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Our Iceberg Is Melting: Cute Penguin Fable

Updated on February 3, 2016


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Cute story :)

I wonder how a Penguin fable can touch my heart so much. Probably because I was able to relate the story to my real life experiences and issues. And that's where the author was aiming to impact. He is definitely hoping that the reader imagines and extracts all the emotions out of his lovable penguin-fable and reunite it with his/her life's chores. What an enticing story!

Following is a short story from the book ‘Our Iceberg Is Melting’ by John Kotter. I’ve reproduced it for quick reading. Enjoy! :)

Here it goes...

There was an Iceland in Antartica where all the penguins stayed merrily and cheerily. They used to hang-out with fellow mates, hunt for fishes/food together and maintained a responsible social life. They had a Leadership Council (of Penguins) to look-after their community. They used to basically reside on an iceberg which was a perfect residential location for them, capable of shielding them from strong environmental impacts. What more could’ve they expected from life!?

One of them was Fred. He was a quiet and a dignified penguin, who was very serious and observant. He hardly socialized with his fellows. But one day he came up with a prediction about a catastrophe which would destroy their habitat. His scientific analyzation brought to fore some vital information about the cracking of their iceberg which would lead to a huge disaster. He collected enough information from his observations and conclusions. Now the hitch was that he was not any leader nor any iceberg forecaster nor a relative of any of the Council leader and so he was sure nobody would listen to him.

Alice was one of the members of the Leadership Council. She had a practical and tough attitude and had a reputation for getting the things done quickly. She was very social and close to the colony. Fred knew she would listen to him and so he approached her with his observations. Alice immediately considered him and they both went to visit the place under water. It was not safe for them to travel to the place but Alice made it possible. Understanding the gravity of the situation, she asked Fred to be prepared to explain this matter to all the penguins around.

Louis, the Head Penguin, was a senior penguin who was wise and tolerant. He barely listened to Alice’s concerns though. He was just too busy with petty issues of the community which the Council thought are very important. After a lot of convincing she managed to let Louis agree to listen to what Fred had to say about the matter. Now, Fred came up with an unconventional idea to let the senior penguins accept his claim. He built up a model of ice similar to the iceberg and depicted the issue of ice-cracking. All were awestruck!

NoNo, the Weather Forecaster, was all skeptical about this whole issue. He strongly opposed this concept and tried convincing everybody that it was just the normal climatic change. He managed to get most members of the Council to his side.

Buddy, a handsome penguin, was very less ambitious but strikingly likeable by fellow penguins (probably the ladies!). He was made to understand and explain the concept of a bottle breaking up due to expansion of water when it freezes. He managed to do this without much effort, though he couldn’t relate to most of the intellectual issues being discussed there. His mere presence mattered!

After much speculation, a common meeting was called to inform all other penguins about this serious issue. Reducing complacency and increasing urgency was best achieved by Louis and the team presented the issue with good co-ordination.

Jordan, the Professor who was extremely intelligent and logical, to the point that he was slightly unbearable to Alice. He was appointed by Louis in their team. Everyone in the team was disparate and unhappy with someone or the other. Louis managed to pull the team together and guided the change. And, finally an amazing team headed by Louis and comprising of Alice, Fred, Buddy and Jordan set off to analyze the potential challenges.

They studied the Seagulls and decided about trying the nomadic way of living life. Travelling to better habitats around would be suitable they thought. They effectively created a vision and were comforted about their new found solution. Under the leadership of Alice, they diligently managed to gather young penguins and started putting ice posters and slogans around. They took a big step forward by communicating their vision to the fellow mates. Outcome was as desired!

They came up with the concept of ‘Scouts’ to look out for potential new habitats. But there were many hindrances around. It was bound to happen within a community. NoNo was badmouthing, there was competition among the penguins to be scouts and President of scouts, locals panicked and children were scared etc. But all the chaos was handled by the Team. The team removed as many obstacles and put them to action as were practical and achieved some quick success to build confidence amongst the fellow penguins.

Ultimately, a successful team of scouts went to search and came back with good results. They were regarded as heroes by the children. They had a tradition of not allowing any other penguin other than the family member to eat the family’s food/fishes. But the tired scouts were fed with honor. Thus, they managed not to overcome the changes by stubborn traditions.

They found their new habitat and got rehabilitated happily. ^_^


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