The penguin (who shall be named “Penguin”) and the donkey (who shall be named “Donkey”) found a warm place by the seashore. A nearby crooked path led to a forest. After some days, they met a band of singing birds in the forest. Every evening at sunset, the birds would sing and all of the forest animals would come out to dance.
“Bray bray, Let’s go dancing!” suggested Donkey.
Penguin’s voice squeaked “But beegy donkeys can’t dance. You’ll embarrass yourself. Donkeys are clumsy and they don’t have any rhythm.”
“Oh no, no, no,” brayed Donkey. She crossed her arms and stubbornly told him, “The donkey dance is not like other dances. Only a donkey can perform it. And a donkey doing a donkey dance can never be wrong.”
When the sun began to set, Donkey trotted off to the woods. Penguin waddled at top speed and followed her.
They reached the spot where the birds were singing, and Donkey started kicking and twirling around.
Penguin waddled and smoothly scooted across the ground. The other animals cheered for Penguin because he was such a good dancer. Nobody cheered for Donkey, but she continued to dance anyways. Donkey was indeed clumsy. She stomped on her own hooves a few times, but she pretended that it didn’t hurt. She twirled around and barely kept her balance. Penguin could not watch any longer, and he hid his face in his flippers. “Donkeys are awful dancers,” he squeaked.
The other animals did not want the donkey to dance. The raccoons pointed and snickered. The rabbits turned up their little pink noses. Even the tiny frogs rolled their tiny little eyes. But as long as the birds continued to sing, Donkey continued to dance. She was having fun, no matter what the other animals thought of her. But then… One wrong kick led to a thud and a clatter, and leaves fell down everywhere.
“You clumsy donkey,” shouted the squirrels, “You kicked our tree.”
“You trampled the bushes,” cried the bunnies.
“Go away,” shouted the raccoons.
“Donkey, you’ve got to be more careful,” squeaked Penguin.
Donkey was finally embarrassed. She hung her big floppy ears and limped away, while the other animals continued to dance without her.
The next night, the forest critters danced again. Donkey sat out and listened from afar. Penguin kept her company and tried to distract her with some of his stories from the iceberg. It didn’t take long for Donkey to grow restless and her stubbornness soon kicked in. Donkey stood straight up, raised a front hoof and headed back into to the forest. Of course, penguin waddled after her.
Upon their arrival, Donkey and Penguin softly swayed to the birds singing. The other animals watched them glaringly.
Just then, they heard tremendous screeches from the squirrels. “It’s the fox,” the squirrels cried.
“Is he a bad dancer too?” asked Donkey.
“No,” said the squirrels, “He’s here to eat us!” The squirrels scampered up the tree as the fox crouched and crawled closer.
“That’s horrible,” brayed Donkey. In her moment of disbelief, she kicked her hoof to the ground with a thud. “Oh no,” she said. “I didn’t mean to stomp that hard.“ The squirrels, now atop the tree, noticed that the fox stepped back when Donkey stomped.
“Do it again,” they shrieked.
“Are you sure?” Donkey slowly asked.
“Yes, kick,” squealed the bunnies from beneath the bushes.
So donkey happily stomped on the ground, while the fox took another step backwards.
The masked raccoons cheered with their little fists in the air. They yelled “Stomp again. Please kick!”
So Donkey stomped and she kicked and the fox cowered some more.
“Just dance,” yelled Penguin, as loud as a penguin could yell in his squeaky voice. So Donkey danced, and the leaves shook and things fell down, and bushes were trampled and mushrooms knocked over. The fox had never seen such a sight, and he ran far, far away.
“Yay,” chanted all of the forest critters.
“Do the donkey dance,“ they all cheered.
From then on, the forest critters never held a dance without the donkey!