A penguin shows up on a boy's doorstep. As "he was not the sort of person to ignore someone that may need his help" he invites him in and attempts to figure out what's going on. He checks with lost and found to see if someone lost a penguin. He asks around. He considers passing the problem off on others. "Now, anyone can be forgiven when faced with such a problem for choosing the easy way out. Then again, some people just don't have it in them to do anything other than the right thing."
The boy keeps working to find help for the penguin. "As the day wore on, the boy discovers that helping this stranger find a home was more difficult than he thought" Plan after plan falls through. People in power refuse to help. "As too often happens, the small voice is not heard in the wider world. And yet, when things are not going quite the way they should, it occurs to some that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing yourself."
So he works to get it home himself. But in the process they spend a lot of time together, facing challenges and finding strength and respect in each other. They finally arrive in Antarctica. "Finally the boy's work was done. His task was complete." And the boy leaves him behind.
"It's harder than you think to say goodbye to someone who's become part of your life. Especially when you haven't noticed it happening. And so this particular farewell was much harder than the boy imagined it would be. For although a parting is always sad, and awkward ones even more so, but you do what you have to do and just get on with things."
Then the boy finds his ward's suitcase which contains, in the end, only a strip of photos of the two of them together taken during the first few days. "Suddenly the boy understood that perhaps someone wasn't lost, but really just lonely. And maybe they weren't the only one."
[frantic attempts to find his friend back mostly fail, then suddenly work. Hugging. Sharing. Setting off on a return journey together.]
"This all began with someone lost and someone found. And who's to say which is which? There was a boy and there was a penguin. Strangers from opposite sides of the ocean. And like the beginning of any friendship, theirs is a remarkable story indeed."