The Penguins

About five years ago, Spouse started a holiday tradition of decorating Fancy Pants Ranch with mechanical penguins.

It started with one, and now our flock numbers four.

During the intervening years the penguins have variously flown in formation in our front yard, frolicked on our swing set, and climbed a ladder to break into our garage, among other adventures.

(These elaborate dioramas are entirely courtesy of Spouse, the mechanical engineer).

This year a lone penguin in our front lawn is staring wistfully at the other three, who are warmly ensconced (and visible) through the upstairs windows.

Here’s the idea:




(Ok, it is so hard to photograph wire penguin forms at night with your iPhone).

Trixie decided that she would help by naming the penguins.

Much, much consideration went into their monikers.

End result:

  • Penguina
  • Waddles
  • Courage
  • Narwahl


This brought Spouse and I to a pause.

We had to ask Trixie what it was.

Her explanation: a unicorn whale.


We genuinely went back and forth: is this a real thing?

Turns out, it is.

From National Geographic:

This species of whale has an unusual and mysterious long tusk, once harvested and sold as a unicorn horn for ten times its weight in gold!

Go figure.

Here’s a video of Narwhals in action.



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