It was hot and humid in the bamboo
forest, even though it was high up on the mountainside. Steam filled the
air, seeping in between every tree, rock and bush. "I am SO hot,"
complained Yong-Hu. "The air doesnít move. There is no breeze. My fur is
damp and Iíve not been swimming in the stream."
"Itís summer in China. What more is
there to say? I thought maybe we would avoid the humidity up here in the
mountains, but not today. Its fingers have crawled up the mountainside and
found us and hold us tightly. If only a breeze would blow," Ho-Shing
Yong-Hu pulled a branch off the
bamboo cane and started waving it back and forth in front of him, hoping
to produce a breeze, but it was so hot and humid that the leaves instantly
wilted. "This wonít do," Yong-Hu said. "I canít fan myself off. Thereís no
escape. I donít even have an appetite any more."
"We should go for a swim in the
stream. It will cool us off. We can lie in it for a while until the heat
of the day passes," Ho-Shing suggested.
"I wonít argue with you. Letís go,"
Yong-Hu said, climbing down the bamboo.
The two pandas walked to the stream.
It was flowing quickly, filled with melted snow from the high country
further east. "Ah," Ho-Shing said, climbing into the water. "That is much
"Let me in. Let me in," Yong-Hu
said, anxiously. He jumped in and sat next to Ho-Shing. They splashed
water on themselves.
A golden-colored fish came swimming
by. It couldnít get down the stream because the pandas were in its way.
"How do you expect me to pass?" it asked Yong-Hu. The fish tried to swim
around them but couldnít. It even tried to go underneath them, but had no
luck with that either.
Ho-Shing, seeing the fishís dilemma,
lifted his leg and the golden fish swam past. "Rather impatient, wasnít
he?" said Ho-Shing. He lowered his leg and splashed some more water on
A frog plopped itself on top of
Yong-Huís furry head. "What is that?" he asked, reaching up and grabbing
hold of the frog. "Why did you plop on my head?" he asked the frog.
"I canít get around you. Youíre
blocking the stream. You two pandas are big animals. The only thing I
could do was try to jump over you and well, I guess I didnít make it.
Sorry," the frog apologized. Yong-Hu took the frog and put it in the water
behind him. It hopped onto a lily pad and then into the cool water.
"This feels good, doesnít it?" Ho-Shing
asked a while later. Theyíd sat there for a few hours now.
"Look!" Yong-Hu whispered to Ho-Shing.
He was terrified. "Itís a tiger."
The two pandas sat in the water.
Neither of them moved. The tiger walked up to them. "Move over. Iím hot.
It looks refreshing in there," it snarled at them.
Ho-Shing stood up, shook himself off
and climbed out onto the grass. "It is all yours," he said to the tiger.
"Come, Yong-Hu. The tiger is hot and wants to cool off." Without arguing,
Yong-Hu climbed out of the stream. As soon as he had, the tiger lay down
in the water.
"Letís get out of here," Yong-Hu
whispered and the two pandas ran off towards the bamboo forest. They
didnít stop until they were safe at home.
"It might be hot and it might be
humid, but at least we donít have to worry about tigers here in the
bamboo," Ho-Shing said. The two bears sat down. As he was sitting there,
miserable and hot, Ho-Shing spotted something. "Iíll be right back," he
said and walked off. Yong-Hu grabbed a handful of bamboo leaves and
gobbled them down. A few minutes later, Ho-Shing came back with two huge
leaves. They were thick and rubbery and very green. "Here," he said,
handing one to Yong-Hu. "Fan yourself off with this."
Yong-Hu waved the leaf in front of
him. "Aha, that feels good," he said, finding relief from the humidity and
heat. Ho-Shing fanned himself off too.
When the sun went down that night,
the temperatures went down. The pandas knew when the sun rose in the
morning, it would bring with it the heat and humidity again, but at least
they had their fans now!