21 Apr '12, 1pm

"I, Turbo" On six months spent working with penguins in Patagonia: (by Eric Wagner, @Orion_Magazine '11)

"I, Turbo" On six months spent working with penguins in Patagonia: (by Eric Wagner, @Orion_Magazine '11)

After a day spent battling penguins, Turbo was a welcome balm. Every other penguin might snap at us and try to pummel us with their flippers, but Turbo ran out to greet us whenever we passed his bush. The odd thing was that he seemed otherwise secure in his penguin-ness. He would stand outside his nest and bray from time to time, and even fight if it came to that. But whereas other penguins dealt in Me and Not Me, Turbo was somehow, indubitably, an I. It wasn’t that he considered himself human. Rather, he thought we were penguins. As we saw ourselves in them, so he saw himself in us. Such were the metaphysics of Turbo. By this breach, he exposed the artifice of our separations. And so released, we indulged in wild fits of anthropomorphism. All the things we wanted to do with penguins but didn’t dare, we did with him: we cooed over him, stroked the firm pelt of his feathers...

Full article: http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/6...

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