The Panda

by Daniel Curzon


(a beast fable)



            The panda named Ding-a-Ling broke the hearts of everyone who saw her. Her round, white face, black ears and black-ringed eyes, soft paws, and roly-poly gait more than made up for the fact that she was solitary and surly.


            “We should insure that this adorable bear continues as a species,” said everybody.


            “Absolutely!” said everybody else.


            So they brought in male pandas to mate with Ding-a-Ling. But she rejected them. She even gave one a nasty red scrape across his nose. She showed not a sliver of interest in any one of the other bears and just sat on her haunches in the panda preserve chomping on bamboo shoots, even though she had to do it sixteen hours a day to get enough nourishment to live.


            “Maybe she will like Boo-Ba-Loo, the large male from America,” they said. So they shipped in Boo-Ba-Loo and put him in the pen next to Ding-a-Ling. He sniffed at her rump, but she didn't even glance his way. “Maybe she is a lesbian,” they said.


            So they artificially inseminated Ding-a-Ling with Boo-Ba-Loo's sperm. They had to tie her down and sedate her to do it, but they managed. Boo-Ba-Loo did not object to his sperm being used this way, although he would have preferred the old-fashioned way.


            Everybody was overjoyed when Ding-a-Ling conceived. She showed all the signs of impending motherhood, restlessness, a swollen vulva, and constant licking of herself.


            Finally the big day came, and Ding-a-Ling's cub was born. They named it Ding-a-Ling-Ba-Boo, after its parents. There was much rejoicing around the world.


            But then Ding-a-Ling took one look at the blind, squealing, slippery, tiny object that had popped out of her and moved away. She left it yelping for her on the floor of the pen. By the time the staff rescued it, it was too late.


            Since pandas only come into heat two days a year, they had to wait a whole year for Ding-a-Ling to be ready to conceive again. This time she sat on her baby and crushed it.


            “Oh my!” said the whole world.


            Next time they showed Ding-a-Ling a video of another mother cuddling and nursing her baby, even moving it from nipple to nipple to insure that it got plenty of nutritious panda milk. Ding-a-Ling loved the video, but this time, alas, she ate her baby.


            “She was stressed,” explained the staff of the preserve.


            “How many pandas are left in the world?” everybody wondered.


            “Just a few.”


            “We will try with Ding-a-Ling next year,” said the staff.


            “Yay!” said the world.


            But eventually the panda went extinct.


            MORAL: Nature is not sentimental about panda bears or any other
                               fussy fuckers.