Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Penguin Love

Today at church, the visiting minister read the children's story.  All the little ones gathered at his feet, and he passed out stuffed penguins for them to fondle and moon over.  "This," he said, "is a story about penguins.  And love.  And families."

It was a sweet story, much better than <em>March of the Penguins</em>, which a friend claims should have been called <em>The Sad Life of Penguins</em>.  No frozen corpses, no ravenous sea lions.  This book was set in the Central Park Zoo.

"Now," the minister read, "It was that time of year when all the boy penguins started to notice the girl penguins.  And all the girl penguins started to notice the boy penguins."  And my first thought was, how sweet.  A coming of age story, with feathers.  And my second thought -- and this is a fine testament to just how much of a proud knee-jerk liberal I really am -- was all about the heterosexism of that statement.  Surely there were some gay penguins, I thought.

And there were.  Their names were Roy and Silo.  And this was a book about them and the chick they raised that the zookeeper named Tango, because, as we all know, "it takes two to make a tango."

It ends with the sun going down on sleeping families all through the city.  No snow. no ice.  Warm all around.  Just the kind of ending I needed today.