|Nate, the green Kougra, lived in a little house on the outskirts
of Neopia Central with his owner, Melody. He was young and adventurous, ready
to tackle or pounce on any task that came his way.
Sometimes he would run off to explore the world,
or hunt for treasure in the forests. He was allowed to go wherever he wanted
in his neighborhood, except on the rocks by the water’s edge. These rocks were
slippery and if he happened to slide off, he’d fall into the water and he wasn’t
a strong swimmer.
Nate stood a few feet from the rocks, badly wanting
to look down into the water and see all of the new things to explore. He inched
closer and put one paw onto a large gray rock. It wasn’t very slick at all.
He looked over his shoulder, making sure no one, (especially his owner) was
watching. He carefully jumped up onto the rocks. Keeping a distance from the
water’s edge, he craned his neck to peer inside.
At first he saw nothing, but then a long white
creature glided through the water, coming close to the surface. Nate yelped
and jumped back. What was that thing? He crawled a little closer so that he
was lying on his stomach. A different creature, this one more thick and blue
moved slowly over to him, then the long white one appeared next to it. Nate
watched, transfixed by their large eyes. He tentatively reached out his paw
and tapped the surface, sending small ripples in every direction. The creatures
“Wait!” Nate called. “Come back!” He waited a
few seconds, and to his relief, the two creatures reappeared. “Are you… Neopets?”
“Yes,” said the blue one. “Maraquan Neopets.”
“We’re just like you,” the thin white one chimed
in, in a more rolling voice, “I’m a Draik. My name is Annah.”
“My name is Kylie, and I’m an Aisha,” said the
“That’s cool,” said Nate. “Can you come out of
the water and play with me?”
“I think not,” said Annah in her pleasant voice.
“We can’t live on land, as you can’t live in the water.” Her purple eyes were
so round and bright that they glowed through the water. She turned and Nate
saw that she had fins, and a long tail. Annah and Kylie moved so majestically
through the water, like a cloud does in the sky.
“Do you have owners?” Nate asked. Annah and Kylie
were confused. Nate tried his best to explain, “An owner is… a human that takes
care of you. My owner’s name is Melody.”
“No, we don’t know of any humans. Seen them a
few times, yes,” said Annah, “but never had one. Neopets of the sea are more
independent. We are like… strays. We don’t really have permanent homes. We drift
from time to time, and when it rains, the new water pushes us somewhere else.”
Nate nodded thoughtfully, thinking about what
Annah said. “I wish I could talk to you more, but it’s getting dark, and my
owner will expect me home. Goodbye for now,” Nate stood up and Kylie said,
“Can we meet you here later?”
“Sure!” said Nate jumping off the rock. “I’ll
see you first thing tomorrow!”
Nate kept his promise. He wolfed down his bacon and headed out the front door,
but Melody stopped him. “Nate, hold up a second, buddy…”
Nate turned and said, “Yes?”
“You’ve been gone for long periods of time nowadays.
You’re not doing anything dangerous, are you?”
“No, Melody,” said Nate. He hated to lie. But
he wanted to find out more about those Maraquan Neopets…
“You’re not on those rocks by the water?”
Nate tried to hide his surprise about her direct
question. He squirmed a little, thinking of a good answer. “I said I wasn’t
doing anything dangerous.”
Melody smiled, “Okay. I trust you.”
Those final words of, ‘I trust you’ burned into
Nate like a small fire in his gut. It was almost as if she knew what he was
doing. He forced a smile and opened the front door half way, when—
“Oh, and Nate?” Nate looked up. “And I know you
wouldn’t do anything that you would regret. You know, there are plenty of strange
things in the world. You have to be careful…”
She was onto him. Definitely. But she didn’t
look as if she knew something. She just smiled again and turned her back.
“Yeah… thanks…” He hated to lie to Melody, but
right now, his encounter with Annah and Kylie was more important. Coincidence,
he thought. He felt guilty as he trotted along the path to the sea. When his
Neohome was out of sight, he sprinted all the way to the rocks. He rushed onto
them and called, “Hello?” Nobody was there. “Annah? Kylie?” He said their names
into the water. After a few seconds he dipped his paw in and thrashed it around,
causing ripples and splashes on the surface.
“All right, all right, don’t make such as fuss…”
came the familiar voice of Kylie. She and Annah glided up to him like two phantoms.
“Sorry,” Nate apologized, “I just wanted to see
“Does your human know about us?” Kylie asked
and Nate was thunderstruck. He took a deep breath, yet another coincidence.
“No, I don’t think so. Why?”
“I thought maybe we could meet her,” Kylie continued.
“You can’t right now, she’s… she’s sick.”
“Oh,” said Annah, “give her our regards, then.”
Wow, Nate’s lies were really piling up!
“Nate,” said Kylie suddenly, “we got you something.”
Annah poked her long tail out of the water and a bottle came flying up with
it. Nate caught it, luckily before it hit the ground.
“Thank you. But what’s this?” Nate asked, taking
hold of the bottle. It was a little slimy from being underwater. Nate wiped
off the grime with his paw and discovered that the bottle was clear. Inside
of it was a pile of blue goo.
“It’s a Maraquan Kougra Morphing Potion. It’s
the only one in the world. No one thought that it existed, such a rare potion
as this. This potion has very special powers. Whoever drinks it will physically
take the form of a Maraquan Kougra, giving them the ability to live underwater.
Once you drink it, you will be one of us,” said Annah in her dreamlike tone.
“Drink this and become a Maraquan Kougra…”
Nate echoed, “Wow, where did you find it?”
“Yes, my friend,” Annah continued. She didn’t
give Nate an answer to where she and Kylie had found it. “Drink it and you can
play with us forever.”
“Forever?” said Nate, “But… what about my life
here? And Melody?”
“Choose,” said Kylie, “either Maraquan or Neopian.”
“Right now I want to be Maraquan,” said Nate
and he took off the cork of the bottle.
“Wait!” said Annah. “Drink it now then jump into
“Into the water,” Nate echoed, “Okay. But I can’t
“You’ll be able to,” said Kylie.
“All right,” said Nate. He dumped the potion
into his mouth and nearly gagged. It tasted like a rotten omelette. He tipped
the bottle back and drained the rest of it.
“Jump!” Kylie shouted and Nate shut his eyes
and dove into the water. It was freezing. He tried to open his eyes, but the
water stung. He couldn’t breathe! He needed to get to the surface. He sank deeper
and deeper. A cold wave overpowered him. He rolled around, trying to kick back
up to the surface.
The first thing Nate felt were sharp pains in
the sides of his neck. He jerked his paw to his neck and tried to stop them.
Then he felt his fur slipping off of him like a blanket, and a stretchy and
smooth material covering him—his new skin. He felt his back legs shrink and
a long, thick tail sprouting from his old one. Webbing was growing rapidly between
his toes and in his ears. I need air… Nate thought, breathlessly. Annah!
Kylie! Help me! When his lungs could not take it anymore he breathed in
deeply. But he did not drown.
He slowly opened his eyes. Everything was crystal
“Hey, I have gills!” Nate exclaimed, touching
the smooth slits on his neck. He looked down at his paws—there was no more fur,
just smooth skin. His breathing was coming out in small gasps, trying to regain
his breath. He could breathe underwater!
Kylie was grinning, “Success!” Nate could see
her much more clearly. She sort of did look like an Aisha. Annah swam over to
him. It was a lot easier to see all of her details, too.
Nate moved his tail back and forth and it propelled
him through the water. Speaking of the water, it was no longer cold, but pleasant.
“Look, I’m swimming!” Annah tapped him on the
shoulder and held up a flat stone that reflected his image, like a mirror.
Nate was officially a Maraquan Kougra.
To be continued...