From the outside Purdy looked like any ordinary penguin - shiny black feathers, a crisp-white tummy and that waddly walk that makes all penguins look so funny!
But Purdy had a secret.
He didn’t like water.
Not. One. Bit.
He was fine with doing pretty much any other penguin thing.
He was OK with skating on ice.
He didn’t mind walking through snow.
He was used to eating fish every single day.
But Purdy really, really, really didn’t like to swim!
None of his friends seemed to have noticed. He was very good at making up excuses.
“Err… my tummy hurts…”
“I’ve just eaten…”
“No thanks, water makes my feathers all fizzy!”
But he knew that it was just a matter of time until he would be found out.
“What kind of penguin is scared of swimming?” he said one night to Pongo, his favourite Teddy Polar Bear. And, with a few tears rolling down his eyes, Purdy fell asleep.
The following morning the penguin felt a little better. He walked up a hill and set out a picnic for him and his Teddy Polar Bear. “You see, Pongo, we don’t need to swim to enjoy the sea. We can just sit here and watch it from afar.”
But, as Purdy turned to look at his toy, he saw it sliding all the way down the hill, faster and faster…
…Until, PLOP! It fell into the sea.
“PONGOOOO!” shouted Purdy, running towards it.
As he looked at the water, Purdy knew that he had only two choices - face his fear or say goodbye to his cuddly friend. Forever.
With a thumping heart and two legs that felt like jelly, Purdy took the plunge.
He looked left, he looked right, but Pongo wasn’t there.
So, Purdy swam. With a Whoosh of his wings, and a flick of his tail the penguin started to glide. And quite elegantly so!
He was a natural!
“Uh!” went Purdy, “This is actually quite fun!”
And he swam round and round, taking in the beautiful underwater scenery. The glistening fish, the colourful shells, and all those bubbles that tickled his face!
Suddenly, there he was.
Purdy grabbed his toy by the arm and took him home. He hugged him, dried him and propped him up on his window sill.
… and then, Purdy did something that he never thought he would do.
He went back to the sea for another swim.
And from his room, Pongo the Teddy Polar Bear watched him. And, if it wasn’t for the fact that it was just a toy, you could almost see a hint of a smile on his furry face.