The Tale of the Sunflower Pattern Easter Negg
Also by chivo
The Month of Sleeping had passed in a serene haze of dreamy contemplation and solitude. Following closely on its weary heels was the Month of Awakening. Indeed, the entire of Neopia seemed to have sprung to life as it did every year. In Neopia Central the Money Tree was stretching its emerald boughs, shading the tiny starflowers which were merrily beginning to blossom under the guardianship of the tree's canopy. The snow only now dusted Happy Valley's smattering of buildings, rather than covering them, and in Meridell the pastures were evergreen and lush. Spring had arrived in Neopia, which meant only one thing...
"EASTER NEGGS!" came the bellowing cry, shattering the serenity of mid-morning calm that had previously lingered within the tiny Neohome on Mystery Island.
"Meti!" came the distressed call in response. A delicate Royal Kyrii was chasing a rather over-excited Plushie Draik from room to room in a frenzy.
Really, the Easter Cybunny didn't do Meti any favours! No more sugar was required to make him more excitable than he was on any other day. But Meti adored special occasions and this was no exception. Each year he spent the time roaming Neopia in the hope that the Easter Cybunny would hop along and with a benevolent smile, hand him one of those delicious Easter Neggs. The Brightly Colored Easter Negg was his long time favourite, though Meti was quick to admit that each was more delicious than the last, no matter what color it happened to be. He eventually ceased his frenzied dash from room to room and settled in the lounge. The Kyrii, his dear friend Spectra, sat on a chair nearby, shaking her head in mock despair.
"Let me guess. Another year of you dragging me around Neopia hoping to bump into that Cybunny?"
Meti shook his head firmly. He had given the entire issue much thought over the past year and believed he had a far more interesting solution.
"Spectra... Let's not wander around. Let's find the Easter Cybunny!"
The Kyrii smiled faintly. It was very much typical of her friend to turn any occasion into an adventure.
"Where do you propose we find that Cybunny, hmm?"
Meti considered this.
"If I were a Cybunny, I would be in Meridell."
Spectra looked puzzled. She tilted her head, causing the glimmering tresses of azure that tumbled down over her shoulders to cascade gently.
Meti grinned. No one ever really followed his logic.
"Cybunnies love to hop around and eat grass. So where are there endless fields?"
Spectra sighed. She could have argued, but to be fair Meti's assumption seemed to make sense and Meridell was as good a starting place as anywhere else. If nothing else they might get the chance to pop into the Meridell petpet store. She rather fancied a new Gallion.
"To Meridell then, Meti! Lead the way!"
The two friends set off happily. This was by no means the first strange adventure they had set off on and both hoped it wouldn't be the last.
The sprawling fields of Meridell were luxurious and green. In the distance a towering ivory structure, the King's castle stood like a sentinel over the pastures, its crimson and gold flags billowing from the peaks of its turrets. By the sides of the road farmers worked at producing crops; here and there a Kau wandered, grazing and utterly content.
Meti studied the serene surroundings critically, surveying the rolling hills. Beyond Illusen's leafy glade a small trail led behind the hill that was so famed for hosting the game of Cheese Roller.
"Spectra?" he questioned. "Where does that path go?"
The Kyrii studied the crooked, winding little trail with interest. She couldn't recall ever seeing it before and no jutting wooden signpost, so typical of Meridell gave any hint to where it might lead.
"I don't know... Should we follow it?"
Meti nodded firmly.
"I have a good feeling about this!"
The two friends set off down the winding trail, joking and laughing. The sunlight was warm and welcoming and the two were in jovial moods, taunting and chasing one another. This was where the problem began. As they played, Meti bolted ahead, Spectra in close pursuit. Their heels kicked up tiny clouds of dust on the dirt road and the laughter that they both noisily indulged in meant they didn't have a clue that anyone was approaching from the opposite direction until it was far too late!
Meti collided with the Easter Cybunny loudly and they both instantly were propelled backwards. Meti's plush coat was a blessing in this instance. Although he tumbled and tripped over his own clumsy tail, he landed easily on a soft patch of grass, his only problem being a nearby Cyodrake, perched in an overhanging bough cackling and laughing at his lack of co-ordination. He heaved himself to his feet again and glanced around.
Nearby, Spectra was helping the Easter Cybunny to his feet. The poor creature was rather rattled, having been merrily skipping along the path with a basket of the very much coveted Neggs when the Plushie Draik had run into him from nowhere. The Cybunny appeared flustered, but unharmed, assuring Spectra that all was well.
"No, no, my dear. Don't fuss, it's just a bruised paw!"
Spectra looked relieved, apologising profusely as the Cybunny beamed.
"Pfft! Think nothing of it, dear pets! I'll just gather up my basket of Neggs..."
All three of them glanced around, spotting the basket at the same time with mutual gasps of concern. It had been flung from the Cybunny's hand paw in the collision and now rested on its side near a patch of grass. Quickly, the trio dashed over to check the damage.
The Easter Cybunny crouched down by his basket, counting the Neggs worriedly. Most seemed intact, but several were broken, covered in dirt or just a little squashed. The Cybunny gave a soft sigh.
"Seven out of twenty Easter Neggs broken or damaged. I'm afraid I'll need to return home and gather more."
Meti felt terrible.
"Could we at least go with you and help?" He made the enquiry softly.
The Cybunny smiled gently.
"You're welcome to, dear Draik. But I paint each of those Neggs individually..."
Meti lit up.
"We love to paint, don't we, Spectra?"
The Kyrii nodded enthusiastically as the Cybunny considered the idea.
"Well, I could use the help. I am a little short on time... And I can tell you which designs I need."
Meti beamed. How many pets got the chance to paint Easter Neggs with the famous Cybunny? This was the opportunity of a lifetime!
The two excited pets followed the Easter Cybunny up the winding trail to a tiny house nestled under an ancient tree. Within was a massive wooden table, covered in delicate pots of bright paint, jars of paintbrushes and a basket full of fresh, blank Neggs. Meti surveyed the scene in excitement.
"Which kinds of Neggs do we need to paint?"
The Easter Cybunny smiled.
"Well, of the seven that were broken... Six were Brightly Coloured Easter Neggs and one was a Starflower Patterned Easter Negg."
Meti nodded firmly.
"Don't worry, we'll have it done in no time!"
The Cybunny smiled gently.
"I'm used to this, so I'll work on the Brightly Colored ones, if Spectra will be kind enough to help me. Meti, would you mind doing the starflower one?"
Meti beamed with pride at this important job. He had settled down, about to work, when he realised he wasn't actually sure what a starflower was. His mind raced as he considered this. His owner often bought various flowers for their Neogarden, but he couldn't recall any which looked much like a star! Trying to calm himself, he glanced over at the Easter Cybunny, but he seemed distracted, intense concentration upon his face. Meti couldn't bear the idea of disturbing him when this entire situation was really his own fault! He would simply have to improvise and do his best.
The Plushie Draik studied the paints in front of him. Green seemed a good start. After all, all flowers have leaves, which are green. It was a guess of course, but Meti had only his imagination to work with!
He concentrated as hard as he could, his tongue poking out the corner of his mouth as he worked. Slowly he traced the brush over the Negg, wary of shattering the delicate shell. Slowly little leaves and vines wound their way forth from the soft tip of the brush. He gave them a background of gentle, soft gold, imagining that the sunlight would be shining down upon any flowers, helping them to grow.
Once the Negg was awash with a background color Meti began on the flower itself. He slowly created long, sprawling petals, tinting them a bright, cheery yellow. He continued to work, painting an orange circle for the center of the blossom, then adding a soft transparent gloss to the Negg to make it shine. Finally he let out a long, deep breath and sat back to examine his work.
He was still gazing at the Negg in admiration when he became aware that the Easter Cybunny and Spectra were both gazing at it in confusion. Meti blushed.
"Did I make a mistake?"
The Easter Cybunny hesitated.
"Well, in a way. You see, Meti, a Starflower Patterned Easter Negg is green, with tiny white flowers."
Meti looked miserable as he gazed at his gold and yellow Negg. As he uttered an apology, though, the Cybunny laughed.
"Don't be silly! Your Negg is beautiful! I think I'll add that design to my yearly collection!"
Meti gasped in surprise.
"Really? That Negg right there? My design?"
The Cybunny smiled and nodded gently.
"We'll call it a Sunflower Pattern Easter Negg!"
Spectra lit up and hugged her friend, who looked astounded. The Cybunny gave a jovial chuckle.
"I think it's for the best that you keep this very first Sunflower Negg, Meti! After all, you're the reason it's around!"
Meti accepted the Negg as if it were the world's greatest treasure, cradling the gold orb in his paws carefully and whispering profound thanks. The Cybunny smiled and led them back out to the trail.
"I thank you both for your work!" With that, he handed them each a Brightly Colored Easter Negg, gave a wave and hopped into the distance.
Tired but happy the two pets headed for home, Meti unable to stop gazing at his Negg in awe, causing Spectra to laugh.
"Just think, Meti! How many Neopets can honestly say that they helped create an Easter Negg?"
"None who can say it was an accident!"