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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 20th day of Swimming, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 149 > Continuing Series > Jungle Eyes: Part Three

Jungle Eyes: Part Three

by blubblub317

Also by chocolateisamust

*****

"Ayrauna!" A voice chirped, "I can't believe that you're going to meet Jhuidah so soon!"

      "I know," Ayrauna replied, grinning. She patted her little sister, Gemma, happily on the head. The Zafara then turned around toward her older sister, Alexa. "It'll be great, won't it?"

      Alexa nodded, not taking the time to glance away from her homework assignment. "Yeah," she murmured.

      Ayrauna shrugged, not caring around the lack of enthusiasm in Alexa's voice. That paper's probably just important, she decided.

      Turning back toward Gemma, Ayrauna widened the grin. "Can you believe that you yourself get to go in a few years as well?"

      Gemma clapped her paws. "Nope!" She exclaimed. "I can't believe it, but I'm still excited about it! Does that make sense?" She giggled.

      Ayrauna nodded. "Sure does!"

      "Ayrauna!" A voice sharply called from the other room. "You come here right this instant!"

      Ayrauna cringed; the voice, which belonged to her owner, sounded quite angry. Sighing, she waved slightly to Gemma, and then plodded out of the room.

*****

Ayrauna suddenly bolted up, sweating. Her dream was a scene that had taken place a few days ago. It had not really mattered; her owner had simply scolded her due to leaving her bedroom a mess. Why had it replayed in her mind?

      Groaning, the Zafara peered around the cave. A knapsack (presumably Carren's), a rocky seat, a tattered blanket, an empty space next to her, the mouth of the cave. Ayrauna's eyes shot back to the empty space next to her. Makiki had been lying there before!

      Ayrauna hopped to her feet and stormed outside, where huddled around a fire was a rather deadbeat looking Makiki and Carren.

      "Why didn't you wake me?" Ayrauna groggily asked, rubbing her eyes sleepily.

      "We were going to," Makiki explained, "but Carren said that you needed rest."

      Ayrauna nodded, taking in a deep breath of the crisp jungle air. "What time is it?" She questioned.

      Carren snorted in laughter. "We don't know," she stated bluntly.

      "Oh…" Ayrauna sighed, sitting down beside Makiki

      He smiled tiredly at her. "Carren is making us Wilchin Pie," he stated.

      "Huh?" Ayrauna asked.

      "It's uh…"

      "It's a tropical fruit only found here. I call it Wilchin Pie. The pie aspect isn't exactly a pie; it's simply cooked tree leaves," Carren finished for him.

      Ayrauna scrunched up her nose. "Leaves?" she inquired.

      "Yep, leaves. And you'd better get used to eating that kind of stuff if you want to survive out here in the jungle."

      Ayrauna scrunched up her nose and make an uncouth grimace. This was more unbearable then she thought it would be.

      Carren slid an enormous bamboo stick in the inside of the handle that was stuck on the pot. She slid it away from the cackling flames and placed it down on the withering ground. The steaming leaves released a sickening odour that forced Ayrauna and Makiki to gag.

      "There's no way I'm going to eat that disgusting junk!" Makiki exclaimed, still retching from the odour.

      Carren simply sighed and removed the lid from the pot. The odour grew two times stronger and Makiki cried, "I THINK I'M GOING TO BE SICK!"

      The Gelert leaped up from the ground and rapidly darted to the dark cave. Ayrauna felt like she was going to be sick as well but she decided to keep it all in.

      "Well, aren't you going to at least try it?" Carren inquired.

      Ayrauna stared at the Wocky as though she were crazy. But then she nodded and scooped up the leaves with her grimy hands. She hastily stuffed them in her mouth and swallowed them down.

      "Do you like it?" Carren asked, her eyes a bit wider then usual.

      Ayrauna's face grew purple and she cried out, "I THINK I'M ALSO GOING TO BE SICK!"

      Carren heaved a large sigh as Ayrauna speedily joined Makiki in the large cave. She scraped some leaves for himself and began munching on them.

      "Well," she began, "Guess I better teach those two the aspects of wildlife."

      Meanwhile in the cave, Makiki and Ayrauna took deep breaths, savouring the smell of the damp, mouldy walls. Normally, this scent would've appalled them, but not after the aroma of Wilchin Pie had crept up their nostrils.

      "We're never going to survive out here," Makiki complained, sighing deeply.

      "I know," Ayrauna concurred as she tried to wash the still vaguely lingering taste of Wilchin Pie out of her mouth with a jug of a sweet tasting, yet unidentifiable, liquid.

      "I think tha -" Makiki's start of an answer to that was cut short when the Gelert saw the silhouette of Carren standing at the mouth of the cave.

      She briskly strode over them. "For approximately the next day, I will teach you how to survive in the wild," she announced.

      Ayrauna cocked her head, curious. "How?" she asked.

      "You two will tail me in an almost shadowlike way. Follow me where I go and mimic the actions I perform. You will slumber and rise at the same time as I, and will sleep with the same type of bedding," Carren explained.

      "That sounds cool!" Makiki yelled, excitement visible in his tone.

      Carren chuckled under breath. "Not cool," she declared, "it's work."

      Makiki grinned sheepishly. "It sounds interesting," he corrected himself.

      Carren smirked and then added, "Follow me."

      Makiki and Ayrauna exchanged glances but quickly had to turn to their attention to Carren who was already commencing her lesson. Carren began silently creeping away from the large cave while sniffing the filthy ground speedily. The two friends awkwardly followed her in the same sneaky positions.

      "What are we doing?" Ayrauna hissed as she hastily followed Carren.

      "QUIET!" Carren boomed in a loud tone. "I told you, do not speak during the lessons. Simply watch and learn."

      Ayrauna and Makiki were both startled by the sudden outburst but quickly regained their focus on the lesson. They inaudibly watched as Carren sniffed the ground as if she had been doing it her entire life. Without warning, Carren halted beside a large, tropical tree.

      Carren unhurriedly stuck her paw in a hole, which was located on the base of the tree. The two friends quietly watched as the Wocky pulled out her paw, which had bug-like critters lying in it.

      "This is our supper," Carren spoke softly, almost in a hush-like voice.

      Makiki couldn't keep from making a grimace at the sordid critters. Carren did not respond to Makiki's action. She simply shuffled to her right and continued down the mystifying jungle.

      She next stopped beside a thorny vine. Carefully, she snapped a piece of the bottom of it and then thrust it into Ayrauna's paws.

      Ayrauna gently rubbed her free paw over it, wondering what in Neopia this could do. The spikes prevented it from being food, and how did you drink a vine? She pondered over this answer as she and Makiki then followed Carren toward a small body of water.

      "This," Carren declared, "is the watering hole. It has drinkable water, and it will clean you off if you become dirty. Baths, though, are only necessary once a week or so; in the jungle, nobody will care if you smell bad. You mustn't care about those types of things anymore. Simply living is more important."

      Ayrauna frowned; she had always been one of those pets who demanded on having a bath every day. How would she survive -

      Her thoughts were cut short when Carren beckoned her and Makiki to follow her toward the next area.

      The trio arrived at a locality that was enclosed in shrubs. Hanging on the lush bushes were fresh and juicy red berries and mouldy and rotten black berries.

      "This is another source of food that'll keep you alive," Carren explained.

      Ayrauna's mouth was watering at the sight of the red berries. She stepped forward but Carren stuck out her paw and beckoned her to step back.

      "Now," Carren began, "which berries do you think I should eat?"

      "The red ones! Duh!" Maiki exclaimed, irritated by the idiotic question.

      "Wrong," the Wocky said.

      She picked a tiny black berry from the shrub and popped it in her mouth. Black juice began oozing out of her maw and down her fur. However, it seemed as though she didn't notice.

      "Ewww! That's repulsive!" Ayrauna cried in disgust. "Why didn't you eat the red berry?"

      "Because the inside of a red berry contains a fatal poison," Carren clarified.

      The word poison sent shivers down Ayrauna's spine. She added, "Well still, I can't believe you ate the black berry."

      Carren simply rolled her eyes and picked two more berries from the same shrub. She pushed the berries in front of Ayrauna and Makiki's nose.

      "Try them. Trust me, they're much better then Wilchin pie."

      Makiki scowled and then seized the berry from Carren's muddy paw.

      "Here goes nothing," he groaned. And with that, he dropped the berry down his mouth and let the black juice seep out his mouth.

      Surprisingly, it tasted good. Very good. Better than a dinner made of gourmet food! Hastily, he plucked another black berry from the bush and popped it into his mouth. The sweet, yet sour at the same time, taste immediately greeted his tongue. Makiki chewed the fruit thoroughly, swallowed and then returned for another.

      He was on his ninth one when Carren briskly strode away. Wiping a dribble of the juice inside of it from his chin, Makiki stormed after her. Ayrauna did the same. (Since she had not liked the berry's taste, she did not have any juice on her own chin).

      Carren next stopped at a tree. It was bearing the same types of fruits that Makiki and Ayrauna had first seen in the jungle.

      "This," she said, "has what I call the best fruit in the jungle. I call them Jerans, after my favorite Meridell defender."

      Makiki wondered if there could be anything better than those berries. But if so, boy those had to taste superb! He grinned expectantly.

      "Can I have one!?" he exclaimed.

      "We have to climb up the tree to get them," Carren stated.

      Makiki frowned; he had before been labelled a klutz. He'd never be able to climb a tree! He told this to Carren.

      She replied by saying, "You will have to learn this so that you can survive. You, Makiki, try on this tree and your friend can try on the one across the pathway." She gestured toward a tree approximately twenty feet over.

      Ayrauna shuffled over to it and began attempting to climb it. Makiki nervously did the same.

      Higher and higher the two rose, reaching the sky, as they had never done before. Brusquely, Ayrauna had arrived at the top of tree and was grinning proudly.

      "I did it!" she exclaimed.

      Carren gave Ayrauna a thumbs up and then turned her attention to Makiki who was struggling on a stuck-out branch that was blocking his path.

      "You can do it, Makiki!" Carren bellowed with her paws cupped around her mouth.

      "No, I can't," the Gelert moaned.

      "COME ON, MAKIKI! WE KNOW YOU CAN DO IT!"

      With the sudden remark of much-needed encouragement, Makiki took hold of the coiled branch and began pulling himself up.

      Ayrauna was beaming for she knew that Makiki was going to make it. And he did. Their Makiki was, holding onto the top of an enormous tropical tree, spurting remarks of bliss, proving that he wasn't a klutz but instead, one of the bravest pet who currently attended Neopia Central Public School. There was a moment of silence as the two friends smiled at each other with warmth spreading through their stomachs.

      "You guys are going to need to get down here," Carren suddenly yelled.

      Makiki and Ayrauna broke their gazes and cocked their heads towards Carren.

      "Come on! We haven't got all day!"

      Makiki nodded in agreement. His paw took hold of the wooden branch and gradually, he slid himself down 'till he stepped onto the damp, earth soil. Carren patted Makiki's back and whispered, "I'm really proud of you, even though you manage to get hold of some Jerans."

      Makiki grinned and whispered back, "Thanks."

      "Guys!" Ayrauna suddenly shouted from high above, "I'm having some deep trouble here!"

      Two sets of eyes immediately shot toward Ayrauna who was hanging by one paw from a slowly breaking tree branch.

      "AYRAUNA!" Makiki screamed, frightened to the bone. "I'll come help you, Ayrauna!"

      He started towards the tree, but Carren stopped him. "No, let her do this herself."

      "Herself!?" Makiki bellowed. "Are you insane? Do you want her to die or something?"

      "Ah, no," Carren replied. "But this is one aspect of living in the wild; you have to be able to fend for yourself."

      "B-but she's stuck!" Although Makiki had never been one to cry, tears now were welling up in his eyes. He started charging toward the tree, but Carren grabbed his paw, preventing him from doing so.

      "Please, Makiki, let her be. She will save herself."

      "No, Carren!" Makiki slithered. "I'm not letting my best friend fall to her doom!"

      He struggled out of her grip and over to the tree. The Gelert then immediately began climbing it. All in all, perhaps this was not a wise decision because at that exact moment, the branch snapped and down fell Ayrauna, landing (and smashing) right onto Makiki.

      Carren immediately rushed to the two dazed pets and exclaimed, "Oh my gosh! Are you two all right?"

      Ayrauna slowly bobbed her head up and down. "I'm fine!" she mumbled. "But I'm not sure if Makiki is."

      Ayrauna slid of Makiki's backside and examined his condition alongside Carren. The Gelert was lying on the damp soil with his eyes closed and a large bruise placed on his forehead.

      "I think's he unconscious," Carren guessed.

      "Is he going to be all right?" Ayrauna asked with fright beginning taking over he emotions.

      "Yes. With proper healing, he'll be back to normal in to time."

      A sentiment of relief pushed her previous frightened emotion away.

      "That's good," she muttered.

      Carren stood up and slipped Makiki onto her cut and bruised backside. "Come on. Let's go home."

      Carren and Ayrauna began pacing back to their cave with Makiki letting a murmur escape from his maw every once in a while.

      Darkness was beginning to overtake the once brightened day and the trio were all exhausted from the day's events. They had arrived at their cave with every muscle in their body being painful and sore. When they had at long last stepped inside the cave, Carren and Ayrauna sighed and plopped down onto the rough ground. For Ayrauna, sleeping on the ground didn't seem as such a big deal as it did before. She was simply glad that she could go to sleep and have a long rest. And this is what exactly what she did. With the stars twinkling in the gorgeous night sky, the Zafara fell off into a drifty slumber with Carren following her immediately afterwards. Before you could say 'lost', the trio was asleep, with their snores echoing throughout the mystifying and dangerous jungle.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Jungle Eyes: Part One

Jungle Eyes: Part Two

Jungle Eyes: Part Four

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