My mom was making me walk through the streets of South Africa. My dad had gotten a new job so we moved from New York to South Africa and now I didn’t have any friends. Suddenly, as I was about to turn back and head home, I saw something that made me jump. It was a baby penguin being attacked by a seagull. Before I knew it, I was running at the seagull and screaming, and then the seagull flew away. I saw that this baby’s parents were dead, so I decided to keep the chick and raise her until she was old enough to leave my house.  

Two weeks later, the penguin chick, who I named Joanne (after Johannesburg street, where she was found), was almost ready to leave the nest (or house). I was feeding her raw fish that I had blended into a chunky smoothie. I made a nest for her in my room under a heat lamp out of leaves, sticks, and petals. Also, I let her swim in my kiddie pool. Finally, she was almost ready and I gave her the first whole fish to celebrate. 

After all these months, it was time for Joanne to leave and go into the sea. I was going to be all alone again, and I might never see her again, but I knew it was the right thing to do. I led the first (and only) feathered friend I had to the beach. There, I watched as she jumped into the waves of the South African ocean. 

One Year Later… 

My family and I had moved into a house and I had made friends. When it was penguin breeding time, and a penguin made a nest, I recognized the penguin. It was Joanne! I knew she would always be with me no matter what. 

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