The Darker Times - Happy Feet

A Close Shave

After the busy day, in which more people have visited the Emperor Penguin exhibit than any other part of the park, the people had to be forced to leave, even Mumble had to admit that it was great to see so many of them. The rest of the Emperors were celebrating.

“Hey there Mumble, looks like you've made the biggest change in this area for a while.” Christina said humbly as she walked over.

“Yeah, I guess so. I wonder how tomorrow's going to be.” Mumble said calmly

“Well, maybe it'll be better when you decide to teach us...” She trailed off, leaving Mumble curious.

“What do you mean 'teach us'? There's nothing I can teach.”

“Yes there is, you can tap dance and we can't, so...” Again, she trailed off.

“Right, when do we start?”

“Um, we were thinking now maybe.”

“Oh, okay.” Mumble then started teaching the others, going from the basics to his level in only a few hours, they caught on very well, in fact, they had finished so fast that they had time to tap dance their heartsongs with time to spare. Eventually they had some rest for the big day, which they didn't have to wait too long, as the bell and the pre-recorded voice came they all got into their positions.

It was time to see how popular they would become.

As everyone started to come by, Mumble was the first to start, almost immediately, people started to notice, the Emperors could hear what they were saying.

“Look mom, that new penguin's dancing.”

“Whoa, look at those moves.”

“Wow, I wonder how he learned that.” And soon, more people came by than last time, at least 500 people tried to get a good look at it, so much that the Manager decided to have an LED counter showing just how many had come by, but the fun really came when every Emperor in the exhibit danced along with Mumble, they could see that almost everyone was in awe. By this time the counter was at 843, and rising. Midday was when the counter went over 2000, and by 8pm closing time, the final number was 4829, the place had never been so popular, and now even the newspapers had the exhibit, on the first page, heck, even the radio was talking about the place.

“Well, this is a first nearly 5000 people had been in one exhibit, I don't know how you're going to top that Mumble.” The Manager said with glee, earning a look from Mumble, which in turn made the manager leave.

“Wow, how on earth do the penguins back at your place not like you?” Christina asked cheerfully. Mumble sighed at that moment.

“Well, as I said before, I can't sing properly.”

“Oh, come on, you must have sung better than you previous attempts, right?”

“Yeah, but not enough to have respect back at my place.”

“I'll tell you what, if we do have the chance to go back there, me and the rest will put them in their place, okay?”

“I guess so, maybe.” Soon, they all had a long rest through out the night, all wondering what would happen the next day. Speaking of which the next day soon came. Christina was the first to wake up, surprisingly before the bell went, she looked over to her right, where Mumble was last time she saw him, and he wasn't there, soon she figured that he must of walked during the night. She soon looked to the left, and saw the other penguins, along with a group of people, like 3 or 4, all huddled around something.

Christina decided to have a look, whilst trying not to get attention, and then a feather floated toward her, she soon recognized it to be Mumble's, and there was not only one, but many, the realisation soon caught her, and at that one instant she was horrified. Now she had to do the opposite, try to get as much attention as possible, she tried waving her flippers, she tried to jump, but both didn't get much attention. She then decided to do what Mumble taught her, she tap danced, for about a few seconds, and then it caught the attention of one of the people, who was now confused.

“Christina? What do you want?” He asked, Christina decided to tap on the wall in the exact strange pattern as before, but this time it was much longer, by the time she finished, the person looked at her full of guilt.

“Okay guys, we have to work on something else now, let's clean this up and leave.” He said seriously, after they had cleaned up the feathers and left, Christina soon walked away to her usual spot.

“Psst, Christina?” Christina soon stopped, recognising it to be Mumble, she turned to see him and have a look at what they've done. He had lost most of his baby feathers, other then the ones around his head and flippers, and the rest of him was in the normal adult feathers.

“Yes, they're gone now.” As soon as she said that, Mumble opened his eyes and looked at Christina, the latter being more confused.

“How long have you been awake for Mumble?” Christina asked, Mumble sighed again.

“Since they started, but I didn't want them to stop, these feathers were on me for as long as I could remember, and now I know how to get rid of them, so why did you stop them?”

“Well, it's what makes you you, there is one thing that you can never do, and that it to force yourself to be like the others around you, as long as you're different, you can teach others that differences are good. That's why I stopped them, to keep your difference from others going, so you can find your true talents, and not your fake ones.”

“Wow, okay, I'll accept that, but how did you communicate with, them?”

“Oh, you mean by doing this?” And than she tapped on the wall a few times.

“Yeah, what is that?”

“It's something that I've learned from them. It's a very old code called Morse, the only problem being that it takes long to make the code.”

“Well, I don't mean to ask, but-”

“Can I teach you? Yeah, you've taught me and the others, so I'll teach you.”

“That's great, when do we begin?”

“I was thinking, now maybe?”

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