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Story [Penguins of Madagascar] Scooping [Dedicated to my dad]

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by pronker, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. pronker

    pronker Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 28, 2007
    Title: Scooping

    Author: pronker

    Era: Movie-Verse, twenty-six days after the prologue.

    Summary: Four young penguins make do without their fathers on Fathers Day until an adequate substitute steps in.


    Rico came up from underneath the struggling penguin chick and boosted him back onto the chunk of ice that formed their abode these days. "Gotcha, 'Rivate!" He leaped out of the frigid sea water three minutes before Skipper and when he offered a flipper to help Skipper himself up, Skipper acted like he hadn't seen the courtesy.

    "I think he's had enough for today," Kowalski said as Skipper popped onto the ice. Kowalski patted Private's back as the wet youngster clutched the tall 'tween's waist. Private buried his face in the soft white feathers of the solar plexus until Kowalski grunted and eased him back some. If Skipper didn't know better, he'd say that Private was afraid to look him in the eye after his failure to learn today's lesson. He couldn't figure out what to do next with the little guy. Skipper missed his dad's advice until he shook off the feeling. There was no turning back to childhood.

    "Yeah, okay. I guess so." The currents carrying their lifeboat of ice northward from Antarctica were fierce, it was true, and perhaps Skipper had made an error in judgment by pushing such a young penguin into them. Since Private could talk directly after hatching, it seemed like his physical abilities would match up. They didn't.

    Rico tapped Skipper on the back to make him turn around. "'Kippaaahfeeeeesh?" he asked, dumping half a Patagonian toothfish onto the ice. He rubbed his wonder tum as he licked his beak. "Gooooodfeeeesh."

    "Oh, yeah!" Skipper chowed down and it was great stuff, sweet and tender right down to the tip of the caudal fin. "Mmmmm, you're a good hunter, Rico."

    Rico looked over Skipper's shoulder at something and broke into a soft-footed shuffling dance. He patted his feet to slap the ice in a rhythm that he hummed until Skipper sat down to watch the performance. "Ahh, dinner theater! So that's folk dancing in your old hometown back in Hamarskaftet Nunatak? Looks like fun."

    "Yah." Rico continued until he got out of breath. The sounds of pattering feet gave way to another sound above the whish of sea water devouring their ice home. The new sound contained sniffling and murmurings of comfort. After another quick look behind Skipper, Rico introduced juggling four mackerel and ended with a Ta-daaaah! and then a Hooboy as Skipper swiveled to spot Kowalski still cuddling Private.

    The youngest penguin within one hundred forty cubic miles of ocean had resumed his baby baby practice of standing on the feet of anyone handy. Twenty minutes after his swimming lesson, Private had graduated to pressing his cheek against Kowalski's midriff so he could see what he could see by looking out to sea. He zipped his face back into the feathers at Skipper's approach.

    "Kowalski, don't coddle him. The current whittles this ice block smaller every day and we all might have to swim for it --- "

    Kowalski had shut his eyes in bliss at his early parenthood or brotherhood, he didn't really know or care which, but now he opened them in warning. "Don't you mean you and I and Rico would swim and push the ice chunk along with Private on it? I think that's what you meant."

    Somehow Skipper wound up being the bad guy and he wouldn't stand for it. "No, that's not what I meant."

    Rico rose from his tired sprawl. "'Kippaaaah --- "

    "I'm sorry I'm not a better swimmer, Skippa --- " Private's words came through muffling dense feathers.

    "Apologies don't cut it with me. Hey!" Rico spun Skipper around and loomed his height over the friend he trusted most. It was no brag, just fact that he could sit on anyone inhabiting this bit of congealed aitch-two-oh and they'd hurt for days.

    Rico growled like a Siberian husky on caboose position at the sled dogs' chow line. "Nice."

    "I am nice. I'm also needing Private to learn to swim for his own sake, and and, for mine. And for the rest of you. We all saved him from leopard seals and we all want to survive --- "

    "KaffthePrivatekaff --- "

    " --- this argument so we all can be together like brothers ought to be. There. Nice enough?" The sentence hadn't started in his head that way, but he was satisfied with the way it came out. "So, Private, are you up to getting back in the swim of things? Say yes."

    Private turned to face his teacher until only his heels remained on Kowalski's feet and Kowalski ringed his shoulders in a protective hug from behind. "I'm scared." Kowalski squeezed Private's collarbones until Private got pop-eyed. He broke free of the grip and stood on his own two feet. He raised his chin even though it wibbled.

    "You're --- a penguin, how can you be afraid of the water --- never mind. It is what it is. We're all behind you, Private --- "

    "Pushin' me in!"

    Skipper sounded honestly confused. "What about it? It's how my own Poppop taught me --- "

    Rico spoke almost simultaneously with Kowalski. "Itwuz?"

    "Well, yeah. Wasn't it the same for you guys?"

    Two shakes of the head. "Rico and I got scooped, right, Rico? Ah, the memories linger." A sublime grin preceded a lengthy gabble from Rico that Skipper understood partway and when Rico finished, he shared a nostalgic smile with Kowalski.

    Skipper considered. "So scooping might be the best option for the best result, hey, Kowalski? Lay some newfangled technique on me, buddy."

    Kowalski assumed his favored teaching stance, head high, flippers clasped behind his back. "Scooping is when the parent bird gets into the water first and hoists the youth, who stands on the rim of the iceberg. The parent then dips the whole totes adorbs little body, ahem, I mean the whole child's body under the water for five seconds before drawing the child up to the chest while they laugh and splash together."

    Skipper rubbed the back of his neck. "Play? I can do play."

    "Um, you can?"


    "I can, too."

    "If you say so, Skipper. Don't worry, Private, Rico and I will be standing by."

    Skipper adjusted his favored stance, flippers akimbo and chin jutted. "I'd like you two to get in with me. We'll be together, just like brothers. You want to be our brother, like family, right, Private? You'll enter the water and join us?" This felt like leadership; this felt right. It had to work. "We'll take turns scooping you until you feel better about it --- "

    Private's chin wobbled even more. "I want my real mommy and daddy!" He sat on the ice and put his flippers over his face.

    Now this might be a sticking point. The three 'tweens had no prayer of turning the ice floe around in this current to return to Antarctica. Finding Private's true relatives was impossible. Three long faces turned into two when Skipper came up with his best idea that day. "Private, when we all grow up, we'll go find your mommy and daddy in Antarctica and tell them what a big brave boy you were today. We'll make sure they know that their baby had the best support around, right, guys?"

    Kowalski had a caveat. "We will return, even if this ice disappears from under our feet --- ow!" He glared at Rico.


    Skipper flashed back on his dad's reassuring manner. "Never mind Gloomy Gus, kiddo. We'll pull through even if push comes to shove and we get dunked in a week or so --- hey, do you see what I see?"

    The sight of a seaworthy ship bearing down on them took their breath away. The old wreck off Antarctica's shores on which they'd eluded leopard seals carried death as cargo and this shiny white ship brimmed with life. Shouts became clearer as the ship with two stacks reaching for the cirrus clouds overhead got nearer. Crewmembers raced about the deck, aimed field glasses and lowered a small boat at a safe distance from the ice floe. A blaring bullhorn directed seamen and by the time the boat reached the floe, three young penguins clotted around a central fluffy penguin. Three men wearing ice gripper boots clambered aboard while a fourth manned the tiller. One bearded explorer knelt beside the quartet.

    "Is that one trying to karate me? Formidable!" Arms tipped with grasping fingers swaddled Skipper in a towel. Skipper bit and kicked. "Steady, we won't hurt you, mon petit chou. Here, Juan, take this one. Be careful, he bites." A mesh bag soon held the four water birds.

    "Got 'em all, Fabien."

    "How did they get so far from home? Another week in this current and the ice would disappear, poof! These bébés are much too young to be on their own. I wonder what their story is?"

    As the boat skimmed over the waves back to the mother ship, Skipper studied the strong, kind face that reminded him of his father, well, on the inside. He felt protected and the feeling eased the transition from having total responsibility for three other lives to sharing it. The others would be looking to him for an example.

    "Smile and wave, boys. We've been scooped."


    The End.

    Sith-I-5 likes this.
  2. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    This was very good.

    Good coherent story that made good use of the environment in the melting ice floe; the normality of one member "sicking" up a fish, and its meal time, folks! Baby penguin standing on older one's feet.

    Good to see Skipper on the back foot, and the parental one enjoying the "bliss" of Private's attention.

    I don't yet feel youth from your foursome, despite several pointers to them being tweens; you probably got closest with Skipper feeling secure with the rescue at the end.

    Well done. 8/10
    pronker likes this.
  3. Nehru_Amidala

    Nehru_Amidala Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 3, 2016
    This was a nice fluffy *pun intended* one shot. Can't wait for the next one.
    pronker likes this.
  4. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 9, 2000
    OMG...too cute... I don't blame Private one bit for not wanting to be 'scooped' by Skipper (he might be okay with Kowalski or Rico). And are we to understand that they are rescued by Jacques Cousteau?! Bwahahaha, the Calypso will never be the same! I suppose there had to be some explanation for how they ended up in the Central Park Zoo...
    pronker likes this.
  5. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Ack!! The cuteness was overwhelmingly adorable with this one. I just can't even - learning how to swim, Skipper being Skipper, their getting scooped . . . this was such a fun read, and, as always, you have such a fantastic grasp on your characters. I thank you for sharing! [face_love]=D=
    pronker and Sith-I-5 like this.
  6. pronker

    pronker Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 28, 2007
    Thanks for reading, y'all!

    +Sith-I-5 *spouts headcanon* Their original berg from the movie turned into a floe after about one month in warming currents. The key is fluid flow of warm seawater to the berg's underside. Without it, the sea underneath would be depleted of heat and melting stops. Combining factors of the berg escaping the circular Weddell Sea currents and joining the Malvinas current on its way to the warmer Brazil current at the Brazil-Malvinas Confluence would result in the little guys' lifeboat shrinking and shrinking [face_nail_biting]

    +Nehru_Amidala Glad you enjoyed the story. It started out as more fluff than angst, but angst poked its head in anyway. *wonders at self*

    +Mistress_Renata Poor Private wants to play with the big guys but getting pushed in overloads his capabilities.[face_chicken] Squee!! The original Calypso is on its way to becoming a museum for the Society, and Calypso II has just had its hull closed in its construction, so it's not seaworthy for a while yet. The Alcyone is what I had in mind, a glorious thing to behold here: [​IMG]

    +Mira_Jade I'm pleased you enjoyed the cute. Private and the rest at this age are awfully appealing.
  7. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 9, 2000
    So when are you going to do that SW/Penguins crossover we all keep begging you for? [face_batting]
    pronker likes this.
  8. pronker

    pronker Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 28, 2007
    *digs deep into the Plot Bag Of Holding* When a plot bunny emerges, it shall be posted here![face_dancing]
  9. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Force Ghost star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    Pronker! This was absolutely precious! [face_laugh] I could just picture the events hilariously and endearingly unfold. =D=
  10. pronker

    pronker Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 28, 2007

    + WarmNyota_SweetAyesha ;) Thanks for reading! The foursome are such darn fun to visualize at these ages. Fluff FTW!
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.