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THE PENGUIN'S REPENTANCE

O God in whom we live and are,
Queen of ocean, sun and star,
Hear this humble prayerful cry,
From birds who walk instead of fly.

        Oh, of course, it may seem bold
        To stand for months out in the cold,
        Or swim at speeds beyond compare
        Like we were meant to do in air.

But wingless?!!!  Flippers is our fate,
Just four feet tall, with waddling gait,
Odd flightless birds who roam and stroll
Around that place called the South Pole.

        Yet, God, one shame we never face,
        Our secret source of deep disgrace,
        The fact that penguins as a whole
        Have never lived at the North Pole.
All scientists have wondered why.
It's time to give a frank reply.

        We're lazy!  That's the simple fact!
        It's tough to swim UP on the map,
        So we stay south, a cozy place,
        Choosing the South's more easy pace.

Dear God, forgive our apathy,
And bless this frank apology
For living here where we prefer:
Down South, the livin's easier.




from the forthcoming book Prayers of 100 Animals A to Z, by William Cleary

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