For an easier life Circulation: 106,486,787 Issue: 212 | 14th day of Collecting, Y7
Home | Archives Articles | Editorial | Short Stories | Comics | New Series | Continued Series

Mira's Big Day

by rainpaint


Sunlight streaming in her window woke the young Acara with a start.

      "Today's the day!" Mira whispered to herself as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes. "Today is the day I finally get my chance to make King Skarl laugh!" Mira had dreamed of this day for months. She had done everything she could to prepare, from reading every jokebook in Neopia to joining a special comedian school. Now she felt that she was truly ready. Mira put on her best tunic, ran a comb through her silky brown fur, and clambored down the stairs to grab some breakfast. Her mother was at the stove, frying some bacon.

      "Now, are you sure you want to do this?" Jenissa questioned her young daughter. "I don't want you to end up being disappointed if he doesn't laugh."

      Mira rolled her eyes and sighed. "Yes, Mother, I am positively sure. Could I just have something I can take with me to eat? I need to get in line." Without waiting for an answer, she jumped up, grabbed a scone, and ran out the door. All Jenissa could do was look at her daughter galloping down the path and sigh.


      Mira skipped along the path, rehearsing exactly what she would say to King Skarl. She was so deeply into her daydream that she didn't notice what lay ahead. Suddenly, she tripped on a stick and fell, facefirst, into a mud puddle. She came up spluttering and spitting out mud.

      "Oh drat!" Furiously, she wiped the mud off of her face as best as she could and sighed. "Well, I suppose I can't go back. The king doesn't take appointments after 1:00." She was too excited to be very upset, so Mira continued on. She had just reached the bridge that led to the castle grounds when a bush snagged her dress. Hurriedly, she yanked it free, only to be entangled in the prickly vine that was growing on the bridge's stone sides! She wriggled and thrashed, only managing to get herself further ensnared in her vine-y trap.

      Twenty minutes later, Mira had managed to cut herself free. She raced down the path and at long last reached Meridell Castle. She stopped dead in her tracks and gasped. Neopets of every size, shape, and kind were lined up at the castle's gate. Stepping behind a speckled Ixi, Mira tapped him on the shoulder.

      "Um, what are all these people doing here?"

      The Ixi looked at her in surprise. "Don't you know? An announcement was made last night that a prize of great wealth will be given to whoever makes King Skarl laugh?"

      Mira blinked as she took another step forward. "You mean if I do this, I'll not only have saved Meridell, but I'll be rich, too?"

      The Ixi snorted. "As if you have a chance. Have you looked at yourself?"

      Only then did Mira stop to look down at her dress. "Aaargh!" Her best tunic was now in tatters, her hair was a rat's-nest, and, upon glancing at the Ixi's shiny hooves, she saw that her face had muddy patches which were now stuck to her fur. "What am I to do? I've come too far to let this opportunity to go to waste, and imagine what Mother will say if I come home without even getting my chance. Anyway, the line's moving rather quickly now." The young Acara's brow furrowed as she thought through her dilemma.

      "Too late; you're next," the Ixi snickered as a guard led him down the hall and to the throne room. Frantically, Mira tried to untangle her hair and clean her face, but she didn't have time.

      Moments later, the same guard came back down the hall toward her, his eyes immediately taking in her bedraggled appearance. "Your turn, miss." Without another word, Mira followed him down the hall. She entered the throne room and gasped. There ahead of her, larger than life, was King Skarl, who appeared to be dozing.

      The guard walked up to him and muttered into his ear, "Sire, another, uh, peasant to see you." Skarl gave one last tremendous snore and opened his eyes.

      "Um, your majesty, I can explain..." Mira stuttered. Skarl's eyes opened wider, and he snorted. Then he wheezed and spluttered. Finally he gave the loudest, longest laugh that Mira had ever heard. Tears poured down his cheeks, and his giant belly jiggled up and down as the king was overtaken by spasms of giggles.

      The guard looked at Mira with newfound respect and amazement. "Y-you have done it. You made King Skarl laugh!"

      Five hours later, the king's laughing fest had ended. His face seemed to have a permanent grin on it as he spoke to Mira, who had long since gotten cleaned up. "Young lady, you saved my life-and you saved Meridell. For twenty-five long years I was as blue as the ocean itself. Hundreds of thousands of neopets have tried and failed to make me laugh. Now, thanks to you, I can take my place as ruler again and Meridell will prosper. I am eternally indebted to you. Now, about that reward." He beckoned to several of his burliest servants, who dragged a large chest out from behind the throne.

      "Is-is that mine, sire?" Mira murmured.

      "For your heroic deed, you will receive one million gold coins, one million silver coins, one million bronze coins, and one million doubloons. Use it wisely." The king smiled tenderly at her before returning to his kingly state, ordering everyone around. "Petron, prepare a carriage and have Mira taken home." The Kacheek standing next to the king nodded. "Oh, and Mira?"

      Mira, who was having trouble taking everything in, paused before answering, "Yes, your majesty?"

      "You and your family are invited to the banquet I am having to celebrate this most joyous of occasions. Be back here tomorrow at 5:00."

      Mira nodded and curtsied. "Thank you-thank you, your majesty, for everything!" She hurried down the hall to her waiting carriage, thrilled at the thought of bringing the magnificent treasure back home to her mother. The servants immediately left to prepare the feast and the guards went back to their duties.

      Once alone, Skarl whispered, "No, thank you, Mira."


      Meanwhile, Jenissa was worried. Images of her daughter making the king angry and then being dragged off in chains to the dungeon filled her head. Her stomach churned and her brow knotted with worry as she stirred the stew that bubbled on the stove. Lost in thought, she didn't notice the hoofbeats until they were right outside the cottage door.

      "I'm home, Mother!" Jenissa whirled around to see her young daughter standing in front of a royal carriage, the magnificent steeds pawing at the ground impatiently. Her heart leaped as she realized what this meant.

      "You have done it! Oh, my daughter, I am so proud of you!" Jenissa laughed for joy as she hurried to the door.

      Mira tugged on her mother's sleeve. "And, Mother, wait until you see what I brought."

      Jenissa's eyes widened as she saw the chest piled high with coins. "Mira, what is all this?"

      Mira smiled. "I won the contest."

      Jenissa looked confused. "What contest?"

      Mira sighed as she explained. "So I made King Skarl laugh, and this treasure is ours," she finished.

      Jenissa was speechless for a moment, until she noticed her daughter's change of clothes. "Mira, what happened to your other tunic? And what happened to your cheek? You're all scratched up."

      Mira grinned. "Mother, you're never going to believe just how I made King Skarl laugh. Can I tell you about it over dinner?" Jenissa nodded in agreement. And so, mother and daughter strode arm in arm back to their humble cottage, while Petron hefted the chest onto his shoulder and carried it through the doorway.

      "Thanks for all your help, Petron. I'll see you tomorrow," Mira called as Petron strode back to the cottage. With a tip of his hat, he was off.

      Jenissa looked at her daugher quizzically. "What do you mean, 'See you tomorrow'?"

      The young Acara sighed and sat down at the table with a giggle as she realized the humor of the circumstances which led to her sudden wealth. "It's a long story, Mother. And it all happened because I fell into a mud puddle!"

The End

Thank you Maggie and Becca for saying you loved my story :)

Search the Neopian Times

Great stories!


The Grey Faerie: Before the Darkness
As you walk through Faerieland, you see a figure lurking in a dark alley and masked by shadows, sobbing. Her shoulders shudder with every breath. You step closer, only to find her running...

by gpigluv


Sand Daughter: Part Six
The journey through the desert was a mere four-day walk - why on Neopia was it taking so long? He'd helped them when the bandits had interfered - were they expecting him to carry them through the desert?

Also by smurfafied1800

by sara_mossflower


The Lost Desert Dagger: Part Two
I was still where I had lain down to sleep a few hours ago; cool sand dunes stretching in all directions as far as the eye could see, illuminated dully by the sliver of a moon hanging lazily in the desert sky...

by scarrift


What Sparks Your Story?

Sometimes ideas just pop into people’s heads. Sometimes another writer inspired their writing. Sometimes a question asked by someone else, a ‘what if’ question, for instance, makes ideas come rolling. But what sparks your story?

by kemppotatoe

Submit your stories, articles, and comics using the new submission form.