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John was just about ready to return to St Birinus’ Middle School for the

Autumn Term.  His mother, Gisela, was sewing name tapes on to his

various items of uniform.  A casserole was simmering nicely in the oven,

so he was allowed to watch one of his favourite DVDs while they were


Mum! he shouted, waving the box.  Don’t you think Po is like that

Scottish guy who was on the telly the other night?

Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland.jpg

Who, darling?

No, the other one.  The one that kept talking about best interests.

Don’t be rude, John.  She couldn’t help smiling, though.

Yeah, mum.  Po is always going on about how he is the chosen one

who will fulfil an ancient prophecy.  It says on the lid that he puts his

heart and his girth into the task. He tries to get over the wall into

the Palace grounds.  The Soothsayer tells him that it is not the past

that shapes a person, but they are in awe of a previous hero who has

ascended into the heavens and whose ghost is watching them from

a tree.

Maybe that was William Wallace, or Robert the Bruce? speculated


William wallace.jpg

Before she knew it, Gisela was drawn into the plot, if you could call it


Shifa seemed to be for some kind of union.  He cautioned that there

would have to be a lot of cleaning up afterwards.

Then there was a lot of empty philosophy about simply believing in things.

Mr Ping revealed that the secret ingredient- a kind of Plan B?- was nothing.

Nothing at all! ‘To make something special, you just have to believe it’s

special.’  (Where had she heard that logic before?)

The tigress seemed more disgruntled: And now (we’re) stuck with you, a

big fat panda..who treats (us) like a joke.  She didn’t seem to believe that

Po was fit to be in The Jade Palace.  She told Po that if he had any respect

for the others he’d be gone by morning.  Yet, when he achieved a victory,

Master Tigress rewarded him with a hug and they employed tandem combat


The sceptical no voter, Tai Long, challenges the would-be Master: What

are you gonna do, big guy?  Sit on me?

Po replies in characteristic fashion:  I’m not a big fat panda.  I’m THE big

fat panda.

Gisela went into the kitchen to check the potatoes.  Supper’s ready!

she called.

You’ve just got to believe, Mum, said John, coming into the kitchen

with his arms flailing like the sails of a demented windmill.

No, replied his mother firmly, draining the spuds.  Po is too concerned

with what was yesterday and that is history.  I’m more interested in

your future.