This idea just came out of the blue, I was just writing my current Happy Feet story when this idea came up. I've always and a dislike for the scene in the first movie where Mumble has to insult Gloria in order to keep her safe from following him into the dangerous unknown. This is an interpretation of the scene of what might had looked like if Mumble had tried a more gentler and kinder approach to keep her from embarking on this journey with him.
I own nothing. Happy Feet and all its content belongs to it's respectful owners. I don't own the cover image either.
Enjoy the story!
Antarctica. Land of mountains and valleys, plains and frozen deserts. For most of the year, during the fall and winter months, the light of the sun completely disappears and the lands brings forth heavy blizzards and sharp, icy winds. Still, even in these harshest of climates, life exists. Even in places that seem completely devoid of any traces of it, it is there and sometimes you just need to look closer to find it.
Sometimes, creatures have to travel long ways across its barren landscapes to find a place hospitable enough for it to survive and thrive. As an example, a group of seven penguins, five Adelies, one Macaroni and one Emperor, were making their way across a lifeless, snow-covered plain, heading towards the snowy peaks that eventually let into a mountain range. Only, instead of finding a new hospitable place to live, the small flock were on a journey to help make their homelands more hospitable to live once more.
"Wait," one Adelie said to the rest of the group, causing them to slowly come to a halt.
"What," another asked.
"l hear voices," he replied. All of them stopped completely and began searching around.
"There is a voice," the Emperor said.
"Where," one said, listening past the small wind that was blowing across the plain.
"There's a little voice on the wind," he said, stretching onto his toes as he strained to hear it better. There, through the clarity of the air, the faint trace of a voice could be heard.
"Mambo," a few asked confusedly.
"Mumble Happy Feet!" The Emperor turned completely around and looked towards the distance. A bank of snow met his vision and standing on top of it and calling out to him was a faint, white figure. His eyes narrowed to see through the light reflecting off the snow and his mind raced to identify the penguin.
"Gloria," he asked, before his voice became more energetic. "Gloria!"
"Gloria," the others asked, beginning to follow after him enthusiastically as he began walking as fast as he could towards her. With their group and Gloria both running towards each other at the same time, the distance between them was beginning to lessen fast.
"l can't believe it's you," he called out, as soon as they were halfway the original distance between each other.
"Of course it's me," she called out. Mumble soon was close enough to see her features. Her lovely face, her sleek, smooth form. Her gleaming, warm, brown eyes.
"What are you doing here," he asked as soon as they were close enough to reach out and touch each other.
"All the love in the world can't be gone," she sang as she began to twirl around him, "all the need to be loved can't be wrong."
"Oh, my," he said incredulously, his eyes never leaving her.
Between the two, despite being the same specie, there was a handful, or in this case flipperful, of differences. Gloria had all the features of a normal Emperor penguin, the tuxedo black and white feathers with a hint of gold on her chest and on her neck. Her eyes were the same color as almost everyone back home, brown. Mumble, on the other flipper, because he had been dropped as an egg, had less time to mature. His feathers were mostly comprised of what he had as a chick, the only sign of his adult feathers on the lower half of his body and the tips of his flippers. Another striking feature that contrasted between the two was his eyes, a glittering icy blue, almost completely unheard of in the history of Emperor kind.
Another thing that really separated them apart was their heartsongs. All Emperor penguins had a special song that they felt when it came time to choose a mate would lead them to their true soulmate, which they displayed by singing their own songs and if they found their future partner, would combine their two into a duet. Gloria had graduated at the top of her class with a voice as mellifluous as honey, while Mumble could not sing at all, due to an accident as an egg where his voice was left permanently cracked and was about as pleasant to hear as cracking ice. Still, considering she had followed him out here, leaving her entire flock and family behind, it was obvious that she did not care.
"So which way, twinkletoes," she asked sweetly as she began waddling in the same direction that he and the others had been going just awhile ago.
"No, no, no. If you come, you may never get back home," he said concerned as he began following after her.
"Fine by me," she replied simply.
"Gloria, you have a life back there. l don't," he tried to explain. And it was true. Just the day before he had been exiled from his own colony for his blasphemous hippity-hopping when it had instead been a way to display his musical abilities that did not come from his singing. "l mean, we don't. Not out here. How can we keep an egg safe? That's if we ever had an egg."
Gloria had stopped and turned around, forcing Mumble to stop as well and stare at her directly in the face.
"Well, l don't need an egg to be happy," she replied softly.
"You say that now, but what about later when all your friends have eggs," he asked, hoping that his voice would deter her from caring about him and the perilous quest they were embarking on enough to think of her own happiness.
"Then I'll have you," she replied sweetly. A small smile traveled across his face at her touching words. The Amigos awed in happiness, while Lovelace could only smile as much as he could with the thing around his neck.
"Oh, now he's going to pledge his soul forever," whispered the first Adelie to the rest of his friend. Mumble stared at Gloria for another moment, before blinking and shaking his head slowly. Before Gloria could further say anything, his flipper came up to touch her and clenched it lightly.
"Gloria, as much as I want to be with you and want you right by my side, I can't bare the thought if I lose you. I don't think I'll ever be able to forgive myself. I know it's dangerous out here and I know that you still want to come with me, but the thought of you becoming hurt or injured somewhere on this trip already makes my heart became filled with fear." Before she could open her beak and let words out, he held up his other flipper to her face.
"I know I have to go, I need to go and find who's out there taking our fish, and I know that someday I'll return, but when I do, I want you to be safe. That's why, I want you to stay behind at home, because I know when I come back and see your gorgeous face and lovely brown eyes, I'll know that I did the best thing by letting you be safe while I embarked on this journey. So please, I asking, no, I'm begging you to stay behind."
All was quiet on the ice plain, nothing but the wind to keep it from becoming silent. Gloria was staring at him with a myriad of emotions he couldn't even begin to name. He felt the afternoon sun hit his black back and make him uncomfortably warm, along with the fear that he had said something wrong. Finally, she spoke.
"I-I understand Mumble," she quietly said, dipping her head down mournfully, before lifting it up again to look at him. "I'll wait for you till you come home, to me." He nodded solemnly in agreement.
"I know. I promise to come back soon, even if my journey takes me to the end of this world," he reassured.
"I'll miss you," she said quietly, her voice on the verge of breaking with sorrow.
"I'll miss you too," he whispered back. slowly and painfully, he felt her smooth, warm flipper slide out of his, leaving a cold ghost of the feeling where it had once been. Her feet had begun to trudge back in the direction she had came, but she took one last glance from over her shoulder, face filled with sadness.
"Goodbye," she said quietly, before resuming her journey back home. Mumble remained quiet, knowing that she already knew that words would just ruin their parting. It was best they keep silent until the next time they would see each other again. As Mumble began resuming in the direction that they were going, Ramon lifted his flipper up and gently halted him.
"Tall boy, I might not know so much about love, but I most definitely know that you did the best thing you could 'ave done back there," he said. The other Amigos and Lovelace nodded and murmured in agreement. Mumble gave a small, sad smile and nodded.
"Yeah, I know. Thank you," he replied. The seven of them then resumed their walk. The Adelies and Macaroni picked up their pace, each of them knowing that the quicker they were to complete their mission, then the sooner Mumble could be back with Gloria.
And this is what I think would had been a better change for that scene. Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed it. Please leave a review with some feedback and feel free to check out some of my other stories. Sincerely, v.t.7