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March 25, 2013 / philosophermouseofthehedge

The Penguins Are Gone.(Finally)

The penguins have left the building.

(You may applaud.)

They’ve hung around way too long. Cute, but still, too long.

The bills are alive with the sound of music.(D.Monniaux/

The bills are alive with the sound of music.

Gotten to be rather bothersome with all their perky little antics.

Oh, penguins are great – in small doses, in winter, and in zoos.

Zoos. There, not here.

(Now that they are gone, I can say that)

It started off innocently enough last fall.

Someone who knew us too well.

“Could they just stay at your house for a little while?”

“They’re cute. They won’t be any trouble.”

Look! No training wheels! (Murphy released to Public domain/

Look! No training wheels!
(Murphy released to Public domain/

They arrived on our doorstep – all five.

Like funny little awkward birds.

Images of those endearing penguins inΒ Happy FeetΒ warmed our hearts. Confused our thinking.

They arrived. And stayed. And stayed. And stayed.

Embarrassed excuses made to the neighbors.

Laughed they were seasonally appropriate.

Winter? Cold? Of Course! Penguins! What else?

Glamour session completed? Feeling a little insecure and blue.(JJ Harrison/

Glamour session completed? Feeling a little blue. Ready to chill.
(JJ Harrison/

Besides look at them in these cute little red hats!

Santa hats for December. (OK. That’s appropriately holiday-ish)

Chilly red-as-your-winter-nose hats for January. (Cute, right?)

Oh, red-warm-your-heart Valentine’s hats for February. (Awww, just snuggly heartwarming.)

Mardi Gras hats! Β Art Festival hats! Rodeo hats! (No not stretching anything – except the hats…)

Yes, they are stocking hats. Have to be stocking hats.

Those will stay on (So cute. Penguins in hats!)

And those are soft on delicate skin.

You wouldn’t be suggesting scratchy edible straw cowboy hats?

How insensitive are you?

Accept cultural differences, please.

I could have danced all night. Danced all night - until they shut the door.(M.Murphy. Released to Public Domain. 2006/

I could have danced all night. Danced all night – until they shut the door.
(M.Murphy. Released to Public Domain. 2006/

People in the neighborhood started to stop talking when we walked up.

Some uncomfortable shuffling.

Some ugly hard stares.

Recently a few awkward sounds that almost sounded like the beginning of something before it stopped.

We couldn’t count on them to cross our doorway anymore.

Secretly we knew the time was coming,

Summer is more here than soon arriving.

But it’s not like we could just toss them out.

They were penguins!

They joyfully arrived. They danced. They became tiring. (Fish and visitors? How's that go?)

They joyfully arrived. They danced. They became tiring. (Fish and visitors? How’s that go?)

All good things must come to an end. Sadly, the penguins were carried off last weekend.

Relocated to a cool quiet spot more appropriate for penguins than simmering coastal Texas.

We tiptoed around the issue for a while, but, yes,the penguins have been removed and replaced.

RC Cat. heard the news.

She gratefully place her paw on my knee, pushed her weary forehead close to my ear and whispered, “Thank goodness they are gone. The situation was getting difficult to ignore.”

We accepted her gratitude knowing the warm joy wouldn’t last. She hadn’t seen.

The penguins have been replaced with this:


IT WAS CHEAP! CLOSEOUT! Only a placeholder door mat – promise.

Staff is expecting a tersely worded memo shortly.

Footloose (and totally unapproved by RC Cat)

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Penguin webcam at Galveston’s Moody Garden. (Penguins cam bottom right. Seal cam on left)

Penguin Encounter Adventures for visitors.

Put your left foot out. Put your left foot in. Put your left foot out and shake it all about. Do the penguin pokey- that's what it's all about.(Ben Tubby.2007 Flickr,

Put your left foot out. Put your left foot in. Put your left foot out and shake it all about. Do the penguin pokey. Turn yourself around. That’s what it’s all about.
(Ben Tubby.2007 Flickr,


  1. RAB / Mar 25 2013 5:07 pm

    Did you really foster penguins? Would love to hear about that in much more detail, and pix please. I’m trying to use your lamentations to quell my incipient jealousy….


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 25 2013 5:22 pm

      Oh, I wish. One of my friend’s mom was a zoo “substitute parent” for abandoned babies and injured animals. (I’ve only inherited an assortment of at-risk science room mascots.) I always think it’s funny zoos sometimes send their penguins in need of shelter or a vacation to Galveston when exhibits are being re-done. It’s not exactly chilly here outdoors. We do love welcome penguins celebrity walks to their temporary housing.
      The best I could do is offer a friend who is moving temporary home for the penguin doormat until she had a spot for it…Sigh. One does what one can? (giggles)
      Thanks for braving the cold to chat (really – it’s cold there from this last front?)


  2. robstroud / Mar 25 2013 6:09 pm

    When she discovers the replacement, and gets over her initial shock, just tell RC Cat you’ll be “wiping your feet” on the dog, and she’ll probably feel much better.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 25 2013 6:38 pm

      HA! Yet another meaning for “the dog underfoot”. They were cute, but time for penguins to go. Just haven’t found the “right” doormat yet…but then it’s been a casual (and budget-wise) search.Thanks for stepping over!


  3. PiedType / Mar 25 2013 7:29 pm

    I imagine it’s well past penguin weather in your part of the world. The little guys, adorable though they are, were lucky to enjoy the fresh air as long as they did.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 25 2013 9:26 pm

      We are in ping-pong weather season. 30’s at night – low 60’s daytime (alternating by excessive humidity and 80’s between fronts…my closet is a mess – both summer and winter clothes mixed up)
      Everyone said it was time to put up the (borrowed while someone moved) penguin doormat…but I’m so picky and who wants to pay so much for a doormat? Looking for a sale…
      Thanks for skiing in to chat


  4. heretherebespiders / Mar 25 2013 7:42 pm

    Ha! You got me again, had no idea where you were going with this one!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 25 2013 9:46 pm

      Floored you! (Don’t feel bad – no one’s awake on Mondays – giggles) Thanks for flopping down to chat


  5. Jayne Williams / Mar 25 2013 8:33 pm

    Ha ha ha! Got me. Great smile for the day, thank you!


  6. katecrimmins / Mar 25 2013 8:50 pm

    Poor RC. It’s so hard to get competent staff these days.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 25 2013 9:50 pm

      RC is muttering and furiously scribbling as we speak…stuff like “reputation of the realm” and Must make sure things are done correctly to lead by example”…oh, no doubt it will be a long tedious meeting with staff. Thanks for commiserating…staff shall relay your kindness…when we dare approach HRH.


  7. Cat Forsley / Mar 25 2013 10:39 pm

    dropping by for a Yabber πŸ™‚ lol …… Loved the music thanks πŸ™‚ You have a lot of heart YOU πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    C x


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 25 2013 11:33 pm

      That song was a bit hard to hear – but somehow I could see you smiling and dancing to it! Whirl on through the world! Thanks for jabbering along


      • Cat Forsley / Mar 25 2013 11:35 pm

        πŸ™‚ How did You know πŸ™‚ >>>>> πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ I love that stuff πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Jabber Jabbbbbbah πŸ™‚ Have a beautiful Night …:) x


  8. The Hook / Mar 25 2013 10:52 pm

    You’ve made my week! Thanks!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 25 2013 11:34 pm

      What? Back to writing – no excuses! (Don’t make us get out the ruler and rap knuckles.) Glad to give you a chuckle. Thanks for waddling over to chat


  9. jmmcdowell / Mar 26 2013 12:57 am

    Hmm, a family I know has a penguin shower curtain that stays up year long. If they weren’t wearing those stocking caps, you probably could have gotten away with keeping them on the porch, too.

    I suspect RC would have preferred that to the new dog underfoot!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 26 2013 12:50 pm

      If only they hadn’t had the red hats! (It really was a left behind item when a friend moved) The last doormat was moved to the back door during the holiday season – and Molly decided to rip it to shreds. Replacements? Is there a shortage of doormat materials? Gee. The prices…which might be acceptable except we get a lot of rain and things tend to rot or turn black…and there’s the dog’s happy teeth. Thanks for stepping over to chat


  10. gingerfightback / Mar 26 2013 7:28 am

    “cultural differences” Brilliant!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 26 2013 12:52 pm

      Seriously. If penguins choose to wear red stocking hats all year, who’s to say it is wrong? Thanks for supporting equality for penguins


  11. Carrie Rubin / Mar 26 2013 3:41 pm

    Well, it was only a matter of time before a French-speaking canine with an accent problem replaced the penguins…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 26 2013 3:50 pm

      Staff wonders if it got a visa for visiting the Realm…there could be difficulties a foot. Thanks for skipping over to chat


  12. roughseasinthemed / Mar 26 2013 9:29 pm

    So what will Molly do with this one I wonder? Surely RC will think it is a beneath one’s regal dignity to even comment upon.


  13. LifeOfBun / Mar 27 2013 12:42 am

    Awww Penguins are the best. WHo could hate them hehe. πŸ˜€


  14. EllaDee / Mar 27 2013 5:34 am

    I found this site for RC – – I think she will approve of “The cat and it’s housekeeping staff reside here” πŸ˜‰


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 27 2013 4:13 pm

      RC Cat: “We greatly appreciate your assistance in this matter. What was staff thinking? We are perfectly willing to find a few pennies from under the couch if the budget is slim. They need only to ask. The idea. Can hardly peer out the windows without shame. A soft cheek pat for your kindness.”


  15. reneejohnsonwrites / Mar 27 2013 10:59 am

    What cuties – the penguins in their little tuxedo colors. I can only image the hats and only you would throw that out as a possiblity. Fun post.


  16. Beth / Mar 27 2013 3:46 pm

    Last year I did the behind-the-scenes with penguins tour at Sea World and learned a lot about penguins. I even got to gently pat one. Oh funny little guys with their penguin waddle and love of ice. I prefer the doormat kind – they get to hang around a little longer and aren’t so demanding about food and ice cold pools.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 27 2013 4:10 pm

      You are so lucky – penguins look like real charmers. Moody gardens now has 3 babies to watch. But you are right, the doormat is so much quieter. Thanks for surfing over


  17. Heather Grace Stewart / Mar 28 2013 3:19 pm

    This was fantastic. You really had me believing you’d fostered penguins. You had me wanting to try it (oh our cats would have a field day with that!) Thanks for your writing.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 28 2013 5:20 pm

      Ha! Everyday needs a little laughter. (The cats would probably enjoy some bowling of wobbling penguins.) Glad you found something to give you a giggle – thanks for visiting



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