Hatred Loves Company:
A semi-fable inspired by gay penguins
by M D Flyn
Zorge watched as Byni jumped in the pond. The little ones were all chattering in a happy flock.
Byni’s red plumage was easy to spot, her tiger-striped extensions standing out. She was exploring her individuality with enthusiasm and Zorge already missed how she used to depend on him.
Meko made his way along the path. When he passed one of the mothers she fluffed up her feathers. He ignored her and stood by Zorge, leaning back to let the sun warm his blue feathers.
“How has your day gone?” Meko asked as Byni splashed a smaller chick.
“Oh, you know, we’re just having fun,” Zorge said as he shuffled his feet.
“So Rille hasn’t given you any trouble?” Meko nodded towards the large female who was still fluffed up and staring. The two hens next to her mimicked her body language, aggressive in their imitation.
“No, she stares like she can incinerate me with her mind.” Zorge shrugged.
Meko smiled, “Her tart little friends don’t seem to have an opinion of their own.”
Zorge stared right back at Rille. “Hatred loves company.”
Meko shook out his feathers. “She knows Byni would have died if we hadn’t adopted her, maybe she should worry a little more about her chick and a little less about our business.”
“She still thinks we will burn in hell.”
Meko looked into his partner’s eyes, “If the road to hell is paved with love, I’ll take it.”
The chicks were playing a tag game that involved a lot of swimming in circles and yelling.
Zorge scuffed a foot, “It’s not the hatred that worries me, it’s her underhanded ways.”
“You think she could be vindictive? What did we ever do to her?”
“Nothing. There aren’t many of things I would put past her.”
“We’ll just have to do our thing, and let her do hers.”
Meko’s feathers crested, and he was diving in the water before Zorge even heard the screaming. The chicks gathered near the water wheel and flapping in agitation.
Zorge couldn’t see what was happening but Rille jumped into the group of youngsters.
Meko appeared from the crowd carrying Chogge, Rille’s youngest. The poor kid had a wing that was bent at an unnatural angle. Rille fluttered around them while one of her cronies used her communicator to summon help. She clucked over her chick while they climbed up the bank out of the pond.
Byni rushed up to Zorge, “Did you see? Did you see it?”
Zorge shook his head, “No, what happened?”
“Chogge got his wing stuck in the water wheel and he was pinned. He squealed something terrible. Good thing someone strong was here to get him out.”
“Mmm good thing.” Zorge watched as Meko loaded Chogge on a stretcher and Rille waddled after her son.
Meko waded through a crowd of clucking mothers before he made it back to his family.
Zorge winced. “Did she even say thank you?”
“Of course not.”
“You see, Byni, every day you make choices. Some people make their own happiness. Others make their own misery.”