In the beginning there was a song. The sound pleased us, and in the infinitely greedy mould of man we decided we would like another. Again we were pleased, and again we wanted more. On this went, and before long we were overrun with sounds and phrasings, tempos and signatures until it became apparent that everything in life must serve a purpose, and these ditties were treading water. So it was that a selection was made; nine of the finest raised above the rest to be all they could ever be.
This would not be possible without assistance however, and several months ago - in a clandestine meeting behind an orange grove with a man dressed as a rather convincing elk - it was decided that we should venture west to find our calling. Bags were packed, goodbyes were tearfully exchanged and into the raft we climbed. Shoving off in Torquay we hoped the current might sweep us towards the Americas before our rations of space food were diminished. Three tubes of squeezie-cheese later we could neither make out the shores of home behind us nor the flickering torch of Lady Liberty ahead. Stranded and having damaged our oars to fend off a kraken, we were at the mercy of the deep. Fortunately one of us had anticipated the heat and packed a motorised hand fan. Though hot and unable to cool our faces, we were grateful that the small fan made a most suitable propellor. Months passed, beards grew and clothes frayed but maintained a consistent coverage in the appropriate areas thanks to Lou Ferrigno’s patented hulk design. The raft had developed an extremely slow puncture after a close run-in with a school of irritable tuna and a very lost goldfish, and by now had reduced to the size of a limp rubbery frisbee, threatening to finally overthrow its crew into the depths of the sea. That was when we ran ashore.
Seemingly surrounded by waves and rough seas it was decided that we were done for - prompting a lighthearted session of guessing which animal we were to be when reincarnated. As if from nowhere, and right before my turn to guess, we were driven headlong into a sprawling coast of sandy embankments. Dusting ourselves down it seemed entirely prudent to walk straight into the jungle with absolutely no effort beforehand to seek an alternate route or determine the risk factor from vague, cautionary tales told by villagers wary of outsiders. Unexpectedly the jungle proved to be but a very thick, soundproof barrier between the coast and the dense city beyond. A quick bowl of live squid was had by all as a small act of revenge towards the marauding kraken who had waylaid us on our journey. Communication proved difficult. We had overshot America quite considerably, somehow going so far west we had landed in the east. Knowing only one phrase of Mandarin Chinese, I asked the kindly man at the rollerblade store the best way to go west. We followed his directions, sightseeing from the great wall and seeking enlightenment in monasteries along the way, until we came to the central-western bamboo lowlands. The fastest route from here was up over the mountains, so we went up. For three days and nights we heard branches crack around us, watched birds fly away in droves, found mauled carcasses on our path wherever we turned or doubled back, but never did we see what stalked us until the fourth night. Black and white, big as a bear and bounding towards us with ravenous intent, you would be hard pressed to describe this panda as anything besides fierce. Backing us away from our encampment it became clear we were not the prey it searched for. From within our stereotypical, khaki hiking backpacks it took the bamboo and began to gnaw the shoots with its rear teeth. The panda finished every last morsel, rolling back and thanking us sincerely.
For bringing him his favourite food, the panda decided he must do something to repay our kindness. Beyond arranging a private jet back to the UK, he also put us in touch with his cousins in London who would assist us in releasing our songs into the wild. As you read this, contracts are being scrutinised in dark rooms through magnifying glasses and the selected-songs are being mastered by a wizard at the zoo.
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