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Thank you to Barbara Whitehead for this poem 


A Penguin's eye view


November has come and at this time of the year

Ecotourists repeatedly start to appear.

We were once apprehensive but now we don't fuss - 

Though there's hundreds of you, there are thousands of us.


We find you endearing. Your penguinoid ways

Which are most fascinating, enthral us for days.

You walk just like us and there are time when you speak

We could imagine each human unique.


That you're all penguin friendly there can be no doubt,

But what you come here for we can not figure out.

You do not build your nests here or breed and raise chicks

And your flippers adapt to perform many tricks.


'Cos small groups come ashore in a Zodiac boat,

We infer that the chance you can swim is remote.

And, pray, what does your species have wrong with its sight

That you need tubes called "bins" to help see thing aright?


Mysterious boxes with thei shutter that click

Are beyond comprehension. We're not always quick

To work out in the field just what the things do.

We have only seen one human being - in a zoo!


Now i''ll tell you a secret. How else could you know

What occurs here when all the ships' passengers go?

There's frenzied excitement and a buzz in the air

As each penguin most eagerly starts to prepare.


At the end of the season, before we leave land,

There's the Antarctic Ball - an occasion so grand,

When we penguins dress up in our smart human suits

And we wear our red parkas and big rubber boots.


We sing and we dance and upon krill we do feast

Then leap into the sea, having promised at least

That we'll meet up again at the same place next year.

You would all be most welcome to join us out here.


Barbara Whitehead

Antarctica Feb'97