One day, many years ago, Penguin was swimming and fishing in the cold Arctic Ocean. Penguin was happy; he was with his family, discussing some questions that they had.
"Why is the water blue?" One of them had asked, and for that, no one had an answer. "Why is the sky blue?" Few penguins suggested ideas, such as a reflection of the water or that God had turned it blue to create contrast with the land and ice; however, no one knew for sure. "Why is the iceberg white? We are all fully black! Why can we not be white as well? White is such a picturesque, magnificent colour! Look around," Penguin stated, gesturing with his wing. "We are surrounded by white! Would it not be easier if we were white as well? We would be safer because we would have the ability to camouflage in with our surroundings!"
This statement got the other penguins thinking about this. "I agree!" One hollered back to him. Others were not so keen with his idea. "This is the way it is meant to be… do not forget that," Penguin's brother commented. "We are not to mess with nature." Penguin had already started swimming away, not hearing those words of advice and caution. Swimming up to a glacier, Penguin belly-flopped onto the ice, sliding in front of Polar Bear.
"Hello, Penguin," Polar Bear greeted him. "How are you?"
"Confused and cold. The wind, it is terribly unkind today, and my coat is not very warm at all!" Penguin complained.
Polar Bear smiled and then, being the generous creature that he was, said, "Here. You can wear my coat today. Do not worry about me… I will be plenty warm enough until tomorrow. Please remember to return it!"
Graciously accepting, Penguin profusely thanked Polar Bear for his kind gift. Penguin swam back to his family, excited to show off Polar Bear's coat.
"Look friends!" He cried out to those who were gathering around him. "Now I am warm and white!" And with that, Penguin pranced in front of his family, showing off his new treasure. His little brother, who had been quietly observing from the back, stepped forth and said, "What did you leave with the animal whom you took that from?"
"Nothing," Penguin replied, baffled. He tried to explain how Polar Bear said that he'd be fine, but no one listened. "He'll freeze for sure," some of them exclaimed. "How could you do this?" others asked. Penguin decided to sleep on it and then decide when to return Polar Bear's coat to him.
Penguin was toasty warm that one night, warmer than he'd ever been before. His dreams were selfish; he dreamt about keeping the coat. However, his little brother had other plans.
During the dark and quiet night, when everyone was asleep, Penguin's little brother snuck up on Penguin and tugged at the coat. It was loose, and he could easily take it back to Polar Bear before Penguin woke up! Slowly, he lifted the coat off of Penguin, but before he could get it all, Penguin rolled over in his sleep and landed on top of part of the coat. Penguin's little brother tried his hardest to get it all, but no matter how hard he tried, Penguin would not budge. Carefully, Penguin's little brother ripped Polar Bear's coat, leaving behind only the part that was underneath Penguin. Finally, having most of the coat, he set off to find Polar Bear.
"Thank you, kind, little penguin," the shivering Polar Bear said as he was given his coat back. "I'm afraid, had you not come when you did, I may not have made it through the night. But I see that there is a piece missing… Whatever did you do with it?"
Hastily, the little penguin told Polar Bear about how he took his coat from his brother. When he got to the part about ripping it to remain undiscovered, Polar Bear nodded.
"You were protecting yourself while trying to do a good deed. You chose to remain anonymous so your brother would not be mad at you. But, given your story, it appears that Penguin was trying to keep my coat as his own for selfish reasons. Something will be different when he wakes up as the sun rises." Polar Bear predicted.
Polar Bear was right. When the sun rose and Penguin wakened, the piece of Polar Bear's coat had frozen onto his stomach. Not only did Penguin have an unwanted surprise… his entire family did. On each and every one of their stomachs was a patch of white. From that day on, penguins have had white bellies as a constant reminder to be selfless and appreciative.