In the meeting, the words being spoken faded into the background as my thoughts took center stage.

The penguin guy was leaving. His last day was Friday. Oh no.

And then it hit me.

He leaves. The penguin leaves. Gasp! Nooooo.

After the meeting I meandered back to my desk, struck by the knowledge that the penguin guy was leaving our team. And the implications—penguin or otherwise—of that impending departure.

The owner of the penguin worked at the desk next to mine, within a few feet of me. Immediately after we both sat down at our desks, we turned and looked at each other. And burst out laughing.

He said, “Yes.”

“Wait. Are you thinking what I am thinking?”

“Yes. You can have the penguin.”

I was overjoyed. (The little things make me happy.) The penguin family would not be broken up. (You may recall, before the intern left for college, he gave me a baby penguin. Since then, the two penguins have been inseparable. And on my desk.)

While Monday was odd without the penguin guy—his desk bereft of almost everything, having been ransacked within moments of him leaving—the day would have been even odder and sadder without the penguin.

The penguins

Was it just last week that he called me the Crazy Penguin Lady (in the spirit of the Crazy Cat Lady moniker)?

(Disclaimer: I was never that into penguins. Sure, I love watching penguins fly out of the water and pop onto land. Who doesn’t? I found myself taking on the role of The Protector of the Penguin at work due to the abuse the penguin took. Though I must admit that now I find myself stopping at store fronts with stuffed penguins in the window. “Oh, those penguins have black feet. Interesting.”)


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