Did you know that it was 40 years ago today that the Nixon Pandas arrived at the National Zoo? I thought not. Recently, as a result of the Freedom of Information Act, transcripts of communications between pandas have come to light. Of course, this was in the days before email existed, so the discovery of these documents is quite exciting as well as unexpected. We now bring you the transcripts, known as The Panda Chronicles. (Now you know where we got our name.)
April 16, 1972: from the diary of Hua Mu, secretary of the Council of Pandas:
Well I am just fit to be tied. We had a big meeting last night to vote on which pandas were going to travel to Washington DC, but when the meeting started, it turned out that it had already been decided. I was so disappointed! I thought for sure I was going to get to go. After all, my great-great-great auntie on my mother’s father’s second cousin’s side of the family was none other than Su-Lin, the first panda to travel to America (and ride in a taxi!).
It turns out that Tsing Tsing was a political crony of none other than Richard M. Nixon, and they had worked out the deal while Nixon was in China, behind all the other pandas’ backs. Well, of course if Tsing got to go, Ling-Ling would be selected as his traveling companion. I have it on GOOD authority that Tsing Tsing had a couple other girlfriends that really wanted to go, but Ling Ling stamped her little paws and whispered something in Tsing’s ear that he didn’t repeat, but he just said his mind was made up and that Ling Ling would accompany him to DC. I’m not sure that anyone else knew that this was a permanent relocation, except for Tsing, who always had his paw in the cookie jar.
I hope he knows what he’s doing. Those personal appearances can be very tiring.
Well, time for bed, more tomorrow!
Be the bear!
Bob T. Panda!