

'Run away!!' ROFL!

English Mum said...

Made me laugh too. Had visions of that Monty Python sketch - was it with Arthur and his knights at the French castle? Run away! Run away! Classic x

Don't Bug Me! said...

Cortes: Yes, humans can definitely sound like that too. It's the pack mentality. I just let someone go first and if they don't get hit by a car, I figure it is safe to cross. Of course, that someone is usually Mr. DBM, so I am pretty safe.

DM: Thank you and you're welcome. Now, get to a zoo and converse with the penguins.

YCB: Who knows what has happened to Moon - it is odd that he hasn't made any comments since the earthquake, since he is permanently glued to his computer these days. Perhaps the lovely M has confiscated it. Or perhaps it has died a hot and horrible death, since it was overheating a lot when I was there (the computer, not Moon).

Jay: Thank you and I hope you are feeling better today.

EM: I believe they decide to run away after a large cow is catapulted at them from the castle, followed by many, various smaller farm animals.

Anonymous said...

I'm here, I've been away in San Diego on business, and a couple of rounds of golf !....

They do smell terrible though .. and seem to lead a pretty pointless life ....bit like me I guess !

Anonymous said...

I played with the penguins on Drowsey Monkey's blog, and it did make me feel guilty. Poor wee things. But, I feel better now, after reading your post. Beautiful photos, and very funny dialogue.

Don't Bug Me! said...

Moon: You didn't smell that terrible!

CA: Glad you enjoyed my penguins!

Don't Bug Me! said...

DM: I have just been back to your penguins and I have changed my mind - they all look kinda lost and forlorn without a mouse to follow. My guilt is gone!

MYM said...

I made mention of this post on my blog today ;)