750 Reasons For The Neopian Times
The room buzzed with activity as students in Ms. Robin's third grade class were getting ready to start their day at Brightvale school. A tiny little blue Korbat sat down in the corner, her nose buried in a comic book. She was reading up on the latest adventures of handsome Hanso and Bri, when a paw reached in front of her and snatched it away. Lily was about to protest when she saw it was Charlie, the red Yurble, and his friend Gary, the blue Xweetok. They smirked as she leaped up and tried to it back.
"Haha, sorry you can't reach it dork-a-saurus. Why don't you fly up and get it?" Charlie laughed, as Gary held her back. She let out a cry as his paw brushed her broken left wing. The little Xweetok stopped and looked at her, concern on his face but only for a second. A shadow was looming over them and it belonged to their teacher. She sighed as Lily sniffed and the two bullies ducked their heads.
"Seems like we've been playing a bit too rough now, right boys? I want you to apologize to Ms. Jenning and leave her alone until you can be friendly. You'll also be spending recess writing three paragraphs of why bullying is not allowed. Now, all of you back to your desks. We're going to be doing something very fun in a minute but I need you all to be listening and paying attention. It has to do with the 750th celebration. "
She shooed the two boys away and knelt down beside Lily. Placing her yellow Gelert paws on her shoulders, and looked kindly into the teary brown eyes of the small Korbat . "Everything going okay at home?"
Lily sighed and tried not to roll her eyes. That's all anyone would talk about ever since she was adopted out of foster care and into a permanent home. Her full name had the usual numbers and letters at the end . Lily_88888999www22 was not a good name, yet the young man who adopted her, George, was keen on making sure she had a good home and family. It wasn't that she wasn't grateful, having a bad wing, name, and all, but did her family members have to be so weird? She realized she hadn't answered the question so she blushed and muttered "it's fine," and rushed off to the front row. Ms. Robin sighed and shook her head. She wanted to help each and every pet she could, but how was that possible?
Returning to the board she wrote in golden chalk "750 Ways To Celebrate The Neopian Times." Turning back around, she looked at the sea of twenty little faces all waiting on the edges of wooden, polished desks . She cleared her throat and spoke.
"Now this isn't any just ordinary issue, my young pupils, this is a 150s issue and I want you to help me come up with ideas for the celebration festival occurring in two weeks in Neopia Central. Any ideas?"
A very quiet, but smart grey Uni raised her hand. "Maybe we could write letters to the Neopian times about what makes it so special and how it helps us in our daily lives?"
The other children thought it was a great idea all except for Gary and Lily. Both were bad spellers and both were in the lower groups for reading and writing. Lily slumped in her seat. How would she be able to do this?~**~
A few days later, back at home, there was a knock on the door, but before the curly, brown hair and dark brown skinned, twenty four-year-old could answer, out popped in three pets, all Ixis. The triplets fell into a laughing heap on the floor as a not amused mutant Usul, named Julian, came though the door. He grabbed the oldest, ten year old Jake, a snow Ixi, and gave him a good shake. Anna and Alice laughed as they squirted Julian with water guns that had been hidden behind their backs. He shouted at them and chased the squealing Christmas and Disco Ixis up the stairs. Loud crashing and a yelp was heard as Teddy, a five year old blue Gelert bolted down the stairs and leaped into his dad's arms. He sniffed and buried his face in the young man's neck. George let a sigh and gestured for Lily to come in too. She was holding Dee-Dee, the 6 year old baby Cybunny's hand. Due to a growth problem, she wasn't much bigger than an average baby. But that never stopped the hyper little girl from doing things her way.
Lily sighed and let Dee-Dee run ahead. It had been almost a week and she still couldn't think of what to do for her assignment. How was she going to get a good grade?
George held Teddy while sitting on the living room couch and gestured for her to come over. He smiled as she walked over and plopped down beside him, avoiding eye contact. This didn't stop him from placing a free hand on her shoulder. She tried to stop from crying but tears soon spilled from her eyes. All three sat quietly for a minute before the stampede came tumbling back downstairs. Alice, the most motherly one of the group, despite being a troublemaker, came over to hold her hand and wipe her tears. Jake and Anna stood by awkwardly, not sure what to say. Even Dee-Dee and Teddy didn't act up or start crying either.
Finally Lily calmed down enough to explain she was having the hardest time trying to come up with a letter for her assignment. All nodded and listened. This was the first time she'd seen them all this quiet. Her snuffling ceased as Anna lifted her off the couch and gave her a hug.
"Hey now, we'll help you figure something out. Why don't we try to brainstorm?"
Julian nodded and handed her a tissue. "Why not write about all those recipes you come up with?"
"Or how you're a great addition to this family?" added Anna.
"What about how kind you are and what a good artist you are becoming? Maybe you could submit something like a comic!" Shouted an excitable Dee-Dee.
Jake smiled and said, "You could do all that, and whatever else you want little chickadee."
Lily was trying to fight the urge to hug every member of her family as George, Alice, and Teddy yelled, "Or how crazy we are!"
She laughed as Alice handed her a piece of starry stationary. She had a lot to go on, but would this letter be any good? ~**~
The festival was bursting with pets and humans as Lily tried to navigate through the hustle and bustle. She had to stop now and then to rub her sore, broken wing after a few to many crashes with other pedestrians. Sandwiched between a booth selling food, and another with used books, were the letters on a that had made it from the third grade classes. No one was going to be alerted to who had got into the issue until the day of celebration. She tried to push apart the group of youngsters crowed around the stand. She was pushed and shoved back, almost hitting the street before being caught by Gary. She let out a weak whimper and started to shake. What was he going to do to her now?
Gary looked sad as he helped her up. He cleared his throat and held up a laminated copy of a starry letter. Lily, forgetting her frightfulness for a second, recognized it as her own. It read:
Dear Neopian Staff,
I'm not sure what you're expecting or what you think is great for the Neopian times. I'm just a simple, blue Korbat with a bad wing. But please hear me out. It's not just one thing that makes Neopia so special, it's everything that does. I was orphaned and left at the pound for a year and a half, but I was recently adopted by my dad George, and he is the greatest dad ever. He took me in even though I was little, had bad stats, a horrible name, and a damaged wing. Though I'm not the only one in his family. There's the triplets, Alice, Anna, and Jake, who are always getting into trouble. Then Julian, smart and wise, and Teddy, scared and cute and lastly, Dee-dee, who is pretty great too.
I know you're expecting a more exciting and great letter, but it's my family, hobbies, activities, and all the wonderful opportunities presented in the world of Neopia that make it so special. It's the way I can be myself and not worry about leaving my forever home. I don't have a friend to call my own yet, or 750 reasons why I should get in , but it's just that great to read the news, though I stink at reading and spelling when I write. Maybe my life's not perfect, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.
My kindest regards,
Gary watched silently as tears poured down her face. Attached to it was a nice message from a Wocky writer, who said she was a inspiring Neopian, who will one day find her voice and that hopefully someone will hear it when it's published the 750th issue, kids section of course.
Her knees buckled and she fell to the ground. The blue Xweetok handed her a tissue and smiled kindly, but nervously at her.
"I'm real sorry for picking on you all the time. It's just that things are rough at home and I was mad. I'm actually pretty jealous of you Lily. You've got a great family, good grades, and always seem so happy. I'm just glad you got in. You deserve it."
Lily only could nod as she gave him a hug. Maybe he wasn't perfect either, but he seemed to truly mean what he said.
Gary smiled and wiped the rest of her tears away, "If you ever need a friend I'm here. I hope I'm okay enough."
She smiled wide and giggled, "I think you'll make a good friend. You seem like a good guy. Why don't we go get a fresh baked donut ? They are only 75 neopoints!"
The two children ran off and enjoyed the rest of the night. It was a truly amazing 750th celebration.