These are the warm weather penguins who live at the Hyatt, on Maui.  They are adorable and well cared for…not free, but I hope they’re happy.  They seem happy, but people like to think that captives are happy because it makes THEM feel better to believe that they are. At any rate, they live at the hotel and people talk to them.  I think it goes something like this…

“I can’t understand anything he said,” said penguin One.

“It’s his accent.  It’s thick.  I usually know what those people are saying but I can’t understand him either,” said Two.

“It’s as if he’s swallowing his words, after chewing on them one at a time,” said One, shaking his flipper.

“I agree.  Want some krill?”


“I’m partial to New Yorker’s.  Now that’s an accent,” said Two.

“I could listen to them talk all day long,” said One.

“I don’t know why some of them make noises at us,” sighed Two, watching a man pursing his lips.

“They can’t speak our language.  They are a very limited species.”

“No kidding.  And their kids…it takes them forever to grow up and they are always sticky, or wet.”

“You just don’t like kids,” snickered One.

“True.  I mean I like our kids.  They’re neat and they can swim right away.”

“I wonder what it’s like to be free?” said One, dreamily.

“What do you mean?” asked Two, standing up very straight. “Aren’t we free?”


“What are we?”


“Who captured us?” asked Two.

“I think we were born captives but there’s a whole ocean out there where we could swim and play in the sun…”

“And be eaten by sharks, or hit by a boat,” grumbled penguin Three.

“EATEN?” shrieked Two,

“Yeah,” said Three.  “The people looking at you would eat you if they could. They eat anything, they don’t care what it is, or how it feels.  They’re worse than the sharks.”


“It won’t help,” said Three.  “Nothing we do helps.”

“I’m not going to listen to them anymore,” said One, looking away from the crowd.

“Me neither,” said Two, turning around.

“We can try and escape,” said Three, eyeing the wall around them.  “How high can you jump? It’s not that far to the water.”

“I like the people who care for us and who will feed us?” asked One.

“Now you sound like a prisoner who has Stockholm Syndrome.  Free penguins eat, don’t they?  They aren’t starving.”

“Okay but, we don’t know how to find food,” said One, sadly.

“The other penguins will teach us,” said Three, nodding.

“I’m afraid to leave,” said Two.

“Then they won,” said Three, waddling away.”


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2 Responses to Penguins…

  1. Heartafire says:

    It just makes me sad. We should boycott zoo’s whose only mission is to create entertainment. Wildlife preserves meant to protect is something diferent. They are planning to close Sea world next year due to poor attendance…thank heavens., Imagine spending ones entire life in a fishbowl.

  2. I know. The thing is. When there was a huge snow storm here, years ago, the dolphins became depressed and stopped eating. It was terrible. They missed the crowd and applause. They have been trained to be used to that kind of thing…so it’s not easy to free them, once they have been conditioned to be around humans and are rewarded for doing tricks. So sad.

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