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So what do you think? Is pink my colour
or do you think I should go for something less dazzling?
Oh, hello. I didn't see you there. Erm, yes.
I didn't mean for anyone to see me wearing these things because, em,
they're pink. I don't think it's my colour. Do you?
It's a bit bright and I might stand out a little bit when I go out.
Patrick the penguin has that problem in tonight's bedtime story.
It's by Lynne Rickards and Margaret Chamberlain
and it's called Pink.
One sunny morning, Patrick woke up to find he had turned bright pink.
His beak was pink, his flippers were pink.
He was pink from head to foot.
"This is terrible," cried Patrick.
"What will all of my friends say?
"Whoever heard of a pink penguin?"
"Don't worry, dear," soothed his mum. "Dr Black will soon sort you out."
Dr Black was puzzled. She looked in her big medical book.
"A very cold penguin can turn blue," she said.
"If you're feeling queasy, you can go a bit green
"but pink is very unusual."
And Dr Black closed her big book.
"Perhaps you'll get used to being pink," she said to Patrick.
"But I'm a boy!" he shouted,
"And boys can't be pink."
When they got home, Patrick's dad opened another big book.
It was called Birds Of The World.
"Look," he said to Patrick. "Flamingos are pink,"
"just like you!"
Patrick looked. He saw hundreds of beautiful birds.
"Are some of them boys?" asked Patrick, as he gazed at the picture.
"At least half of them," laughed his dad.
"You see, boys can be pink."
Patrick got teased at school for being pink.
"Don't worry - they'll get used to it soon," said his mum.
Patrick wasn't sure. He didn't like being different from everyone else.
One Saturday morning, Patrick pulled out his rucksack.
He put in his pyjamas and his favourite soft toy.
"I don't fit in here anymore," he told his mum and dad.
"I'm going to Africa to see those flamingos."
Patrick went to the water's edge.
Africa was a long way north but he was a strong swimmer.
He swam for seven days and seven nights.
When the water began to feel warmer, he knew he was nearly there.
On the eighth day, Patrick arrived in a wide bay.
On the shore, he saw hundreds of flamingos just like in the picture.
He waddled up to them and held out a pink flipper.
"How do you do," he said, politely.
The flamingos looked down at him, curiously.
They had long necks and spindly legs and were very, very tall.
"Will you join us for lunch?", one of them asked Patrick.
"Oh, yes. Thank you," he cried.
All the flamingos dipped their long curvy beaks into the water
and began skimming them back and forth.
Patrick's beak was quite the wrong shape
so he came up coughing and spluttering.
Poor Patrick would have to go hungry.
After lunch, the flamingos had a nap.
They all stood on one leg and tucked their heads down.
Patrick tried to stand on one leg too.
He was hopeless.
When sunset came, it was time to fly to the nesting ground.
The flamingos flapped their wings
and rose into the air like a big pink cloud.
One small pink penguin was left behind.
"This is no good," said Patrick.
He didn't belong here, even though he was pink.
It was time to go home.
The next morning, Patrick set off.
He swam for seven days and seven nights
until the water felt lovely and cold again.
Patrick's mum and dad were very pleased to see him.
"You must have missed your favourite breakfast," said Dad.
"I sure did," said Patrick, with his mouth full.
When Patrick went back to school, his whole class crowded around him.
"Where've you been, Patrick?" they asked, "We missed you."
Patrick's teacher asked him to give a little talk about his travels.
He stood in front of the class with a big map and a pointer.
"I went to Africa," Patrick told his friends.
"Wow, you swam all that way?", asked Billy.
Patrick nodded proudly.
"In Africa, the water is warm," he continued.
"There are colourful fish and tall pink birds called flamingos,
"that stand on one leg."
"Did you see one of those?", asked Lulu.
"I saw hundreds," answered Patrick.
"They were beautiful. But they can't swim underwater
"or slide on their tummies like we can."
"Really?", said his classmates.
"What a shame!"
After school, Patrick waddled home with his best friend, Arthur.
"You know, Arthur," said Patrick, "I'm really glad I went to Africa."
"I'm really glad you came back," said Arthur.
"Me too!", laughed Patrick.
"Penguins belong at the South Pole. Even pink penguins."
"Especially pink penguins!", said Arthur, happily.
That night, at bedtime, Patrick said,
"You were right, Mum. Nobody teases me anymore."
He snuggled down and smiled.
Being different wasn't so bad after all.
And that story was called Pink.
Maybe I should give these pink bits and pieces another go.
Oh, and while I do, it's time for you to go to bed.
I'll see you soon for another story.
So how does it look. Come on, be honest with me.