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Chapter 5

Patch panda meets princess pandora again

     When King Percival placed The Magic Crown on his head and heard that Patch had escaped from jail, he became very angry. He reared and ranted and bellowed and raged. He fussed and fumed and frowned with anger.

      “Patch Panda must be found! Do you hear me? Tell me where he is! shouted the King to The Magic Crown. He was so angry that he took the crown from his head and shouted and shouted at it until he realized he had better put it back on his head, if he wanted to get an answer. The crown could only talk inside the head of the person who wore it.

     “Calm yourself, Your Majesty!” said The Magic Crown in its usual melodious and pleasant tone. “I cannot tell you where Patch Panda is because he cannot be seen. He is under the spell of a Magic Ring which makes him invisible even to me.”

The King became more furious than ever before. He called for his Secret Police and he called for his Private Army. He called for his Royal Guards. Pandas came running to the throne room from every corner of the Kingdom of Yot. Big pandas, small pandas, fat pandas, thin pandas, pandas in yellow uniforms, pandas in red uniforms, pandas in blue uniforms and pandas in rainbow colored suits of armor all came flocking to the throne room.

     The usual bows were given. Every panda soldier knelt before the king and gave the Panda Oath of Allegiance. Then followed the roll call by the officers of all the King’s forces. Finally, the Supreme Commander of all the King’s Armies, Pinchpenny Panda, stepped forward to hear the King’s orders.   

     It should be understood that since Pinchpenny had taken over the post of commander, all the pandas in the King’s forces had come to dislike him, for no one was safe. It had gotten so that no one trusted anyone else for fear his friend might turn out to be one of Pinchpenny’s spies. It was a terrible state of affairs, and now, with two-scillion pandats, the largest reward ever offered, it was really awful. Every able-bodied panda-man in Yot began searching for Patch.     

      King Percival didn’t waste any words. He told Commander Pinchpenny of Patch’s escape and demanded his capture, offering a reward of two-scillion pandats. There was to be no excuse. Patch was to be found immediately or every panda in the King’s forces would be put in jail. Of course, everyone wondered who could arrest them, if everyone else was to be arrested, but King Percival was too angry to think about that. The white fur on his big, chubby, panda cheeks stood out stiff with rage.

     “Furthermore, if Patch is not found and spanked by sunset, then you, Pinchpenny, Supreme Commander of all my armies, you will be spanked instead!” shouted the King.

     With those words left ringing in the ears of his armies, King Percival stormed out of the throne room. His many servants, carrying glasses of ice water, feathered fans, smelling salts, ice packs and warm footbaths, scurried after him.

     Pinchpenny Panda, who was well know for winning all the prizes and rewards that King Percival offered, sent his spies all over the Land of Yot to gather clues to the whereabouts of Patch Panda.

Pinch Penny Panda posts a reward by Daniela
Patch Panda takes cookies by Keir Sampson

     Meanwhile, Patch learned about the reward offered for his capture from Weepy Panda the Town Crier who was going all around the town, ringing his iron bell, and crying out the news.

     You see, after the guards had stopped arguing and fighting and Patch had finished laughing at them, he had sneaked around and climbed into the Palace kitchen. Just to test his invisibility a little further, he had filled his furry pockets with chocolate-chip cookies, and right under the nose of the Royal Cook he had gobbled up a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a big glass of milk and a bowl of ice cream, and stuffed two apples into his furry pocket. He was hungry from his time in jail without food. He hopped out of the kitchen window just in time to hear Weepy Panda announcing the reward for his capture.

     “There’s no time to lose,” thought Patch. “I must try to rescue Mervin!” He made his way slowly and carefully into the front door of the Palace. He hoped he would be able to sneak downstairs to the dungeon and somehow steal the jailer’s keys without being discovered, but it might be more difficult than he had thought. Armed guards were everywhere. Patch sidestepped this way and that to keep from being stepped on or bumped into. His invisibility was working perfectly, but he had to be careful not to move or touch anything that might give him away. All the soldiers and guards were watching for clues.

     As Patch reached the center of the great front hall of Panda Palace, he came face to face with none other than the beautiful Princess Pandora. She was coming from the throne room where she had heard King Percival giving orders to his armies. She was walking very slowly with her head down and she was crying softly.

     Patch wondered if the Princess could possibly be crying for him. “It would be too good to be true,” he thought. Then, he heard her sigh softly.

     “Poor Sir Patchus,” she said, crying a little harder.

     “Oh,” thought Patch, “She’s not crying for me. She’s crying for Sir Patchus. But, but… but, that is me! I can’t believe it. It’s too, too wonderful!”

     For a moment, Patch forgot all about his mission to free Mervin Mouse. All he could think about was that the beautiful Princess Pandora Panda was crying for him. He wanted her to stop crying and feeling so sad.

Patch felt that he could surely trust the Princess now, so he whispered into her ear, “Princess Pandora, it is I, Patch….rrr, I mean Sir Patchus….rrrr, I mean Patch Panda. I’m standing here beside you,” he whispered ever so softly.

     “Oh, my heavens,” gasped Princess Pandora, forgetting that Patch was known to be invisible, “has my father made a ghost of you already?”

     “No, Princess,” whispered Patch, “please don’t be frightened. I’m right here beside you, but I’m invisible. I’m under the spell of a Magic Ring. It was once owned by your Great Grandmother and given to your true father. Please, I must talk with you about something very important to you and to your father!”

     “Wait,” said the Princess! “Follow me!” She turned around and walked slowly up the carpeted marble stairs with Patch following carefully behind her. She led the way to her private sitting-room, and opened the door for them to enter. “Please be seated, Sir Patchus, wherever you are,” she said bolting the door behind her. “We can talk safely in here.”

     What neither she nor Patch noticed, as they entered the door was the sneaky figure of none other than Pinchpenny Panda in the hallway behind them.

     Pinchpenny, the Supreme Commander of the King’s Armies, had for the first time in his life seen Princess Pandora talking to herself. Finding it strange, he had followed her up the marble stairs to her private sitting room. He had an idea, but he wasn’t quite sure.

The Princess cries for Patch by Daniela
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