Transformations in Time
T he Kacheek watched as the tiny Glyme crawled across the green leaf, nibbling away at its jagged edges, leaving behind a trail of thick slime.
“Yuck…” she muttered in disgust. “It’s eating Holly's favourite plant again.”
Reaching out, she plucked the Glyme off the leaf and cringed as it squirmed in her hand, the slime dribbling down her paw. Shuddering, she flicked the Glyme off, and it landed onto the pavement with a silent thud. There, it lay wriggling violently, its hairy green body thrashing from side to side in a vain attempt to find the leaf once more.
“You’re so ugly…” she whispered under her breath. Standing up, she lifted her foot and prepared to crush the helpless creature that dared invade her sister's beloved plant.
“Callie, wait!” a voice caused her to freeze, her foot hovering mere inches above the Glyme. “Holly?” she called out in surprise, as the pink Kacheek came running out of the house.
“Leave it alone, Cal,” she said gently, easing the spotted Kacheek away from Glyme. “Live and let live; it’s not done anything wrong!”
“But…it was eating your plant!” she protested, pointing at the plant. Where the Glyme had eaten away the leaves and flowers, sunlight filtered glaringly through the large jagged holes. “It’s your favourite plant…and look how it has ruined it! How can you say that ugly little creature didn't do anything wrong?"
Holly gazed at the plant for a moment. “Hey…it is alright. The damage can be repaired, and the plant will grow again. But you can’t say that it is ugly, alright? Do you remember the story of the ugly duckling? It was thought to look horrible once but later grew into a beautiful white swan.”
“Yes…but that’s just a story, isn’t it? How will this…thing grow into a swan?”
“Why don’t we wait and find out?” Holly replied with a grin. Picking up the Glyme, she carefully placed it back on the plant. The Glyme happily resumed its chomping of the leaf.
"Now, if I'm right about this little thing, it will take about a week to transform into something beautiful. That is, after it has had its fill."
Callie raised an eyebrow, not quite believing what she was hearing. "Where'd you hear that from?"
"Oh, from one of the books or encyclopedias I've read. In any case, why don't we just wait and see?"
Callie shrugged, watching as the Glyme crawled over to a purple flower and began nibbling its petals. "Well, if you wish… I'll leave it alone then."
Holly smiled, patting the spotted Kacheek on her back. "Come on now, let's go get a cup of Borovan, shall we?"
The days passed, and before Callie knew it, a week was gone.
As fast as her little feet could carry her, Callie scurried over to the plant - or rather, what was left of it. As she neared the plant, she stopped short, taking in the sight before her. Its drooping stem stood mournfully in the pot, its once-proud array of violet flowers and glossy leaves now lost to the pits of the Glyme's stomach. I hope you're worth it, Callie muttered. To lose such a beautiful plant to this… I have no idea what Holly's thinking.
Peering closer at the disheveled plant, Callie spotted a tiny brown form clinging to a lone green branch.
"What's this?" Reaching out with a finger, she was about to prod the strange brown thing when Holly suddenly popped out beside her.
"No, Cal! Don't touch it!"
Callie jumped almost tripping over her tail. "You could have warned me you were coming, you know," she grumbled.
"Sorry," Holly apologized. "That's called a pupa, where the Glyme will remain for quite some time. It is now in its intermediate stage before its final transformation. If you accidentally break it, then it won't be able to transform anymore."
A sudden thought occurred to Callie. "Is that why there are so many Glymes around in Neopia?"
"That may well be the case. Glyme's aren't that well-loved either by us Neopians or by our petpets,
especially since they do destroy gardens and all. It's kind of sad, really, when you think about it."
Callie frowned. "Come to think of it, I haven't seen any of these so-called…transformed Glymes. Are you sure you know what you're doing?"
The pink Kacheek merely laughed. "Yes, dear Callie. Just wait and see!"
The days passed by, and both Kacheeks regularly checked upon the little brown pupa in anticipation for the Glyme to emerge. As the days stretched past, Callie found herself getting more and more excited about what they would eventually find hidden within the pupa. Would it truly be different from the slimy creature it once had been? Would it leave them alone, and terrorize their gardens no more? Only time would tell.
Each and every day, Callie would peer closely at the pupa, straining her eyes in a bid to see what exactly was happening within the pupa. Alas, the opaque hazel tint of the shell effectively prevented her from seeing anything. It would seem, that she would only find out when the Glyme came out from its pupa. When that time was, however, remained unknown.
The day finally came when the Glyme was to emerge. The crack in its shell was first noticed by Callie, who immediately called Holly to her side.
"Look, look! It's coming out, it's finally coming out!" Callie cried out in excitement, bouncing up and down.
Indeed, a thin hairline crack had formed from the long side of the shell. A soft crackling sound reached their ears, as another appeared. Tiny flakes of brown drifted from the pupa and down into the soil below. The pupa began to tremble back and forth, showering more and more flecks of brown down below. Slowly but surely, a hole was beginning to emerge. Then, after what seemed like a long while, a tiny pair of feelers peeked out from the hole. A tiny black body followed. And on that body grew a delicate pair of rainbow wings which glistened brightly in the light of the scarlet dusk. The little creature hopped out, and shivered once before spreading its wings out as if it, too, was proud at what it had now become. The translucent wings glittered like gemstones, the wingspan spreading far beyond the size of its tiny body, the rainbow tinge blending like the colors in a kaleidoscope.
"Wow," Callie finally managed. "It does look quite beautiful."
"Indeed," Holly agreed. "Very much different from the creature it was before, wouldn't you say?"
"Yeah," Callie nodded. "Hm… are all petpetpets like this, Holly?"
Holly shrugged. "That I don't know. But it wouldn't hurt to try, would it?"
The Kacheeks fell into silence as the winged creature took off from the branch. There in the sky, it hovered for a moment, darting here and there. Then, inexplicably, they heard a tiny voice, clear as a bell.
Silently, it rose higher into the air. A zephyr caught it in mid-flight, and with the warm rays of the setting sun reflecting off its gossamer wings, they watched as it fluttered and disappeared into the distance.