The brute is going back. To London where he belongs.
When he arrived here on March 6, the National Zoo said oh good, now we have a real stud and we'll have a baby panda.
It was far otherwise. The visiting panda, Chia-Chia, was presented to the zoo's sweet little panda, Ling-Ling, on April 14 and, not to split hairs, beat her up.
Since then, the panda fanciers (feminist division) have had it in for the London lad and have tended to say good riddance when it was learned Chia-Chia leaves the zoo tonight to return to the London Zoo.
Dr. Theodore H. Reed, director of the National Zoo, said it was awfully nice of the Londoners to lend us their panda, even if it didn't work out very well, and he is sure that eventually, "for in this business you have to be an eternal optimist," pandas will be bred here. This year, however, is out, since there is only a five-day period onec a year in which females receive males.
Yesterday, at his final public feeding, Chia-Chia seemed a trifle dingy, the fur not as dazzling white as one remembers it, but he drank contentedly at his artificial rockwork with the little rivulet springing from it. Outdoors the little pool was placid, and across the way the Parma wallabies dribbled themselves toward that invisible basket they forever approach but never reach.
Cleopatra once observed of her Antony that his legs bestrid the ocean, and something of the sort may be said of Chia-Chia.
As Ovid said of Phaeton, he gave it a real go before he conked out.
Now it's over. Win some lose some. Another day another dollar. Nothing is now remarkable beneath the visiting moon.