For the record and quoted from “The Lady and the Panda” by Ruth Harkness 1938 Nicholson and Watson
Ruth is trying her best to take care of Su Lin, but the health and diet of an unknown panda was weighing heavy on her mind;
The whole business looked as though it were going to end in utter failure; I’d never be able to go back to my beautiful
lost world of tumbled mountain. Was I a little insane, or had I just imagined that brining a live Panda to America was worth
anything to this rich country of ours?
Well I had sunk into the lowest point of discouragement, the only thing I could think of that I wanted to do was pack
everything up , take Su Lin and go back to the border of Tibet. And perhaps if I’d had sufficient money, I would have
done just that. Turn a little wild animal, that known and trusted people, loose in the jungles to meet a perhaps tragic fate?
That of course, wasn’t what my thought had been; it was all rather rebellious, but the idea of a Jungle Book sort of
existence with Su Lin in the mountains certainly seemed heavenly in comparison to the chaos that New York was making of our
Friends even strangers, who anything about it all tried to help, but January dragged on in endless confusion. One day Colonel
Roosevelt came with his brother Kermit and his young son Quentin* to see Su Lin. Like so many other people even they, who
had shot a panda, weren’t quite prepared for the fuzzy little ball of black and white fur that weighed ten or eleven
pounds, and was trying so hard to walk. Mr. Herbert Bradley of the Chicago Zoological Society arrived in time to see the Colonel
sitting on the floor, Su Lin cradled in his arms. “We really ought to have Su Lin in Chicago, Colonel,” remarked
Mr. Bradley, “for if she should die, she’d be mounted in your group in the Field Museum.” The Colonel glanced
up at Quentin , who was busily snapping pictures, of his father and Su Lin. “ I’d a soon think of mounting my
own son as I would this baby,” he retorted.
* In the Book “ On the Trail of the Giant Panda” By Theodore and Kermit Roosevelt the Colonel gives a detailed
diary of his adventure in China, even meeting the famous “TAO”. Reading his book was another permanent record
for the information I used in my book Panda Wishes, it is very important to me that the history shows as it was, then. I still
struggle with the fact that Ruth’s guide was Quentin Young, the Brother of Jack young. Trained and sent by him, and
known for his guiding the Colonel in the adventure in his book, but Ruth’s efforts were not as well known as that, of
the one that would be more tragic than hers. Colonel Roosevelt knew this little life was precious, and he compared it to his
own child, think how close Ruth Must have felt to Su Lin.
~Love and Panda Wishes~