Sunday, December 17, 2006

Save the penguins

Okay, I already have way too many stuffed toys - and, indeed, even too many stuffed penguins - but this weekend I assisted one lone, frightened-looking, stuffed penguin from having a very rough Christmas this year.


The penguin toy is rather well made, but he's meant to be a dog's chew toy - the type my Jack Russell would have had mostly consumed by Christmas Day afternoon. The penguin's legs are made of the same cotton "rope" as other rope-pull toys; although they always look strong, and are meant to act like dental floss, Jack tends to just eat the rope, and pay for it for days and days, straining desperately in the yard to pass wads of multi-coloured cotton.

This sighting (of the penguin, that is, not Jack straining) occurred during a quick trip through the pet section of Big W, while supposedly helping a friend look for Christmas gifts. (He'll be too busy to do more shopping in the coming week). The only one who actually bought anything was me, and most of what I picked up was for Jack, anyway: a new ant-free dish at last (please don't tell Jack it's actually a cat bowl!), and various festive munchies, such as smoked pig's ears, for putting under the Christmas tree (if I ever get around to putting it up in time.)

What was of most concern regarding the poor penguin: the manufacturer had tied another length of the cotton "rope" around the penguin's neck! Other animals in the series had four limbs made of "rope", but to compensate for the penguin having tiny wings, incapable of flight, they put a noose around his neck. I mean, why not look like you're going to kill yourself when your whole purpose in life is literally "going to the dogs"? Such a great Christmas message!?


So I weakened - and, if I can manage to keep his delectably consumable legs out of harm's way, he now joins a flock consisting of Opus the Penguin (of "Bloom County" and "Outland" comic strip fame), a little Christmas penguin that I was given last year from a student, a wooden Christmas ornament of a family of penguin carollers, and a handmade felt penguin (at least 45 years old) which I'm still minding for my friend, Scott, who emigrated to England about 20 years ago.

No comments: