This is for Jamie and Charlie in Somerset

Mr Archibald Penguin had been travelling on and off for about a week. He had started out from Edinburgh Zoo, with a little bit of fish neatly tied in a handkerchief. He had decided that if he walked in a straight line, he would get to the sea.

He was keen to get to the sea. Ever since he had been a very small penguin, it had been his dream to be a submarine captain.

He walked through towns and villages, woods and fields, and now, oh joy! He had found water. And not just water, but a boat!

Peregrine’s boat on the canal by Charlie Glaisher

It wasn’t a very smart sort of a boat, not even vaguely resembling a submarine, but it was a boat, and after all, one had to start somewhere. He hopped onto the deck and knocked politely on the cabin door. Nobody answered.

Never mind, he would wait. After an extremely long tim (about five minutes) he decided that this was probably an abandoned boat, so maybe he should let himself in, and look around.

Just at that moment there was a thump from the deck. The owner! He or she must have come back! Mr Archibald was so embarrassed that he looked round for the nearest locker and jumped in. He was just in time. There was a clump of feet and a mysterious squeaking sound, and someone came into the cabin.

Mr Archibald held his breath. The someone clumped around and then clumped out again. The boat tipped as the someone jumped to shore. Silence. Mr Archibald started to breath again. He poked his head out of the locker and looked around carefully. This would be a very nice place to stay, and perhaps the owner of the boat could give him a lift to the sea. He would hide away here for a day or two and then when he had stopped being embarrassed, introduce himself.

Yes. That was what he would do. Great plan! He made himself a nest in the cabin, went to sleep and dreamt of submarines and smart submariner’s hats.


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