Penguin: A collaboration with Harry Radcliffe

Penguin seated Kathrina Wainstok 2015Penguin beach Kathrina Wainstok 2015


Written by Harry Radcliffe
Illustrated by Kathrina Wainstok

I needed to branch out a bit so I headed somewhere cold
Went to chat to a penguin, to see what wisdom they hold.
I said have you got any love advice, because I sometimes I do struggle
He said, “Mate, you’re talking to a penguin… the master of the cuddle.
Some call it a huddle, the macho types, with their confidence in a muddle
But it is in fact a cuddle, this I tell you right and true,
if you want to get on her good side, get her to cuddle with you.”
“But sometimes, Mr Penguin, she doesn’t want to cuddle with me”
“What do you mean she doesn’t want a cuddle!? It’s minus bloody 50”
“Not where I’m from”
“You what?”
“In England its like 11 degrees,
So temperature isn’t a factor, we just cuddle when we please”
He was stunned to silence, so I asked him again for advice
He said I should get her something, something really nice
“Fantastic plan” I said to him, this idea seems rather sound
“Yes!” he said “so find her a pebble! Nice and smooth and round,
Ladies love a pebble Harry, and I know some fantastic places!
To find a pebble so perfectly smooth that she will mate with you on an annual basis!”
I’m liking the gift idea my friend, I’m with you until then,
But I don’t know her opinion on pebbles, and with human sex it’s kind of as and when.
He remained silent for a moment, he said nothing more.
His penguin flippers flowing down, his beak dropped to the floor.
He wanted to keep talking about mating
The ‘whens’ ,the ‘wheres’, and what amount
But I think he lost all his focus when I told him I don’t keep count
He also seemed rather taken aback, apparently he hadn’t been told
That penguins were one of few animals, who do it in such blistering cold
Well your life sounds totally amazing! He was hopping leg to leg
You can go and get her a lovely gift, whilst it’s her week to sit on your egg
That’s another thing not to concern about, because we don’t have a child,
And if we did we don’t have to sit on it, because, again, the temperature is quite mild
He was silent for a second, he said that sounds pretty fishy mate,
I said why?
He said oh yeah I’m a penguin, to us fishy means FUCKING GREAT
I said yeah I guess it is pretty cool, I’m not gonna lie
He said “I should be taking advice from you mate! You sound like your doing just fine!”
I said, well I guess I can go then, just keep on doing what I’m doing with my life
He said, no wait,
Take me with you,
And please let me take my penguin wife
I felt sorry for this penguin, now that I had opened his eyes
To the harshness of his penguin life, that’s the curse of being wise.
You seem like a great guy Mr penguin, of course you can come with me
So Mr and Mrs penguin, and myself, hopped on my raft, and sailed out to sea
He told me where to drop him off, we shook hands and went on our way
He was a kind and gentle penguin, and meeting him had made my day
The other week I got a postcard, he had written to say
That him and his wife, live with the yellow eyes penguins, on sunny New Zealand’s curio bay.