Self-justification of Lesser Panda


Self-justification of Lesser Panda
Writer/Xu Jianlin   Photographer/Tan mingzhi
        My name is lesser panda. People always misunderstand me because of my shyness and unsociability, against which I would like to make some self-justification.
        The first time people see me, they would call me“small raccoon snack noodle”. However, hungribles as I am, the nickname actually refers to someone else---smallraccoon. Although I share many similarities with small raccoon both in height and appearance which always make people confusing, we are indeed not of the same kind. We all belong to the procyonidae. However, raccoon, as species of least concern, faces no danger of extinction at present. I am rarer than raccoon as a nationally protected animal. Hometown wise, my hometown covers places from the south of China to Himalayan foothills, Bhutan, India, Laos, myanmar and Nepal where boast with oriental beauty; while raccoons were from America, a place without gracefulness. Therefore, I always feel agressiveness of aborigines in them. In terms of appearance, I am slight chubby with round head and wide face, and I have a pair of white ears, inside which black brown spot scattered. My eyes are small but blinking. White surrounds my eyes, cheeks, beard and mouth, reddish-brown short fur covers all my body and nine yellow-and-white rings on my tail. Due to these colours, people call me “red panda” or “wolf with nine rings”. With an outlook like this, I am cute and endearing. Raccoon, however, has medium build with a wide face and upright eyes, long grey fur covers almost all his body, and five or six black rings on his tail. I am always the winner when making comparison with raccoon in the number and color of the rings. Most importantly, black color surrounds raccoons’eyes, which make them look like a thief with mask. Actually, they did behave like this---sneaking on people’s house for eat, thus earning a infamous reputation as “robbers”. As for us, I nowadays love to eat roots and steams of the plants, bamboo shoots, tender leaves and fruits despite of my habit of eating meat. Among these foods, bamboo is my favorite. Even when I am eating, I tend to behave gently like human beings with my forepaw. Moreover, I am not cumbersome but good at climbing the tree with a fat body and short legs. Thanks to my legs which are as sturdy as bear, my paws which can shrink partially and the thick black fur under my sole, I can climb quickly on the branch where I love to stay to aviod heat. If you didn’t see me on the grassland, remember to look up and try to find me on the tree, for I am likely to sleep on it. All in all, there seams no ground to say that a gentle me can share any similarities with that robber-like raccoon.
        Although being mixed up is a common case for me, I heard a doubt about me more than often: why there is such a sharp difference between giant panda and lesser panda?Why the color of lesser panda is not black and white? Here I will give you the answer. We lesser pandas, just like giant panda, have almost the same habitat in China, eat the stringy plants such as bamboos, and share even the similar tooth structure. We are all skilled at climbing due to the heavy fur under the sole and thick body hair. Most importantly, some part of our uncus protruded like a toe, which can be used as our sixth toe to hold things. The protrudent part is just like panda’s “pseudo thumb”. Despite of these similarities, we are totally of different kind. Giant pandas belong to felidae, while I belong to procyonidae. In terms of physique, I am one tenth of panda, while my tail is longer than it. Maybe I am not as precious as panda, but there is two things that pandas failed to do. First of all, take a photochrome, and the second, enjoy a sweet dream without worries about black eye. Besides, unlike pandas, my physique would never change even when I become old. That is to say, there exist big differences between panda and I. Hope you make all these clear in your mind!

        Do you remember me now? I am lesser panda rather than small raccoon or the baby of giant panda. I am smart and docile, active and cute and I am the nationally protected animal. Hope you can remember me, protect me and may we share the beautiful and blue earth together in the future!