Part 3 - Tamero's Decision
My name is Tamero and I'm a Coco Panda. I prefer to do things on my own, so I don't spend a lot of time with the others in my pack. When I'm in a crowd, all I can see is everyone hiding their true intentions. Subtly fighting over territory, obsessing over social standing, giving fruit, just to make sure someone else owes them a favor. It all makes me sick. That's why I moved my bed out to the edge of the camp. I thought I could avoid all that stuff, live on my own, and solve my own problems.
But Yuiyui, a panda I'd known since we were subs, was always pestering me.
'We're both usually in the same part of camp, so why don't we hang out for a while?' she'd ask.
We're only in the same part of camp because you moved your bed closer to where mine is, I'd think to myself.
'Tamero, stop! You can't eat that fruit! It's rotten!' she said, grabbing my food out of my hand.
Honestly, I'd rather eat rotten fruit than have to go beg someone else for theirs.
'Why didn't you call for help as soon as that Bracked Monkey attacked you?' she grabbed me, tears still in her eyes.
I didn't have an answer. Maybe, deep down, part of me knew if I was in trouble, she'd come to my rescue...
'You might like the idea that you're some strong independent loner, but in reality, when you push everyone away, you're just being self-absorbed!'
She was right... Any time things got truly difficult for me, I'd end up relying on her help in the end. I was only being so stubborn because I wanted everyoine to think I couldn handle things on my own.
This whole time, I'd just been acting tough... but I couldn't keep it up anymore.
'Yuiyui, I...I don't work hard at all. I'm just a pathetic excuse for a panda who's done nothing but take advantage of your kindness. I was only fooling myself, thinking I was fine on my own. I'm such an idiot...'
But it was too late now. She probably couldn't even udnerstand what I was saying anymore. She'd become a wild beast. I watched as she approached the Bracken Monkey, snarling.
It only took a few quick strikes from her before the monkey was collasped in a heap on the ground. I could tell that he wouldn't be waking up any time soon, but I knew I couldn't relax just yet.
Her opponent defeated, Yuiyui began to gnaw on the fern-like crest on his head. I could only imagine that she saw it as just another plant in her feral state.
'Yuiyui, stop!' I pleased, 'Don't eat that! This isn't like you...'
I grabbed her and tried to pull her away, but it was no use. She was the strongest Coco Panda I knew--even if I hadn't been exhaused from the battle, I wouldn't have been able to budge her.
I wasn't about to give up, though. I couldn't let my best friend lose herself liek this.
I looked around for a way to help her, and saw my weapon lying on the ground nearby. I thought that if I her her with it just right, it might bring her back to her senses...
But no, it was too risky. If I messed up, it'd just make her angry, and if I had to fight her, I could end up going feral, too. Yuiyui wouldn't want that.
'You said you didn't want to lose me...' I looked at her and dusted myself off, 'Well, I don't want to lose you, either, and I don't care what I have to do. It's time I stopped acting tough...'
I took a deep breath and shouted for help as loud as I possibly could. I shouted until I was completely out of breath. It was the first time in my life I'd ever asked for help, but I didn't care anymore.
Getting Yuiyui back to normal was the only thing that mattered to me.
In mere moments, our entire pack had come to my side.
'When we heard ya finally askin' fer help, we was all so happy, the whole pack come a'runnin',' one of them said to me.
I recognized him--he was the same panda who had shared his food with us the other night. I never knew he could move that quickly. He'd always seemed kind of dopey to me, but now, his eyes were sharp and focused.
'It's Yuiyui! She got hurt protecting me, and now she's gone feral. P-Please! I need your help to calm her down!' I stumbled over my words trying to get them out as quickly as I could.
Everyone banded together to drag Yuiyui away from the monkey and hold her still. Then, with a swift blow to the head, they knocked her out.
She slumped to the ground and lay there, as if she'd simply fallen asleep.
'That oughta do the trick. Now, we better go'n and grab somma her favorite berries. The smell'll help wake her up,' the helpful Coco Panda said.
The others all went to gather some berries and placed them in a neat little pile right in front of Yuiyui's face. After a few moments, her nose began to twich, smelling the sweet fragrance, and her eyes fluttered open.
'Huh...? I'm...okay?' she said, still a bit groggy.
I couldn't believe my eyes. She was back to her old self! I was immediately overcome with relief, so much so, that I might have even cried a little. It was then that I finally understood how she must have felt when she came to save me.
'Tamero...? Are you okay? My head hurts a little, but other than that I'm fine and--Huh? What are all of you doing here.' She looked at the rest of our pack with a bewildered expression. It was no wonder she was confused. I bet she never expected me to swallow my pride and ask the whole pack for help.
Everyone looked on with warm smiles as I took Yuiyui's paw in mine. I decided there and then that I wouldn't tryo to act tough anymore. I was going to tell her exactly how I felt.
'It's just like you said. It only makes sense for us to all help each other out.'
I turned to the rest of our pack. 'Thank you, everyone, for helping us.'
'And thank you, Yuiyui,' I said, turning back to her, 'for always being there for me.
From that day on, I decided to give the other Coco Pandas a chance. It turned out that working together isn't so bad every now and then. We're all friends now, and the days I spend with Yuiyui and the others are filled with smiles.
Continue Reading A Coco Panda's Tale
|⇐ 2: Part 2||At the end|