Fuck this, Panda thought and rolled back over. She could hear the annoying screech and growls of the passing 2 leggers, food smeered fingers extended like branches, jabbing in his direction. Go on just a little closer and I'll rip it off, she thought. She had lost track of what day it was. She used to watch carefully as summer drifted into autumn, but she didn't even care if it was night or day.
A sigh slipped out like a distant train leaving a tunnel, sending cries of the wonder from the onlookers, much to her disgust.
That was the end of the very dissatisfing show and gradually the watchers dissipated to laugh at the right rope walking monkeys or the ‘proper bears’, like the grizzly. Just one boy left, sat watching quietly.
When did I stop caring, she wondered. People used to queue for days to come and see her. Well her and him. How long ago was that? Last week? Last month? And now what? Fuck. How could she have let him go. She should have known what they were doing, she should have…
A tap on the glass disturbed her thoughts. She ignored it, staring at the wall. She thought they were just cleaning the cage, but when she woke, he was gone.
The tap came again. Unasked and unrelenting. Sighing again she slowly rolled over, her fiercest scowl hidden in those adorable eyes. What did this tiny human want. He was furiously writing something on his note pad.
“Come closer” it said scrawled across the page. Not gonna happen. Little shit probably just wants a photo. The boy seeing her lack of engagement scrawled frantically again.
“I can help”.
Help. A little human. Humans who put her here. Who kept her here. Who took her love.
She slowly bared her teeth and wandered back to her room. The boy watched her like an owl.
The next day as she lay in her spot, drizzle wafting down on her, there came a tap tap.
There he was again note pad in hand. She rolled away before he could finish his stupid note.
The next day. Tap Tap Tap. This time he was ready for her and had the note pressed against the glass. She tried to ignore him. But Tap Tap Tap. And then in the corner of her eye, she saw his face. Desperate and full of a sadness that tore at her heart. In that instant, she recognised him. He was the owners cub. He locked eyes with her, pleading.
Slowly she looked down at his note and something lifted inside her. The smallest spark of hope. She couldn't take her eyes from the note. Each word carefully written and underlined...
“I know where your son is.”