Chapter 3: Two stories

(PART 2)

A month and a half had passed since the females left the territory… and there were still a month and a half before they came back. The winter lashed with cruelty the almost frozen bodies of the males. Many lives had been lost, fathers and egg that weren't able to take shelter during the spontaneous snows, were laying in the floor motionless. The storms lasted days and there wasn't a single moment of light. Everything was darkness and melancholy.

The morale was broken. Even Noah wasn't able to light up the souls of the inhabitants of the territory. The males' song became sadder and sadder during the days, and they were less frequent than before. They had lost their spirit to sing.

But there were still some penguin whose heart wanted to speak. Mumble, surprisingly, was one of those. Although very sad and heartbroken, he still was able to found a reason for singing: his love for Gloria


All my troubles seemed so far away,

Now it looks as though they're here to stay

Oh I believe… in yesterday


I'm not half the man I used to be
There's a shadow hanging over me

Oh yesterday… came suddenly

He wasn't singing loud, but only for himself and his egg. He was sad and happy at the same time… he didn't know why. What he wanted the most at that time was seeing Gloria again. He missed her sweet voice, her lovely eyes… he even missed the squawking she made when she tried to sing. He wanted so much to feel the caress of her soft golden chest feathers.

But at the same time, he was scared. What if his father was right? If Gloria left him when she return? What he would do if he was left alone? It was a thought he didn't want in his mind. However, he had it.


Love was such an easy game to play

Now I need a place to hide away

Oh I believe… in yesterday

Suddenly, his song was interrupted by the sobbing of another young male near him. He was a very young one, maybe one generation younger.

"Hey Leon. What's up, man? Why're you cryin'?" Seymour spoke the penguin.

"I… I fell that… something terrible… is going to happen… to Roxanne…" The penguin responded, trying to hold his tears "I'm scared for her"

"Don't think that, buddy. Everything is gonna be ok" Seymour tried to console. The crying penguin nodded and calmed down a bit.

Mumble sighed, knowing that it was impossible to know if their wives were going to come back or not. He felt a great impotence… but he wanted to convince himself that some day he and Gloria would meet again, and then, they could work out their differences and continue their lives together. For now, the only thing he could do was finish his song…

Why she had to go?

I don't know, she wouldn't said

I said something wrong?

Now I'm long… for yesterday

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About two week later:

"GET OUT OF THE WATER, NOW!" A female watcher shouted.

The females were running out of time. They'd have to leave the coast that same night if they wanted to reach the colony on time; so during the last days, they began to fish during the nights too. It was good in part, because during the night there are a lot more fish than the day; but there are also many dangers… one of them were the leopard seal when they look for a midnight snack.

Right after the signal, every penguin in the water darted toward the coast. Luckily, Gloria wasn't very far, so she was able to take shelter quickly. In only a few second, all the females were in the ice.

"Wait a minute!" One of them exclaimed "Where is Roxanne?" The whispers spread through the crowd looking for the lost penguin. Roxanne wasn't there and nobody knew where she had gone.

"There she is!" Another female shouted, pointing to the water.

A penguin was swimming at full speed toward the coast, jumping out and in the water. It's what we'd call a kind of manual's maneuver to dodge the predators... but not always works.

When she was close to the coast, she made a final dive… but she didn't jump again. They waited for her during a minute…fifteen… finally, they spent thirty minutes waiting for a penguin that never emerged. They finally gave up.

"Oh, Guin… this can't be happening…" One of the females said. Everyone was shocked due the event.

"Her husband is a very young and kind guy… he will be devastated" Another one added.

"It's a tragedy…" The first penguin spoke again, while her eyes began to get wet.

"It's more than that…" One of the oldest guides said "Without knowing it, the beast takes two lives with a single bite… and maybe three" She explained, but coldly… emotionless… like if she had been thought that situation several time in the past.

"Should we start the way back, Miss Juliet?" Norma Jean asked to her.

"That would be the wiser thing now. Those beasts aren't going anywhere soon, so the fishing is over" Norma Jean nodded.

She, Gloria and Miss Juliet made their way to the front of the crowd and gave the signal to start moving.

It's took them a full month to pass through the mountains. Now having doubled their weight and also carrying a large shipment of fish is their bellies, the females were much slower than when they made the first trip.

But once they passed the mountains, there was the easy part. With the snow that the winter had brought to the plains, the females were able to belly slid through the frozen plains and reach the colony in just one or two days… and they needed to do so, because they were running out of time.

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That same day:

The valley frozen that was Emperor-Land was flooded of squeaking of small penguins coming out of their egg. Males received their chicks full of joy and happiness.

Seymour's egg was slightly bigger than the others, and when the chick came out, he was… bigger too.

"Hey! What's up, son?" Seymour greeted his son.

"Hey! What's up, pa?" The chick responded.

"Jaja! You son're gonna take this little world by storm some day, you know? 'Cause you are a star"

"Yeah! ' I'm the new big guy of the neighborhood!" The chick said, crossing his flippers and forming an X.

"Yeah, but the new big guy needs a name… Atticus will be"

"Fine by me" The chick replied, raising his shoulders a little and making a false if-that's-all-we-have's face. His father laughed, but he soon stopped when he noticed the fluffy feathered penguin who was staring at his feet very sadly near him. He was about to see what had happened, when he heard a voice speaking.

"Oh Boadicea, you're almost as pretty as your mama!" It was another male, but older than them, speaking to his just born daughter.

Seymour remembered that he had a chick too, and saw the chance to distract him so he could speak to Mumble.

"Ehm… Atticus. Are you ok with the weather?"

"Yeah! This cold is not challenge for my!" The chick said, proudly.

"Well, how about you go and play with that girl over there?"

"Why I'd do that?"

"Well, it's important to make friend"

"Mmmmmmmm… Sure pa, why not?" The chick answered and walked toward the other chick.

Seymour walked to Mumble. He gulped, noticing that his egg was still resting in his feet and didn't show any sign of having a living creature inside.

"Hey, Mumble… is everything…?"

"Come on, little one…" Mumble spoke to his egg, totally ignoring Seymour "Get out of there… please"

"Mumble, I…" The fluffy penguin now directed his eyes straight to Seymour's. The eyes are the windows to the soul... Mumble's was broken. Seymour put one flipper in Mumble shoulder "I'm sorry, bro…"

"Sorry?" Mumble replied, forcing a smile "There is nothing to be sorry. My chick is alright, he is just… taking his time. But… but… don't worry, he'll come out soon, right?" Mumble was about to cry, Seymour couldn't tell him the truth.

"Yeah… yeah" Seymour said, forcing a smile too, hitting friendly Mumble's back a couple of times and walking away.

Mumble returned his gaze to his egg. He couldn't believe it, he had done everything right… or at least he thought that… what had failed? Why his chick had di…

"NO! I'm not going to give up now! I will protect this egg with my life until the end, just like I promised" He knew that he had taken a little more time than the others chicks to hatch. So there was hope for his chick… little ... but any hope for Mumble was reason enough to fight.

That night, the agonizing winter gathered all the strength that it had left and unleashed a big snowstorm. The fathers and newborn chicks were able to climb the small mountains and take shelter inside the caves. Mumble, however, with an egg in his feet, wasn't able to climb the big rocks and reach the caves, so he was forced to stay in the middle of the square, to face the storm… alone.

"Mumble!" Seymour's voice broke the silence through the storm "Come on, friend! You are gonna die out here"

"I can't leave my chick alone!" Mumble shouted in respond

"Don't be stupid! He's gone! You can't do anything for him now"

"No offence Seymour, but you have a chick to look after… and I have mine"

"Mumble…" Another voice joined to the conversation… Memphis' one "Drop it, son"

"No dad, I'm not giving up now"

"Son, drop that egg"

"What! NEVER!"

"We'll not tell Gloria about it. We'll say that it was empty. Please son, don't risk you life"

"Both of you… get out of my sight" Mumble ordered coldly "I will bring this chick to the world… or I will die in the process"

Seymour shook his head defeated and walked back to the mountains… Atticus was waiting for him after all. Memphis sighed and followed Seymour.

Time will always run
and pictures often fad
we'll always have a memory.

Mumble began to sing to himself. He really need to distract his attention from those darks feelings.

I know some day I will find you
Find you… somewhere
Find you… somehow
I know some day I will find you
Find you out there
without… giving up

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Rollin', rollin', rolling'
Keep moving', moving', moving'
Keep them doggies rollin' Empe…ror-land
Rain and wind and weather!
Hell belt for leather
Wishin'… my man was by my side

"Come on, girls! Stay together, we are almost there!" Norma Jean voice's resonated in the crowd.

The wind was blowing in the opposite direction to where they were going. They couldn't afford to lose even a second. The storm were probably going to delay them at least a day and that was very dangerous for the chicks.

To counteract the wind, instead of walking as individuals; the females were grouped in a large formation, walking together and helping each other to advance through the dazzling storm. Gloria accidentally stumbled and fell on his stomach. Norma Jean hastened to help her up.

"Sweetheart, are you ok?" She asked, worried.

"Yeah, don't worry. I'm… wait…" Her sentence was interrupted by a fish that threatened to return to the world. Gloria quickly closed her beak with both flippers and swallowed the fish again "…ready to go" Norma Jean giggled and continued walking, with Gloria and everyone else following her.

Rollin', rollin', rolling'
Keep moving', moving', moving'
Keep them doggies rollin' Empe…ror-land

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The next day was totally different to the passed ones. For the first time in months, the sun raised in a cloudless sky. The winter was ended and that's meant that the females were going to return that day or the next. A very happy day for all the males… for almost all.

Mumble was staring the egg resting on his feet, totally hopeless. He had failed to his chick... to his family... to his colony... but more importantly, he had failed to Gloria. He couldn't do anything now. A delay of one or two hours was believable… one day wasn't… he had lost his chick.

With eyes full of tears, he bended down the neck and took out the egg of his feet with his beak. He observed it for a few minutes for the last time, looking for a sign to tell him that there was still hope… but he received none. He turned around, defeated and heartbroken.

A great large range of ideas crossed his mind in that moment; from leaving the territory before the females arrive to escape from his shame, to even suice…

But then the most beautiful sound that could be heard at the time shifted his attention. A soft pecking and the sounds of something braking came from behind him. His heart began to beat faster and his breathing accelerated. Could ... could that be?

He turned around, very slowly; and when his egg finally came in sight… it was destroyed. Many wet eggshell were scattered in the snow but there was no chick. Mumble was puzzled; if his chick didn't hatch, what had happened?

And then he remembered the stories about the skuas… he had given his egg them. Even when he knew that his chick was already dead, the idea of having fed those flying monsters with it was… disgusting. His soul filled with sadness again and he couldn't help but burst into tears. He turned around again, with his eyes closed and now decided to jump from the higher cliff he could find. But then…

"Daddy!" a sweet soft voice called for him. Mumble opened lazily his eyes, only to find a little penguin chick in front of him (and I say little because he was half the size of a regular emperor penguin's chick)

"AAAH! From where did you come from!" Mumble shouted, shocked and a bit frightened, taking a few steps back.

"From… there" The chick answered innocently, pointing the broken egg with his flipper.

"That's… my… egg" Mumble answered naively.

"Well, that's mean that you are my pa!"

"I… am… your pa?" Mumble asked, the chick nodded "I'm your pa?" The chick nodded again "I'M YOUR PA?" The chick narrowed his eyes and nodded again.

"Yes… and I'm your chick… wait, there is something wrong with it?" The chick was now scared about Mumble reaction. Maybe this penguin was disgusted with the short size of him.

Mumble first smiled, then he star giggling. After some second he began to laugh and then he began to laugh like crazy, scaring the chick even more.

"Are you ok?" The chick asked, but in respond Mumble grabbed him with both flippers, hugging him very tightly and spinning around.

"I'M A FATHER! This the happiest day of my life! MY CHICK IS ALIVE! THANKS GUINS! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!"

"Pa… if you keep… choking me… you'll not have… a chick for long…" Mumble then realized he was squeezing the little penguin too strong.

"Sorry… sorry…" Mumble released the chick.

"Thank you…"

"So… now I guess… I have to pick a name… let's see" Mumble walked in circles around the chick, thinking in a good name for his son "I've got it! You will be Erik"

"Ok, pa…" The chick shyly answered. He didn't like it very much, it was too short, but if his father liked it…

"Mumble!" The familiar Memphis' voice called for his son. He appeared from behind him "Are you ok, son...?"

"Hi pa! Here is someone I want you to meet: my son, Erik" Mumble greeted and pointed the little chick who was hugging his feet. Memphis forced a smile and bowed his neck

"Hi little one, you're very like your father when he a chick, you know? With his pretty blue eyes"

"Thanks, mister…"

"He is your grandpa, Erik" Mumble explained.

"Thank you, grandpa…" Erik run and hugged Memphis leg. He smiled, but this time was a real smile. Somehow, the innocence of that small fluffy living creature touched his heart. His eyes began to drop a few tears, thing that didn't pass unnoticed by Mumble.

"Father, are you… crying?" Mumble asked concerned, taking a few steps towards his father. Memphis then hugged Mumble, taking him for surprise "What…?"

"Forgive me son..." The old penguin whispered to his son, sobbing "I was a selfish... I almost forced you to kill your son... my own grandson... I don't deserve to be your father"

"It's ok, pa. You did it to protect me… but next time, please trust more in me, ok?"

"Yeah… yeah…" Memphis calmed down a little.

"Thanks… now I really wish Gloria was here. She…"

"Oh my Guin! I almost forgot!" Memphis shouted, slapping his forehead with his flipper

"What's happen, dad?"

"The wives are coming! Follow me!"

Mumble didn't need a single word more. Erik jumped to his feet and everyone hurried to the border of the territory.

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"There it is!" Norma Jean shouted to the crowd. The females were in the top of a large hill of snow, totally covered by a dense fog. Despite this, they still were able to see their beloved homeland "Come on girls… just a few steps more!"

"I hope Mumble and the baby made it" Gloria whispered to herself, but Norma Jean heard it.

"Don't worry Gloria. Mumble is my though boy. He will be fine… and the baby too"

"I hope you're right"

"Of course I am! Come on, we have to speed up the pace"

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Like his father did five years ago, Mumble, along all the males of his generation, gathered in the border of the territory, waiting for their mates.

"Pa?" A soft voice called from between his feet. He bowed his neck in order to see better his chick

"Yes Erik?"

"How will I know which one is my mama?"

The memories of him as a child came to Mumble's mind.

"Believe me… you will know" He answered "Gloria is a very special penguin. She is kind and intelligent but still very unsure of what she does. When she walks, she likes to move her tail from side to side. She has a beautiful golden feathers necklace and… between us… she is a little petite too. But don't tell her I said that!"

"Does she going to sing like the other mothers?"

"Erhm… no… Erik, she can't sing"

"She can't sing?"

"No… she born without a song. But I accept her and love her anyways and I hope you do the same"

"Of course I will! She is my mama!" Mumble smiled.

"Hey, Mumble!" A quite old voice called Mumble. Soon, another male came out of the crowd and stoop at the left of Mumble.

"Professor Arthur McGregor? What are you doing here? Aren't you supposed to be with the other teachers, preparing the class rooms for the chicks?"

"I quitted" He replied.

"You what! Why?"

"I fell in love, Mumble" The old penguin answered "After fifteen years of trying; I finally found the right song"

"Congratulations Professor! And who is the lucky one?" Mumble asked, suggestively.

"Miss Viola"

"No… way!"

"Yes! Our meeting was just… magic! I don't know what happened. We know each other since the day we born and… only now we realized that we were destined to be together"

"I'm very glad for you, Professor" Mumble replied "So… where is your chick" Mumble asked, noticing that Arthur didn't have his chick in his feet.

"I don't know. Probably waiting for Viola, a few meter ahead. And yours?"

"Here" Mumble answered, pointing at his feet "Erik, come here and say hello to your papa's teacher"

Erik slowly got off Mumble's feet, and shyly walked toward Professor McGregor.

"Hi mister" Erik greeted.

"Hi, little fellow. You certainly are your dad's son; those lovely blue eyes give you away"

"Thanks" Erik shyly said.

"Hey, son!" Mumble said, smiling "While we are talking, why don't you go and find Professor McGregor's chick. It's important to make friends"

"Are… are you sure pa?"

"Of course I am! But as soon as you hear the signal, you come back here, ok?"

"Ok, pa! Erik answered and run away.

Mumble and Arthur stared at Erik until he disappeared and then began to talk about his life, his mates, the incubation of the egg and that sort of stuff. Despite their big age difference, both of them were first-time's fathers, so they were very excited. After all, their chicks were in the same generation, so it'd be great that they became friends.

"And my daughter, Boadicea, is just like her mother"

A daughter? Well, maybe more than just friends…

"Her name is Boadicea?" Mumble asked

"Yeah… quite strange, right? Mrs. Astrakhan suggested it… and Viola liked it" Arthur explained, doing a ¬¬'s face.

"Well, I think it's kind of cute, just a bit complicated"

"Hm… probably someone is going to give her a nickname… but not me, I don't like them… but if someone does, I'll accept it"

Without noticing it, they talk for about half an hour, until their conversation was cut by a long waited signal.

"WIFES HO!" The raspy Noah's voice spread across the frozen valley, reaching every penguin's ears and lighting up their hearts.

"Did you hear what I heard, young one" Arthur asked to Mumble.

"I surely did!"

Eeyyyoooaaaadliiioooooo! A strange soundechoed in the air.

"Ok… what was that?" Mumble asked, intrigued by the sound.

"That was my beloved Viola!"

"Eeyyyoooaaaadleeeeeeoooooo!" Another similar sound echoed in the air, but this time was softer, like if it was made by a young penguin.

"And that was my Boadicea!" Arthur shouted in excitement and run toward the direction of the sounds "Here I come, family!"

Mumble did the same, after walking for a while and after passing several females and males, he found his son stood motionless in a little hole in the snow.

"Erik? Son, are you ok?"

"Aja…" Was everything he got in response. Erik climbed up to where his father was and got on his feet, still in silence.

Mumble started to look for his mate, when Erik finally spoke.


"Yes, Erik?"

"I'm feeling weird"

"Weird!" Mumble started to worry "Weird how? Are you hurt? Want to vomit?"

"No… It's something related with Bo"

"Bo? Who is Bo?"

"Your friend's daughter… the chick I met today"

"What's wrong with her?"

"Nothing is wrong with her, but with me" Mumble stared at his son, puzzled "Since I met her… since I heard her voice… since I saw that eyes I just… I just can't stop thinking in her… I want to be close to her. I don't know. I have a feeling inside me but… I don't know what it is"

A very huge smiled appeared in Mumble's face. He knew exactly what was happening to his son. After all, he started to feel the same around his age.

"I know what are you feeling son, and its make me very happy, because it's the most beautiful thing that can happen to a penguin"

"What it is, pa?" Erik asked, jumping off his father's feet.

"Mumble!" A female voice called from a close distance. Soon, Gloria came out of the crowd and rushed toward them.

Mumble approached his beak to Erik's ear.

"Love…" He whispered. After that, he left Erik there to think and went to greet Gloria "Oh Gloria!" He called for her.

"Mumble!" She responded, as she rubbed passionate his neck against Mumble, taking him for surprise. The last time they were together, they were fighting.

"I'm sorry!" Both of them said at the same time.

"No, I'm sorry" Again speaking at the same time.

"No Mumble, I'm the only one who have to be sorry. I blame you for losing our chick's birth, when I was the cause why you lost it"

"That's not an excuse, Gloria. I should have been there. I have no forgiveness ... but I promise I'll make it up to you and the chick" Gloria's squeezed under Mumble's neck

"I don't deserve such a mate as you…"

"That's not true Gloria. I love you and I always will. I… I…"

"Shhh…" Gloria interrupted Mumble "Don't speak, show it…" Suddenly, she leaned her beak into Mumble's; it was open along with his in mid sentence. She was swirling her tongue and sliding it against Mumbles with so passion that Mumble was left speechless.

After a few seconds, Gloria finally leaned her head away from Mumble's; a string of saliva was connecting their beaks as the both panted softly. Mumble was still wide eyed and surprised at what Gloria had just done.

"What… was… that?" The fluffy penguin asked.

"I… don't know… lately, I'm not… thinking very much…"

"You taste like fish…" He approached his beak to Gloria's ear "I like it…"

"Well, now… let's see if you can do something new" She teased, smiling to her mate.

"Why should I?" Mumble joked and started to sing:

I don't need to try to control you

Look into my eyes and I'll own you

With the moves like jagger

Mumble started dancing around Gloria, rubbing his chest against her body provocatively, while she just giggled.

I've got the moves like jagger

"Mumble, you are so…"

Mumble stood behind Gloria and hugged her with his flippers

I've the mooooooooves like jagger.

"Mumble stop!" A smiling and very blushed Gloria ordered "There are people looking us!" She whispered

"You started, remember?" He responded, with a flirtatious smile.

Gloria was about to answer something, but then she felt as something grabbed her leg and hugged it tightly. She looked down and found a little emperor penguin chick, indeed, hugging her leg.

"MAMA!" The chick shouted

"Oh Mumble! This is our chick?" Gloria asked full of excitement, while she hugged her child.

"Of course, he is our little Erik" Mumble answered… finally breaking his hug and walking in front of his mate.

"Erik? Oh Mumble, he's gorgeous! Just like you"

"Why was pa hugging you in that way, ma?" The chick asked innocently, releasing Gloria's leg and taking a few steps back. Gloria stared at Mumble with a blushed expression.

"We… he did it… because…"

"We… my and your mama… we were… playing a game" Mumble answered to his child, without thinking very much about it. He soon regretted because he knew what question was going to come now.

"Really? Its look funny, can I play it with Bo?"

"NO!" Mumble shouted.

"Who is Bo?" Gloria asked.

"The daughter of Miss Viola" Mumble explained.

"Of course you can't!" Gloria shouted too.

"Why not?" Erik asked again.

"Because we say so!" Both parents said.

"That's unfair"

"When you grow up, you will understand" Gloria said. Then she realized that Erik was shivering a lot "Son, are you cold?"

"A bit…"

"Come with mommy and get warm, son" Erik run to his mother and took shelter between her legs "That's it, a lot better, right?" the chick nodded "Now, open up, I've got something for you" Erik obeyed and opened his beak as widely as he could. Gloria bowed his neck, opened her beak and 'returned' all the fish she had caught. When she finished she started to cough, worrying Mumble

"Are you ok?"

"I know our mothers did this with us but… Gosh! This feels horrible!"

"Well, you'll get used to it" Mumble said, giggling "My fishy mate"

"Very funny" She said ironically, removing some drops of saliva with her flipper from her feathers near her beak "Remember that now YOU are the responsible of fishing for us"

"Mm… it's not a big deal" Mumble declared, very confident "After all, I have some experience"

"What do you mean?" Gloria was intrigued.

"I started practicing with you" He whispered to Gloria, who giggled and blushed "Shall we go home now, honey?" Mumble offered and his wife nodded. The three penguins went to their cave to hear Gloria's stories about her journey and to spend their first night together as a family.

They had to rest, because the next day there was going to be a big party to celebrate the females' arrival.

Life seems to finally be changing for good for our penguin heroes… but things are not always what they appear.

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Just for making the thing clearer for you and also to create a link between the story and the sequel: the big party I'm referring is the one which is seen in the begging of Happy Feet 2.

Did you notice that I used parts of the Epilogue of "¿No song, no love?" but from Mumble's perspective?

Not very original ¬¬ but the intention of the fic was filling the gaps that I left so it was needed to do so.

Well, the gap is filled so I think this is it.

As I said before, the HF2's plot is not a very helpful one to my story, so it's very unlikely that I write about that film. And being sincerely with you, this is probably my last fic.

UNLESS the god of inspiration shot me with one of his arrows and light up my mind with some great idea or interesting plot.

For now, farewell and read you soon ;)