How the Panda got its Black Patches.

In China a long time ago, there was a little boy named Joey, who

cared after his father's sheep in the meadows. He had heard many stories

about the famous white bear that roamed around in the wild. Joey had

never actually seen one of the ferocious creatures but had seen carvings and

paintings of this mysterious animal.

One day as Joey was tending to his mother's vegetable garden;

he heard a strange sound, and it was something he had never heard before.

He turned around and saw an ivory coloured bear sitting at his feet; it

stared up at him with large, round black eyes. Joey backed away in fear, as

this creature could attack him at any moment, but the creature slowly

walked towards Joey in curiosity.

Joey quickly stepped back a couple of steps to only find out he

had tripped over a log. The white animal had quickly jumped on his chest and

prowled close to Joey's face. It started sniffing at this new "object"

it had found, and soon it opened its mouth. Joey thought he was going to be

eaten, but instead a pink tongue came out and started to lick his face. Joey

was surprised that the animal didn't eat him and he started to laugh. He

picked up the creature and called it Star.

Later that night Joey had given Star a bath, some bamboo

shoots to eat and a small basket with blankets. After being shown the animal

that Joey had found, Joey's father told Joey Star was a panda cub and could

not stay. The next morning Joey was sad, Star had to leave. Right after

breakfast Joey took him to the edge of the forest. On the way there, Star

had stepped on the ashes of the fire that was burning on the day before.

With his paws all black, Star continued walking without noticing the black

ash. When arriving on the edge of the forest, Star was crying and he rubbed

his eyes to stop the tears. He realized that his paws were all black and sooty

and carelessly rubbed it off on his fur coat, therefore creating black spots.

Since then Pandas have always had black spots on their ivory fur.