Song of Freedom
Leena was in the Golden Dubloon, sipping Root Beer, extra bittersweet, the way she liked it. She was fairly new to Krawk Island, but she was accustomed to the scarred and ferocious pirates walking about. She was bored, about to take a drink, when she heard a beautiful yet haunting sound:
“Wee... woo... wee... woo...” The simple song sent shivers down her spine. The wee-woo sound sounded scary, but it was low-pitched and it blew with the wind, creating a melody like no other. She asked the bartender, Jake, what it was.
“Argh, that be the Weewoos a-singin' their morn song,” he said. Leena put down her drink and went outside, to see tons of small tan birds flying about, singing their haunting song. There was one in particular that got her attention. It had a small white spot in its belly, and it seemed to sing the proudest and loudest. Leena's eyes grew with contentment.
“It's so pretty, yet mysterious,” she whispered in awe. She pictured many other Neopets coming and hearing this Weewoo's song. But Krawk Island was full of bloodthirsty pirates, not necessarily kind-hearted faeries. She imagined the poor Weewoo being injured by a thrown rock, or mischievous young pirates-to-be flinging sharp objects at it for fun.
“Oh, no!” she gasped, “I can't let this beautiful thing die!” She began to climb the tree, where the Weewoo was now bathing itself. It was within her reach... just a couple more feet... an arm's length... she could feel its soft plumage against her paws already...
“GOTCHA!” she yelled, grasping the squirming and chirping Weewoo. The bird tried to bite her and prod her with its sharp beak, but it was too small and feeble to make such damage. Leena smiled triumphantly and carefully climbed down with the fragile petpet in hand. She petted it gently on its head, even though it didn't want her to.
“Hey, I'm about to save your life, so quit complaining!” she exclaimed. She ran all the way home, where she quickly found a cage and stuffed the poor creature inside. She put her hands on her hips victoriously. The Weewoo looked sad, however. It went against the corner and sang its haunting melody sadly, but it was a short “Woo...”
Leena scoffed, held her head high, and went to her room. “I saved your life!” she shouted again before she left.
* * *
The next day after Leena rose, expecting to hear the Weewoo's song once more.
It was dead silent.
Leena ran to check on the Weewoo. It wasn't dead, thank goodness, but depressed. Its head was bent low and its feathers were out of place. Leena noticed she hadn't left him food or water, so she went to buy some supplies for it. She came back very happy, hoping the Weewoo would start to sing once it was joyous again.
But it didn't sing, even after Leena gave it food and water. Leena opened the Weewoo's cage and grabbed it tightly, making the poor Weewoo chirp in pain. “Shut!” said Leena angrily. She petted him rather foolishly on the head and ruffled it too. The Weewoo, looking furious, opened its beak and screeched the foulest and worst sound Leena had ever heard. It was high and hurt her eardrums. It was as irritating as a Mozito buzzing fast around her ears. She threw the Weewoo so she could cover her ears.
The Weewoo, having achieved what it wanted, flew away quickly once it was released. Leena realized her mistake and ran after it. The Weewoo began to fly higher and farther away until Leena suspected he had flown all the way to Mystery Island. She rested and began to pant, accepting defeat.
“All right!” she gasped, “Fine! Die! I don't care, I tried to save you from the evils of the world and you rejected me! I don't care!”
She began to walk back home, seeing many Weewoos along the way. They were in little packs. They were singing together.
“Wee...woo...” would sing a pack.
“Wee-woowoo-woo...” would reply another.
“Weewoo-woo...” another would say.
Leena sat for a moment and enjoyed the free music. She sighed and lay down in the sand. The ocean was hugging the beach. A frightening song played. The buzz of Krawk Island was in the background. “How peaceful! And those Weewoos, what would we do without them!” thought Leena. She remembered the reason she had held the Weewoo captive and sat up
“But they're in such danger, that's why I rescued the other one! They're so tiny and vulnerable, I must rescue them!” So Leena ran around the beach, attempting to catch one. But perhaps one of the Old Weewoo's friends had seen him being captured by a Pirate Lutari, and had told the other Weewoos to beware of said Neopet. They were now all flying away.
Leena ran after them. But they were all headed to the northern part of the island. It would take her at least half an hour to go all the way over there, and once they saw her they'd just fly away again, keeping the spirit of the game alive. So she stayed behind and sat down grumpily.
Then she heard it.
“Wee... woo... wee... woo...”
It was the song she had heard that day at the Golden Dubloon! Had the Old Weewoo come back? She looked to the sky and saw a speck doing pirouettes. It was flying majestically, showing off its grace and agility. It sang at the same time.
No, this wasn't just a song. It was a way of life! It was alive! The music wrapped Leena in its glorious warmth. It flirted with her ears and whispered to them. It found its way to her heart and made her fly!
When she looked up to see the source of joy, it wasn't the Old Weewoo. This one looked much younger. Its feathers were of rich, darker color. Against the sky, it looked like a diamond, sparkling and shining its eternal glory. She had picked the wrong Weewoo! This was the source of her joy, what made her feel so alive! She had to have this one. But how?
Leena ran to the Golden Dubloon and ordered plain bread on the spot. She paid and ran outside, waving the bread frantically so the petpet could notice it. Sure enough, it flew lower and began its beautiful song. Leena hooted and tore the bread apart, so the unsuspecting Weewoo would begin to peck at it and then, BAM, she would take it.
The Weewoo landed and began to eat the bread. One of the other Weewoos began to sing alarmingly and warningly (so maybe Leena's theory about the Weewoos had been correct!) to the foolish Weewoo. The Weewoo didn't pay attention and resumed eating. Slowly, Leena walked to it. Closer and closer until...
“Yes, I have you!” she said in victory. The Weewwo realized it had been tricked and tried to escape. Leena ran home, leaving the other Weewoos behind. She was sure they were mourning his loss with a depressed “Weewoo... woo...”
* * *
As she had done with the previous Weewoo, she put it in the cage. It looked sadly at its new surroundings, which caused Leena's temper to rise.
“Why don't you dumb Weewoos appreciate my good deeds? I'm saving your life, buddy!” The Weewoo looked up at her with innocent eyes. And it sang:
“Woowee-weewoo-weewoo-weewoo...” It was a depressing song. Leena almost felt like crying. The Weewoo probably was already, but not with tears; in song. Leena sniffed and left the Weewoo, muttering, “I saved your life.”
* * *
Leena checked on the Weewoo the next day. The food was barely touched and the water clean. The Weewoo was asleep, sighing softly as it breathed out. The sight was calming and even cute. Leena tapped on the cage, waking the bird up.
“Sing!” she said.
The Weewoo looked drowsily at her and sang shortly. “Weewoowoo.”
“That's all?” she asked incredulously. The Weewoo went back to sleep, looking sadder. Leena frowned and left the Weewoo alone.
She came back a while later, around noon. The wild Weewoos that could easily be injured were most active around this time. Leena expected her Weewoo to burst into song. She saw the Weewoo in its cage looking gloomy but persistent. She sat down in front of its cage and looked at it expectingly.
“Well?” she asked.
The Weewoo hopped twice and sang its heart out. This time, Leena didn't feel secure and embraced by love. No, this song was full of longing. The song cried into her shoulder and she cried too.
When the Weewoo stopped, Leena was in tears. The Weewoo probably was too. Leena looked angrily at it. “You're supposed to sing happy things, not that!” She sniffed greatly and ran crying.
* * *
Leena was in a meadow. She was lying down among the sweet-smelling flowers, the sky bright, the air light: a perfect day. She then saw a Weewoo fly, singing even more powerfully and better. She knew she had to rescue this one. She was about to spring up but couldn't. Her hands were attached to chains that were tied to the ground! How? She gasped and tugged at them.
The Weewoo up in the air flew down and landed gracefully in front of her, looking smug. “Help!” said Leena to it, desperately. It chirped, but it sounded like laughter.
“You really think I'm going to free you, when you have done this to my brethren too?” asked the Weewoo.
Leena gasped. “You talk?”
The Weewoo nodded. “You've been trapping us because you believe we're better off that way. You are wrong, dear Lutari. My kind has survived for generations, and never once have we had to depend on Neopets for survival. Nature has done us good, thank you very much. We sing of freedom, not of captivity. We need to be free to be jolly. You might mean good, but you're disturbing our environment; unbalancing nature's balance. We sing of freedom...”
The Weewoo began to sing of freedom. It told a tale of jewel blue oceans in which they soared above; grassy meadows they hid in; the songs they sang of pure joy; the sweet, nectar-like taste of freedom. Leena cried.
“I'm so sorry!” she wailed. “I thought I meant well!”
The Weewoo smiled wisely. “Ah, when you become the victim and not the attacker, your whole point of view changes, does it not?” Its eyes seemed to twinkle with amusement. “Do not stop our ways of life. We can live by ourselves just fine. Join us in our songs of freedom, not put an end to them.”
With that, the Weewoo vanished and Leena woke up to hear the Weewoo singing happily. Leena rushed to where she kept the Weewwo and grabbed the cage. She ran outside. The sun hadn't risen yet, and she opened the cage and let the bird fly free. It did a few somersaults in the air and flew around her, as if in thanks.
It flew away, singing its song of freedom. And Leena joined in.