I finally got home. I had been pondering the mystery of
Night_Sky's behavior all the way, only succeeding in confusing myself even more.
"I'm home, Mom," I called. "Can I talk
"Sure, I'm in the living room," my mom
called. When I got in there, I sat down on the luxurious sofa next to her. She
put down the book she was reading for her school and asked, "So, how did you
like grooming that Anubis?"
"It was fun, but the person I have to
do it with is acting really funny," I said, and then explained my problem with
Night_Sky to her.
When I was done, she said, "Well, I see
you've been successful at making friends. I think I know what can explain this
dilemma. We're going to the Art Centre."
As I've said before, the shops aren't
far from our Neohome, so we were there in no time. Mom, Mana, Melody and I walked
up to the Chia paperboy and asked for the Week 1 issue of The Neopian Times.
The Chia kept giving me nervous glances. Then it hit me. This has to do with
Lupes and Chias, I thought, remembering what Night_Sky had said to me, 'Let's
get one thing straight Lupe... and don't go harassing that Chia you sit next
to'. But what the heck could possibly be going on?
Mom opened up to the Articles section
as the paper-Chia ran off. "Aha, here it is!" she proclaimed with a look of
triumph on her face, but it quickly faded. She said, "I didn't want to have
to tell you about the Chia/Lupe dispute, because you and Mana get along so well,
but I knew I would have to someday," and she went on to read the article she
had been looking for, all about the fight between Chias and Lupes, the article
that would turn my life upside-down.
When Mom finished the article, she looked
sadly at me. I was stunned. Lupes all over Neopia were hunting Chias, and all
because they had bragged a little? Well, the Chias shouldn't have shoved the
fact that they were popular in everyone's faces, but the Lupes' crime is far,
far worse. I looked at Mana. He was horrified, and I knew it would be a while
before he would talk to me. Well, I thought, tomorrow I can set things
straight with Night_Sky.
The next day, I bumped into Night_Sky, who glared at me. I glared right back.
Tell it like it is, said a voice in my head. But what should I say?
The day dragged by. Mrs. Gato must have
noticed my bad mood, because she dragged be aside when everybody went to lunch.
"Legend, are you okay?" she asked. "You
aren't as lively as you were yesterday."
"Well, it all started yesterday..." I
began, and went on to tell the Kyrii all about my problem with Night_Sky and
my fear that Mana would never speak to me again, and how angry I was that right
now, somewhere in Neopia, some Lupe was probably eating the remains of a dead
Chia for lunch.
"Well, if you want me to," said Mrs. Gato
thoughtfully, "I can pick somebody else to take care of Set with you, and you
don't have to sit next to Mana if you don't want to."
"No, I want to sit next to Mana, but if
he doesn't want to sit next to me, I can understand that," I declared, "but
I want to settle things with Night_Sky by myself."
"Okay, but if you change your mind, just
say the word," Mrs. Gato concluded.
That afternoon, when I was feeding Set
with Night_Sky, the blue Aisha stated simply, "I don't like killers."
"Neither do I," I told her, and she stared
at me like I was nuts.
Then she glared at me. "I'll bet you like
Chia meat, don't you?" she growled.
"I wouldn't know," I said simply. "I've
never tasted it."
"You mean," she said uncertainly, "you
don't hunt Chias?"
"Never have, never will."
"Wow. Sorry I kept bugging you about that
stuff," she apologized.
"It's okay," I said. "I can see how anybody
would think that."
"Say," said Night_Sky, her face lighting
up, "why don't I introduce you to some of my friends at recess?"
"All right," I shrugged. Right now, I
was just happy that I had shown somebody that I wasn't a heartless killer.
The bell rang for the end of lunch and
the beginning of recess after three quarters of an hour of stuffing your face
with whatever the cafeteria was serving.
"Hey, Legend!" Night_Sky called as all
the pets ran outside to spend the remainder of the lunch hour playing on the
swing sets and jungle gym. "Meet me under the big tree!"
"Okay!" I called and bounded over to what
was probably the oldest tree in Neopia, or at least in Neopia Central.
When I got there, Night_Sky was waiting
for me along with the green Acara she sat next to in class and a blue Chia.
"Help!" cried the Chia diving behind the
green Acara, who growled at me.
"This is our territory," said the Acara
with fire in her eyes, "and your kind are NOT allowed!"
I sat there for a second, stunned, and
then I rolled over laughing. Night_Sky was laughing right along with me.
"Relax, Spring_Leaf," Night_Sky said soothingly.
"This is Legend, the one I was telling you about."
"You invited a Lupe?" the Chia asked nervously.
Night_Sky smiled at him. "He doesn't eat
Chias, so you don't have to worry." To me, she said, "These are my sisters,
Spring_Leaf and Sea_Depths. Our owner is Mother_Earth, so you can guess why
our names are what they are."
"Are you crazy?" cried Spring_Leaf, outraged.
"All Lupes hunt Chias!"
That really ticked me off. She was saying
that just because I was born in a Lupe's body meant that I had to run around
eating Chias for lunch.
"Not this one," I snarled, outraged, a
voice in the back of my head saying, If that Acara won't even listen to her
own sibling, what in Fyora's name makes you think she'll listen to you? But
I was too mad to listen to myself. "I've never hunted Chias, I don't now, and
I never will!"
I stormed off. I kept hearing her voice
in my head, over and over, 'All Lupes hunt Chias... All Lupes hunt Chias...'
"Legend, wait!" called Night_Sky, dashing
after me. Her face was serious.
I slowed down to a walk. It wasn't Night_Sky's
fault her sister was an ignorant buffoon. "What is it?"
"Hey, Night_Sky!" Sea_Depths called, "come
"I'll see you guys later," Night_Sky called
over her shoulder. "Legend, I'm sorry my sister's being a jerk, but I was like
that at first, too, remember?"
She was right. Spring_Leaf was acting
almost exactly like Night_Sky had when we first met.
"You don't need to apologize for her,
"I said. "I should apologize for giving up so easily."
"Hey, Legend," Night_Sky said slowly,
"when I convince my sisters that you're not a bloodthirsty killer, do you want
to come over to my place to play?"
"Sure," I said, "but until then, do you
want to play at my house?"
"All right!" shouted Night_Sky. "When
can I come over? I'll have to ask my owner, but I'm sure she'll say yes!"
"Anytime, I think," I said. "My owner
will be cool with it, but I just need to tell her."
"Okay! I'll come over after school, and
you can introduce me to your siblings and your owner."
Then I remembered the look on Mana's face
when monstermaniac184 had finished reading the article to us. "I don't know
if Mana will ever speak to me again," I said simply.
"Who's Mana?" Night_Sky asked.
"He's that Chia I sit next to," I said.
"Well, that's okay," said Night_Sky. "I'll
meet you at the Chocolate Factory, and then you can show me where you live."
The bell rang and we went in, and after
two long hours of writing the letters A, B and C and the word 'cab', it was
finally time to go home. I packed up my stuff, and Mana was still sitting next
to me. We didn't talk, though. Another bell rang and everybody rushed out the
door. On my way out, Spring_Leaf stopped me.
"Uh, Legend, sorry I was so stubborn back
at the tree," she said, "I don't know what to think now."
"Well, I can understand that," I said.
"After all, you can't prove that somebody doesn't do something by watching them
not do it for a few seconds."
Spring_Leaf just sat there. "Err... run
that by me again?"
We both laughed on our way out the door.
Maybe convincing people that you're heart isn't a black hole wasn't so hard
Later, I was at the chocolate factory
waiting for Night_Sky. I was looking at the chocolate, drooling over a particularly
large Orange Chocolate Jubjub. Night_Sky arrived and we went to my house. I
had cleared everything up with my owner, and we walked down the street to my
Neohome. When I got there, monstermaniac184 was waiting for us, and quoted one
of our favorite old captions from the Caption Contest. "We said you could have
"It followed me home, I swear!" I responded
Night_Sky caught on and said, "One, I'm
not a Moehog, and two, I'm nowhere near that thing's size," in mock indignity.
"You must be Night_Sky. Come on in," said
We walked in, and went straight to the
living room. Melody was sitting there drinking some leftover Aisha Day Hot Cocoa.
I snuck up behind Melody, moved my head
right behind her head, took a deep breath and-
I let out my breath. "Hi, Melody. This
is my friend, Night_Sky. Night_Sky, this is Melody."
"Nice to meet you," said Night_Sky.
"Mucho gusto," said Melody. Mom takes
Spanish, so we all know a little.
"Say, where's Mana?" I asked Melody. He
was usually running around trying to get all of his excess energy out.
"He's in the kitchen," said Melody, "probably
We went into the kitchen. Indeed, Mana
was sitting at the table chowing down on leftover Acara Day waffles.
"Hi, Mana," I said as I walked into the
room. "This is my friend, Night_Sky. Night_Sky, this is Mana."
"Hi, Legend. Hi, Night_Sky," he muttered
"Are you okay, Mana?" I asked. As if I
"It's just that article Mom read us..."
Mana trailed off and took another bite of waffles. "Legend..."
I knew what he was going to say. He was
going to say, 'Legend, I don't want to know you anymore', or 'Legend, I don't
want to see your face again as long as I live'.
But he didn't say that. He said, "Legend,
I don't want it to be like that. I'm scared. Not of you, but of other Lupes."
"Don't worry," I said. "If any Lupe wants
to hunt you, I won't let them."
"Thanks, Legend," said. Mana. "So, what
do you want to do this afternoon? Mom put some new stuff in the garden while
you were at the Chocolate Factory, so there's more places to hide for hide-and-seek.
You want to play, Night_Sky?"
"Sure!" said Night_Sky happily.
"I'll race you there!" I challenged the
two of them.
"You're on!" Mana shouted. On the count
of three, we all run, okay? One, two," he ran off, and called over his shoulder,
"three!" Night_Sky and I ran after him, and the race was a tie. So we ran into
the garden and played hide-and-seek all afternoon. And the best part was, Mana
was as lively as ever.
The next day dragged by. Mrs. Gato gave
us assigned seats, and Mana sat behind me and Night_Sky next to him, so it was
easy to talk. But we never got the opportunity, because we learned how to write
D, C, E and F and 1, 2 and 3. It took all day. When the bell finally rang, we
all packed up and left school. Mana had made some other friends while I was
making friends with Night_Sky, so he talked to them in the schoolyard. Night_Sky
had convinced Spring_Leaf and Sea_Depths that I wasn't a bloodthirsty hunter,
and I was chatting with them. We were in the middle of a conversation about
the colors we hoped to be painted when I heard a desperate cry of "Help!" behind
me. I turned around like lightning and, to my horror, I saw three Lupes chasing
a short, energetic and excitable Chia.
It was Mana.
I ran as fast as my four legs would carry
me, which was a lot faster than they were running. My mind was racing as fast
as my feet. They were clearly not trying to catch him. Lupes could run a lot
faster than that. I looked into their path and saw that they were herding my
brother toward the corner between the school building and the fence met. I ran
faster, and I could hear feet on the ground behind me. Night_Sky, Spring_Leaf
and Sea_Depths were following me, chasing the group of Lupes. I finally came
between the hunters and Mana just as they reached the corner.
"Hey, outta da way, kid," said the yellow
Lupe on the left. "You're standin' between us and our lunch, here."
"Yeah," chimed in the red Lupe on the
right, "we're hungry."
"Shut up, you goons," the shadow Lupe
in the middle barked. "Let me handle this." He turned to me. "Look kid, I'll
make you a deal. You scoot over, and I'll give you some of the loot."
"If you want to eat my brother, you're
going to have to eat me first!" I declared, and with that, I sprung upon him.
I was sprawled on his back, and I started gnawing on his hind leg. Night_Sky
was hissing and spitting and scratching the yellow Lupe to smithereens, and
Spring_Leaf was pummeling the red Lupe. I managed to get underneath the shadow
Lupe and I started biting his front legs and scratching his chest with my claws.
He twisted his body and began chewing on my leg. I yelped, and immediately dove
for his throat. I bit down, but then I let go. I didn't want to kill him, I
just wanted to him away from Mana. He ran off, and ordered his cronies to follow
"Freak," the shadow Lupe hissed in my
ear before he fled.
I immediately rushed to Mana's aid, ignoring
the remark. "Are you okay? Did they hurt you? Do you want me to get the nurse?"
I began asking him question after question, worried that he was hurt or traumatized.
My mom had once told me that trauma can be worse than injury in some cases.
"I- I'm okay," Mana gasped, "But they-
Then you- Oh, thanks, Legend."
"Don't mention it," I said.
"Are you guys okay?"
"Did they get you good?"
"Do you need the nurse?"
"Should I take you to the hospital?"
Immediately, pets of all species, colors
and ages began drowning Mana and me with questions. Night_Sky, Spring_Leaf and
Sea_Depths pushed their way through the crowd to get to us.
"Break it up, break it up!" Sea_Depths
shouted at the crowd. He had a shallow gash across his left arm, which looked
okay. "Let them breathe, for crying out loud!"
I was too tired to talk, much less get
up. I heard a sweet voice break through the air. "Let me through! I'm their
sister! Break it up, nothing to see here!" It was Melody, but I wasn't paying
attention. I was too tired.
"I'm okay," I said, even though I knew
I wasn't. That took a lot of energy. I got dizzy, and the ground rushed up to
meet my face.
When I woke up, I expected to be in the
my bed at home, my alarm clock ringing, and Melody singing, but I wasn't. It
took me a while to figure out that I was in the hospital.
Then everything that had happened that
afternoon came back to me in a wave. "Where's Mana?" I sat up quickly and then
fell back down. I was dizzy. "Where is he? Where's Night_Sky and Spring_Leaf
and Sea_Depths? Are they okay?"
A white Bruce in a nurse's outfit walked
up to my bed. "They're all fine," he assured me. "Mana's right there." The Bruce
pointed to the bed next to mine. Indeed, Mana was there, sitting up with his
arm in a sling. He was eating soup.
I could use some of that stuff right
now, I thought. The Bruce turned a crank on the end of my bed which pushed
up my head, put up a tray and laid a bowl of soup on it.
"Eat up," he said soothingly, "you need
all the energy you can get."
"What about Night_Sky and Spring_Leaf
The nurse put up his fin. "Relax, they're
all fine. They're at home. You got the worst of it."
I leaned back into the bed. I was tired,
but still glad that everyone was all right. I sipped some of my soup, and turned
to Mana. "How are you doing, little buddy?"
"Hey, Legend, you're awake!" he said happily.
"You kept calling for me, Mom, Night_Sky, a whole bunch of people." He filled
me in on everything that had happened, and we began talking about the next school
project, miniature volcanoes. For the first time in what felt like a year, everything
seemed back to normal.
Legend and Mana went home after a week of recovery, during which time they
received visits from almost everybody in school, including Mrs. Gato and Set.
Everybody asked them to recount the battle. They were celebrities for a while,
and on the volcano project, they were put in a group with Night_Sky, Spring_Leaf
and Sea_Depths. Legend grew up to be an avid supporter of Chia rights, and became
a great Battledome warrior. Mana ended up beginning a guild called The Chia
Warriors and also became a great Battledome warrior. Melody was scouted out
for a singing career because she aced all of her oral reports, and worked her
way up to the Arena in the Tyrannian Plateau. Night_Sky got painted Faerie so
she could fly, and became an outstanding public speaker on preventing species
discrimination, along with Spring_Leaf, who became good buddies with Illusen,
completing all of her quests. Sea_Depths lived up to his name, exploring the
sea floor, especially Maraqua. Mrs. Gato became one of the best teachers of
all time, and even instructed petpet training classes after school. Set became
a petpet therapy Anubis, visiting the Neopian Hospital on weekends. As for monstermaniac184,
well, she became a great writer. And they all lived happily ever after.
First off, I have never and, unless the Neopets team increases the number
of Neopets you can have, never will own a Lupe, Chia or Pteri. Second, any name
matches in this story are purely coincidental and I apologize for that. Finally,
I would like to thank iluvsasami for his/her inspiration with the article in
week 1 of The Neopian Times, 'The Chia/Lupe Debate: What Side Are You On?'.
The most important moral in this story is, don't be afraid to stand out.