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Chapter 7

Winged patch

Although Patch Panda was still quite invisible, there were two things about him, now, that could be seen: The Magic Crown, which seemed to float in mid-air, and, two white wings fluttering on the sides of his legs. With his new wings, he could fly quite nicely for a panda bear. These made quite a strange and surprising picture, as you can well imagine!

     Patch had no idea where he was. He had never been in this part of the Kingdom of Yot before. Everywhere, beautiful blue trees rose high into the green sky. Their tender blue leaves rustled gently in the cool breeze. He was tempted to lie down on the soft blue grass and take a nice pleasant nap, like all good growing panda-bears do every afternoon, but he noticed that the sun was beginning to go down in the west. Soon it would be evening. Patch wondered about what would be happening back at Panda Palace.

The Magic Crown speaks By Keir Sampson

     The soft voice of The Magic Crown spoke to him in answer: “Master Patch, there is great excitement in the Public Courtyard. Commander Pinchpenny is about to be spanked in public in your place. King Percival is very angry that you have not been captured and even more angry that he has lost me. As you know, he is not my rightful owner. He is worried, and fears that he will lose the throne now too!”

     “Where is the Princess, Magic Crown?” asked Patch, his heart skipping a beat as he thought of her.

     “The Princess is in her room, guarded by several Royal Guards. The King hopes that you will try to come to her and be captured. She is weeping and thinking of nothing but you, Master Patch,” answered the Crown.

     “One more question, Magic Crown! How is my friend Mervin Mouse?” asked Patch.

     “Your little friend Mervin is worried about you, Master Patch! He is scurrying and hopping all around his jail cell, wondering what happened to you since you disappeared in a cloud of blue fog. To tell you the truth, Master Patch, Mervin is in great danger this very minute! The King has sent some Royal Guards to capture and cage Mervin. The King is worried that you will find out from me that he is really                Prince Pubert. He wants to be absolutely sure that no one can free Mervin, who is really King Percival, the true and kind ruler of Yot.

     “Will these wings carry me back to the Palace again?” asked Patch who was more worried now about his friend Mervin than anything else.

     “Of course, Master Patch! They will take you wherever you wish to go.”

     “Then, here I go back to the Palace!” gulped Patch, holding tightly to The Magic      Crown as he flapped his wings and rose high into the clouds. “Faster, faster!” cried Patch. “My best friend Mervin is in trouble!”

       Patch flew so fast that the golden Magic Crown looked like a bolt of lightning streaking through the sky. He arrived above Panda Palace as quickly as you can switch on a light bulb. He was just in time to see the Public Courtyard filling with pandas from all over the Land of Yot. They were coming to see Pinchpenny spanked. If any of them had turned their eyes upward at that moment, they would have seen the strange sight of a flying golden crown with fluttering white wings sailing along behind it.

     Patch could see the King seated on his outdoor throne screaming and yelling and waving his hands. He was surrounded by worried attendants who were crowding around him with smelling salts, and glasses of cool water, ice-packs, feathery fans and warm foot-baths.

     Patch wanted to hear what the King was saying, but instead of remembering to ask The Magic Crown, he floated down closer and closer, until he was just above the raving King, to listen.

     “Haven’t they caught and caged that mouse yet?” the King was screaming. “Ten guards should be able to catch one little mouse in less than a minute. Fools! I want him brought here at once! Oh, I want my Magic Crown! I need my Magic Crown! I’ll have you all arrested — everyone of you — if you don’t catch that rascal, Patch Panda, by sunset!” He was screaming and waving his fists and stamping his feet and behaving like a silly, spoiled child.

     Patch turned to go and was just about to fly into the Palace to see if he could help Mervin when up marched ten big Royal Guards. “Here is the mouse, Your Majesty!” said one of them, handing a small iron cage to the King. “He put up quite a fight for a mouse, but we got him!”

     “Good!” said the King, calming down a little. “Give him to me! I’ll take care of him!”

     Patch knew there wasn’t a moment to lose. King Percival looked angrily at Mervin who was hopping and squeaking all around the little cage. “Help! Help!” screamed Mervin, in his little mouse voice that no one could hear above all the noise in the courtyard. “I am the true King Percival and Pubert will squash me! Help! Help!”

     Patch swooped down and made a grab for the cage, but, before he could snatch it from the King’s big paws everyone noticed The Magic Crown floating above and screamed: “Look, the King’s Crown!”

     The King, seeing the Magic Crown coming towards him, stuffed the little iron cage under his red velvet capes.

Some guards made a grab for the Magic Crown, but Patch swooped up again just in the nick of time!

     “Listen to me! Listen everyone!” shouted Patch in the loudest voice he could, but the crowd was yelling and jumping into the air trying to grab the Magic Crown. Patch didn’t know what to do next. No one would listen! No one could hear him! All the pandas in the courtyard were yelling and shouting and running this way and that and jumping up and down. Many were frightened at the sight of a floating crown and flapping wings flying above them. Only Patch noticed that the King was sneaking away with the little iron cage, with Mervin squeaking inside, clutched tightly under his red velvet capes.

     While everyone was excitedly watching the Crown, the King had slipped off of the throne and made his way to the edge of the courtyard. He was already on his way up the front steps of Panda Palace when Patch noticed him.

     Patch didn’t think twice. He swooped over and down onto the King’s head and flapped his fluttery wings in the King’s chubby face. The King lost his balance and toppled backwards, dropping the little iron cage onto the marble stairs. It fell with a “clink!” and popped open. Out hopped Mervin. Quick as a wink, Patch scooped his little friend up in one paw and held tight to The              Magic Crown with the other, but before he could swoop away the King sat up and made a grab for Patch’s wings. He caught hold of them and held tight.

     Patch tried to pull himself free but the King held tight and as Patch pulled with all his might, the wings were torn from his legs, whereupon they disappeared into thin air.

     Patch didn’t look back when he found himself running instead of flying. He just kept on running as fast as he could.

Holding Mervin in one paw and keeping The Magic Crown on with the other, he ran right up the stairs and into the front door of      Panda Palace as the Royal Guards clambered up the stairs after him.

     “What’s happening?” squeaked Mervin, “Where am I? Oh, my heavens, I feel like I’m in somebody’s fur pocket!”

     “Don’t worry Mervin. It’s me, Patch! I’m invisible and you’re in my paw. Just curl up and hold tight!” said Patch, breathlessly as he ran through the great front hallway of Panda Palace.

     The Palace was nearly empty of guards. Nearly all of them had gone into the Courtyard earlier. The few that did stand at their posts in the great hallway were too startled to lift a finger as they suddenly saw a golden crown and a little gray mouse go whizzing by on nothing but thin air. They heard pattering feet, but they saw no one.

Patch darted straight for the throne room and leaped inside bolting the big brass door behind him. “Here we are Mervin, my friend!” he said. “Right back where you belong!”   

 With his last bit of strength, for he was very tired from running, Patch carried little Mervin to the throne and Mervin jumped onto the big purple velvet seat-cushion.

     “Oh, thank you, Patch! Thank you!” squeaked Mervin. “But, aren’t we forgetting something?”

The Royal Guards were ramming at the throne room doors. “Boom! Boom!” It would give way any second.

     “Yes, yes, Mervin,” said Patch, “you’ll need to be a bit bigger to fit this throne properly!” Then Patch took The Magic Crown off of his own head and held it just above Mervin’s little gray head. Of course, he couldn’t quite put it on the tiny fellow or he might have squashed him.     

“Boom! Crash!” went the door as it fell in and Royal Guards and Royal Attendants rushed into the throne room just in time to see the strangest sight they had ever seen.

     They saw the Magic Crown floating just above the head of a little gray mouse, seated on the big throne. Suddenly, they stopped in their tracks, for the mouse began to grow larger and larger. It grew as big as a giant panda bear until it turned into none other than King Percival himself. And, King Percival, the real and true King of Yot, began telling them the strangest story they had ever heard.

Mervin on the throne By Keir Sampson
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