A bedtime story – The panda with the fluffy ears.

    In the tropical mountainous rain forest of Port Elizabeth, existed a small clan of Pandas. They were a clan of few individuals. They all lived in unity and love towards one another except with one family- the Willys.

    The Willys were a family of three. They were the perfect definition of love in a family. Mr. and Mrs. Willy were regarded as the best suited couple when they got married. They were the talk of the clan. Despite living the early years of their lives as a loner ( customary of all Pandas), they met each other while hunting and got married.
    They moved to the cave at the foot of Mount Cabel, after paying an amount of money to the Regent to secure their new home.
    They received love from other villagers. The villagers had brought food, gifts e.t.c, since the law of the clan does not permit newlyweds to go hunting or in search for food.

    But everything changed when they gave birth. The whole clan was thrown into amazement when they saw the new born baby. He had a large fluffy ear, large like that of a rabbit.
    The midwives, afraid at the sight of this, ran to report to the Regent. The Regent came over to see the mysterious child that his beloved Willys had given birth to.
    As rumors had spread rapidly among the villagers, tension began to rise amongst the people. Some said “the Willys had done something to offend the gods”, others said “their fore fathers must have stolen from the castle of the giant Rabbit”
    Few days later, at the village meeting that was held every week, some villagers raised concern about the incident of the Willys, they termed it as a sign of misfortune to the village, and that the Willys be sent farther away into the woods to avoid any looming misfortune that might befall the village.
    The Regent hesitated, but because most of the villagers pressed for such decision to be made, and threatened to rebel against her if not, the Regent then asked the knights to escort the Willys to the cave of Mount Cephar. But she gave them the liberty to attend the village meetings.

    Mr. and Mrs. Willy got to their new abode, sad. They would miss their friends and their job as the village store keeper.

    They didn’t name their son immediately he was born, due to the issues surrounding his birth. Which they did as they settled in their new home. “Bob” they named him
    “hm! Bob willy, I like the sound of it” said Mrs. Willy..
    As months went by, Bob’s ear became more big and fluffy.

    After living a year in the cave allocated to them, the Willys decided to celebrate Bob’s birthday, but despite inviting all the villagers, nobody was around to celebrate with Bob except his parents.

    On several occasions, that Bob had followed his parents to the village meeting at the square created by Lord Simpson- the first king of the village, he would leave his parent to go play with the kids playing the “leap and squat” game around the area. But he was always bullied and not allowed to play with them.
    The boys that were a bit older than him would pull the hairs on his ear, as it was too fluffy and fell off easily.
    He would cry back to his parents. The hairs of his ear  falls off whenever he is nervous.
    Whenever he came back crying (though his mother doesn’t want him to go in the first place), telling his father that the other kids called him “the fluffy-eared rabbit”, his father would console him saying “don’t worry son, that shows you are unique, you are different!, and whenever you feel down, call on your guardian angel. He would cheer you up”.

    After about hundred years of the peaceful existence of the clan, one evening, the clan was attacked by poachers. They came in wagons that had a large open trunk.
    They threw the village in turmoil, throwing nets all around to catch the little ones and chains to catch the giant pandas. The Regent was also caught as she lay down in front of her house enjoying the cool evening breeze.
    Many were caught unawares, while some were able to escape into their caves.

    This happened a couple of times and the village was soon deserted.
    Only the Willys, being farther away from the village centre, were left.

    Things became worse for them, as the little food supply they had left was exhausted and they couldn’t go out to hunt small animals or fetch bamboo.

    When little Bob took ill, his parents then decided to go hunt for food, despite knowing it was a dangerous attempt. They had thought they could watch out for each other in case of any danger, also the poachers were not seen around.

    When they got some distance away from the cave, Mrs. Willy was caught up in a trap set by the poachers, and while attempting to set his wife free, Mr. Willy was also caught up in a second trap.
    Little Bob heard the shout of his parent faraway, he started trembling, and his hairs began to fall from his ears. He waited two days for his parent, but they didn’t return. He cried and cried, till he could cry no more. Then he decided to go out and look for his parents.
    Because of his large ears, his hearing ability was very good, as he could hear things some miles away.

    From hearing the voice of humans, cries of pandas, panting of leopards, he was able to trace the camp of the poachers and found where his parents were kept, but he couldn’t go any nearer as he watched from afar. Leopards were used to guard the cage of the pandas, and humans also stood there with bows, arrows and cartridge. He went back to the woods, crying, and looking for help, but he found none.
    As he sat on the floor, crying, there appeared to him, a glowing panda almost  the same size as him. He stood in front of him and called out “Bob, why cry ye?”.
    Bob didn’t look up, but only replied “ My parents are held captive and am hungry”
    “ I am thy guardian Angel” the glowing panda said.
    “ thou meanest the guardian angel my father speaketh of?” Bob asked as he looked up to see the panda in front of him – that was glowing and with wings. The Angel pulled him up and gave him a flute and a belt
    “ take this flute and belt, when thou hath faced with predators, blow the flute and they will fall asleep, and when faced with humans, use the belt, and thou shall become bigger, to about fifty times thy size”.

    Bob took the magical weapons that were given to him, and set out to rescue his parents. He got close to the camp of the poachers, and blew the horn that he had picked from the palace, to announce his presence and he spoke aloud, “ ye humans, set my parents free, lest ye die!”. The humans laughed, while the leopards rushed towards him to devour him, but before they got any closer, he blew the flute, and they fell asleep. The humans on seeing this, took to their weapons. He wore the belt given to him and he became a giant. They fired arrows at him as he moved closer, some pierced his body while he blocked others. He ran closer, a step at a time, making the earth tremble as he did. He got to them before they could load their guns, and with his feet kicked them away, turned their wagons over, destroyed their tents. Survivors ran for their lives.

    He set his parent free, he didn’t want to free the other villagers that had banished his family. But his father pleaded with him, saying “thou shall not repay evil for evil”. He set the other villagers free, and all other animals that had been caught.
    He removed his belt, and became small again.

    The villagers jumped up rejoicing, thanking little bob for saving them. They carried him to the village square, singing and chanting:
    “ All hail bob, the fluffy- eared,
    He tamed leopards and chased humans”

    This they sang, as his parents watched their son being made a hero. He had saved his clan.
    When they got to the village, the people bowed at his feet and with one accord said “ oh! Bob, be thou our king!”.
    Then the Regent came forward “ oh! bob, we are sorry for how bad we treated thee, how we despised thee, forgive us, and be thou enthroned as our king”

    He became the king of his clan at such tender age, his family moved to the palace, and Maria, the former king’s daughter was betrothed to him. He kept the flute and the belt in the chamber where antiques were kept in the palace, and only brought it out when he needed to defend his clan.

    Ever since then, his clan was free of predation, and other clans respected them.

    Little Bob reigned over his clan for a long time with his beautiful wife, and gave birth to six children.

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