National Geographic : 1956 Mar
416 The Author Needed a Workshop; Falklanders Obliged with "Pettingill's Parlour" to grasp it in his beak, only to lose the fasci nating object of his quest when he knocked over the mirror. Next we returned to Kidney Island, where the young rockhoppers had almost attained the size of their parents. Far more interest ing than the youngsters to watch and film were the old birds which, their home duties about over, had begun to molt. Big patches of old feathers clung to the tips of newly formed feathers, giving them a moth-eaten, bedraggled look. Their molting, we discovered, had in no way lessened their quarrelsomeness and noisi ness; if anything, it seemed to have aggra vated their mean dispositions. Fights con tinually broke out, with feathers literally fly ing. Each time one individual grabbed at another, he got a mouthful of feathers, and when he struck another with flippers, he knocked out more feathers. Sometimes free-for-alls developed, a dozen or more penguins pinching and striking one another wildly and falling into feather-filled crevices, with the result that we could scarcely see the struggle because of the feathers in the air. Sometimes it seemed as if a pillow had suddenly exploded. We could have kept on photographing pen guins indefinitely and always been sure of catching something not yet recorded on film, for, despite the fact that they repeat certain actions countless times, they never perform in quite the same way. In only one respect are they consistent-they are unfailingly amusing. In our final days in Stanley our hardest task was saying goodbye to the many people who had been so kind to us and so sincerely interested in the job we had come to do. Time and time again we found ourselves say ing, "We'll be back someday." Itwasasim ple statement, but abundant evidence of how we felt about the Falklands.