Today was very special for Berkley and his family. Today
was the day that his brother Alec had been created and he had been adopted. The
two Kougras were so glad to be brothers -- they had so much fun together. Every
year, their owner Jamie would go to different shops in the bazaar and buy some
gifts to have on their special day. The family wasn't rich, but they always managed
to have a good time.
"I'm going to do a bit of shopping today," said
Jamie, rising from the breakfast table. She turned to her boys, "You guys can
start decorating and when I get back we'll start our party."
Berkley and Alec whooped and cheered as they ran off
to get the streamers and party hats. Jamie tucked a small sack of Neopoints
into her coat pocket, said goodbye and strolled out the door. When she got to
the bazaar she stopped at the gift shop first. Just as she got in the door,
a red Scorchio greeted her with a smile.
Jamie looked along the back wall behind the counter
and something caught her eye. It was a multicolored jacket, with a picture of
the popular band, 'Chomby and the Fungus Balls' on the front. It looked so warm,
and since it was still cold, two jackets would make great presents for Berkley
and Alec. Last year for their family party, Jamie took the boys to see that
concert in Tyrannia, and ever since they loved to hear that music.
"Could you show me that jacket that's hanging up in the center?"
When the Scorchio brought down the jacket Jamie loved it.
It was so warm and comfortable-perfect for Berkley and Alec. Leaving satisfied
with the two new jackets folded into a bag, Jamie made her way over to Uni's
Clothing to find something for herself. As she opened the door, bells jingled.
Jamie looked around, admiring the pretty clothing on the racks, and deciding
what she would buy. New T-shirt? Hat? Scarf? What I really need are some
new boots to wear when it's rainy... Jamie thought. She crossed the store
to look in the shoe department. She tried on several pairs before she picked
a stylish black pair and slipped those on. A perfect fit! Jamie took them to
the counter where she faced a beautiful blue Uni who was wearing an orange scarf
and shades. She looked like she knew good style. The Uni rang up the Wellington
boots. They were 500 Neopoints.
For Jamie, that was an expensive present. But, since today
was special, Jamie decided to splurge, and she bought them anyway. She left
the store and sat down on a bench, resting and watching the other Neopets saunter
by. Jamie tried to think of anything else they could have for their anniversary
party. Seeing the bakery, Jamie looked down at her feet where the bags rested
and wondered if she should get a treat for them to eat after dinner. That sounded
good, especially since they didn't get treats very often.
So she decided to stop at the bakery and she bought an Iced
Vanilla Kougra cake. It looked so scrumptious that Jamie couldn't wait to get
home to show Berkley and Alec what she had gotten for them this year. This evening
was going to be wonderful! With no more Neopoints left, she began to make her
It was getting chilly, so Jamie pulled her jacket snuggly
around her. She spent so much time in each shop that she didn't realize how
late it had gotten! She clutched the bag with the cake in it tighter -- in fear
that she'd drop it and it would be ruined. The walk home was horrible! The wind
was so fierce that it blew right through her coat and she shivered. To make
things even worse, it started to drizzle. Pressing on, she squinted down the
nearly abandoned street. There was a dark forest, which looked like a good way
to go -- the dense trees would help shelter her from the wind.
The forest was actually the park, but since it was dark,
it was hard to tell. Jamie's face was cold and her nose felt numb. Her hands
were tucked into her sleeves to keep them from getting stiff. Since the cold
was slowing her down, Jamie's head raced with thoughts: I hope Berkley and
Alec don't worry I'm lost... I'm getting hungry -- that cake will taste heavenly
after dinner! A small figure in front of her interrupted her thoughts.
It looked like a Kyrii. What's a Kyrii doing out here all alone? Doesn't
she have a family to go home to? The Kyrii stood very still...
"Come on, I won't hurt you," Jamie cooed. The Kyrii
hesitantly came over and Jamie noticed that she looked ragged.
"You should be home and out of the cold."
The Kyrii shook her head, "My friends and I don't have
homes," she mumbled and she looked down at her feet.
So this was a homeless pet. The Neopet's feet looked
half-frozen from walking around in the rain. Jamie reached into her bag and
pulled out her pair of Wellington Boots.
"Wear these if you're going to be walking in the rain,"
"Oh, thanks!" squealed the Kyrii and she slipped on
the boots and ran off in the opposite direction. Before Jamie could think about
what happened, she stopped. She had heard something, like a tiny voice. She
turned to her left to see a figure huddled on a park bench -- no wait, two Wockys
that were clinging to each other. They looked up at Jamie with big eyes.
"Please..." the larger Wocky was saying, "My sister
and I are very cold. C-Could you spare a blanket or something?"
Jamie looked down at them. She was about to say, "No,
sorry, I don't have anything," when she remembered the two 'Chomby and the Fungus
Balls' jackets. She looked at them for a long time, thinking about what would
happen if she gave them the jackets. Her boots and the jackets would be gone,
then. At least we'd still have the cake... Jamie thought and she felt
so much pity that she withdrew the bag from under her jacket and pulled out
Berkley and Alec's jackets. Both Wockys gasped with delight and eagerly put
the jackets on, stammering their thanks.
Jamie smiled and murmured, "You're welcome," before
she started off again. It felt good to something nice for them. She just wouldn't
tell the boys about the jackets. They could still eat the cake and be happy.
And it felt good to do something good for these pets, even if that meant hardly
anything for her family. But right now, that was okay. Now, Jamie was almost
out of the park. She could see the clearing!
Jamie stopped and turned around, realizing that she
had passed someone.
"We're all very hungry," a Techo was speaking, "We
haven't eaten for days. Do you have anything you can give us?"
Jamie sighed and said, "I'm sorry, I don't have anything."
The Neopets began to turn away. There were so many
of them -- a Buzz, Techo, Zafara, Shoyru, Acara and an Aisha. They were all
so thin that their bones were showing. It looks like one gust of wind would
blow them all away. They all got up and moved way from her, searching the ground
for food. Jamie made up her mind,
"Wait... wait, I... just remembered. I do have... one
thing..." Jamie slowly and reluctantly pulled out the Iced Vanilla Kougra Cake.
The Neopets cheered and surrounded her in a big hug, thanking her over and over
again. As Jamie turned to leave, they tore into the cake and exclaimed how good
The cake was gone. Jamie had nothing to give Berkley
and Alec. Thinking that things couldn't get any worse, Jamie heard a voice behind
It was a Zafara from the group whom Jamie had given
the cake to. She must have run all the way here to meet her.
"Ma'am... you gave all of my friends something that
you bought for your family."
Jamie wondered how the Zafara could possibly know that
all of the items were for her family. The Zafara continued, "You have been blessed
with the gift of giving. The others and I are grateful for your benevolence.
So we have one thing to give to you in return." And from behind her back she
withdrew an old green fuzzle with matted fur and only one eye. It meant something
great to them.
It is that item that Jamie displayed on her nightstand
when she got home. It is that item that Jamie uses to tell the story to her
boys about the night when she decided to cut through the park. It is that item
that reminds Jamie, Berkley and Alec of the gift of giving.