This is the tale of the wolf that wanted to be a penguin.

Once upon a time there was a wolf, and he was told to chase after penguins. He wasn’t the greatest wolf, because he was terribly slow, but hiw slowness gave him a fantastic opportunity to observe his tuxedo wearing friends. He noticed that the routine of the penguin was much preferable to his own. Their schedules were consistent and open for discussion, and their community vast and collaborative. “It must be those dapper suits, musn’t it?” he thought, and without pause he dressed himself as a penguin, learned to use shells, and brought the penguin dogma to his pack. The pack was not happy to have such a challenge to their old-and-set ways. The patrol and system organization was not open for discussion, and the pack protocol fuzzy at best. Not knowing how else to deal with the bold differences, they allowed him on their land but excluded him, isolating him to live in his own subsystem cave. It was separate but different - just having enough shells to look like a penguin habitat, but lacking the underlying ecosystem to truly be inhabitable by a real penguin. Nevertheless, he was very happy in his lovely cave! It was free of the crash of waves that previously flooded the pack space with blue, and protected its inhabitant from living on a dangerous edge, vulnerable to the eyes of the world. He was thus shielded from disease, and could spend his days using his shells to come up with recipes for new bytes.

But pretending to be a penguin in a subsystem cave does not make a wolf a penguin. Quite a lonely operation was he! But let’s not forget the openness of the penguin community. When windows are designed to not open, you’d be better off to knock down a wall to create a door. He imagined that if he risked leaving the lands of his pack, the penguins might welcome him with open arms. And so he packed up his cave, and presented the package to one of the penguin managers. Joyful greetings! The manager helped him tidy his cave, and accepted him warmly with open (but tiny) arms. It was a bold, and powerful statement. A wolf with dreams living in isolation no longer was he, but rather an accepted and integrated member of a thriving community of penguins.

You might find it peculiar, dear reader, to stumble on a cave, accepted by the penguins, created by a wolf, pretending to be a penguin, but now you might understand how that cave came to be. You might also realize that the traditional story of a predatory animal putting on the skin of his prey to trick them doesn’t apply here. The penguins do not know that they are penguins, but rather define themselves by core beliefs and practices.

A wolf cannot turn into a penguin. But he can choose integration over isolation, and consequently find happiness by just being himself.

Suggested Citation:
Sochat, Vanessa. "Penguin." @vsoch (blog), 31 Jul 2018, (accessed 12 Jun 24).