Dear Lola,

I’ve long been bothered by a puzzle that I’m fairly certain has a simple explanation. Why do flamingos stand on one leg?


Fancy Foot Work

A cartoon rendering of Lola sitting in a bathtub with the phrase 'dispensing advice while playing with my bath duckies.'

Dear Fancy Foot Work,

There is indeed a very simple answer to this mystery.

Flamingos are absolute showoffs.

It’s not enough that they have a dazzling pink coat of feathers to flaunt in front of the world, they just have to have it all. With their long, slender legs they have never suffered the plight of not being able to reach the top of a table to snatch a treat or two in between meal times.

Meanwhile, I have to try to covertly move a stool to steal a treat.

The humans always manage to catch me in the act, forcing me to deploy my adorable front teeth to get out of canine jail. Canine jail being my absolutely cozy bed instead of the center cushion on the human’s couch. Shhhh, don’t tell them my bed is cozy – I have them convinced the bed is made of rocks that poke me mercilessly.

However, I digress.

Even the flamingo’s long and slender legs aren’t enough for those preening peacocks. Then they have to stand on a single leg, demonstrating their mastery of balance. Ballerinas all over the world have been known to study flamingos in an effort to mimic the skill. And speaking of preening peacocks, it’s that feathered fiend who created the flamingo’s obsession with showing off. Everything was going splendidly, flamingos standing on both feet to have a nice chat with a neighbor, when a peacock pranced past with his tail full of feathers proudly on display.

The game, as they same, was afoot.

Thus began the start of a long and brutal battle between feathered enemies. First the peacock showed his tail feathers in a variety of pleasant hues. The flamingos responded by adopting the most squeal-inducing shade of feather known to little girls across the world. Then peacocks developed an adorable tiara of feathers for their heads, forcing the flamingo to respond by proudly displaying their long legs. Then peacocks wowed us with their melodic calls for friendship, leaving the flamingos to top them by only using one of the two legs they are born with.

If this feathered fracas continues, we may end up with rainbow colored flamingos standing on their heads!

Now that I think about it, I really hope the peacocks come up with something amazing because a rainbow colored flamingo sounds really awesome.


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