Little Quadrapus Lost
It was a peaceful day in Maraqua and the sun, rippling through the surface of the water, glared off the empty plates on a small coral table. Kalvin the Eyrie had just finished eating kelp lasagne with his wife Celia and five-year old son and they were now relaxing and watching the fish swim by while a small shrimp cleaned the leftover food off the plates.
The peace was suddenly shattered by a loud whirring noise above; they all looked up to see something yellow flying across above them. Their eyes followed it until it hit a kelp tree and slid down to the sand. Kalvin swam up to it while his son Toby followed behind him. He yelled, “A quadrapus!”
“What’s that doing here?” grumbled Kalvin. The quadrapus had arranged its legs so it was standing upright and was now staring up at him. It never seemed to blink.
“Can I keep it, Dad?”
“But it’s so cute!” Toby reached out to touch it and it made a purring noise (well what a purring noise would sound like underwater).
“Definitely not! What possible use could that have?”
Kalvin had a very old arkmite that was used to scare away burglars and he thought that all petpets have to have a purpose. Of course, this petpet was from Krawk Island. Maraquans hated pirates. In addition, Kalvin was a stubborn Eyrie.
“And besides, it’s a pirate petpet and these things are not welcome here.”
“It looks harmless enough.” It was very harmless. The most aggressive thing it could do was drool on someone’s face.
“No,” said his dad firmly. “Now go inside and do your homework.”
Toby sat beside the window so he could look out at the quadrapus between his mathematical equations. It was hovering a few inches above the ground and was making strange noises. He finally finished his homework, slammed his book shut and looked out of the window. It had gone. He climbed onto the windowsill to have a better look, but he still couldn’t see it, so he opened the window and swam out. He swam all around the small garden around the shell house. He looked in the huge bushes of kelp, the arkmite's kennel and the heap of junk they had caught while fishing, but it was nowhere to be seen. He drooped his fins and swam sadly back into his bedroom window.
Before he went to bed, he had another look out the window. “It’s gone, and not coming back,” he thought to himself. Then his dad came in.
“Time for bed. We have to get up early tomorrow. We’re going fishing. If we go early enough before everyone else, we might catch a good giant squid for lunch.”
Toby sighed and swam over to his bed, which was a sponge with a soft seaweed blanket, and tucked himself in.
He didn’t sleep much that night and was woken early by his mum. She pulled back the seaweed curtains and it was still dark outside. He groaned and rubbed his sleepy eyes. ”Why do we have to go? All we catch is junk.”
“You caught a blandfish yesterday.”
“Blah!” he moaned sleepily as he slid out of bed. “We have a freezer full of blandfish.” He was right. They had a huge stock of frozen blandfish that they had collected over the last few months. As the name suggested, they were boring.
They all grabbed their fishing rods and swam off to the fishing spot. There was a small underwater cavern where pets from all over the world came to fish. This was where all the treasure was, somewhere in there, but fish often got lost and swam in and some people used it as a rubbish dump.
They swam into the cavern and sat on the wooden pier. It was much easier to tug at the line if you were on dry land. You had less chance of being pulled down by whatever you caught. Kalvin prepared their fishing lines and threw his into the water. A few minutes later he pulled it back in, and on the end was a cubicle fungus. “Ugh, junk,” he groaned and tossed it in to the bucket. Then Celia pulled her line in. She had caught an unlabelled tin can. It seems nobody had ever opened one to see what exactly was inside, and neither did she.
Then Toby felt a large tug on his line, so hard that he couldn’t pull it in. His mum and dad both grabbed his fishing rod with him and started to pull. Whatever was on the end was very heavy. “It must be a giant squid!” exclaimed Kalvin as he tried to keep his grip on the ground. “We finally got one!”
“Or a shipwreck,” said Toby, excitedly clinging to the rod and pulling as hard as he could.
At last the end of the line came out of the water. On the end was... the quadrapus. It was hanging on with its mouth. “How pathetic,” thought Kalvin and was thinking about letting go of the line when Celia noticed it was holding something. They pulled it farther out of the water and saw that the quadrapus was clinging to a large net full of all sorts of treasures. There were a lot of fish in there, but Celia could see a few very expensive items including a flask of rainbow fountain water, some mysterious swirly potions, and some Battledome weapons. They all gave a last tug and pulled the net of treasures onto the pier. They all fell over and the quadrapus slid down the net and landed with a plop on the wood.
“Wow, we’re going to be so rich!” gasped Kalvin.
“We can go on that holiday to Mystery Island now,” said Celia dreamily.
“Yeah, I had heard about these things but never believed they existed till now. Wow.” Kalvin was walking around the bulging net, inspecting all the amazing things inside.
“Now can I keep him?” said a small voice from behind the net. Toby was looking up. The net was taller than him.
“Er...” Kalvin looked down at the quadrapus. It was slopping around on the ground happily making squelchy noises. It made him shudder to have such a weird creature in his house.
“But he’s useful, Dad, look what he caught! Mum, Mum, can I keep him, please. Look what he caught!”
Celia was thinking. She looked from the quadrapus to the treasure. She didn’t like it any more than her husband, but... wow, how much NP would they make from selling all that stuff? Her thoughts immediately shifted from the quadrapus to the sunny beaches of Mystery Island.
The bell of a small underwater shop jingled as the door opened, but didn‘t close. A Maraquan Scorchio looked up from tidying the shelves and saw Kalvin and Celia hauling the huge net of stuff though the door. It got stuck; they gave up. The shopkeeper walked over. “Wow, do you how much that is worth?!!” he said excitedly, pointing at the rainbow fountain water. “’Tis rare, you know.”
“How much?” asked Celia, hoping to get over 200,000 NP for it, the price of the holiday.
“Well, I haven’t seen one of those for months. I’ll go check.” He went over to the counter and flicked through a book. He pushed his glasses farther up his nose. “Ah. Seems they are worth over one million.” Kalvin and Celia gasped loudly and looked at each other.
The shopkeeper took a small shell knife from under the counter, went over to the net and cut it open. A few fish fell out and slid across the floor, but all he was interested in was the fountain water. He picked it up carefully and carried it to the counter. “Yes, this is very rare; what else do we have here?” They poked around in the pile, picking out the valuable items. They collected all the fish in a bucket (to put on the Money Tree later, now that they could afford much more exciting food) and the junk went into the bin. Eventually it was empty. The shopkeeper gathered up the net and pushed it to one side.
“All this stuff is worth well over three million,” he said as he opened a vault at the back of the shop and pulled out three large bags of NP. Kalvin and Celia were so excited; they had never seen so much money.
“Well, enjoy it,” called the shopkeeper as they walked to the door.
“Thank you,” said Celia, smiling.
“No. Thank Splodge,” said Toby who had been waiting outside the shop. He was holding a lead and on the other end was the quadrapus; it was floating up and down happily.
His mum and dad laughed.
“Now let's go and buy those tickets to Mystery Island,” said Kalvin, “and whatever else you want. I’m sure there will be a lot left over.”
With that, the Maraquan Eyrie family with its new member, swam along home to plan out their much needed holiday.