Gift for a Panda


A few months ago I studied a step by step lesson on painting a panda in an Chinese painting book. The eyes, nose, mouth and ears were painted first, and time and time again I ran out of room on the page to fit the body and back legs. I decided to allow the panda to be enormous and go off the page, then paint small birds to add to the sense of scale. That lead me to the thought of a story, that the panda was only a baby, and the birds could some how tell she needed their help. It was a reminder for me to stop and help someone people in need when I encounter them, rather than doing what is easy and flying by.

Gift for a Panda
Anna was a happy baby panda who more than anything else loved to sit on branch and chew bamboo stalks, so you can imagine how heartbroken she was when a loud noise startled her and she dropped her snack.She cried as she watched it fall, and a pair of swallows watched it as well.

Sally and Cindy swallow glanced at each other, and without hesitation caught the bamboo before it reached the ground and headed towards the panda. The panda was enormous, and with one swipe of her massive paw could crush their small bodies, but they knew what was right to do. They sang a quivering song to calm their nerves.

Anna stopped sobbing when she heard the song.When she saw them tremble, she was touched by their kind act. A happy tear rolled her furry face, and she extended her paw to welcome them. The birds winced when they saw the massive paw head towards them, but when they saw Anna’s gentle eyes they knew they were safe.The panda’s white fur felt soft and warm to the swallows, who gently released the bamboo plant from their beaks. Anna lifted her paw towards her eyes to get a better look at her tiny friends. A warm glow seemed to fill the forest, and for a moment, everything was calm and peaceful.

The quiet was interrupted by a low growl from Anna’s stomach. The birds hopped off, flapped their little wings, and they fluttered away. Anna held on tightly to her bamboo snack and waved good by to her kind tiny friends.When they were a safe distance away they waved back.