"Itís nice down here in the valley,
isnít it Ho-Shing?"
"Yes," he answered. "I miss the
mountains but it is nice to have a change. The only thing I donít like is
that it rains more often here. My fur has barely dried out from the last
rain and it looks like more on its way."
"I have a great idea. Why donít we
use umbrellas?" Yong-Hu suggested.
"Umbrellas? Where might two pandas
find umbrellas?" Ho-Shing asked.
"Iím sure we could find one in the
village somewhere. When I used to sit with you on the boulder, I could see
a village down below, not far from the river. Letís go there and see if we
can find an umbrella. That way, if it rains, we can stay dry," Yong-Hu
"Iím not sure if weíll find one or
not, but we can try," Ho-Shing added.
The pandas walked along the
riverbank. Thick, gray clouds hid the sun. "Itís going to rain any
minute," Yong-Hu said, looking up. "How much longer until we reach the
"I think weíll be there shortly. I
hear noises; village noises. We must be careful though, Yong-Hu," Ho-Shing
warned. "People might be frightened if they see us. We are pandas and some
are afraid of pandas."
They crept up to the village. Small
huts made of wood and leaves, stood in a circle. A well sat in the center.
"That must be how they get their water," Yong-Hu said.
"Yes. It is. I donít think they have
any umbrellas in this village. Aside from the people, I see a few pigs,
dogs and chickens. I see nothing else," Ho-Shing said, parting leaves on a
bush and peeking through.
"The umbrellas would be inside their
huts," Yong-Hu reminded Ho-Shing. It began to rain. The women, men, and
children all ran into their huts. A small girl turned to look at the
pandas before she went inside. "Do you think she saw us?" Yong-Hu asked.
"I think maybe she did. Sheís just a
child. She wonít do anything," Ho-Shing said.
The pandas were drenched. The rain
came down in torrents, soaking them in minutes. The trees surrounding the
village didnít offer much protection. "I think we should just go back to
our forest. I think you are right. There are no umbrellas here," Yong-Hu
said, wiping water out of his eyes. Just then the small girl came out of
the hut. "What is she doing? Is she coming towards us? Whatís that in her
"You ask too many questions, Yong-Hu!
I donít know what she is doing. Stay still though," Ho-Shing warned.
The small girl walked right up to
the pandas. She smiled at them. Ho-Shing and Yong-Hu stared at her. "My
name is Li-Ming. I brought this umbrella for you," she said, handing Ho-Shing
a bright red umbrella with golden lanterns painted on it. "You are getting
very wet. I hope this helps you."
Ho-Shing reached out and took the
umbrella from her hands. "Thank you," he said. Yong-Hu didnít say a word.
He was so surprised by her kindness.
The girl ran back into her house and
looked out of the window. She waved at the pandas. Yong-Hu and Ho-Shing
waved back. They put the umbrella up and stood under it. "Now weíll not be
so wet," Yong-Hu said. He looked down at his paws. They were covered in
mud. So were Ho-Shings. "At least most of us wonít get wet." He laughed.
The two pandas walked back to the forest.