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Day 3


Percy continues his story.

After a few weeks at Tuckertown I had gained back the weight I lost to Zoo Fever. Each day I grew stronger until I was able to work out in the pool. I started very slowly, swimming only a few laps each day.

Often Flip and Flop practiced their famous act while I swam. During one of their sessions, they asked me to join them. I was afraid I was still too weak, but Flip said, "We'll do the hard part. All you do is ride on our backs. Watch!"

While I swam in place in the center of the pool, Flip and Flop slipped under my feet. All of a sudden I was lifted up and moving around the pool just above the water with one foot on Flip's back and the other on Flop's.

Tilly saw me from her yard and began laughing hard enough to burst her shell. "That's the funniest thing I've ever seen!"

Then those tricky seals started swerving, first apart, then together, over and over again. My feet went with them, out and in, in and out. I had to flap my flippers so I wouldn't fall down.

Tilly was shaking with laughter. She called out, "That's one crazy water dance, Flip and Flop.

You should ask Percy to join your show."

After they set me down into he water Flop asked, "Do you want to be part of our act? You can start this afternoon."

I wasn't so sure. "Do you really think I can do it? I'm still pretty weak. Besides, people come to see you twins because you're famous. They'll be disappointed if I'm in the act."

"You heard Tilly." Flip said. " And we think she's right. We won't let you say no. You start this afternoon."

Tilly was right. The audience loved me and I became the third member of the Tuckertown swim team. We practiced every day, and as I grew stronger, I became more daring.

I worked out a special trick that only penguins can do. I dive to the bottom of the pool and swim as fast as I can for the end where the audience sits. Just before I hit the wall I swoop up and pop out of the water onto my feet at the edge of the pool and take a bow.

The first time I did it the audience sat totally still. They were so surprised. A few seconds later they came to life, roaring and cheering and clapping.

 Flip and Flop and I became best friends, always ready to help each other. Like the day I received a letter from my father at the South Pole. It brought terrible news. My sister had a bad accident on the ice and could lose a flipper.

"If only you were here," my father wrote. "Your sister needs you."

That afternoon, after finishing the act, Flop asked, "What's wrong Percy? You look sad."

"Yeah," added Flip, "Your face is longer than Missy's tail."

"It's my sister. She's had a bad fishing accident and might lose a flipper. I feel so sorry for her. I wish I could be with her."

Flip said, "That's awful; you must feel terrible! Let's go to my house. I've got something to make you feel better"

When we got to his house, Flip went in and came back out to show me a small white pill.

"Here, take this. It will make you feel better."

I was shocked. Flip was offering me a drug! I never knew that Flip and Flop used drugs. "I'm sorry but I can't take that," I said. "The only pills that I take I get from my doctor."

"Oh go ahead and take it," Flip said. "One little old pill can't hurt you."

Flip Flop and Percy And Flop said, "We're your friends. We want to help you."

"You two don't understand," I told them. "I want to help my sister, but I can't. That's why I feel sad. Your pill won't help that."

I might have said more, but just then the loud speaker called my name, "Percy Penguin, please come to the office."

"Maybe that's news about my sister." I said. "See you later."

It turned out to be good news from the South Pole. My father told me the doctors there had been able to save my sister's flipper after all. And she would be able to swim in a few months. That was just what I needed to hear. Just talking to him made me feel much better. In fact I felt so good I didn't think any more about Flip and Flop and their stupid pill.

I thought that my saying no to them would be the end of it. But the next morning at practice, Flip and Flop wouldn't give up. The first thing Flip said was, "If you won't take our pill, you're not our friend, and if you're not our friend, you can't be in the swimming act."

I was disappointed at that; but I knew they were trying to make me feel bad, so I said, "I'm sorry that you don't want to be my friends anymore, but if I have to take your pill to be your friend, you're not real friends anyway." Then I went home feeling very sad.

That afternoon Flip and Flop did the act without me, but something went wrong. Flip sank to the bottom of the pool and just lay there. Flop got scared, "Help! Please help me! Something's wrong with Flip. We have to get him out of the pool!"

Flop and I dove to where Flip lay and managed to lift him to the surface where Mrs. Wilson and Tilly lifted him out of the water. "He's still breathing," Mrs. Wilson cried, "someone call 911!"

While we waited for the ambulance, Mrs. Wilson asked, "Flop do you know what happened? Did Flip eat anything that could have made him sick?"

Flop looked very upset. He couldn't say anything, but then he said in a shaky voice, "Just before we began swimming he took one of these pills to pep him up." He opened his flipper and showed a white pill, just like the one they tried to give me.

The ambulance arrived, and Mrs. Wilson said, "I'm very disappointed in you,Flop. You know our rules about drugs. For now give me that pill so I can take it to the hospital and find out what we have to do to make him well."


After the ambulance left, I went to Flop and wrapped my flipper around him. Tears were streaming down his face. "Don't cry, Flop. They'll know what to do at the hospital. Flip will be Okay."

"Oh, Percy, it was all my fault. I listened to Missy."

"You didn't know, Flop. Missy didn't tell you that her drugs are dangerous and can hurt you."

"But I want to help Flip. What can I do?"

"If you say no to drugs, that's the best help you can give to Flip. That will help him to say no too, and this won't happen again."

"You're right, Percy. I don't care what Missy says. From now on, I say no to drugs."

Just then Missy showed up on the other side of the pool. She glared at us. I tried to ignore her, but she began talking to herself again. I could just hear what she was saying: "That scrawny penguin is too much. Now Flip and Flop are listening to him instead of me. If Tilly does the same I'm out of the drug business!"



1. When Percy felt sad about his sister how did Flip try to make him feel better?

2. Why did Percy refuse to take Flips pill?

3. How did Flip and Flop try to get Percy to change his mind?

4. When Flop wanted to help Flip what did Percy tell him?

5. Why did Percy tell us that sometimes it's okay to take a drug?



Flip and Flop invite you to Tuckertown. Draw a picture of the three of you playing.


Tell Flip and Flop a story that shows how they helped you to say no to drugs.

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