The unfinished journey of the penguin in the jungle

Traduire - eng|fr



A long time ago, on a mysterious island of ice, lived an old gentleman with his wife and three daughters: Ahnah, Akiak and Anana. The igloo where they lived was modest, but the love of one another was immense. The parents were despaired to have a boy. In each full moon, the wife plunged into icy water to purify her belly and conceive this long-awaited male baby.

The old gentleman went fishing every morning, and each time his wife recommended that he take one of his daughters with him to warn him at least of the presence of a bear since his sight was beginning to deteriorate; however, he refused. One day, while fishing, he saw a penguin emerge from its eggshell. He picked it up quickly and pressed the steps to go home. Having fished nothing, the whole family was going to settle for this little penguin for dinner. As soon as the fire was lit, and the pot was full of water and condiments to the brim, the poor penguin, very anxious, said to the nice woman: “Why put me in a pot when there is already a boy in yours?” Stunned, the nice woman looked at her belly then looked up and exclaimed, “my pot contains only guts. It cannot prepare a boy, but you, naughty penguin who dares to stir the knife in the wound, I will put you in the real pot, and I will enjoy tasting you to the bone!” “Wait, nice woman. If, in five months, a boy does not come to accompany his father to hunt or fish, put me in your pot!” His youngest Akiak interjected: “Mother, in five months, he will be fat. He’ll feed the whole family for three days. If my little brother doesn’t come to the fifth moon, you’ll make a good porridge!” The misogyny woman agreed.

At the dawn of the fifth month, the whole family was awakened by a newborn cry, and immediately, exclamations of joy rang out! The couple couldn’t believe it. After so many years of waiting, at last, their wish was granted. A miracle! And the penguin certainly knew things about it. To reward him, the parents decided to give him one of their three daughters for marriage; moreover, they gave him the chance to choose. He looked at Anana. She was the most beautiful one with black raven hair reaching her knees, huge and very black eyes that sparkled all the time, a thin pink mouth, soft hands, and finally, a beauty that no male would have refused, but the penguin looked down and passed to the second. She was less beautiful but highly educated. She spent her days and nights in the light of a candle with her nose stuffed in books; however, the penguin did not even stay there for a sneeze. Then he looked at the youngest , Akiak. She was small in stature and a little round. He saw her hands. They were neither thin nor soft, so he turned to her parents and said with a broad smile: “This is the one I want as my wife. I will go to the jungle, and I will be happy that she shares all my adventures with me. The mother refused​,​stating that she was the only resourceful child they had at home, and that she was the one who found solutions for any problem when the head of the family was away. The penguin assured her that the boy who had just been born would do better and take care of everyone as they had always dreamed. On the same day, in a sad atmosphere, the bride accompanied her husband.

The journey was long, but the hardest things happened in the boat. The bride and groom, happy on deck, were admiring the twilight when suddenly, carried away by his instincts, the penguin threw himself into the water. Poor Akiak uttered an appalling cry, put her hands over her eyes for a brief moment, and then looked. She saw only the tip of his beak, and then she saw nothing. She thought he had drowned and found solace only with the captain of the boat. They eventually fell in love with each other and got engaged. When the boat docked, to his surprise, Akiak saw the penguin waiting for her on the dock: “My beloved, I had to stretch my paws, and a good swim did well to my body!” “Leaving without telling me anything has surely done good to your body, but unfortunately will hurt your heart. I’m in love with the captain. I can’t go with you.”

Sad, the penguin went away with death in his soul.

On his way, he was caught in a trap. The poor penguin struggled with all his might, but there was no avail. At dusk, a young hunter came,  looked at the prey with great surprise and whispered, “Hey, I’ve never seen such a duck.” He took him by the paws and took him home. His sisters looked at that prey and said to their brother, “brother, you have never brought us such a volatile since the disappearance of our parents and since the time you have taken care of us.” The big sister said, “we will make a beautiful roast, and we will even invite the neighbors!” The penguin, trembling with fear and terrified by what he heard, said, “the missing ​ones will knock on your door during the full moon, and if they do not reappear, do what you want with me.” No one believed him: for years the parents had gone on a journey to Jerusalem and had not returned.  Yet, the youngest reasoned them: “The full moon is in three days. It’s really  the time we prepare all the condiments we need for a delicious roast.” On the third night, the family heard knocking on the door. The brother grabbed a sledgehammer and went to open. However, to his surprise, he saw his parents. They were old but alive, and immediately, shouts of joy resounded here and laughter there. The whole family was once again gathered and complete. The youngest sister looked at the penguin and was seduced by his charm and talent. “How can he resurrect the missing?” She thought. And of course, no one dared to roast the penguin. On the contrary, the brother, who was the head of the family, suggested to him to choose between his three sisters to be his wife. The unthinking penguin laid his eye on the youngest who had spared him the grill. That night, she packed her suitcase and accompanied her husband the penguin.

They were very happy to be together. But along a river, the penguin, driven by his instincts, threw himself into the water. The poor bride cried out with all her might and asked for help. A hunter, who was in the area, ran. Unfortunately, the poor penguin couldn’t be seen no longer. The bride wept with tears. The hunter took her in her arms and comforted her. He assured her that he would always be there for her, and that he would not let any being hurt her. The sadness of the young wife then subsided, and she did not want to leave the hunter. After days of walking, splashes were heard by the river. The young couple turned their heads. To their surprise, the penguin reappeared. But too late, his beloved’s heart was taken by the seasoned hunter.

The penguin went on his own feeling sad.

He reflected on the bad luck that fell upon him and the loss of his loved ones. He concluded that luck had nothing to do with it, but it was his impulsive reasoning and behavior that caused him all these misfortunes. He pulled himself together and swore that he would never leave a beloved before promising his return. Two days of walking had passed without him meeting a living soul. On the third day he heard a groan coming from afar. Intrigued and wanting to feel the presence of another living being, he went to see where these voices came from. He found a young man mourning his niece who was lying on the ground. The young man raised his head, saw the penguin, jumped on him, grabbed him, and said kindly to his niece: “Hold on, my niece. You will not starve right now. I’ll cook you a goose. It’s good, huh?” The girl, beautiful and thin as a wicker branch, opened her eyes and smiled. The penguin, trembling with fear, said to them, “if you eat me, you will be fed for one day, and starvation will always be after you, but if I show you how to feed yourself forever, will you free me?” “My niece may die within hours if you don’t teach me quickly. Beware! And you better not try to escape..” The penguin taught the young man how to fish and how to set traps. After less than an hour, there were big fish in the net… The young man, happy with the penguin’s work, asked him if he would marry his niece. At least ​she ​would be in the hands of someone who would never let her starve. That night, the niece left with her husband.

A few hours from the jungle, the couple passed by a lake that was too deep. And again, carried away by his instincts, the penguin jumped into the water without warning his beloved and without respecting obviously what he had promised himself… Hungry crocodiles threw themselves at him and shredded him…

Because of his negligent spirit, the poor animal had ended up losing a third beloved, had never taken advantage of the jungle as he wished, and had lost his life…

  • Author: Rmili Fatiha
  • Illustration: Rmili Fatiha
  • Translation: Asmaa
  • Release Date: 22/04/2017
  • Theme: Mistakes/ Learning from Mistakes
Vous avez aimé ce texte, partagez-le !