Ho-Shing sat on a boulder gazing
down on the valley below. It looked like a sea of green.
"What are you looking at?" Yong-Hu
asked, interrupting his silent thoughts.
"I am looking at the valley. It is
beautiful. I can see all the way to the sea today, Yong-Hu. Look for
yourself. Come, sit down with me," Ho-Shing said.
Yong-Hu climbed on the rock. He
plopped his plump body down next to Ho-Shing. "I see the river. Is that
the same river that starts up here on the mountain as a small stream?" he
"All rivers start as small streams.
Many small streams join together to form the river. Yes, our stream is
part of that river," Ho-Shing explained.
"I see the fields and rice paddies
down there and yes, I can see the ocean. I wonder what the people down
there see when they look up here. Do you think they can see us sitting on
the rock?" Yong-Hu asked. He stood up and started to wave.
"Yong-Hu. They cannot see us. We are
too far away. Itís easier to see from the top of a mountain than it is
from the valley below. We are up higher and can see for miles. From down
there, they can only see the mountain," Ho-Shing said.
"They probably donít know we are up
here then. We are closer to the sun than they are, arenít we?" Yong-Hu
asked, looking up into the sky.
"Of course we are, but it is much
cooler in the mountains than in the valley."
"Why is that? How can that be?"
Yong-Hu asked. He was confused.
"Donít worry about it, Yong-Hu. Just
enjoy the view," Ho-Shing invited.
Yong-Hu was content to sit for a few
minutes but then found himself hungry. "I want some bamboo. You can sit
here and enjoy the view. Iím going to eat!" He jumped down from the rock
and ran into the bamboo forest. He sat down in the grass and pulled some
branches over. His sharp teeth ripped the tender leaves off and he munched
away hungrily. When he was full, he went for a walk. He saw that Ho-Shing
was still sitting on the rock looking at the valley. "Iím thirsty," he
called to the other panda. "Iím going to the stream."
Yong-Hu ran through the grasses and
bushes and soon came to the stream. It was flowing rapidly down the
mountainside. He walked into the middle of it. The cool water felt good as
it sloshed over his paws. He looked down into the rushing water. He could
see fish swimming about. Some were gray and orange, others golden, and
some silvery and glittery. "Did you fish know that if you stay in the
stream, youíll end up down in the valley," he told them. Ignoring him, the
fish swam away. Yong-Hu bent his head down to take a drink. "Ah, that
tastes good. Itís very refreshing." He climbed out and sat on the banks of
the stream, watching it flow by him. He thought about what Ho-Shing had
told him about this stream meeting with another stream, and another, and
another, until there were so many that it was a river. He was curious
about it. He walked back over to Ho-Shing. "Ho-Shing? I want to see where
the streams meet up. I want to see for myself how a river is formed."
Ho-Shing, amazed to see that Yong-Hu
had such curiosity, answered, "Very well. We can follow the stream and see
where it leads us." He climbed down from the rock. "Follow me," he said.
Yong-Hu pulled a few branches of bamboo off the cane and followed his
They walked downhill, along the side
of the stream. Sometimes they had to climb over trees that had fallen,
other times they had to climb up small hills and go back down the other
side. After walking all day long they heard a loud rumbling sound. "What
is that noise?" Yong-Hu asked.
Ho-Shing listened. "Itís a
waterfall. Our stream turns into a waterfall. It must meet with another
stream at the bottom."
"Is it a big waterfall? We donít
have to jump to the bottom, do we?" Yong-Hu asked.
"Letís climb this hill and see," Ho-Shing
said. When they reached the top, they saw the waterfall. "It is a big
waterfall; very tall. Weíll have to climb down the side of it."
"What if we slip and fall?" Yong-Hu
"Weíll have to be very careful.
Weíll climb down the boulders one at a time until we reach the bottom. Do
you want to see how a river is formed or not?" Ho-Shing asked, seeing the
fear in Yong-Huís eyes.
"Yes. Letís do it. Letís go slowly,"
Yong-Hu said. The two pandas went to the side of the stream. They climbed
on one of the boulders and slid down to the next one. The waterfall danced
to the ground. Sunlight reflected of the drops and made rainbows. "Look
how pretty that is. There are rainbows here."
"Rainbows are pretty, but pay
attention, Yong-Hu. It is slippery. The boulders are very wet with mist,"
The two pandas climbed carefully and
finally reached the bottom safely. "Whew. We made it!" Yong-Hu looked up
to the top of the fall. "Wow. That was a long climb down."
He looked at the stream, which
continued on its way down the mountainside. "Come, Yong-Hu. It will be
dark soon. We must hurry."
They walked along the banks,
sometimes slipping in the mud. They stopped often to get drinks and nibble
on bamboo growing nearby. Soon they heard more rumbling. "Is that another
waterfall?" Yong-Hu dreaded.
"No, itís another stream," Ho-Shing
smiled. After a few more steps they came to the joining of the streams.
The two mixed together to make a larger one. "Weíre nearly to the bottom
of the mountain. Soon weíll come to another stream."
Ho-Shing was right. Within a short
time they came to another stream, just as big as the one they were now
following. A little while later, they came to another, and another, and
the stream was getting deeper and wider. At last they came to a point, at
the bottom of the mountain, where several large streams met. "The river!"
cried Yong-Hu, in delight. "I see now how a river is made. Itís
beautiful." They stood and watched it flow along. It was very wide and
"Look back to where we were," Ho-Shing
They turned and looked to the top of the mountain. "I canít see anything
at all, just the big mountain. I canít see the bamboo forest, I canít see
the rocks we sat on and I canít see the stream at the top with the fish,"
Yong-Hu said. "You were right, Ho-Shing. You can see more from the top
than the bottom."
The found a place to sit near the
river. Yong-Hu found some large bamboo canes. "I think its time we stayed
at the bottom of the mountain for a while. I donít want to climb back up.
Do you?" he asked.
"Not for a while. Letís enjoy the
valley. We have bamboo. We have water. What more can we ask for," Ho-Shing
That night as the sun set, the two
pandas lay in the soft grass, listening to the mighty river flow on its
way across the wide valley. The sound of its gentle lapping waters was
like a lullaby to the pandaís ears. Soon they were both asleep in their