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ISTITUTI SUPERIORI
BIENNIO
TRIENNIO
Chapter 2 "Nimble legs"

Daylight finally arrived.
The little panda started feeling peckish.
“I am starving!” he complained. “I wish I had taken with me some bamboo leaves!
Unfortunately, I am not used to stocking up on food! What am I going to do now?” Our panda, tired and hungry, sat under a big tree, closed his eyes and dreamt: he dreamt he was wrapped up in bamboo leaves which, as if by magic, fell down from the sky covering him up.
Plonk! Plonk!
Something fell down his head… Maybe, a bamboo leaf?

The panda opened his eyes: “Ah! No, it is not a bamboo leaf. It’s just a nut!” he cried.
Looking up, he saw a small tufted and long tailed animal who quickly skipped from one branch to another. He moved right and left, relentlessly picking up nuts.

Scoiattolo

“Hey! You! Stop! Could you tell me where I can find a bamboo tree?”
Without stopping, the small animal answered “What do you want from me? I’m busy! I must get food for winter! I’m a squirrel in a hurry. I haven’t got time to pay attention to you!”

“What an odd chap!” the panda thought.
“I only need a minute of your time! Could you tell me where I can find a bamboo tree?” the panda asked again.
“If I tell you, what will you give me in return?” the squirrel said.
“I could pick up some nuts for you!” the panda suggested.
The squirrel stopped, cautiously moved closer, stared at him looking into his two sad droopy eyes and accepted the offer.

“Come on, follow me!” he said darting away. Running after the squirrel, the panda arrived in a small bamboo wood.
“At last! I can eat now!” the panda happily cried out, and - as he was starving - headed towards the food without thinking of his guide.
Suddenly, a volley of nuts, like rapid fire, hit him in the back.

Scoiattolo



“You chubby bear! Are you cheating me? This wasn’t our agreement. I have lead you here, and now you must help me to gather some food.”

“I’m sorry,” the panda said, “but I’m really hungry. I didn’t forget my promise. I’ll help you straightaway.”
So, they picked up nuts and bamboo leaves, one swiftly and the other calmly, and, when they were done, began to eat together

“You’re really a hasty animal! How is it that you’re never still?! I must admit that you’re very quick and nimble. You’re wise as well, because you gather food for next winter. I never think of storing bamboo leaves. I pick them up and eat them straightaway!” said the panda.

The squirrel answered him “I have to thank you too, because I lead a solitary life, but now I have learnt that cooperating with you has been very useful: I must admit that I have never had such beautiful and perfect nuts. I usually quickly gather all the nuts I can find, and I store them up without checking whether they’re good to eat or not. Your tranquillity has made me understand that sometimes it is much better to stop for a while and observe things carefully!”

Finally, their tummies full, the new friends relaxed and continued talking.
“So tell me, what are you doing here?” the squirrel asked.
“It’s a long story, but if you want I’ll tell you”, the panda said.
“Sure! I’d be happy to listen to you!” the squirrel replied.

“I was banned from the tigers’ kingdom because they thought I was clumsy and slow. I didn’t know where to go, and I got lost in the forest at nightfall. There, I met a bat who told me about a special place that would be just right for me, and he led me in the dark to a big maple tree where I found the first clue to get there. It said that I have to face a three days’ walk to reach the sea, where I have to look for the king of dolphins.”

“But what is this place called?” the squirrel asked.
“It’s called Abilian”, the panda said.
“If you have such a long way to walk, you’ll need to stock up on bamboo leaves. I’ll help you to find them.”

“Thank you, you’re a real friend”, the panda said.




After picking many bamboo leaves together, they said goodbye to each other, promising to meet again for a snack, and the panda left looking for Abilian.
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