A fable by wonderstruckb
The Curious and Procrastinating Panda
Curiosity Leads to an Unfortunate Catastrophe
The animals circled around the rock; on which the lion stood upon.
“If any of you can fetch me a mouse, then I shall reward you with water to drink.” said the lion.
The crowd of animals, amazed, mumbled amongst each other in awe. One animal, the panda, spoke up to the lion in response.
“Oh powerful lion, I believe all of the animals are my friends. Why must we sacrifice one to you?”
The lion, dumbfounded, stumbled upon his stone as he furrowed his eyebrows together.
The panda spoke again. “What- if I may ask- are you going to do with the mouse?”
The lion boomed with great anger towards the panda, as he felt somewhat disrespected.
“How dare you question me,” he thundered. “Have I not promised you a supply of water to drink? Our land is on the edge of famine, and you still have the nerve to ask why I, your ruler, must fulfill my needs? I should banish you as a punishment for your foolish actions!”
The panda did not know how to respond. It felt the burn of maddened stares from the other animals circle upon its black and white fur.
To break the tension, a gazelle spoke to the lion.
“I have a recommendation,” she said. “If the panda finds three mice to feed you, then it will not have to leave our land and it will have to work for you to receive water; but if it fails to do this, then we will banish it and its whole species from our land, and you and the rest of us will have all of the remaining water to ourselves.”
The lion pondered on the gazelle’s thought and approved.
“I accept your asking, clever gazelle.”
The animals buzzed in agreement.
The panda, ashamed began to plan a protest for his punishment, but nothing could sound as ingenious as the slick gazelle.
“Oh, how unfair it would be for my species to be banished, thus I fail your instructions,” the panda pleaded.
The pandas amongst the crowd of animals nodded their heads in consensus, but the lion along with several other animal groups disapproved of this, and the panda, unfortunately, was forced to fetch three mice to serve to the lion.
The following night, the panda was set out alone to search for the mice. After many hours of fruitless searching, the panda, exhausted, slumped against a large bush.
“I shall rest here for the night,” it spoke to no one in particular, “then I would continue my quest tomorrow.”
And the panda slept throughout the night and past the dawn of the sun’s awakening. When the animal finally opened its eyes, night had fallen once again.
“Oh, dear me, I have failed to sleep through the night,” the panda thought to itself. “I cannot find the mice if I do not sleep!”
And so, the panda fell back asleep and slept through another dawn and awoke into another night. The confused animal continued this pattern for three consecutive days until it was awakened by the lion on the morning of the fourth day.
“Oh, joy,” the panda mindlessly cried. “how dawn has finally arrived to rescue me from my nightmares!”
The lion fumed with anger, as the panda had failed to carry out its appointed task.
“I supplied you with an honorable task for your ruler, and now, because of your ignorance, you have not only cost your entire clan a sutible place to live, but you have also cost your king a source of food; and now, he is ravenous for something to eat.”
The panda stammered, lost in a uniververse of fear and confusion.
“Now you must pay for your disobidience, panda,” the lion bellowed. “I shall use you in change for the mice that failed to be delivered.”
The panda could not piece together what the lion had stated. It blinked its beady eyes in total dumbfoundess- oblivious to the lion’s message.
“You fool!” the ruler bellowed. “Have you no sense? I am to make a feast of your thick fur and flesh! Your fate is now controlled by me!”
The panda could only flinch in complete terror.
The lion laughed, mocking the bear’s silence. “For such a large animal, I cannot comprehend that you dare not provoke a fight with me!”
The panda only twitched in response.
“Or at least, cry out,” The lion pleaded, “are you not afraid of me?”
When the panda did not answer, the lion scruched its mane in anger, and then he laughed. He laughed and laughed until he could no longer breathe: still then, his chuckles devoured at the large stomach panting upon the earth.
The panda soon got distracted by a pink light fluttering in the skies above. It quickly hopped upon a sturdy piece of bark and began climbing towards the peculiar lifeform.
The lion had finally gotten over his laughter, and he looked up at the panda in utter loss of what the panda was doing.
“Why are you climbing that bark, dumb panda?” he questioned, “Why do you disregard my threat you clueless animal!?”
The panda was so high up that he could not hear the lion’s inquiries.
“My ruler,” he spoke, “I cannot hear you! Speak louder!”
The lion could not pick up the panda’s reply, so he began to climb the bamboo. As the lion ascended, the panda scaled the wood and found that the floating pink object was merely a cherry blossom petal that danced with the wind. The panda, disappointed, set out to return to the land below, and to its unfortunate fate. Little did it know, that the lion was directly underneath: stuck to the skinny piece of bamboo like leeches to a fragment of skin. The lion was so afriad of falling from the slim bamboo, that he shut his eyes and mouth tighter than spandex on an overweweight man. The panda’s descent was half-complete, when he felt his lower paws feel a great load of fur. In total sock, the panda accidentally slipped off of the bark: causing him and the lion to fall mericilessly towards the ground.
It was nightfall when the panda awoke from the drop. Crisp blood was stained to his forehead. The panda became worried that it was bleeding, so it scrambled around looking for an injury. The crack of dawn sparkled the panda’s surroundings: casting an eery gold shimmer through the bark and trees. This was when the panda became aware it was not bleeding, as the blood was not its own. To left, the panda saw a large body lying in a pool of red liquid. The pool glistened as the sun rose; revealing the shadow outline of the body. The panda inched towards the body. It was then when it realized that the lion was lying in a pool of his blood, unbreathing. The panda’s eyes widened, then he ran away from the sight.
It was nightfall when the panda arrived at his familiar land. The animals grudgingly welcomed him back but questioned as to where the lion was. The panda refused to answer; yet cunningly stated that the lion received his mice and said that only it (the panda) may drink water whenever needed. So the panda continued with this lie for three consecutive days - drinking more than enough water needed- until the gazelle reported that she had found the lion’s carcass lying in a bamboo forest. The animals were outraged. Their ruler was dead? How could that be? They turned to the panda for answers, and this time, it spoke the truth.
“I was meant to tell you,” the panda stated when the animals asked how he could be so sly. “But the circumstances felt so surreal.”
The gazelle did not believe the panda’s response, so she banished him from the land for his procrastination and his lying.
The panda’s species felt bad for it, so they followed into the barren land. Many of the pandas died in the fruitless land because of the lack of resources- only the strongest survived. The panda died within one day of banishment- due to grief, guilt, and low sodium levels.
Pandas became endangered because of what happened to their ancestors long ago. Today, their numbers are beginning to increase, but the question still stands as to if another instance such as this will happen again.
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