A tale of three young penguins...
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+13743) 7 months ago
Once upon a time, three young penguins lived in the wastes of Alaska with their parents.

Yes, I know there's no penguins in Alaska. They're immigrants. Be quiet and let me tell my story.

Their names were Hickory, Dickory, and Willimena.

Hickory and Dickory were very lazy, and spent all of their time watching dogsled racing on television. They dreamed of, some day, going to the big city and becoming dogsled racing champions. Perhaps even competing in the Iditarod. Which would be a neat trick, of course, because ... penguins.

Willimena, on the other hand, wanted nothing more than to become a singer. To perform before audiences, and charm them with her dulcet voice. This, too, was proving difficult, because, you know, penguin.

Well, it turns out that their parents have a large sum of money saved away, and one day they decide that they're going to thaw their assets (ha, ha, get it?) and send their kids forth into the world to seek their fortune.

The kids are thrilled, and Hickory and Dickory immediately set off for Nome to become dogsled racers.

And Willimena, of course, heads off to Anchorage to become a singer.

Hickory and Dickory arrive in Nome and buy a sled and some dogs. They are awful at it, but they spend every waking moment practicing, and pretty soon can actually get the dogs to do what they want.

They also notice that, being penguins, they are much lighter than their human opponents, and don't sink in the snow quite as fast, allowing them to do pretty well on days when there's a lot of new light fluffy snow.

They practice, and practice, and eventually, with the application date of the Iditarod approaching, they actually think that they might manage to finish the race. Which is really all that they're expecting. After all, penguins.

Meanwhile, Willimena has arrived in Anchorage and tried to get a job at a music studio. And then at a hotel bar. And then at a dive bar down by the harbor. And, finally, she's singing on a street corner, collecting pennies. She knows in her heart that she will be a star some day, but nobody takes her seriously, because she's a penguin.

One day, she's singing in front of an electronics shop, and sees on the televisions an ad for Alaska's Got Talent, which is holding auditions that very day. She takes her last remaining money and goes to apply.

Amazingly, she gets through the auditions, and is selected to be on the show.

The first time she's on stage, she's absolutely thrilled. The audience, not so much. Because, penguin. But when she opens her mouth ... um ... beak ... and starts singing, the audience is struck dumb. She is brilliant. Gorgeous. Talented and beautiful. The crows goes wild, and she progresses to the finals.

Back in Nome, the Iditarod is about to start. Hickory and Dickory are getting ready, when suddenly the skies open up and the fluffiest, lightest, deepest snow in a decade descends from the heavens, just as the race is supposed to start.

The starter pistol goes off, and all of the human racers immediately sink to their necks in light fluffly snow, and Hickory and Dickory are immediately in the lead. They just fly over the snow, and soon are miles ahead of their competition. THey finish the race in a record 5 days, and sail to the finish line with no competitors in sight anywhere.

They're absolutely thrilled. They really didn't even expect to finish, much less win, and they are astonished to discover that there is a one million dollar prize. They have to wait several days to collect it, however, because the second place winner is so far behind.

In Anchorage, the Alaska's Got Talent final is about to start. Willimena goes up on stage to thunderous applause. The show has provided backup singers, a drummer, a guitar player, even a fiddler. She feels like a real professional, even if she doesn't expect to win.

But, as she starts singing, the crowd is on their feet, the judges are swept away, and she wins easily.

She, too, is astonished to discover that there's a one million dollar prize, and she has won it.

All three kids decide to go home and tell their parents that they've made the big time. They all arrive at exactly the same time, while their parents are sipping frozen drinks on the porch.

Their stories come out between hugs and kisses and exclamations of delight and pride. Their parents are so pleased at the success of their offspring. The two sons have come back from the races with a million dollars between then, and Willimena has won a million dollars all to herself.

Which goes to show, that a bird in a band is worth two who can mush.
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Posted by Mary Catherine Dunphy (+2918) 7 months ago
Never underestimate penguins! The penguin joke reminded me of Susan Boyle's first audition on "Britain's Got Talent" many years ago -- the time she sang the song, "I Dreamed a Dream." This video always makes me smile!

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