Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, May 3, 1915: “Three emperor penguins made their appearance in a lead. . .”

–from Sir Ernest Shackleton’s account “South”–

“Three emperor penguins made their appearance in a lead, west of the ship on May 3. They pushed their heads through the young ice while two of the men were standing by the lead. The men imitated the emperor’s call and walked slowly, penguin fashion, away from the lead. The birds in succession made a magnificent leap 3 ft. clear from the water on to the young ice. Thence they tobogganed to the bank and followed the men away from the lead. Their retreat was soon cut off by a line of men.

“We walk up to them, talking loudly and assuming a threatening aspect. Notwithstanding our bad manners, the three birds turn towards us, bowing ceremoniously. Then, after closer inspection, they conclude that we are undesirable acquaintances and make off across the floe. We head them off and finally shepherd them close to the ship, where the frenzied barking of the dogs so frightens them that they make a determined effort to break through the line. We seize them.

“One bird of philosophic mein goes quietly, led by one flipper.”

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