Chapter 6

The Enchanted Mirror

      It was like a dream to Patch Panda. The day before yesterday, he had never even been inside the Palace, and now, he was actually standing in the private sitting room of the beautiful Princess Pandora, looking straight at her. Patch was so excited that he hopped and jumped all around and turned a big cartwheel. Of course, the Princess didn’t see him do it, because he was still invisible. He could have fainted for sheer joy and she would never have known it.

     “Sir Patchus,” she called softly, for she didn’t know exactly where he was, “please make yourself visible so that I can see you for a moment and talk with you!”

     “Yes, my Gracious Princess,” answered Patch very gallantly, “I will do it at once!” He turned the ring around and around on his finger just as he had before, but nothing happened. He looked for his hands and his legs, but they didn’t appear. He turned the ring around some more and walked over to look in a huge gold framed mirror hanging on a purple velvet wall. He looked into the big mirror, but he saw no one. Then, suddenly the figure of a panda appeared in the mirror, but, it was not Patch. “Oh,” gasped patch, “what witchery is this? I can’t see myself in this mirror, but I see someone else.

     The Princess ran over to the mirror to see, and nearly bumped into Patch for she still couldn’t see him. She looked into the mirror and she gasped too, “Oh, my heavens!” she said, as though she were very frightened, indeed.

     “What’s the matter, Princess?” asked Patch nervously. He was very glad that she could not see that he too was quite scared.

     “Let me explain, Dear Sir Patchus!” answered the Princess. “This mirror is enchanted. It was given to me by my mother, Queen Penelope Panda, who got it from her great grandmother who was a fairy queen from a far away land. The mirror warns me of danger. Whenever someone is thinking thoughts that might cause me harm or unhappiness, his face appears in the mirror. The face you see there now, belongs to Commander Pinchpenny. I fear this may mean that Pinchpenny knows you are here with me now!”

     “You fear?” asked Patch. “Does that mean that I dare hope that you care for me, My Dear Princess?”

Pretty Princess Pandora knew that Patch must be looking into her eyes and the thought made her blush as red as a rose, but, she was too shy to answer. Instead, she changed the subject. “Dear Sir Patchus,” she said, “you must get away from here at once, before Commander Pinchpenny calls out the guards! Look at his face in the mirror! He looks as if he’s thinking of the reward of two-scillion pandats this very minute.”

     “Dear Princess, you are right. I must go now! There is something very important I must do — something I’m sure would interest you — if only I had enough time to tell you about it, but, I must hurry,” said Patch.

Princess Pandora offered her pretty little paw to Patch and she felt him kiss it ever so lightly.

     “Goodbye for now, Dear Princess!” said Patch, hating with all his heart to have to go.

He hurried to the door and opened it so suddenly that he hit Pinchpenny Panda right in the nose with the golden doorknob. Pinchpenny had been peeking into the keyhole to learn what he could. “Ouch!” yelped Pinchpenny, sprawling backwards in the hallway. Then, picking himself up quickly and rubbing his black, panda bear nose he hollered loudly: “Patch Panda is here! To arms! To arms! Every man here! On the double!”

     Patch was so shocked to hear Pinchpenny yelling that he forgot for a moment that he couldn’t be seen. He looked for a place to hide, but two armed Royal Guards marched right past him, reminding him that he was still invisible. Recovering his senses, he rushed to the nearby stairway and slid all the way down the marble railing, whizzing by an entire armed company of guards who were marching up the stairs past him.

Even King Percival, hearing the shouts of Commander Pinchpenny, had rushed to the stairs and was just about to run up as Patch reached the bottom of the railing. Patch was so close to King Percival that he could have reached out and tweeked the King’s nose. As he thought of that fact, the most wonderful idea he had ever had in his life came to him. Now was the moment! Patch Panda reached right out and snatched The Magic Crown off King Percival’s chubby head and plunked it down on his own head.

Patch flying.jpg

King Percival nearly fell on his nose with surprise when he felt the crown fly off of his head. Turning around, he was horrified to see it floating in mid-air.      “Help, help!” he screamed. Then he realized what must be happening, for at times, he was quite a clever fellow. “Patch Panda must be stealing my crown!” he shouted. “See it floating there towards the front door! Help! Help! Get the thief!”

     As the king was shouting for help, Patch was asking The Magic Crown how he could escape from the Royal Guards who, in a flash, began to surround him. They knew exactly where he was by the sight of The Magic Crown.

     “Please, Magic Crown,” begged Patch, as the guards closed slowly in around him, “how can I get away from here? How?”

     When The Magic Crown didn’t answer right away, Patch decided that he must take it off and throw it away. Poor Patch! He wanted to bring the Crown to Mervin Mouse, it’s rightful owner, but now he would be captured, for sure, if he kept it.

     He reached up to his head, but just before he could take The Magic Crown off he took a step backwards and it carried him high into the air, over the heads of the Royal Guards, and out of the front door of Panda Palace. Far, far away, he flew into another part of the country.

     Silence came suddenly to Patch’s ears. All at once, he couldn’t hear the King shouting, or Pinchpenny screaming, or the Guards yelling to one another. He looked around and all around him were beautiful blue trees and lovely blue grass. The warm sun was shining in the green sky overhead, and a lovely little babbling brook flowed merrily along: “Babble, babble, babble!”

     He felt as though he had just awakened from a very bad dream. He didn’t know where he was or how he got there. Then he looked down to where his feet should be, to see if he was still invisible, and he saw the strangest sight he had ever seen. There, attached to sides of each of his invisible ankles was a gold wing that moved and fluttered in the breeze like the wings of a bird.

     Patch was amazed, indeed! Then he heard a lovely melodious voice talking to him. It was the voice of The Magic Crown still resting there on his invisible furry white head. 

     “How do you like the pretty gold wings I gave you to save you from the Royal Guards, Master Patch?” asked the gleaming, golden Magic Crown.

Winged Patch Panda by Daniela Gioseffi