Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Penguin Yarn ((Magdalena Island) (October, 2010))
Well I never saw a penguin dig a long deep hole before, that is, before I went to Magdalena Island, off the coast of Chile, and a mighty remarkable hole to boot, it was; it is how the male makes his home, while the female watches. I had learned by watching: now and then he stops, and his mate, she looks, examines the hole, taking perhaps half a minute, then he says, something like “Well, do you or do you not approve,” something of that nature, hence, awaiting for the approval and some appreciation, and then not getting any, starts digging again.
So here he is, he’s started to dig the hole out some more, and he keeps this up, if it takes an hour or two, until his mate is satisfied. You`ve never seen a creature dive into his work like this penguin, perhaps like all penguins, like a robot turned on full blast, so since I was born. And the way he hooved dirt every-which-way, perhaps one of the most exciting and astonishing sights I ever come into contact with, concerning animal behavior. He seldom stopped, if ever, to look at me looking at him, and when he did stop it was for his mate to glorify him—and when she didn’t he began thereafter just tossing the dirt out alongside, the hole’s sides, like a bird flopping his wings, and I was so tuckered out just watching him.
Finally, he comes a drooping out of the hole, head down, like he’s got a broken spine, sweating if ever penguins sweat, so it looked—in any case, his black and white tux was shining, with drops of sweat, dripping off him, like little chucks of hail. So now he bends upward, for a look of satisfaction on his mate’s face. If you’ll believe me, when his eyes met hers, droopy, pale and tired, I said: it looks deep enough and wide enough for them both to me, to keep the family snug like a bug, and then I was looking for a sign of satisfaction on his mate’s face, but it looked like she had a belly full of acorns, a flat effect on her face, and then she nodded, “O.K!” As he seemingly had just enough strength to crawl back down into the hole, and lean his back against one side, awaiting his bride, and you could see in a second or two, kind impressions emerge on her face, an abrupt change, and this I believe freed his mind.
No: 1027 (2-8-2014)