Legend tells of a fighter who had unbeatable kung fu skills.
The warrior traveled the land righting wrongs and protecting the innocent.
One day, in a small, remote restaurant, the warrior was drinking tea and chewing bamboo. The door blasted open and the filthy Manchu Pig Gang rushed in to surround him. "I see you like to chew!" the boss pig hollered. "Maybe you should chew on my fist!" The boss pig punched the table.
The warrior didn't reply because his mouth was full. Finally, he swallowed. "Enough talk," he said. "Let's fight!" With a single punch, the warrior sent the entire Manchu Pig Gang flying across the restaurant. Then, one hundred assassins dropped out of the ceiling and encircled the warrior. "Shashabooey!" the warrior bellowed. He spun like a tornado, blasting the roof off the restaurant and sending a funnel of ninjas spurting into the sky. His enemies went blind from overexposure to his pure awesomeness.
The warrior stood amidst his defeated foes, rays of sunlight shining down upon him. Even the most awesome kung fu warriors in all of China, the Furious Five, bowed in respect to him. But there was no time to bask in the glory. The warrior pulled out a giant sword and pointed it toward a new group of attacking foes. There were still wrongs to right, innocence to protect . . . and butts to kick.
Suddenly Po landed on a hard floor, waking from his dream. He stared up at the action figures of his favorite kung fu heroes displayed around his bedroom.
The portly panda rocked on his back, trying to kick himself onto his feet. But his potbelly made that impossible.
"Po, what are you doing up there?" his father yelled.
"Nothing!" Po replied. He struggled upright, and then struck poses like the Furious Five. "Monkey! Mantis!" he huffed, announcing his heroes' names. "Crane! Viper! Tigress!"
"Po, let's go!" his father shouted. "You'll be late for work!"
"Okay!" Po called back. First, though, he picked up a ninja star from the floor and chucked it at the wall. It bounced off. Po tried to fling the star into the wall again, but it plunked onto the floor. He grabbed it and stuffed it into his back pocket. Then Po headed downstairs, tripping and falling on the steps all the way to the bottom.
"You're late," Po's father, a scrawny goose, reprimanded him. He put down the baskets of noodles he had been carrying.
Po hopped to his feet in a warrior's stance. "Sorry, Dad," he said. "I was having the craziest dream."
"Yeah?" his father asked. "What were you dreaming about?"
"Um . . ." Po felt silly explaining his kung fu dream to his father. He wouldn't understand. "I was dreaming . . . uh . . . about noodles." He took the throwing star out of his pocket and quickly stuffed it back in—jabbing himself in the butt.
Po's father was too excited to notice the throwing star. "My son, finally having the noodle dream!" he exclaimed. "Po, you are almost ready to learn the secret ingredient of my Secret Ingredient Soup. Then you will take over this restaurant, just as I took it over from my father, who took it over from his father, who won it in a game of mahjong."
"Dad," Po asked, "didn't you ever want to do something else, besides making noodles?"
A wistful look misted his father's eyes. "No, we all have our place in this world. Mine is here. And yours—"
"I know," Po replied dutifully. "Mine is here, too."
"Actually, it's at table three," his father said. "You're late with their order."
As Po clumsily carried a tray of food through the crowded noodle shop, apologizing for bumping into customers, he glanced outside. Up on a majestic mountain stood the Jade Palace, gleaming in the sunlight. Po was mesmerized.
The Jade Palace was the place of kung fu dreams, where the Furious Five trained to protect the Valley of Peace. It was the place of the legendary Dragon Scroll, which would be given only to the legendary Dragon Warrior.
To Po in the noodle shop, the Jade Palace on its mountain felt very far away.