Wednesday 21 March 2012

The day I found a penguin in the suburbs

On a sunny Tuesday, I found a penguin in suburban Geelong.

I'm not a big believer in the universe and its mysterious ways, a bit of a sceptic even. But maybe, after this, I believe a little bit more.

I was 19 at the time and staying at my boyfriends house. We had been together for three years and were absolutely inseperable. In hindsight it wasnt inseparable in a cute way, it was more inseperable in the less fortunate, co-dependent way.

We had never had a major argument- until this particular night. I dont remember  how it started even- but I know it had something to do with me spilling chocolate sundae on his car interior.

There were tears, and screaming. The screaming eventually moved on to him shoving me around, and then pushing me on to the ground. It was quite late at this stage, and anyone who has ever had an all out argument knows that they are draining.

He finally let up, and went to bed. I got into the bed and joined him- before I knew it I was crashing down onto the floorboards.

The man I thought I loved so dearly said in a chilling tone that I can never forget- 'You're a dog. Dogs sleep on the floor.'

I lay awake on that floor for hours, not daring to get into the bed with him. I started off bawling, then sniffling, then got angry, then bawled again. As I stared at that ceiling (brown ceiling fan, white chipped paint and with cobwebs, how could I ever forget?) I wondered how had I gotten to this point? How had I let this man treat me this way?

I started to think about who I was, and what I wanted out of my life. Every plan I thought of, he wasnt in. I made a massive mental to-do list, and the last little goal I had before going to sleep was to one day hold a penguin. I imagined holding this tiny littly fluffy creature and smiled before dozing off.

In the morning I had had a change of heart. I woke my boyfriend up with breakfast and a sincere apology. I told him that I was sorry for upsetting him, and I would do my best not to again. I told him I was sorry for making him scream and shove me, and that I would do better.

Remembering my grand list of plans, I pushed them to the back of my mind. I was being stupid- how or where was I ever going to hold a penguin?!

We left the house for the day. As my boyfriend was locking up, I noticed there was something under his car.

As I walked down the driveway, I thought perhaps it was a Macca's bag or a bit of branch.

I strained my eyes- it had moved? Maybe it was a kitten?

My boyfriend was taking his sweet ass time getting organised. I wasnt holding him up for once, and he was in a reasonable mood after my apology. I walked up to the car, placed my bag on the ground and crouched down.

Halfway down I heard a tiny little 'MARP MARP MARP!'

Holy shit. Huddled next to the wheel of the car, was a tiny, fluffy PENGUIN.

I stared at it for what felt like an eternity.

Finally I stood up and said to my boyfriend matter-of-fctly, 'There's a penguin under your car.'

He scowled at me. 'Real funny.'

I motioned for him to come to the car and look for himself. He lay down under the car, and came up bewildered.

'Holy shit! There's a penguin under my car!'

As we both stood there mouths agape, I had noticed a stray cat circling the car. He seemed mighty interested in the penguin, who looked like it was trying to be invisible next to the tyre.

The sound started again- 'MARP MARP MARP MARP!'

Thinking quickly for the first time in my life (and the only time since!) I scooped up the penguin in my hands. It's tiny wings flapped against the side of my hands.

I remembered that my boyfriend's neighbour was a Wildlife Ranger for Parks Victoria. Maybe it had somehow hitched a ride home with him?

We ran up the street like banshees.

"STEWART!!" I yelled at his front door, 'WE HAVE A PENGUIN!!!' (Apparently, my brain was too busy to consider the doorbell.)

'What?' we heard as he slowly opened the door, 'You've probably found an injured native bird, an ibis or something...'

He looked from my hands, then back to me. 'Fuck me- it IS a penguin.'

I slowly passed my new little friend on to Stewart, who wrapped the penguin up in a tea towel. We sat at his kitchen table incredulous, whilst he made a few phone calls.

It turns out, there was a wildlife rescue house in the court behind my exes house. Somehow overnight, this tiny little penguin Houdini had escaped from their care and went for a wander!

The poor ife rescue lady had been looking for him all night, before giving up, thinking me must have been eaten by a neighbourhood cat. (They have been known to find penguins delicious.)

So- that was the day I found a penguin in the suburbs. It could be completely unrelated and totally random, but I like to think that the Universe, God, or whoever you believe in was sending me a little signal to say that even the craziest dreams can be achieved.


  1. Oh yeah he was the biggest dick. Probably still is.

    I can't believe I didn't think of that! Would have been much handier than a penguin, lol. And I don't think something like that hsppens twice in a lifetime!

  2. Wow, what an amazing coincidence! Penguins are so cute and fluffy looking, I can't believe you just found one lol.

    I agree, your boyfriend sounds like he was the biggest douche!!

    1. I know- fancy finding a penguin in the suburbs nowhere near the ocean!

  3. i cant believe he shoved you, what is wrong with him? makes me angry when guys are like that.

    how awesome is this story! lucky you rescued the little guy before the cat got to it.

  4. What an awesome story! I had a boyfriend like that when I was younger too :/ Can I ask whether you took it as a sign at the time and ditched the boy straight away? =)

    1. Sorry to hear that anon, but I bet we are both much stronger for it! I finally ditched him 4 years later, and not a moment too soon.

  5. Your ex was the biggest d**k ever (excuse my French, but that sort of stuff makes me angry!)!!!!!!! Seriously who does that?!?!

    The penguin story is awesome!!! And like anon, I'm also wondering if you took that as a sign to ditch him?


    1. Oh yeah, he was douchetastic.

      I did take it as the first sign- it had come so out of left field though that I assured myself that it wouldnt happen again. Of couse thought, it always does!

  6. The part about the ex and the way he treated you made me sad, but the penguin part was so adorable!

    1. Thanks P, I still think of that penguin and get an attack of the ZOMGTHATWASSOCUTE all the time, lol.

  7. Naww, the Penguin made this horrible story sweet!! Thank goodness... Totally agree he sounds like a d!ck and a total A-HOLE to the MAX! I hope for his next GFs sake he has grown up. Thank goodness for the penguin.

    That little guy must have heard your dreams and been on a mission to get you not to push your dreams/goals aside. Same as with anon, I wanna know if that was the catalyst for you to leave.

    1. Thanks Missy.

      I happen to have met his new girlfriend, and by the looks of it, he hasnt changed one iota.

      Yes it was the first little thought that I should leave, but it took me quite a while after that day.

  8. That is the BEST STORY ever and I hope you then realised your dreams can come true but not with an ass like that!!

    I love this story so much and as I was reading about it I thought about the way I use to let boys treat me and how mean they were to me and the many apologies I gave them for things they did wrong. Why do we as young girls let men treat us this way? I will never know, but I am damn sure that I will never let it happen again... I think that is why my fiance is completly opposite to the asses in my past :)

    1. Thanks babybluez.

      I definitely have a much brighter outview on life now!

      I cant speak for anyone else, but in my case I've always been a people person, and was taught to think of others before myself. However I think I took that one a bit too far, lol. We do it because we want to be loved.

  9. That gave me goosebumps!

    Hope it wasn't long after that before you ditched the guy too!

  10. Apart from the a-hole ex-boyfriend, this is an awesome story! You always have the best tales to tell!

    And we live and learn from our past, don't we?! :) xx

    1. Thanks Cat.

      Oh my goodness, we do. God help the man that even looks at me the wrong way now, lol.

  11. I LOVE this story (except for d-bag boyfriend, so glad he eventually got the chop). I would die of excitement if I found a pingu outside of my house.

    1. Thankyou! Is it bad that everytime I go out to my car I do a little tiny check for penguins?! Bahahahaha.

  12. Wow...amazing story. I want to find a penguin! Don't know how much luck I will have on the Gold Coast though!


All comments are printed out and placed on my fridge.