A true story about a man and his childhood. Forgiveness isn’t always possible. Only on Sigg3 dot net: "I was molested by a penguin!"
– "Martin", age 37, opens up to Sigg3 dot net‘s reporter Sigg3, to unfold the most painful chapter of his life; his childhood.
"I was only seven years old. My father was a polararea-birdwatcher or some sort of scientist studying various kinds of birds in the antarctic areas. So me and him were staying in an outpost, a wooden cabin of the type you see in movies, and after I’d finished daily chores, you know, I could pretty much go about on my own.
One day in March, this was in ’73, there’d just been a great storm, so my father was out for a couple of days in a row – trying to find out whether the birds he were studying had migrated or just blown away. I finished my chores pretty early that morning. I was excited about being on my own for a while, and as young boys always do, I dreamed of what to do with it. Go climbing or fishing? Take our boat for a ride? The options were many, as you certainly can imagine. I decided to go explore some of the islands nearby and its birds, so I got dressed and prep’d the boat.
The weather was loomy, but the forecast assured safe weather for boating, so I took the chance. When I think of it now, I wish I hadn’t. Anyway. I got there safely, anchored in a sheltered natural bay and went ashore. I’d never been to this particular island before, but my father had, and he’d told me all about the caves and the penguin colonies you could experience. Having explored the caves quite thoroughly, I got bored, and decided to see if I could find the penguins my father had told me about. On the other side of the island, where it was less rockier and more open space, as I can remember it, I saw them. It must have been at least fifty of them, standing together there, just chatting. I found my binoculars quickly in the backpack and started to study their behaviour. They seemed quite peaceful, and since the mating and hatching was over, I decided to go a bit closer.
They were pretty tame, I discovered, so they didn’t mind me stepping out from the rocks and closing in at all. I sat down and found my lunchpack, which I’d prepared earlier that day, and very soon it was the center of their full attention. I didn’t mind sharing it, I had more than enough, so I gave half of it away to the imposing birds. That’s when I met him.
Hey, kid. I heard a voice from behind and saw a middle-aged penguin staring at me. What are you doing here? He didn’t sound hostile at all, just curious, so I started walking along with him there, while the other penguins soon found interest in other matters. He was quite nice to me, this penguin. He showed me all of his favourite fishing places, and you don’t do that to just anybody. He told me I was special."
[Here we had to stop the interview for a while so "Martin" could get himself together. It was quite emotional.]
"Anyway, we were going there alone for a while, talking about the island and how beautiful it was. Pingu*, that was his name, was very interested in the work my father was doing, and since I were alone most of the time, and dad sleeping when he was at home, I was glad I’d finally found someone to talk to.
Having talked the entire afternoon away, we decided to meet again the next day. We parted, and I was pretty excited about it all, and really looking forward to the coming day. Oh, how I wish I hadn’t went back there. In my mind, my conscious was telling me to not come back, but I just shut it away. Finally I’d found a friend. Ot that’s what I thought, at least.
I came the following day, after the chores were done, and we talked more about life and solitude when Pingu lay his wing around me. You’re a good boy, Martin. Do you know that? He said to me. I looked into his deep, brown, penguin eyes and said that I was nothing special. Oh, but you are, Martin, you are my special little boy. He smiled from earhole to earhole, and I couldn’t help smiling too, dug into the warmth of his wings.
We spent many days like that. Just talking and hugging. I sensed no harm in what he did to me, but later – through councilling – I’ve learned that what he did was wrong. He was a grown up penguin, and I was just a little boy."
["Martin" continues to share his painful childhood with us.]
"My councillor has asked me on many occasions to specify the abuse Pingu commited, in order for me to get over this chapter of my life. I mean, it has been hard, all these years in silence. My father never suspected anything, and the first time I told him about it, he couldn’t believe it. Penguins are really sophisticated animals, he said. They’d never do the things you speak of. Today he knows better. I’m proud to say that he was one of the founding fathers of the NAAP (National Association Against Penguins)."
["Martin" gets into the details of the abuse.]
"Mostly he’d just let the wing drop casually on my knee and work his way upwards. Other times, when we were ‘exploring the caves’, he would put his sharp beak.. into me. It hurt, but he said I was a brave, young man, so I didn’t cry. Other times there’d be more penguins at Pingu’s age, and they’d all have their way with me. I didn’t like the other penguins, they were more harsh to me and sometimes they would hold my down with their weight alone. I told Pingu that I didn’t like them, but he said that they were his friends so I had to be nice with them. I was so foolish to obey, but I was only seven! I mean, what can you do when you’re held down by the strong wings of six lustful penguins?"
["Martin" breaks down, so the interview was ended there. Having tried committing suicide on several occasions a few years earlier, we're glad to tell you that he's doing much better today, possibly because of his father's support through the last years.]
Because it has been thirty years since the abuse took place, Pingu and the other five rapists are not likely to face any charges at all. In addition, Greenpeace sent us the following letter after we’d discussed the legal position of a possible trial with the District Attorney:
The penguin is an exceptional species that our ecosystem is depending on. Considering the fact that, because of mankind’s pollution, they’re facing extinction, we will not stand for any harassment of these beautiful beings which existence is as justified as ours. The incident you are referring to, concerning Pingu the penguin, is a matter of human-animal racism which we can’t tolerate. We wish to express our sincere sympathy with "Martin", but we will not acknowledge his statements without any evidence, as it is pretty obvious that he has been missing out on his therapy.
Director of Greenpeace. Green peace, out.
To us, this letter only confirms and strengthens the truth of "Martin"’s statements and the old saying: Never trust a penguin undressed.
Please sign our campaign to support "Martin". Hosted by the NAAP. Thanks!
(*renamed according to the protection of personal information)
Do you have a true story you’d like to share with us? Please forward it to: TrueStory@sigg3.net and we will look into it!