In 1936, socialite and fashion designer, Ruth Harkness, went to China, caught a baby panda and carried it (literally) back to the US. It was the first live panda ever to be seen outside China. Upon arriving in America, she sold the panda, named Su-Lin, to a zoo in Chicago. Su-Lin survived until 1938. He either died from a loose oak twig in his throat or from pneumonia – I think the latter is more likely. He is now stuffed and mounted in the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.

Ruth died in her bath, possibly from drinking too much. She was often quoted as saying she’d not walk a block in Manhattan if she could catch a cab and yet she managed to trek all over China. She became a bit of a legend. I’d never heard of her before today.

Taking a baby panda and putting it in a cage for the gawking pleasure of human beings, for it to then die just a year later is lamentable. While I have a lot of admiration for Ruth Harkness and her bravado, I really wish she’d left the panda where it belonged.

Not that we saw any giant pandas today, though it was almost cold enough. In fact, the storms of the last month seem to have gone. The strong winds and flooding rains have been replaced by icy cold breezes and morning frost. Carla, a barista at Starbucks, having just returned from ten days in Thailand, was complaining about the cold.

Sadly, the blue skies disappeared just before lunch so the poodles didn’t get a walk. After the weekly wrestle with technology that is a big feature of Skyping with Fiona, we had lunch then Mirinda went to the gym – the rain alternative to our walk.

Speaking of Fiona, their end of year holiday is starting to take on worldwide proportions. They are wanting to visit the US as well as Europe. It’s beginning to sound like the sort of holiday that is so exhausting, a break is needed straight afterwards to get over it. Different strokes, I guess but it really wouldn’t work for us.

I made country winter pie for dinner tonight, something I haven’t made for ages. It was seriously yum. I’d forgotten how nice it is.

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1 Response to Panda-moan-ium

  1. Poor Panda I agree with you she should have left it in its own home .
    love mum x

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