Adventures and Such at Camp Batterfly: Part One
And now for a summer story, in the midst of winter.
"Will you hurry up?" shouted Zita's owner, Lenka. "We're going to be late!"
Zita had refused to wake up at 6 AM on the first day of summer on principle. Now she was sorely regretting it. They were already twenty minutes behind schedule, and the blue Moehog hadn't even finished packing yet. Toothpaste and shampoo were thrown in on top of her stationary kit, and on top of that went a hairbrush, seven pairs of over-the-ankle socks, and her Terror Mountain team cap. Now if it only the suitcase would close.
In the other room, Lenka sat with Zita's brother, Pavol, looking periodically at her watch and gasping. The Eyrie cab had been waiting outside so long she had invited them inside for refreshments.
"ZITA!" she shouted.
Zita, who had now miraculously closed her suitcase, now faced the daunting task of moving it onto the cab.
Outside Zita's house, the entire neighborhood looked in a jovial mood. It was the first day of summer! Of course, where they lived it didn't look much like summer. The temperature was still below freezing and there was still a layer of snow on the ground. But that was to be expected when you lived in Happy Valley. Everywhere people, including Zita, were packing up suitcases to go somewhere warmer. Some were off to Altador to watch the Cup, some to Mystery Island to relax on the beach, but not Zita. Zita was headed to the woodlands outside of Neopia Central for six weeks of Faellie Scout Camp.
She took one last look at herself in the mirror before heading off. She wore her Faellie Scout uniform, a tan sash, blue shirt, and tan pants, and her orange hair was tied up in a blue bandana. She smiled to herself, even though she didn't quite feel like smiling. She dragged her suitcase into the sitting room.
"Finally!" said Lenka, rolling not only her eyes but her whole head, "Hendrik, Gianna," she said to the Eyries, "Finish up you coffee, it's time to go."
Zita hauled her suitcase onto the cab, with no help from Lenka or Pavol ("If you bring it, you carry it.") and took a seat next to it. She sighed.
It wasn't that Zita didn't want to go to camp. She had been reading and rereading the brochure since Lenka had signed her up in February. There was swimming, cookouts, archery! It sounded like so much fun! She was just a little nervous, that was all. No one she knew was going to camp. The camp director had even mentioned in one of her letters that they barely ever got campers from Terror Mountain. Not one of her friends was going with her.
The ride took about an hour or two, Zita wasn't keeping track. Check in time was 10:00, and Zita figured she's be late no matter what. As they flew the snow got thinner and thinner until there was none, and the sun got brighter and hotter. Now it felt like summer. Zita began to see the rainbow as they flew over Roo Island.
"You'll keep me up to date on the Altador Cup, right?" Zita asked her owner and brother. "I expect daily letters on the results."
"Sure thing," said Pavol.
"And if a plot comes along, you'll make sure I don't miss it, right?"
"We'll try," said Lenka.
Soon, Zita began to see Neopia Central bellow her. The cab brushed the top of the Money Tree as they flew by. That meant they were almost at camp. A few moments later, they touched down at Camp Batterfly. They were met my a plushie Buzz wearing a staff uniform.
"Hello, I'm Flower. Name, please?" the Buzz said pleasantly.
"Zita," Lenka said, before Zita had a chance.
"Zita, Zita, Zita," said Flower, leafing through the papers on her clipboard, "Ah, yes, welcome to Camp Batterfly, Zita. You're in Oak Ledge."
Zita didn't know what that meant, and it was very apparent on her face. The Buzz took notice.
"Oak Ledge is your unit," said Flower, "It's where your cabin is located and it's the group you'll be doing all your activities with."
Zita said, "Oh."
"Bye Zita!" Lenka cried, with so much emotion it made Zita slightly embarrassed. Pavol said goodbye much more calmly. Zita hugged both of them and then let Flower lead her away.
Flower led her through the camp, presumably on the was to Oak Ledge, pointing out what everything was.
"That's the mess hall, where we eat," said Flower, pointing at a large building. "The field, where we play games."
Finally, they made it to a cluster of picnic benches under a pavilion, with a sign that said, "Oak Ledge." Under it, two pets with counselor uniforms were playing cards.
"I've got another one fore you," said Flower.
The two pets looked up.
"This is Zita," said Flowers. The two pets nodded, and one of them checked something off a list.
"Hello Zita, I'm Thornberry, " said a red Kougra.
"And I'm Lightmite," said an eventide Uni, "We're your counselors. Your cabin is number four." She gestured to the cabins, which were slightly down the hill.
Both of her cabin mates had chosen the top bunks, so Zita was stuck with one of the bottom ones. She chose the one on the right for no particular reason. She rolled out her blankets and plopped her pillow on the stop. She dragged her suitcase under the bed. She wondered who her cabin mates were.
Soon enough, a wide-eyed starry Techo stuck her head in the door.
"Cabin mate!" she hollered.
"Hello," said Zita, "I'm Zita."
"I'm Marissa," said the wide-eyed Techo, "My bunk's right above yours!"
Zita looked up and nodded in a friendly way.
"Our counselor says you're from Terror Mountain!" said Marissa, "That's so cool! I'm just from boring Neopia Central."
Marissa looked close to fainting with excitement. With her wide-eyed stare, she looked like she could be related to the Techo Fan.
Marissa looked over her shoulder, "There's our other cabin buddy now!"
A purple Ixi walked up behind Marissa.
"Zita this is Deanna," said Marissa, gesturing from one pet to the other, "Deanna this is Zita."
Zita said, "Hello."
"I'm not a purple Ixi, by the way," said Deanna, "I'm actually a royal Ixi, but my owner wouldn't let me bring my royal clothes to camp."
Zita nodded in a friendly way.
"It's so great to meet both of you!" said Marissa, "This is my fourth year at camp and I'm so excited!
"It's my second," said Deanna, "I remember you vaguely from last year."
"I think I remember you vaguely too," said Marissa. The two stared intensely at each other, trying to recollect.
"This is my first year," said Zita shyly.
Their counselor, Thornberry, knocked on their cabin and said, "If you're all unpacked you can head over to lunch!"
"Oh boy, lunch!" shouted Marissa. Zita didn't think it was possible for the Techo to get any more excited. Zita didn't quite remember how to get to the mess hall, so she followed Marissa and Deanna.
Waiting for them at the entrance to the Mess Hall was a yellow Jubjub with a counselor's uniform wearing a mischievous grin. The entire camp was gathered around her.
"If your birthday is in June, you can go in," said the counselor.
The pets with June birthdays ran past her. Neither Zita nor Marissa nor Deanna had a June birthday, so they were stuck waiting.
"If you have a March birthday, you can go in," said the counselor.
More pets rushed past. Zita and her cabin mates were still left waiting.
"If you have a May birthday..."
That was Zita! The Moehog rushed in and took a seat at an empty table. The seat she took said "Toter" on it. She didn't know what toter meant, but she sat down anyway.
In a few moments, all the birthdays were called and all the campers made their way in. Marissa and Deanna came in one after another. Both were called over by friends to sit at different tables. Zita's table was filled with pets she didn't know. They paid no attention to her and talked amongst each other.
Soon, it was announced that the food was ready. Zita picked up her utensils and got ready to chow down. When no food arrive, she looked around at her table mates. All the pets at her table were looking at her.
"Toter, go," said one Lenny impatiently.
"Wait, what?" said Zita, confused.
"Toter has to tote, or bring, the food," said a Yurble.
"Oh," said Zita. "Sorry." She looked over to where the other toters were going and followed them. She followed them to where the food was being dropped off from the kitchen, and was last in line. She felt really embarrassed.
Finally she got to the front of the line. She was handed a plate of bread and cold cuts. The plate was so big, she could barely carry it. The giant plate rocked back in forth in her hands and she swayed and sashayed back to the table.
"Where's the water?" asked an Aisha.
"Water?" Zita looked around at the other toters, who were all carrying pitcher of water. "Oh."
Zita, embarrassed shuffled back to the kitchen and grabbed a pitcher of water.
For the rest of lunch, Zita didn't say a word. She only ate half a sandwich. When lunch was over, she watched the others do their jobs closely, desperate not to be made a fool of again at dinner. Scraper scraped all the food onto one plate. Stacker poured all the water into one cup and stacked all the cups. Washer washed the table. As soon as she saw all the other toters doing it, she took all of the plates and brought them back into the kitchen. They were soon after dismissed.
She was met outside by Lightmite and Thornberry. Standing by them were Marissa and Deanna and a bunch of other pets that were also in Oak Ledge. Zita wondered what they might be doing next, and if she were going to make a fool of herself again.
To be continued...