The Transformation of Wally Waddles | Teen Ink

The Transformation of Wally Waddles

December 21, 2009
By ishouldbesolucky PLATINUM, Corvallis, Oregon
ishouldbesolucky PLATINUM, Corvallis, Oregon
22 articles 13 photos 0 comments

Penguins. Classy creatures born with natural tuxedos. Dichromatic cuddly beings who enjoy nothing more than a nice fish dinner and perhaps a refreshing dip in the icy ocean. Penguins know which ice floes make the best slip and slides, and they know to stay away from anything resembling Shamu. They’re experts on penguin eggs, but know very little about Pre-Renaissance Italian Literature. If you meet a penguin on the street, try addressing it by its formal name, Sphenisciformes Spheniscidae. The penguin may be very impressed with your erudition; then again, it may think you are being facetious. If this is the case, the penguin will shake its feathers at you and waddle away briskly. Penguins do not like to be made fun of.

Wally Waddles was, in many ways, a quintessential penguin. He had a white paunchy stomach and stubby flightless wings, and loved snacking on cephalopods. Wally knew the best way to incubate a penguin egg (place it on your feet), and could spot an orca whale from two hundred yards away. Most importantly, Wally knew nothing whatsoever about Pre-Renaissance Italian Literature, although he couldn’t say no to a good Chivalric romance. Unlike his penguin friends, however, Wally Waddles harbored a terrible secret: he was not truly a penguin at all.

Wally had grown up in Gloucestershire, England, as an ordinary human boy. As a child, he took classes at Tewkesbury Comprehensive, where he learned such fine subjects as chemistry, arithmetic, geography, and speaking with a British accent. Unfortunately, Wally was a very poor student. He often found himself unable to concentrate on his lessons, instead dreaming of a magical world where homework and headmasters did not exist. Wally’s parents were quite distressed about their boy’s lack of academic prowess, and, after many long nights of deliberation, concluded that the best solution would be to hire a professional tutor named Miss Catherine Herring.

At sixty-seven years old, Miss Catherine Herring had elevated tutoring to an art form. She dressed primly, arrived at work punctually, and spoke with flawless grammar. What’s more, she had never had a student who did not show remarkable academic improvement after one month of instruction. Miss Herring knew that her perfect success record would never be broken because she had a dangerous secret of her own. She was a witch, trained by renegade wizards and goblins in the nearby Forest of Dean. Anytime she encountered a particularly hopeless student, one who threatened to tarnish her reputation, she simply took him on a field trip to the forest and transfigured him into an animal. Her favorites were lemurs and jackrabbits, although she was also quite fond of penguins. Oh penguins. What classy creatures.

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