Poledra stretched and yawned groggily as she woke up. She
flexed her muscles a few times and worked her claws. She was ready. Today was
going to be the day she sat with the popular pets at lunch.
She crawled out of bed and padded over to her
mirror. She seated herself in her furry chair, and turned her attention toward
her reflection. Looking out of the mirror back at her was a beautiful shadow
Gelert, ears alert and mouth curled into a excited grin. "Today is the day,"
she whispered to herself. Poledra shuddered with excitement and anticipation.
"Today is the day".
She wiped the sleep out of her eyes with a damp
cloth and pawed at her fur to make sure it looked just right for the special
occasion, and then made her way towards the kitchen. Her two brothers and sister
were already seated, watching as their owner, Arula, fixed their breakfast.
Poledra felt the delicious aromas reach her nostrils as she pranced in lightly.
Poledra sat at the round table between her sister,
a desert Kyrii named Kyriio, and her older brother, a blue Lupe named Nagru.
Across from her sat her younger brother, a blue Zafara named Belzarath.
Arula passed out breakfast, hot off the skillet.
Her family looked eagerly at their juicy sphinx links, hot rolls smothered in
butter, and tigersquash cappuccinos. Poledra chewed thoughtfully as she daydreamed
her own excited ideas. She could see the popular pets accept her at once. How
could she be refused? She was painted, had a painted sister, and was a very
beautiful Gelert. She fixed her posture, feeling more important because of own
"You look nice, Poledra. Anything special happening
at school?" Arula commented, noticing the special hairdo and extreme pride in
the Gelert's air.
"Today I'm going to sit with the poplar pets,"
Poledra announced proudly, a smug smile creeping into her features. Each time
she said it, she believed herself more and more. She was going to sit with the
popular pets. Today.
"Hmm" Arula fell deep into her own thoughts.
The family continued to eat silently for the next ten minutes. Today she was
going to sit with the popular pets. She would be popular too. The most well
known Gelert in the whole school. Poledra the Perfect. She liked the
sound of that.
She passed the school day eyeing the clock,
waiting for the lunch bell. Even during art she didn't pay attention to her
surrounding world. Her eyes stood transfixed as the second-hand crept nearer
and nearer to its destination. Ding, ding, ding!
Poledra snatched up her Lupe Warrior lunch box
and raced out of grammar class. She stopped by in the bathroom quickly to fix
her hair. Perfect, she thought as she smoothed it back. She headed at
a walking pace for the outdoor lunch tables, not wanting to disturb her hair.
Her siblings and friends were sitting at a table
together talking amongst themselves. Diagonal from them was the popular table,
seated at which was THE most popular pet; a Faerie Acara named Sage. Around
her sat a fire ixi, striped Eyrie and many other beautifully painted pets. They
gossiped together with an air of excitement. She gasped in awe as her eyes swept
in wide-eyed wonder over the table. The popular pets and a vacant seat. She
couldn't believe her luck. Poledra prayed that her shadow painting would make
a statement as she approached casually.
Poledra began to sit down in the empty seat
when Sage stopped her.
"Excuse me, but what do you think you're doing?"
Sage snapped, fluttering her beautiful wings threateningly.
"I was just going to sit down," Poledra countered.
She tried to hide her extreme disappointment. She thought she would be immediately
accepted. What could possibly be wrong with her?
Sage ran her paw through her butter-colored
hair. The smooth complexion of her face wrinkled in anger as she responded,
"Not here you won't. Only the cool pets can sit here. Got that? Now run
along and play your little baby games."
Poledra's anger overcame her surprise. She could
feel the anger boil inside her. "I'm sitting here", she half growled though
gritted teeth. Calm down, she thought, don't blow it, not this soon.
Sage's eyes rolled as she explained in an almost
bored (and quite exasperated) tone, "Look, in order to sit here you have to
pass The Test. There are three parts. Fail two out of three, you loose. Okay.
Part one; you."
Poledra's eyes narrowed in anticipation as Sage
"You were found abandoned in Terror Mountain,
if I recall, not able to sneak a thing past the Snowager." Sage paused for a
bit of dramatic effect before she continued, "You're still alive, and the first
in your family to be painted, so I'll give you a D. Pass."
Poledra grimaced as she was reminded of her
past. She had been abandoned as a pup, freezing and dying in Terror Mountain.
She tried to sneak food from the Snowager's treasure, but always came out empty
pawed. She would be dead if Arula hadn't found her when she did.
Sage ignored Poledra's change in expression.
"Part two, your family." Sage shot a nasty look at the table diagonal from her.
Belzarath and Kyriio were holding a food fight among themselves, laughing as
they did so. "F." Sage growled with extreme distaste.
Poledra felt the fury rise inside her once again,
and used all her brainpower to control her actions. Her instincts were screaming
at Sage, but Poledra did her best to ignore them.
"Finally, part three. Your best friend. Christmas
Lupe, right? Well, give him a little tip for me." She leaned in closer to Poledra
for full effect as she whispered, just loud enough for her friends to hear,
"Christmas paintbrushes are totally outdated…"
Sage didn't have time to continue. Poledra's
anger had finally been released at the crude mention of her best friend. "LEAVE
THEM ALONE!" Poledra snarled at Sage, slamming her lunch box on the table and
nearly denting it. The image of her sharp, pearly teeth were reflected in Sage's
wide eyes. The whole of the Neoschool had turned to watch.
Sage wasn't used to being stood up to, but she
got over the shock quickly, and sniggered amongst her friends, a hint of snarling
was audible amongst the laughter. She turned her head up to the sky, stuck out
her tongue, and mocked Poledra in a whiney, high-pitched voice, "Leave them
alone! Leave them alone!"
Just then, a Horus that had been flying overhead
dropped a big one -- right on Sage's outstretched tongue.
Authors Note: Just in case you were wondering, there is a moral to the
story. What goes around comes around. I'm sure you've heard it. And yes, this
story was based on true events.