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Neopedia : The Adventures of Dinki

"Now Dinki, you stay put, alright?" The Bruce bent down and patted the little Raindorf on the head. The little bell hanging around his neck gave a small, happy tinkle. "I've got to finish making these purchases before we head home," the Bruce continued as she turned back to the counter of the Slushie Shop.

The Raindorf sniffled slightly and glanced through the doorway of the shop. Outside, the snow lay glistening like a blanket, little drifts piled up here and there by the wind. Longingly, he cast a glance at his owner, who was still occupied with bargaining. With one more sniff, he made up his mind and dashed outside.

The snow was glorious! Dinki squealed with glee as he plunged into the cool, soft snow, bounding from drift to drift. Delighted, he leapt around, watching as his little hooves made prints in the ground. In fact, he was so busy watching the ground that he didn't notice where he was heading until he had bounded right up to a little cavernous hole in the mountain. Feeling adventurous, he only paused for a moment before plunging into the darkness.

Plip, plop! The slow dripping of water echoed somewhere above his head, but the Raindorf paid it no heed. He watched as his hooves left little wet prints glistening dimly in the cave. This was so fun! There were so many tunnels and caverns to explore.

After an hour, however, the outlook was not looking quite as pleasant. Tunnel after dark tunnel was looking the same, and he was getting very tired of running about. It was dark and cold, and he missed his owner terribly. Sniffling again, Dinki turned to go, when he realised something.

All the tunnels behind him looked the same.

Dinki squinted in the darkness, hoping to find his old tracks, but they had already dried and disappeared into the black ground. Plip, plop! The sound of dripping water echoed behind him again, but it sounded sinister and threatening this time. He was lost. Completely and utterly lost. Whimpering, the Raindorf dashed from one tunnel to the next, hoping to find an opening out somewhere, but not a peep of light showed up.

Plip, plop! The water was closer to him now, and he shivered. Plip, plop! Creeeeak! The noises were getting louder. Plip, plop! Sniff! Dinki suddenly paused. That last sound didn't sound like water. He perked up his floppy ears. Yes, there it was again. Someone was definitely in here with him! Lighting up, he skipped excitedly towards the sound until -- WHUMP! He crashed headlong into a wall of soft fur.

"Who's there?" a frightened voice asked in the darkness. "Hello?"

Shaking himself, Dinki peered up inquisitively. Crouched quivering in the corner, barely discernible in the dark, was a small Cybunny who had apparently been crying. She wiped a paw across her eyes as she saw him. "Oh, you're just a Raindorf," she sniffed. "Hello... are you lost?"

Dinki nodded with a small whimpering sound.

"I was feeling a little lost, too," the Cybunny agreed.

Dinki bobbed his head and nudged her with his antlers.

"You're wondering why I'm really here, aren't you?" the Cybunny asked. She patted him on the head thoughtfully. "It sounds really stupid, but it's because I just moved here. I have no friends here at all, and all the strangers around frightened me. So I fled here."

The Raindorf nuzzled her, the bell around his neck tinkling slightly. It was a welcome sound in the emptiness of the tunnels. Despite herself, the Cybunny smiled a little.

"What's that?" she asked. "You want to be friends?"

Dinki shook his head joyfully and bounded around her in circles. The Cybunny couldn't help but laugh. "It's a deal!" she said, petting his head. "Now as your new friend, the first thing I ought to do is help you find your way home!"

* * * * *

"Dinki!" The Raindorf looked up to see his beloved owner running across the snow, fins outstretched. "Dinki!" the Bruce cried again, sweeping him up into a hug. "Where on Neopia have you been? I've been searching everywhere for you! You should've stayed put like I told you to!"

Dinki was too happy to see her to mind the scolding. He nuzzled her joyfully as she gave him another little hug.

"Oh," the Bruce looked up to see the Cybunny hanging bashfully in the background. "You must be the one who found him! Thank you ever so much!"

"It was no problem," the Cybunny answered shyly.

"It's always lovely to meet new friends here," the Bruce continued. "Do join us for supper; we would love to have you!"

"I-- I'd love to," the Cybunny stammered gratefully after a moment's hesitation. Together, the three began to head home. Dinki gave one more joyful leap before he bounded after his owner. Over the quiet plains of snow echoed the lone sound of a tinkling bell.