AND THE PENGUIN
Before he went to bed one night,
Omar watched a documentary film with his father. It was all
about animals, and he was surprised to see how some animals
survived under the most difficult conditions. As he got into
bed, he thought about what he had seen. He imagined that he
lived where those animals did, and suddenly he found himself
in a place all covered with snow. He began to wander around.
All of a sudden, he
heard a voice say, "Welcome, Omar!"
"Who are you?" Omar asked.
"I am a penguin," came the answer.
The creature that was speaking
looked just like it was wearing a tuxedo. Omar remembered
what it was right away. There had been a segment about penguins
in the documentary he had watched with his father that evening.
"Oh yes," said Omar: "I just
saw something about your life on television. It's really freezing
here. Don't you ever get cold?"
penguin answered: "This is the South Pole, and the temperatures
here can go as low as a freezing -130 degrees Fahrenheit (-88
degrees Celsius). This environment would kill many animals,
but we have no difficulty living here, although this is only
because of some special qualities that Allah has given us.
Because of a thick layer of
fat under our skin, we are not affected by the cold as much
as other animals. And when winter comes, we go farther south
along the coast."
remembered: "That means you migrate! What other qualities
do you have that I don't know about? For example, the documentary
said that you take great care of your eggs until the babies
hatch from them. Can you tell me about that, please?"
The penguin smiled: "Of course.
Unlike many animals, it is the male penguins who incubate
the eggs rather than the females. And they do this in -22
degree temperatures Fahrenheit (-30 degrees Celcius) for 65
days without ever moving. Meanwhile, the mother penguin goes
away to look for food for the babies that will be born. After
they are born, the chicks spend their first month on the feet
of their mother and father. If they leave there for even two
minutes they will freeze to death."
Omar nodded: "That means you
really have to be careful, then?"
The penguin replied: "Allah
has taught every animal how to act. We just do what Allah
has inspired in us."
Omar agreed: "Our Lord has taught
every creature where and when it should settle and how to
find food. The life of you penguins is a good example of this."
penguin turned around: "You can find lots of different examples
in other creatures. My family is waiting for me, so I must
go now, I'm afraid."
Suddenly Omar heard the sound
of a bell ringing. It was morning and his alarm clock had
gone off. He then realized that his little journey had just
been a pleasant dream.