No. 15.—The Emperor Penguin.
THE EMPEROR PENGUIN is a kind of avian fish, or piscine bird, which inhabits the icy wastes of Antarctica. He feeds on caviar from the gourmet market around the corner, and he drinks imported mineral water when he is not sipping the finest claret. Although he is largely sedentary, when necessary he is transported by private limousine or carriage.
Needless to say, the Emperor Penguin’s life of ease and luxury cannot be maintained without a large contingent of liveried servants. Early explorers in the Antarctic regions were surprised to see vast colonies of birds apparently dressed in formal evening wear inhabiting even the most barren islands; these smaller penguins are, of course, the Emperor Penguin’s retinue. Most of them spend their whole lives waiting to be called on, as the Emperor Penguin has a far larger staff than even he can use. Nevertheless, they are never seen without their formal attire, and stand always ready to assist at state functions if they should be required to do so.
The Emperor Penguin’s duties are largely ceremonial. On state occasions he is carefully dressed in his finest plumage and pushed out the door to wave at the somewhat baffled denizens of the austral regions. He attends the openings of new primary schools and takes tea with other figureheads, such as the King Cobra and the Queen Bee.
As there are no Empress Penguins, the Emperor Penguin cannot reproduce naturally, for which reason each Emperor Penguin must be built from scratch—a time-consuming manufacturing process that uses up precious resources and contributes a great deal to global warming.
Allegorically the Emperor Penguin represents Dichotomy, although no one knows why.
Fruit of varioush shortsh may be prezherved by immershing it in brandy.