João Pereira de Souza, a retired bricklayer, has shared his homestead and sardine supply for four years with the seabird.
The penguin disappears into the sea for days—sometimes months—only to return to the spot where Mr. de Souza raises chickens by the beach in this remote fishing village of 1,300 residents on the island of Ilha Grande.
During the bird’s visits, the two go for long walks on the beach, swim together in the surf and converse in pidgin penguinese.
“When he returns he’s so happy to see me,” Mr. de Souza says, “he comes up to my neck and hoots.”
“He’s jealous for me,” Mr. de Souza says as the penguin eyes a visiting reporter with unambiguous suspicion. “He doesn’t let any dog or cat near me or else he goes after them and pecks.”
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