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In a far-away forest there lived a baby panda.
His parents were suddenly stricken by a rare disease, and before dying they asked the queen of the tigers to accept their child in her kingdom.
Regina delle tigri
The queen, a beautiful tiger with a shining striped coat, did not have the heart to reject the desperate request of the two dying animals and accepted, although deep in her heart she did not want such a burden.
In fact, the baby panda was really not as quick and agile as all the other inhabitants of her kingdom. He sat all day eating bamboo leaves; he was clumsy and awkward.
“What kind of service could you ever render to me or to my kingdom?” often sighed the queen looking thoughtfully at him.

One day the queen gathered her people and said “We must leave this place; there is no more food here to eat. We’ll look for another place more suitable for us.” It was a sticky summer afternoon, and dark and black clouds building up in the sky seemed to foreshadow a storm.
The young panda did not understand the reason of this sudden departure. “What?” he wondered. “Am I supposed to leave my country, my home and the place where I grew up?” Nevertheless, when he saw everybody else ready to leave, he sadly got in line.

At that moment the queen stopped, pointed her long claw at the baby panda and roared “No! You will not come with us! We do not want you, you are different from us; you are clumsy, awkward and slow. You only bungle things. You are only a burden to us. Leave us!”

The baby panda, not understanding the meaning of those words, started to follow his friends, or better, those whom he had always considered his friends, but he could not keep pace with them. They really were faster and quicker than he was.

Panda triste

The panda, with his weeping broken voice, cried “Why don’t you want me? Please, do not leave me here alone; I’ll do anything you want, but don’t leave me here alone…”
“Sss… Useless… Sss… You’re useless… Sss”, a snake said.

It was getting dark, and a heavy rain began pouring down.
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