LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP
By Josie Whitehead
Mrs Penguin called her young:
'It’s time for school today,
And I will tell you what you’ll learn,
So come down to the bay.'
'Fishing, diving, swimming fast!
Come on, you lazy lot.
Oh no, you can’t stay on those rocks.
The day is much too hot.'
When Penguin One first saw the sea
He gasped with all his might.
The thought of swimming in that sea
Gave him an awful fright.
'Oh come on Mum,' he loudly cried.
'That sea’s too big for us.
Before you throw your babies in,
Is there something to discuss?'
Young Penguin Two just ran away
And hid behind a rock.
The vastness of that great big sea
Was too much of a shock.
But Penguin Three was feeling brave.
He'd leap without a thought.
Instinct would teach him everything,
He’d no need to be taught.
'Mum’s lesson’s not for me,' he said.
'It’s easy peasy, see!
There's none of you, I feel quite sure,
Will swim as well as me.'
But, stupid bird, who knew it all –
Who needed no advice:
A dreadful thing occurred that day
For which he paid the price.
Beneath the waves, a leopard seal
Had waited all day long.
He knew that Mother Penguin would
Bring her three young along.
As Penguin Three leapt in the sea,
The seal wasted no time:
A tasty meal had come his way –
A penguin in his prime.
With one quick snap, poor Penguin Three
Was gone, and no mistake.
The seal, of course, felt just like you,
When you’ve enjoyed a cake!
If Penguin Three had heeded mum
And learnt from her, I feel,
He’d still be here, enjoying life,
And not lunch for a seal.
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