Monday, June 8, 2009

The Bird's-Eye View

Stories about the two gay male penguins that are raising a chick in a German zoo have included quotes from a zookeeper and other relevant humans, but not one of the accounts has presented the penguins' view of things. Until now. A reporter fluent in German, Spanish, English and Humboldt Penguin journeyed to the Bremerhaven zoo to interview Z and Vielpunkt, the new dads.

Reporter: Good morning.

Vielpunkt: Good morning.

Z: Careful where you sit. No time to clean up the doo-doo these days, don't y'know.

Reporter: Being parents is keeping you busy?

Z: Oh, we're rushed off our happy feet, feeding and looking after our little one.

Reporter: Is it a boy or a girl?

Vielpunkt: We're not telling. The zookeepers don't know. It's driving them crazy. I love it.

Reporter: Tell me about how all this began. Obviously neither one of you gave birth to the chick.

Z: You could've knocked me over with a flipper when that egg landed in our nest. Sure, we'd talked about having a baby, but realistically . . .

Vielpunkt: See that couple over there? The ones trying to look busy grooming themselves? They rejected the egg.

Z: Can you imagine?

Vielpunkt: The keepers put it in our nest. I don't know why they chose us. There are two more same-sex couples here.

Reporter: Really?

Z: Oh yes. It's a rainbow fowl fest.

Reporter: So all of a sudden you found yourselves being parents. How did it go?

Z: Swimmingly. We incubated the egg for 30 days.

Vielpunkt: Harder work than it looks. Gave me hemorrhoids.

Z: And then the big day! I heard a little crack, crack, crack.

Vielpunkt: It was so exciting, I have to admit.

Z: We made a complete spectacle of ourselves, yelling, "Go, baby, go!"

Reporter: Wow.

Z: Out came our little chick. All scraggly and icky and gorgeous.

Reporter: He or she is certainly sleeping soundly now. What an adorable chick.

Z: Thank you. I think the little one takes after my side of the family.

Reporter: Huh?

Vielpunkt: Humor him.

Reporter: What are your hopes for your chick?

Vielpunkt: Harvard.

Z: I just want our child to be happy, and never lack for fish.

Vielpunkt: I want our child to be a leader. To tell these stupid humans . . .

Z: Present company excepted, of course.

Vielpunkt: To tell them that they're killing us! Back in Peru and Chile where we come from . . .

Z: You came from a zoo in Vienna.

Vielpunkt: You know what I mean. Humans are overfishing and destroying our habitat! Humboldt penguins are disappearing!

Z: Now look what you've done. The baby is up and shrieking for food!

Vielpunkt: Hey little fuzz ball. You hungry again? Go take a bite out of that veterinarian over there.

Z: Vielpunkt!

Reporter: One last question if I may. What's your reaction to those who say two males shouldn’t raise youngsters?

Vielpunkt: Unprintable.

Z: My goodness, who has time to worry about what those people or penguins think? I have a chick to raise! I'm already losing sleep over how to teach this child to waddle.