Bamboo Love | Short Story by Krista Suh | Bamboo Illustration by Aurora Lady

Bamboo Love

A short story I wrote that came to me in a dream

About a year ago, my life was humdrum, boring, same ole’ same ole – that all changed one fateful day in a grove of bamboo, where I met him, John Handy, an American biologist.

Our romance was whirlwind to say the least. After only a few weeks, I went from my native China to San Diego, all to be with him. The new home John got me was a sort of large hole in the ground with big panes of glass lining one end. I preferred to stay in the back in the shade, but I could tell it made John happy to see me by the glass being social, so I did.

I became a national sensation, which was nice and all, but nothing made me happier than to see John. After a long day preening in front of the masses, eating low quality bamboo, I would go inside a metal cave where John would greet me with precut bamboo he prepared himself. I’d give him a wink and ate as daintily as I could while we both sat down and took the load off our day. I played it coy and shy, but I could tell John was really into me; our flirtation was dizzying, torturous. But the honeymoon period didn’t last long, before I even got a chance to settle in, I was immediately pressured about having a baby.

I knew something was up when they took away the divider between my metal cave and the one next over. That day, John was fumbling with a vial of purple liquid perfume. He accidentally sprayed it in his mouth. He cough-spat it out. He was always so silly. Some Neanderthal colleague of his laughed and clapped him on the back, “You’ve got panda dick spray in your mouth har har.” Apparently, this stuff is supposed to be an aphrodisiac for me. John has studied pandas all his life, he even wrote a thesis on Panda Sexuality, which really impressed me, brains have always been a turn-on for me, more than any dick spray you can buy. I remember staring at him longingly as he had a coughing spitting fit. Even when he was hacking up saliva and dick spray he was so handsome.

He eventually calmed down and came over to my metal cave, “C’mere girl, c’mon… I’ve got a surprise for you…” He entered my cave. This piqued my interest, because it was the first time we were alone, just the two of us, in my sleeping quarters. But alas, we were not alone for long. “Meet… your new roommate Pei-Pei!” And then Pei-Pei, a huge-ass panda I’ve already met several times in the glass hole, ambled into my metal cave. “He’s been living at the zoo a few years now, without a female panda to keep him company. He’s the panda of your dreams, I tell ya.” I cocked my head up at John, “You do know he’s retarded right?” But John wasn’t listening (it’s not that he is obtuse, he’s often so passionate about the matter at hand that he doesn’t hear me).

Over the next few weeks, the humans were constantly pressuring me to have sex with Pei-Pei, but none of the humans seemed to realize Pei-Pei was retarded, like, genuinely retarded.

They clucked their tongues and called me picky, but like I said, I admire intelligence, and I don’t see why I should have to put out for any ole’ panda, even if we as a species are endangered, like John says. Anyway, if Pei-Pei were an Einstein and Adonis in one, I would still be in love with John. I refused to have sex with Pei-Pei and tried to get John to understand that I loved him, only him, but John needed me to have a baby, and from a frozen icebox somewhere, he brought out the sperm of an ancient giant panda.

I had a bad feeling about this frozen jizz, but John was insistent and basically raped me with the syringe – he was not the gentle beast I thought he was; it turns out he only wanted me because I was a fertile endangered animal and he wanted to boost his career. Despite the unspeakable violation, I was too in love – I still wanted to help him. So three months later, a baby panda was born.

When that wet, pink slippery thing, no bigger than my tail, slipped out of me, it was on 24/7 PandaCam® and the whole country went wild with happiness, but I alone knew there was something wrong with it – that frozen jizz had created a monster in me – it smelled like ashes, it mewled unnaturally – it was a devil baby panda, it was evil. I wanted to help John, but as the devil baby shivered in the hay, I realized that John would never love me the way I wanted him to, and so, I did the right thing: in front of the whole nation, I rolled over that little abomination. The first roll didn’t kill it, and before I could do a second one, John burst in and shoved me inside.

That devil baby is now being coddled in some laboratory, its evil unchecked, while I am locked in a cell… John never comes to see me anymore.
Bamboo Love | Short Story by Krista Suh | Broken-hearted Panda Illustration by Aurora Lady