by Sarah Cooley
One fine day, a young girl went skipping through the woods. This girl had an adoration for all wildlife, but her mother had always been careful to warn her about bears. Bears, her mother said, were terrible, carnivorous beasts that would eat anyone that bothered them. The little girl promised her mother that she would be wary of the dreadful bears, but being a very optimistic child, decided that acting friendly couldn’t hurt.
She hopped along the woodland path, and came across a cave. She stopped near the entrance and called, “Is there anybody home?” A low voice rumbled, as a brown furry face appeared in the dim light.
“I, Brown Bear, am at home. But if you keep bothering me, I’ll be forced to eat you.” Having been taught to always be polite to your elders, the little girl said,
“Oh, I see, I’ll go on my way then,” and continued down the path.
She came across another cave, and inquired,
“Is there anybody home?” A furry black face, this one slightly smaller than the last, poked out of the darkness.
“I, Black Bear, am at home, and if you take one step closer, I’ll come out and eat you.” Deciding to skip the social niceties this time, she hurried along her way without looking back.
The young girl came across yet another cave, and without pausing to ponder why on earth there seemed to be so many caves in the forest today, she again called out.
“Is there anybody home?”
This time she was met with a large white head, with fuzzy black ears and more black fur ringing the eyes, a strange combination the girl instinctively knew was adorable. He was munching on some type of fibrous green material, thus he quite rudely answered with his mouth full.
“I, Panda Bear, am at home.” The girl was puzzled.
“Panda Bear?” she asked, she had never heard of this type of bear in all her life.
“Yes, Panda Bear is what I am called,” he affirmed.
“Do Panda Bears eat people?” She wondered out loud.
“No, not at all,” the Panda Bear replied around his mouthful, “I usually just feed on bamboo.”
“Oh, I’ve never heard of bamboo before,” she said. Curiosity evident in her voice, she took several steps closer to the Panda Bear. “To which continent is it indigen-…“
But the poor young girl never got to learn bamboo’s continent of origin, because, as it turns out, while Panda Bears do not usually eat flesh, they are very territorial creatures and become annoyed surprisingly easily. His enormous black paw made a loud, dull thud as it met her skull with 400lbs of force. She was dead before she crashed into the side of the cave wall. The Panda bear dragged her outside of his cave and sauntered back inside to finish his bamboo and sleep for 14 hours.
The moral of the story is this: Panda bears may look adorable, but they are still bears. And bears are really dangerous.