217 • Penguin farewell

217 • Penguin farewell

Farewell to my penguin, Pierre,
Whose dream was to fly through the air:
Though he clung to that kite
With apparent delight
I felt for his inner despair.

It is not easy to distinguish ‘delight’ in a penguin physiognomy, and it seems probable that the dream of flying was the author’s, not that of his long-suffering pet, which is singularly ill-adapted for such manoeuvres. All too often humanity’s purported kindnesses are, at base, paper-thin masks for gnawing personal inadequacy.

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