The Secret Beyond Matter

Stories for Thinking Children 1

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Omar and the Penguin

Before he went to bed one night, Omar watched a documentary film with his father. It was all about animals, and he was surprised to see how some animals survived under the most difficult conditions. As he got into bed, he thought about what he had seen. He imagined that he lived where those animals did, and suddenly he found himself in a place all covered with snow. He began to wander around.

All of a sudden, he heard a voice say, "Welcome, Omar!"

"Who are you?" Omar asked.

"I am a penguin," came the answer.


The creature that was speaking looked just like it was wearing a tuxedo. Omar remembered what it was right away. There had been a segment about penguins in the documentary he had watched with his father that evening.

"Oh yes," said Omar: "I just saw something about your life on television. It's really freezing here. Don't you ever get cold?"

The penguin answered: "This is the South Pole, and the temperatures here can go as low as a freezing -130 degrees Fahrenheit (-88 degrees Celsius). This environment would kill many animals, but we have no difficulty living here, although this is only because of some special qualities that Allah has given us.

Because of a thick layer of fat under our skin, we are not affected by the cold as much as other animals. And when winter comes, we go farther south along the coast."

Omar remembered: "That means you migrate! What other qualities do you have that I don't know about? For example, the documentary said that you take great care of your eggs until the babies hatch from them. Can you tell me about that, please?"

The penguin smiled: "Of course. Unlike many animals, it is the male penguins who incubate the eggs rather than the females. And they do this in -22 degree temperatures Fahrenheit (-30 degrees Celcius) for 65 days without ever moving. Meanwhile, the mother penguin goes away to look for food for the babies that will be born. After they are born, the chicks spend their first month on the feet of their mother and father. If they leave there for even two minutes they will freeze to death."

Omar nodded: "That means you really have to be careful, then?"

The penguin replied: "Allah has taught every animal how to act. We just do what Allah has inspired in us."

Omar agreed: "Our Lord has taught every creature where and when it should settle and how to find food. The life of you penguins is a good example of this."

The penguin turned around: "You can find lots of different examples in other creatures. My family is waiting for me, so I must go now, I'm afraid."

Suddenly Omar heard the sound of a bell ringing. It was morning and his alarm clock had gone off. He then realized that his little journey had just been a pleasant dream.


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