Once upon a time there lived a Panda named Dave. He was blue, and fluffy, and gave great hugs. Everyone who knew Dave the Panda said that he was a happy panda. He was friendly. He was kind. His laugh rang out like bells. People who knew him would often say, “If I can be half as happy as Dave the Panda, then I’ll be doing great.”
One time Dave the Panda had a great day. He spent the morning going to school. Afterwards, he played with his friends. Then he went home and did his homework. He sat at the kitchen table with his books and folders. His favorite green backpack sitting nearby.
Dave the Panda paid special attention to his homework. He didn’t get perfect grades put they were still real good. He had was doing his math homework. Dave the Panda liked math. He was good at it. Math was his best subject and he liked to put the numbers together.
After working on his math problems Dave the Panda put down his pencil. He’d finished his homework and had the rest of the afternoon to himself. He put his books and papers away in his green backpack. Then Dave the Panda set his backpack near the door for the next morning. He wanted to make sure he always had his homework ready for the next day.
Dave the Panda felt his tummy rumble and decided to fix himself a small snack. Dave the Panda went to the kitchen. He grabbed a healthy plate of bamboo and a glass of milk, his favorite. He walked into the living room and sat in his favorite chair. Dave the Panda liked to watch TV in the afternoon when he was done with his homework. He liked shows about other animals. He also liked sports. After he made himself comfortable he turned on the TV.
Pictures of a big monsters flashed on the screen. It was huge and angry. Video from far away showed the monster roaring and knocking into a building.
Dave wasn’t supposed to watch shows like this. He changed the channel. There should be cartoons on his favorite channel. He’d watch those.
The monster was there too. People we’re running in fear. News people showed up on screen and talked about the monster. Where it had come from and what it wanted.
Dave changed the channel again.
The monster was there too. Every time Dave changed the channel the monster appeared. It roared and screamed and stomped it’s feet.
Dave took a big fluffy blanket off the back of the couch and wrapped himself in it. The blanket was cozy and warm. It smelled like his Mom’s perfume. The blanket felt safe.
He changed the channel and the monster was there.
Dave turned off the TV. He picked up his tablet. He could watch some videos. Dave liked the video game channels. There were some games him Mom didn’t like him to see. They had violence or were scary. Dave the Panda tried to remember to turn those off if one came up.
Dave the Panda turned on his tablet and opened the video app. The main page of the app showed the monster. Dave the Panda clicked on his favorite video channels. He liked the channel. It had bright colored posters in the background. There was happy fun music playing. The host made funny voices when his character died.
The host was on the screen but he wasn’t making noises. The music wasn’t playing. The camera was real close to his face. He was talking about the monster. He was sad. He talked about the monster and then said a bad word.
Dave picked a different channel. He clicked one with a family that played together. He liked the kids. The kids were fun to watch. They were about his age. The family would often play games together. Dave the Panda would root for the daughter, Becca. She liked the same games Dave the Panda did and her favorite color was green too.
The kids weren’t there. It was just the parents. They were talking about the monster too. Dave put his tablet down and pulled the blanket closer.
Later that day Dave’s friends called. They wanted to go to the park and play. They asked if Dave wanted to go outside and play with them. They had a basketball and needed one more to play with even teams. They knew that Dave the Panda would play basketball with them. He was always up for a game.
Dave said no. He was afraid the monster would get him.
Dave went to his room and closed the door. He climbed into his bed. It was big and fluffy and covered with basketball sheets and blankets. They were green and gold, his favorite team’s colors. Dave clutched his favorite stuffed boy to his chest. He pulled the blanket over his head and hoped the monster wouldn’t find him.
Dave the Panda fell asleep and dreamed of a beautiful park. He was there with his friends and family. They ran and played. He swung on the swings. He slid on the slide. He teetered on the totter.
Dave the Panda heard a noise from the little forest that was next to the park. He liked the park. It was full of birds who sang happy songs. Some of the birds had a band. Dave the Panda had seen them play at a music festival last year.
This noise was different. It was angry and mean. It wasn’t at all like the happy bird songs he usually heard.
The monster burst from the trees. Dave yelled for his family and friends to run. But they didn’t. The monster ran towards the park.
Dave cried out. He didn’t know what to do. He wanted to cry for help. The monster grew closer. Dave heard it roar. Felt its hot breath. Saw its angry, sharp teeth.
Dave felt hands gently shaking his shoulders. Dave woke up with his Mom looking down at him. “Are you okay, honey bear?” asked his Mom.
Dave the Panda hugged his Mom. With tears in his eyes he told his Mom about the dream. He told her about the monster he’d seen on TV and the videos. He said he was sorry he knew he wasn’t supposed to watch those shows but it was on everywhere he looked.
Dave’s Mom scratched him behind the ear. It always made him feel better. “Let me show you something,” said Mom. She took Dave’s hand and walked him into the living room. They sat down in front of the TV and she turned it on.
Dave closed his eyes. He didn’t want to see the monster again.
Dave’s Mom held his hand. “It’s okay,” said Mom. “The monster is gone.”
Dave the Panda opened his eyes.
The TV showed the place where the monster had been. He was gone now. There were cars flipped over, broken windows, and chunks of buildings lying on the ground. Worst of all were the people who were hurt. Dave saw all of the people and thought of his dream. Those might have been his friends and family.
Dave closed his eyes and buried his face in his Mom’s side. He didn’t want to see the monster again. He didn’t want to see the people who were hurt.
Dave’s Mom hugged him close. “It’s okay, honey bear,” said Mom. “I’m here with you. Tell me what you see.”
Dave looked at the screen. “I see a car on fire,” said Dave. “I see a broken house. I see people. They’re all hurt.”
“Do you think it will be okay?” asked Mom.
Dave didn’t answer. He didn’t think it would be and didn’t want to say. He was afraid that saying so would make it true.
“You want to know a secret?” asked Mom.
Dave nodded yes.
“It’s going to be alright,” said Mom. “Maybe not today or tomorrow. Maybe not for a while, but soon, it’ll be alright.”
“Would you like to know how you can tell?” asked Mom.
“When I was your age, I had a very good neighbor named Rogers who told me that when something bad happens you can always tell it will be okay because of the people helping.” Mom squeezed Dave’s shoulder.
“Look at the TV again.”
Dave looked at the TV.
“Do you see the ambulance?” asked Mom.
Dave looked at the ambulance. There were people all around it. They were wrapped in bandages and some of them were lying down.
“Do you see the paramedics in their white shirts?” asked Mom.
Dave saw two people walking back and forth. They were going up to the hurt people and applying bandages. They checked people for where they were hurt. The paramedics helped people to their feet and walked them to chairs nearby.
“Yes,” said Dave.
“What about over there?” asked Mom pointing to another place on the screen.
Dave looked and saw a police officer helping people out of one of the houses. She took people by the hand one after another and guided them through the broken bricks so they wouldn’t trip. Someone handed her a small child and the officer took the child and carried them to safety.
“Yes,” said Dave.
“What else do you see?” asked Mom.
Dave the Panda looked at the screen. “There’s a man brining people water and food. There’s a lady with blankets. There’s another woman helping clear away the bricks and glass. There are a lot of people cleaning the streets.”
“That’s right,” said Mom. “Do you feel better?”
Dave the Panda thought about it for a second. Seeing all of the people helping had made him feel better. “Yes Mom,” said Dave the Panda.
“Dave, I want you to know something. You can talk to me about these things,” said Mom. “If you see something you shouldn’t I want you to tell me.”
“Yes Mom,” said Dave the Panda.
“If you have any questions you can always ask me about them,” said Mom. She hugged Dave the Panda.
He hugged her back.
Dave the Panda went to bed that night. He was tucked under his favorite blanket. He had his favorite stuffed boy with him to hug close.
Dave the Panda fell asleep and dreamed of a beautiful park. He was there with his friends and family. They ran and played. He monkeyed on the bars. He jungled on the gym. He played basketball with all of his friends.
Dave the Panda heard a noise from the little forest that was next to the park. The one with the birds that he liked to listen to.
This sound was different. It was angry and mean. The monster burst from the trees. Dave the Panda yelled for his family and friends to run. But they didn’t. The monster ran towards the park.
Dave the Panda yelled for help. The paramedics in their clean white shirts walked up. The police officer with her blue uniform came up beside them. Then there was the woman with the broom and the man with the food and water. They stood between the monster and Dave the Panda and his loved ones.
The monster roared and yelled. The monster threw a swing across the park. It stomped its feet and beat its fists against the ground.
The helpers stood there. They stopped the monster. Every time he moved towards Dave the Panda or his family and friends the helpers blocked the way. The helpers kept his family safe.
Dave the Panda woke the next morning and hugged his stuffed boy. He made his bed and got ready for the morning. After he was ready, he went downstairs to have breakfast.
After that day Dave the Panda would see more scary things. It will happen to all of us. We can’t avoid seeing those things that make us afraid. Even though he was sometimes scared, Dave the Panda was never worried. He never thought that things wouldn’t be okay. Whenever he saw something scary he looked for those people who helped.
He also talked to his Mom about what he’d seen. She would scratch behind his ear and kiss his forehead. They would talk about what he’d seen. She would answer his questions and eventually Dave the Panda would be happy again.
Even still, with all of that, people who knew him said that Dave the Panda was very happy. His laugh still rang like bells. People still wanted to be like Dave the Panda.
I leave you with this. Remember to look for those who help when things are at their scariest. Remember as long as people help there will always be a time when everything will be okay. If that’s not enough talk to a parent or friend. Sometimes, that helps the best.
I wish you a good day. May your laugh ring like bells. May your smile be glowing. May you be at least half as happy as Dave the Panda because if you can do that, then you’ll be doing great.
This cute little panda can’t wait to come and play.
He promises to give cuddles every single day!
Based off the coloring of a popular YouTube video series, this little cutie can easily become your child’s best friend.
Approximately 8" tall
Very durable, high quality material proven to last for years even with rough treatment
100% merino superwash wool
Accompanying eBook available
Yarn artist: Lauren Gentges
About the author:
Steve is a self-proclaimed storyteller with a Masters in Creative Writing from Antioch University. When not writing he is a modern gamer, Hawaiian shirt aficionado, and blogger.
A message from Steve:
"This topic is very important to me. I have a friend who's son got scared by all of the news coverage that went on for several days after a national tragedy. All of the people talking about what happened was on constantly. He was 6 and at one point asked his dad if he was going to die. Getting to write this story and having a chance to help even one kid through something like that makes me feel really good."