We found each other crying the call of the Panda clan in the bamboo grove just outside of my hometown. It is as beautiful today as it ever was.
I always thought the prophecies were ancient lore and never expected to live through them.
I’ll never forget that day… before we knew what was happening the internet was down, darkness was spilling over the horizon.
We found an old radio and my heart sank… Tsunamis had erased Los Angeles. Shanghai was steaming rubble. Within an hour the radio stopped working.
Pillaging mobs filled the streets. When I saw two fighting to the death over a jug of water, I felt it in my bones.
That is when I remembered the cry of the Panda my grandmother taught. I never thought we would need it.
I ran back to find my sister crying. We packed water and ran to the bamboo groves with every ounce of strength… the sky was darkening and a strange smell of charred metal saturated the air.
We found an enclave and started together, the cry of the Panda. Every minute felt like days.
Then we heard it, another Panda cry. At first I could not believe it, yet again it came.
First two, then four, then eight… we found eachother in the bamboo groves.
After gathering the tribe, we wandered the forests, drinking from creeks, bathing in lakes, and warming our bones in the hot springs.
Now my tribe is 144 strong and we grow stronger by the day, nourished by the bamboo root.
I’m happier now than I ever was and the old world feels like a distant dream. At the time it was the hardest experience, yet now I understand why the prophecy called it the Great Purification.
Over the years our sod huts became living bamboo temples. Our desperate attempts at survival became the arts and crafts of living.
We cried every day for our lost loved ones until the despair slowly lifted and we found the joy of life overflowing with the bounty and beauty of nature.
When thieves and bandits come searching, they cannot find us.
When tigers come to eat us, they find nothing to eat.
In my tribe, the Tao of the Panda runs strong.
Tribe: Southern Panda Tribe
Land: Former Sichuan Province
Inspiration: Empress Sunbow