Over Thanksgiving, my family and I watched March of the Penguins on cable while we digested our 4,000 calorie dinner. At one point, after the emotional rollercoaster that is the life of a penguin – 70-mile walks, temperatures dropping to 80 degrees below zero, frozen eggs cracked and abandoned, four months without food, sad wails of father penguins who lost their chicks, and happy reunions – my 96-year old grandmother turned to us and asked, “Do you think penguins are good to eat?”
“I have no idea.”
“Well, I bet you’d get in trouble for eating them.”
“Yes, probably.”
“But I wonder what they taste like.”
So in honor of all the fallen penguins, devoured by hungry grandmothers everywhere, my nephews and I made dioramas.

22 Responses to “March”

  1. Laurel Says:

    1. How creative are you all? Those are very cool (I especially like the innovative ‘icebergs’)…
    2. Mother, brother and I watched it that night also. I was too full to think about eating anything else, let alone penguins. But kudos to grandma for posing the question…

  2. Robin Says:

    Dioramas? My family played Scrabble…not nearly as productive.

  3. Cheryl Says:

    Oh my god, we watched March of the Penguins on Thanksgiving too! Only we weren’t nearly as creative as you or your grandmother. We just sat there feeling sad until it was time to drive home.

  4. serap Says:

    I had never thought about eating penguins before either. I’m going to guess they’d be very fatty, and maybe a little like duck? We have Penguin chocolate biscuits in the UK, I don’t know if you have them over there… but still never thought about eating an actual penguin. Now I can’t stop.
    I love the dioramas, and also thought the icebergs were very clever… although clearly not as difficult to create as the beautiful penguins (roasted with lemon and thyme and served with mashed potatoes?).

  5. Roy Says:

    Your grandmother is so cool. I’ll bet she was pulling your leg.

  6. Average Jane Says:

    How cute! Next time you see your grandmother, maybe you should make edible penguin sculptures like these:

  7. jenny Says:

    laurel: thanks! and yes, penguins were the last thing i wanted to eat at that moment. pumpkin pie, maybe, but not penguins. :)
    robin: i think my option used less brain power, though.
    cheryl: wasn’t it just so depressing? i couldn’t handle it when the one penguin tried to steal the other baby.
    serap: i’ll bet they’re very fatty, unless you eat the males after they’ve been caring for their eggs for 4 months. then they’re lean and stringy.
    roy: you know what? i think you’re probably right. but she does like to eat!
    average jane: omg – i’m totally making those!

  8. Anonymous Says:

    lol…and I’m still laughing about “Look at me! My name is Jim and I’m your father!”
    That is so something my granny would ask while chewing all mush-mouthy and staring off into space.

  9. kilax Says:

    Are all grandmothers the same? ;)

  10. Rhea Says:

    A superb depiction of the lives of penguins.

  11. diane Says:

    Cute!! More productive than the Candyland game I played with my cousin’s daughter, which resulted in having little colored Gingerbread people thrown at my head.

  12. sizzle Says:

    you made dioramas. that’s awesome.

  13. jenny Says:

    anon: i crack up every time i look at me in those glasses, too.
    kilax: on many levels, yes, i think they are. so soon enough, i guess we’ll all be thinking about eating penguins.
    rhea: it’s a rough life. i think there should be penguin rebellions.
    diane: ugh… candyland really brings out the worst in people, doesn’t it?
    sizzle: see – you have that to look forward to with your nephew in a few years. :)

  14. sandra Says:

    God, I’m a terrible aunt — I just taught my niece how to lay down in a way that makes full stomachs hurt less.

  15. brandon Says:

    my grandfather says the same thing when we see whooping cranes. but then he gets all quiet and asks, ‘so. are you interested in tasting whooping crane?’
    old people are enigmatic. that’s my story, anyway.

  16. jenny Says:

    sandra: somehow, i think your advice is far more practical. :)
    brandon: funny. my great great great great grandfather used to say the same thing about dodo bird. said you never did taste any meat quite as tender. god, those were the good old days.

  17. shari Says:

    Only 4,000 calories? Awwwwww Jenny, couldn’t you have just asked for help? I’m sure we all would gladly pitch in to help your family at the holidays, to ensure you the customary Thanksgiving portions of 10,000 calories per person.
    (Oh, I ADORE your nephews and their mad diorama skillz!!)

  18. vahid Says:

    I never thought about eating a penguin before — but now that you mention it I bet they’d be great cajun style. Thanks for the idea, Jenny’s Grandma!

  19. churlita Says:

    Your grandma is awesome.
    When my girls were younger and I got bored on holidays, I taught them how to play poker. I’m a terrible mother.

  20. Hilly Says:

    geez, i’m proud when i play dinosaurs or read a book to my nephew. you, on the other hand, are creatively awesome!

  21. Tracy Lynn Says:

    Penguins! YUM!
    Enormous buffalo style wings is what I’m thinking.

  22. jenny Says:

    shari: well, i wasn’t counting the pumpkin cheesecake and chocolate cherry brownies my mom made… that probably pushed me closer to 9500.
    vahid: ooooweeee i loves me some cajun penguin!
    churlita: i think the skills you taught them will serve them well in life.
    hilly: hee – thanks! it was either that, or listen to them tell me about medieval weapons and yugi-oh for another 4 hours. :)
    tracy lynn: actually, their wings are pretty tiny. but a penguin rump roast might be tasty!

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