Archibald Penguin No. 2

 

Continuing Our New Serial!

Who Ate All the Fish?

featuring

Archibald Penguin, Our Bird,
The Famed Detective.
The Cheeky Penguin who
Loves Fish as Almost as Much as
He Loves Fighting Crime!

Detective Serial featuring Archibald the Penguin

 

The Players:

Polar Bear —  A Hungry Animal
The Walrus —  A Certain Tusked Mammal
Seal —  A Happy Fellow
Pelican —  A Creature with a Large Mouth
Archibald Penguin —  Our Bird
Henrietta Puffin —  Penguin’s Ever-Present Companion
Shark —  A Miracle of Evolution
Killer Whale —  Poster-Fish for the Misunderstood

Chapter 2

 

We find Archibald Penguin, Our Bird, on the ice and snow-covered land of the Southern-Most Continent, with his ever-present companion, Henrietta Puffin. The two are investigating the disappearance of the fish from their cove-sheltered water. At the scene of the crime they discovered three sets of footprints: a bear, seal, and walrus. Having followed the trail of the Walrus, they interrogated the animal, skillfully bringing him to the brink of confession. We rejoin the group now. On the cusp of the truth?

“Enough games then!” Archibald gesticulated. “What have you been chewing on Walrus? What are you hiding from us? Is it the fish?!”

Walrus gulped and with a clear voice thundered. “No!”

Archibald felt he was on the verge of confession. “Have you eaten all the fish? Are you choking down the last of the cove’s supply?”

“No. I’m only chewing on my tongue.”

“Chewing on your tongue?!” Ms. Puffin said with disdain only possible from a school teacher. “Is that the best you have?”

“It’s the best because it’s the truth.” And as if on cue, there came the rumbling pronouncement of hunger from the animal’s stomach. “You see? I ain’t ate in eight dates. This’ll be the ninth night, this might, if I can’t find some food.”

“Ninth night? We only noticed the absence of fish this morning.” Archibald quizzed.

“Well, I don’t know. Maybe there were some fish the past few days, but not enough for me to catch and fill my stomach. I’m so hungry.” The walrus’s eyes sort of rolled around in his head. “I need to lay down.” And the tusked behemoth did just that.

“You rest sir. We’ll get to the bottom of this.” Archibald Penguin turned to Ms. Puffin. “It would seem the fish disappearance is not so sudden. Perhaps there have been enough fish for you and I, but not for a large-stomached friend here.”

“Back to the cove then? We still have two sets of prints to investigate”

Archibald looked up and saw Pelican gently floating on the cool winds. As though he did so to mock the flightless bird below by demonstrating the ease at which he traversed terrain.

“Yes,” Archibald said absently as his attention was borrowed by a sweeping shadow dancing over the ground. “I concur.”

< — — <— — < > — — > — —>

Having reversed their path along Walrus’s track, Archibald Penguin and Henrietta Puffin again stood at the water’s edge. They looked down at the other two sets of footprints.

“The seal or the bear then Ms. Puffin?”

“The heavy trail of the walrus proved to be of little value, let us pursue the seal.”

With little pause they set out. The trail of the seal skirted close to the water, occasionally trailing out onto the sea ice. Though, Our Bird and Ms. Puffin did not venture there! For swimming nearby was a killer whale. He looked to be on the hunt too, swimming aggressively, cutting this way, and slashing that way.

“Hey!” The sleek black fish shouted to the pair of birds. “Hey you!

Archibald straightened himself up. “Yes?”

The killer whale swam closer. “I’s just talking to my pal Sharky. Says you’re looking for all your missing fish. He hey! Still on the trail are ye?”

“That’s right.” Replied Archibald, who cared not a stitch for the taunting. “Do you have any information that might be of service?”

“Me? Nah . . .” The word dissolved into a yawn; Killer Whale’s mouth wide open with his teeth on full display. The two birds took a few involuntary steps backward. “Oh now don’t worry about me. I’m not hungry.” A wide smile crept over his face. “And it ain’t the fish you’re after, if that’s what you’re thinking. Nor is it penguin. Killer Whale is misunderstood you see. I do more than eat hapless penguins that venture out onto the thin ice.”

“I said nothing.”

“Oh, I know.” Killer Whale said as he continued to swim in circles. “Silly seals though. I do have a soft spot for silly seals.”

Misunderstood indeed! The natural order is one thing. I accept it.” Our Bird retorted. “I live with it. But I do not need this presentment of brutish aggression.”

“Well. You ain’t got to listen to it, I suppose. As much as I don’t have to listen to your yap.” And the killer whale turned tight in the water and swam out to sea.

“I do not care for those brutes. Always pushing their way around, intimidating folk with their size. It’s not so much a fair fight if you’re a thousand fold bigger than I, is it?”

“Not at all Ms. Puffin. Not at all.

< — — <— — < > — — > — —>

As the two birds continued long the Seal’s path and away from the lapping wash of the water they heard a muted commotion in the distance. The further on they walked, the louder the noise grew. Finally they reached a snow bank where the noise clearly originated. It sounded as though a half-dozen seals were on the other side. “Is our boy Seal throwing a fish party? Behind that snow bank?”“It does sound as though Ms. Puffin.”

But behind that particularly large drift of snow, if it was a party, then it was the most exclusive. There was only one seal. The snow bank was U shaped, almost bowl shaped. Seal was well hidden in that snow bowl. He hopped, jumped, and clapped relentlessly. He was much more active that the Walrus. And even more suspicious.

“Hallo!” Archibald shouted out to the Seal, figuring it best not to sneak up on the jittery animal. “Hallo there seal! Mind if we have a talk with you?”

Seal stopped immediately and turned towards Penguin. Seal was flushed faced and panting. “What? Why are you sneaking up on me like this?” The Seal looked around, scanning for others. “Who are you here with?”

“Just Ms. Henrietta Puffin.’

“What do you want?”

Archibald slid down the snow embankment and in a flash stood next to the seal. “We have followed your tracks from the cove.”

Henrietta gracefully walked down to the pair. “And do you know what’s missing from the cove?”

“The fish!” Barked the Seal.

“That’s right.” Archibald agreed. “There are no fish in the cove.”

“I’m sure the fish will be back right? I hope so. Not only for my sake. I mean, I did miss breakfast, but I have many friends here too.” Seal again looked nervously around the snow bowl.

“Why all the hopping around then? If I was an impartial observer, which I must disclose that I am not, I would think your behavior rather odd. In point of fact, I might be apt to say your actions are suspicious.”

“My behavior?”

“All this hopping about and clapping. Quite a lot of energy for someone with a breakfast as deficient as you claim.”

“My behavior is my business. I don’t need to explain myself. I don’t know that you’re on about.”

“Come now. Do you take us for fools?”

“Yes,” Ms. Puffin continued with the ease and fluidity only possible after a long and close partnership. “So let’s have it then. Do you have the fish?”

Seal looked at the pair, clearly undone by the situation. “Okay! All right! I can’t hide it any longer. I took –“

 

The Fish?

 

Is it?!

 

Read our next installment to find out!

 

to be continued . . .

 

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