A Wish for Wings That Work

Synopsis: Opus the Penguin, amoung his other problems, always felt inadequate by his being "aerodynamicly impaired". Together, with Bill the Cat he tries doggedly to overcome that weakness, all without success. It is only on Christmas Eve that Opus learns what worth his natural abilities are.
22 min




Wings, Mr. Santy Claus,

I need new wings.

Not fancy wings,

just plain-Jane,

low-rent, barely bent,

home-grown, bare-bone,


two-part, Kmart,

no-frills flappers.

They would be an improvement

over my own.

As your records should show,

I am a bird.

Specifically, a penguin,

an embarrassing accident

of birth

for which

I do not blame my mother.

I prefer to blame



For the first time

in my life,

I have a request

for Your Plumpness.

Let me start by telling you

about my life lately.

In fact, just this morning.

Fly, fly, fly.

Fly, fly, fly, fly.

Fly, fly, fly, fly.

I almost fly. I almost fly.

I almost fly. I almost did.







No cats. No cats.

Especially no Bill the Cats!

Fly, fly, fly, fly, fly.

Fly, fly, fly, fly.


Fly, fly, fly, fly.

Fly, fly, fly, fly, fly, fly.


And like

a thousand mornings

before this one,

it was plain that a penguin

can say the word fly,

but he simply cannot do it.


Why don't penguins

have wings that work?

This! They call this a wing?

This is a bad joke.

This is built-in obsolescence.

I'm an Edsel.

I might as well

be a dung beetle.

Or a fly-infested,


molded, mildewed,

scrap of rotten banana.

Or a network executive.

A bad day

for flying, anyhoo.

No lift. Heavy ozone.

Plus too many stupid cats

during the take-off roll.

Oh, got a little

perspiration on your puss

there, Billy-boy.

You also have

a rubbish can up to

your nether regions.


You smell like

last week's

Brussels sprouts.

I suggested that you move

into the recyclables can,

didn't I?

Some years ago,

Father Christmas,

I rescued old Bill from

the University science lab.

They replaced his brains

with tater tots.

I have no need

for a sidekick, sir.

But still, he'd like

to be my best buddy.

But then, stinkbugs might

like to dance the Watusi

in my shorts, too.

I mean, you've got

to draw the line somewhere.







I woke up this morning

My wings ain't no use

My butt down on my shoes

I got those flapless,

earthbound blues


Lately, Father Christmas,

my social life

hasn't gotten much higher

off the ground

than my feet.

Hey, look!

I'm a bird!

Oh! I have slipped

the surly bonds of earth!


Honey, I'll be taking lunch

on the moon today!


What's the red thing

on the neck?

A turbo-prop?

So where's the exhaust?


Don't answer that.

Note the mighty wings.

I suspect they sputter

more than flutter.


They're obviously jealous

of my nose.

Anybody would be.




Get out

of the way.

Don't touch it!

Hey, spread out.

Get away from that.

Don't touch that thing!


Good morning, Truffles!


Merry Christmas, Opus.

Always a pleasure

to run into someone

lower on the food chain.


Did you know

you have a large rutabaga

on your nose?

This is my nose.

Excuse me, I'm late

for my support group.

Surely, you're not persisting

in your flights of fancy, huh?



I am perfectly comfortable

with my self-image.

You would not see me

trying to fly.

I hope not.

You're a pig.






You know,

the other white meat.

How about a water buffalo?

They been giving out

those lobotomy coupons

in the Little

Friskies again?



Well, I appreciate

your support on the way

to my support group.

Now wait outside

and please try not

to give anybody rabies.

You're late,

Mr. Opus.

Everyone's waiting.

There was a rhinoceros

on Second Avenue.

Uh-huh, save it.

Good afternoon, everybody.

I'd like to welcome

a new member to our group.


please introduce yourself.


My name is Opus,

and I am a flapoholic.

Hello, Opus.

I accept that my life

has become ruled

by an obsessive need

for flight.



Just be glad

your wife didn't leave you

for an albatross!

Good, George.

Confront your feelings.

My puny kiwi wings

weren't good enough

for Dolores.

Oh, no, no.

She had to have an albatross

with great big long wings.

He was on hormones.

You heard me, read my beak.


Uh, maybe

we shouldn't be confronting

those particular feelings.

Speaking of feelings,

darned if I don't feel

like a Boeing 747.

I'm cleared for take-off!

Good! Let's confront

our feelings about that one!

So what if they're small?

Some women prefer small wings.

What did Dolores want,

quantity or quality?

If she wants them big,

marry the space shuttle,

you shrew!

Space shuttle! Watch it!

Oh my, Dolores.

Oh, don't you know...

Now, we're

getting somewhere.

Pull up and out of here!



I'd run, I'd jump...

Shake and bake,

shake and bake,

shake and bake,

shake and bake!

Excuse me.

Is this cockroach

cross-dressers in crisis?

I want to talk

to the Colonel!

At this point,

Father Christmas,

there was only one option

for a penguin

whose wings only sputter.

I was compelled

to take the laws of physics

into my own hands.

I became

an aeronautic vigilante.


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Berkeley Breathed

Guy Berkeley "Berke" Breathed (; born June 21, 1957) is an American cartoonist, children's book author/illustrator, director and screenwriter, best known for Bloom County, a 1980s cartoon-comic strip and more recent Internet cartoons that reflect sociopolitical issues as understood by fanciful characters (e.g., Bill the Cat and Opus the Penguin) and through humorous analogies. Bloom County earned Breathed the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 1987. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "A Wish for Wings That Work" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 May 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/a_wish_for_wings_that_work_2075>.

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