Penelope Penguin fell asleep
in her mother’s warm embrace.
She hoped she’d stay there safe and warm
but this was not the case.
As she dreamed, she drifted away
across the open water.
Oh, what a journey far from home-
away from her mother and her father.
Penelope Penguin found herself
at the other end of the Earth.
When she opened her weary eyes,
she cried for all her worth!
She couldn’t see any penguins
or anyone she knew.
She only saw three polar bears,
ice, and the big ole blue.
She isn’t supposed to talk to strangers,
her mother told her so.
But she was lost and all alone
without a place to go.
Before she got the courage to ask
a polar bear came from behind her.
He said, “I’ve never seen you here before!”
in a tone that couldn’t have been kinder.
“My name is Max,” said the cub.
“Would you like to play with me?”
“My name is Penelope and I am lost.
I don’t know where I could be!”
“You’re at the North Pole!” said the cub
in a matter-of-fact way.
“Oh no!” said Penelope almost in tears,
“I must get home right away!”
So Max took Penelope to his home
to ask directions from his mother.
His Mama told her she needs to go
from this end of the globe to the other.
“Onward south,” is what she was told
and Penelope’s journey began.
But she didn’t have a plane or a boat
so Penelope just swam.
She swam until she could swim no more
and stopped at port to rest.
“I must be almost home,” she thought-
but she’d only begun her quest.
Penelope said, almost in a whisper,
“I wonder where I am.”
But someone heard her and replied,
“Welcome to Ireland!”
Penelope saw a majestic stag
and a beautifully gentle doe.
But the little voice who spoke to her
came from the fawn named Theo.
“Ireland!” said Penelope.
“I’m on the Emerald Isle!”
“Yes, you are!” said the fawn.
“Would you like to stay a while?”
“I wish I could stay and play,
but I must get to my family.
“Why don’t you stay for our feast
with my Ma and Pa and me?
She was hungry and needed strength
for the rest of her way.
So she ate delicious Irish stew
and slept the rest of the day.
She awoke full and rested
and decided it was time to go.
“Onward south!” she told herself
this time with a boat to row.
As she rowed her boat along
she thought of the South Pole.
Then she remembered a dream of hers-
to see the world at whole!
She thought there was no better time
to see the world then today.
So she headed off to Italy,
even though it was far out of her way.
She visited the town of Tuscany.
It was so beautiful and so calm.
She met a goat name Gianna
and picked sunflowers for her Mom.
After that she made a trip
to the southern tip of Greece.
She met a mutt named Zeus
who showed her Athens piece by piece.
Just one more place she had to see
and one more thing to do.
She rowed her boat Down Under
and met Joey the kangaroo!
They hopped around Australia
and played in the outback.
She fell asleep to get her rest
for tomorrow she would head back.
She said goodbye to her new friend
and headed south with a smile.
She was ready to go home-
where she hadn’t been in quite a while.
She came across familiar ice
to the place she left behind.
She saw some friends and neighbors,
but her parents she couldn’t find.
Finally she saw them
and waddled as fast as she could.
She gave them both a hug and kiss
and everything was good!
She told them both all about
the new places she had gone.
About the polar bear and goat,
mutt, kangaroo, and fawn.
“But my most favorite place of all,”
Penelope declared sweetly,
“is here at home with both of you
where I am loved completely!”
That night before they went to bed
they watched the Southern Lights.
Her mother held her in her arms,
she whispered, “Love you-hold tight.”
Copyright Elisabeth Clark, 2010
The author lives in Tennessee, USA.
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