This was a big dream that our hero Po had. However Po’s reality couldn’t be further away from his dream. Because where our hero was a big, lazy, clumsy panda, the furious five were Kung Fu warriors and protectors of the Valley of Peace. They were trained by master Shifu, who has also trained his foster son Tai Lung.

But Tai Lung had a dark side to him. And having been denied the title of the Dragon Warrior once, he was enraged and he destroyed the Valley of Peace which resulted in his imprisonment. As the years passed by, one day grand master Oogway had a vision that Tai Lung had escaped and is coming back to claim the Dragon Scroll. Something had to be done to protect the scroll from Tai Lung’s return for it held the secret to limitless power and it could only be awarded to the Dragon Warrior; a title big, lazy, clumsy Po had always dreamed about.

Po, our hero, worked in his father’s noodle restaurant. His father took the shop over from his father, who took it over from his father, who won it from a friend in a game. And he had a secret ingredient for his ‘secret ingredient soup’ that he hadn’t passed down to Po yet.  One morning during a conversation with Po, his father admitted that when he was young and crazy, he thought about running away and learning how to make tofu. But then he decided that it was a “stupid dream”. And he spent the rest of his life making noodles.

Eventually and as grand master Oogway had foreseen, Tai Lung broke out of prison. So to defend against Tai Lung’s return, grand master Oogway decided to choose the Dragon Warrior in a Kung Fu tournament. Determined to watch the tournament, Po clumsily crashes into the castle and ends up falling in the middle of the arena. That’s when for some mystical Kung Fuey wisdom, grand master Oogway chooses him to be the dragon warrior. Unwilling to believe this, master Shifu tells Po: “You will never be the dragon warrior until you learn the secret of the Dragon Warrior scroll.”

Soon after that, and sensing that his time has come, grand master Oogway extracts a promise from master Shifu that he will train Po and transform him into the Dragon Warrior. But when Po realises that Tai Lung is on his way to the palace to get his revenge, he panics and tries to escape. Because he thought he wasn’t ready; that he wasn’t good enough. Master Shifu, wanting to keep his promise, doesn’t allow Po to leave and insists on transforming him into the Dragon Warrior. The only problem is that he didn’t know how, yet. But this didn’t stop him from trusting as it never did. And so he embarks with Po on the journey of transformation.

Very soon, master Shifu discovers how to transform Po into a great warrior. And feeling that Po is ready to fight, master Shifu finally hands him the Dragon Scroll which has never been opened before. When Po opens it, he discovers it reveals nothing but a blank, reflective surface. Disappointed and despaired, Po goes back to his father, who in an attempt to console him decides to reveal to Po the secret ingredient to his ‘secret ingredient soup’. The secret ingredient is revealed to be: nothing. It’s only the belief that the soup is special. At that moment, Po looks at the blank, reflective Dragon Scroll and comes to a profound realisation.

By then, Tai Lung has arrived to the castle and ends up defeating and nearly killing master Shifu. Po makes it just in time to fight Tai Lung off, but Tai Lung battles him and takes control of the Dragon Scroll. After he opens it, Tai Lung gets puzzled and couldn’t understand its symbolic value.  So Po explains. There is no ‘special ingredient’ he says. “It’s only the warrior’s belief in himself that makes him the Dragon Warroir”. And he proceeds to kick Tai Lungs butt. The furious five, having witnessed this, become deeply impressed with Po, and they accept him as their master and superior.

What was once a dream so far fetched for Po, has now become a reality because of AT LEAST one secret ingredients. Can you think of another one?

Until next time,

Tarek N

Copyright (c) 2009

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