Chapter 12

The sun rose over the sloping hillside bordering the Valley of Peace, so name for the sense of serenity and balance, but most of all for here a top the highest mountain peek stood the Jade Palace where the fame Grandmaster Oogway dwell, master of the ancient scrolls and founding father of all kung fu style..

All of this went unnoticed however to one person. A lone hermit wearing nothing more than a straw cone hat and oversize tan robe strolled down the village street. He moved about with a gangly limp, holding himself steady by clutching a long iron wood staff. The man passed a number of stands each one attempting to sell their assortment of food or drink. The hermit paid them no heed. He had no desire to quiet his stomach or settle his thirst. Not now, perhaps not ever again.

A low rumbling noise caused him to stop however. "Oh who am I kidding," he muttered before turning to face a large noodle shop. It was still early so no one was present within the open dining place.


The hermit looked up, surprised by the shop owner, a goose of all things, coming running between the tables. "Welcome, welcome. You've come just before the morning rush. Good thing too because my place fills up pretty fast. So what can I make for you on this fine day?"

A smile crept along the hermits face. It had been some time since he tasted real hot food. Sadly his sense of joy faded as he shifted about his pockets.

"Sorry…but it seems I don't have any coins."

The aged goose gave the hermit a stern look before pushing against his stomach. "Then you get nothing from me. I may be a kind heart old goose but I still have a business to run."

"Wait," the cloaked man said in a haste. "I haven't eaten in days." The sweet scent of noodles caused him to drool.

The goose pushed at his side once more speaking with each poke. "Not…my…problem."

The hermit began to grew angry with this short feathery creature. It would have been more easier for him to merely crush him with a single punch of his fist, but he swore to never go down that path again. Not after what happened.

"What if I agreed to work it off."

The goose stopped in mid thrust. "Go on?"

"I could work for you…doing odd jobs you know, taking orders, clean the tables, hell I'll take out the smelly trash."

The goose ran a gray feather across his bill as though thinking it over. "Alright, we have an agreement. But you'll have to follow my every rule to the letter. And my most important one is serves with a smile. With that said remove those wrapping show me your smile."

"Oh well you see," the hermit muttered twirling his fingers, "I don't know, I have these nasty scars all over my face and would—"

"You're forgetting already; follow my every rule to the letter. Now take them off."

The hermit released a sigh but did as the goose said, knowing his secret would come out sooner than later, though he had hope that he could have stayed in one place a bit longer than a day. Removing his straw hat, the hermit began to unravel the cloth wrapped about his head.

The goose took on a surprised expression before speaking with a friendly smile. "I'd say you scars have healed rather well. And might I say you make for a very handsome panda."

"Uh…" the panda muttered, a confused expression riddled his features. "Aren't you going to scream and call for the guards?"

"Why should I?" the aged bird said, then narrowed his eyes. "You haven't done anything illegal have you?"

"No," the adult panda said in a rush voice, both eyes wide open in shock, waving his paws before him. "It's just you know, I'm a panda."

The gray goose scoffed as he tossed a towel over his shoulder. "And what's wrong with that? Master Shifu, teacher to the Furies Five just so happens to be a panda."

"Really?" A look of glee appeared in the panda's green eyes.

"Well a sub-species of them, red panda I believe is that he's called."

The cheerful look faded. "Oh."

"Well then let me show around," the goose said, then turned on his web feet and made his way toward his shop. "By the way, my name is Thasid Ping, what's yours?"

The panda paused in his stride looking from side to side. "I don't have a name."

"Don't have a name?" Ping muttered in a confused expression, "well that is just plain crazy. Everyone has a name."

The panda rolled his eyes to the side. "Well I gave up my name. The last time I heard it aloud, I felt both angry and sad. If you must, call me Panda."

"Well that simply won't do at all." Ping ranted, "What kind of name is Panda, sound almost insulting." Ping stroked the underside of his bill, eyebrows arched deep in thought. He then smiled as he looked up at the giant panda. "I have it. I'll call you Po."

"Po?" the panda said, a gentle breeze swept past, ruffling his fur. The name sounded even stupider than Panda, but judging by the look in Ping's eyes he could see how much this simple act meant to him.

"Alright," the panda said with a playful grin, "call me Po from here on in."

A/N As you may have notice that I've gone and change Xiong name to Po seeing how he's met up with Mr. Ping. He's not going to think of Ping as his father however but more as a friend. Hope you all like where I plan on going next with this.