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Hello. It's the CBeebies Bedtime Hour, and I'm Ken.
Do you know what sort of animal I'm pretending to be?
I live somewhere that's very cold,
where there's lots of snow and ice.
That's right! I'm a penguin.
I'm a big penguin.
But tonight's story is about a little penguin.
It's called Penguin Small.
So come on and let's see if I can make it to the bench.
The polar bears had been up to their nasty tricks again
and the North Pole penguins had had enough.
They were off to the South Pole
to make their homes where no polar bears could bully them.
Penguin Small watched his friends plop into the ocean and swim away.
"Come on," they shouted, "you can do it!"
But Penguin Small wouldn't.
He was terrified of water. He always had been.
Penguin Small watched until his friends disappeared
among the bobbing waves.
Then he put his head under his wing and cried
until the tears made an icicle on his beak.
After a while, he wandered off along the water's edge,
staring down at his feet and sniffing loudly.
And he did not see the snowman he bumped into.
"You weren't there yesterday," said Penguin Small.
"Did the Eskimos make you?"
"What are Eskimos?" asked the snowman,
who'd only been made that morning and had not learned many words.
"And what is yesterday?" he said.
"And what are those?"
Penguin Small turned and gave a frightened squeak.
The polar bears were coming!
"Let me hide under your hat," squeaked Penguin Small.
"What's a hat?" said the snowman.
Without answering, Penguin Small hopped onto the snowman's arm,
then onto his shoulder and onto his head.
He lifted the hat and crawled under. "Shh!" he whispered.
"SSH?" repeated the snowman loudly.
Penguin Small reached down
and rubbed out the snowman's mouth with his flipper.
The polar bears were in a terrible mood.
"Where are the penguins?" said the first.
The snowman said nothing.
"Where are the penguins?" growled the second.
The snowman said nothing.
"TELL US WHERE THEY ARE!" roared the third,
and he began to thump the snow with his great paws.
Still the snowman said nothing.
Soon, all three bears were jumping up and down in a rage.
The ice groaned and creaked under them.
With a loud crack, the snowman broke away from the shore
and floated away on his own little iceberg.
"Serves you right!" roared the bears.
They floated out to sea until the North Pole was left far behind.
For days, the little iceberg drifted south.
Penguin Small drew a new mouth for the snowman
and to pass the time, he taught him all the words he knew.
The sky grew brighter and the air warmer,
but the snowman did not melt.
He was made of North Pole snow and as anyone will tell you,
the snow that falls at the North Pole never melts.
At last, an island appeared on the horizon.
The island was a wonderful place.
"It's full of jungley birds," said the snowman,
who had begun to make up words of his own.
They'd never seen threecans before, nor heard hooter crabs,
nor made friends with a neverwasanoceros.
The neverwasanoceros spent his time drawing.
There was a picture of each animal on the rocks. There were hundreds.
"The jungle land is a wonderful place," said the snowman.
"I want to stay here forever."
But Penguin Small began to miss his friends.
"If only I could swim," he said to the neverwasanoceros one day.
"Perhaps you should fly," said the neverwasanoceros.
"Penguins can't fly!" said Penguin Small.
The neverwasanoceros smiled and went back to his drawing.
He said nothing more.
The snowman did not want Penguin Small to go,
but he gave him his hat for a boat when the time came to say goodbye.
A teardrop trickled from his eye and froze on his cheek
as he pushed Penguin Small out to sea.
Penguin Small floated out on the wide ocean.
He did not know where he was, nor where he was going.
The sky grew dark and big drops of rain began to fall.
All night long, the storm blew.
Penguin Small huddled in the bottom of the snowman's hat
while the waves tossed it high into the air
and sent it spinning round and round.
By morning, the storm had passed.
Penguin Small found himself washed up on a strange blue island.
"This is a very odd island," he said.
"It has no sand, no trees, and no jungley birds of any kind."
But the island was not an island.
It was a great big blue...
Penguin Small flew through the air, flapping his flippers furiously.
The snowman's hat fell into the sea. The scarf fluttered after it.
But Penguin Small stayed right where he was,
hovering in mid air,
squeaking at the top of his voice, "I can fly! I can fly!"
Then suddenly his wings got tired,
and he dropped like a floppy cushion onto the whale's nose.
"Did you see?" he panted. "I was flying!"
The whale was heading south to cold waters.
He was used to travelling the oceans alone,
but he was happy for Penguin Small to ride along with him.
Penguin Small practised his flying,
landing on the whale's nose when he needed a rest.
As the days passed, he became an expert - soaring,
but never quite managing, try as he might, to loop the loop.
They travelled far to the south. The air became cold,
and icebergs began to float by.
One day, climbing high in the sky, Penguin Small spotted land,
and looking down, he saw little shapes,
just like himself, lined up along the shore.
"Penguins!" he squeaked.
Way below him, the whale launched clean out of the water.
The whale landed in the sea with a boom like the crack of thunder.
Then he slid beneath the waves,
flapping goodbyes with his enormous tail.
With a whoop of delight, Penguin Small soared into the air,
looped the loop...well, almost...
and pointed his beak towards home.
That story was called Penguin Small.
I wonder if I could fly like Penguin Small.
No, it's no good. I'll have to waddle home.
Night night. I'll see you soon.