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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 27th day of Awakening, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 25 > New Series > Legends of the Seasons: Part One

Legends of the Seasons: Part One

by tdyans

Sleeping and Awakening
Moeioe's little hooves clattered against the window sill as he propped himself up to look out miserably at the falling snow. He sighed loudly, making sure that we could both hear his discontent. While Achilles81 and I were getting older now and were happy to lounge around and enjoy the comfortable laziness of winter, Moeioe was still young and excitable, at least as Moehogs go, and being cooped up inside for months must have seemed like the ultimate punishment to him.

As I watched him from my worn spot on the floor beside the roaring fireplace, I knew that he'd like nothing better than to be outside frolicking in the snow. But along with that image came the image of him coming back inside with his delicate faerie wings frosted over, as well as the image of the frosty glare our owner Tdyans would have for Moeioe's older brothers upon discovering that they had allowed him to catch a cold. As if picturing exactly this himself, Achilles looked up from his spot on our old comfy couch to glare sternly at Moeioe, his long Gelert ears standing up straight before they settled back to their formerly relaxed position.

Moeioe gave another dramatic sigh, and Achilles, who had closed his eyes again, sighed in return, recognising that we weren't getting any sleep until someone had given Moeioe something to do. "I wanna go out and play," Moeioe lamented as he walked toward us, "Why does it have to snow?"

"That's just the way it is Moeioe," Achilles grumbled.

"It's never gonna end, and I'll be stuck in here forever," Moeioe said.

I chuckled. "I know it seems like that right now, Moeioe, but eventually winter will end and then it'll be spring again. You just have to be patient."

"That's easy for you to say Maxi, you're a Lupe. Your fur's so thick, you can go out any time you want," Moeioe retorted.

"Hmmm, he's got a point there, MaxKanine," Achilles mumbled mischievously. I gave him a slight glare that reminded him we were supposed to be on the same side here.

"Well, that's true," I said, "And yet I'm still indoors. You don't have to be outside to have fun, Moeioe; there's plenty to do in here."

"Like what?"

"Well, how about a story?" I asked nonchalantly, fairly certain of the reaction I'd get. I wasn't disappointed. The misery and boredom vanished from Moeioe's face to be replaced with excitement and anticipation.

He hopped around on his little hooves saying, "Yes, yes Maxi, please tell me a story."

"Yeah, Maxi, tell us a story," Achilles added from his position on the couch. He looked satisfied that I'd found a solution to Moeioe's boredom as he snuggled deeper into the couch's cushions with his eyes still squeezed shut, but I also detected a hint of anticipation in his voice. Although Achilles may have been the best-read in the family, I knew stories that you couldn't find in books and I knew how to tell them better than anyone. I'd spent much of my life in the pound before Tdyans adopted me, and in that time my cagemate had been an old, gnarled Skeith who was a master storyteller. At night, when all the workers had left, he would tell stories in his raspy voice, stories that existed not in print but that had been passed down from generation to generation. And he passed them down to all of us there in the pound, to comfort the young pups like myself who felt lost and alone in that dark place, until someone came to show us that we were worth loving after all. In that time I'd learned them all by heart, and I delight in passing them on now that I'm in a much happier place.

My ruminations were interrupted by Moeioe hopping excitedly onto my belly and bouncing up and down. "Make it a story about a Lupe, Maxi!" Moeioe has a bit of a hero-worship thing as far as we Lupes go, you see. When Tdyans brought him home from the pound, only a few hours old, I'd taken him under my paw as a fellow adoptee. We became very close, and Moeioe, young as he was, believed for a while that he was a Lupe just like me. Well, that has worn off as he's gotten a bit older, but the admiration for Lupes and anything to do with them has not.

"Stories are not made Moeioe," I said calmly as I rolled over onto my stomach so that he tumbled off, "They simply are." He looked disappointed for a moment before I continued, "But, I think I know just the story that is what you're looking for." The little Moehog smiled again and settled down next to me by the fire, tucking his wings down and leaning against me contentedly as I began...

***

Once upon a time is a difficult way to begin this story, for it takes place long ago in what was a "time before time" in Neopia. You see, back then there was no change to mark the passage of time. Every day, every month, every year was the same. The seasons never changed--it was always winter, full of snow and ice and sleet--and spring never came.

The NeoPets in that time were the same also. They all looked alike you see; there were no differences between the species as there are now. Well, no big differences. Certainly they were different, just as even today, no two members of the same species look alike. Back then, the NeoPets all lived in separate tribes in different parts of Neopia, and some of the tribes were smaller creatures or larger creatures or thinner or fatter creatures than the rest, but all in all they were very much alike. Each tribe was named for its leader, so there was the Tribe of Lupe and the Tribe of Moehog and so on.

The winter that prevailed in this land that was so different from the Neopia that we know today was cruel and merciless. No creatures dared leave their caves and dens to face the harsh world outside, so all of the tribes spent all of their time inside, sleeping most of the time, for they knew of nothing else to do. But the leader of the Tribe of Lupe, who of course was named Lupe, dreamed of a better life for his people. He desired more than to stay inside the confines of their cave forever and never venture into the mysterious outdoors. They deserved to live freely, and he believed that he knew how this dream could become reality. Ever since he was a pup, he had heard tales of the great Faerie Queen, and although his Tribe told him that this was only a story, he believed in his heart that she must be real and that if he could find her, she would grant him his wish. So, ignoring the pleas of the rest of his tribe not to put his life in danger, he ventured out into the biting cold and set off on his journey.

Soon Lupe found himself regretting that he hadn't heeded his Tribe's advice. The wind cut at his skin, the ice sliced away at his paws, and the snow swirled before his eyes until he was lost and could not tell what direction he was going. Finally, he felt that he could go no further and he huddled miserable in the snow, resigned to the fate that he had brought upon himself by wishing for something more. But suddenly, two pairs of feet appeared before Lupe's face, and he wondered if he was dreaming until he heard a voice ask, "Who are you?"

He looked up to see two strange NeoPets whom he had never met before. One was a little smaller than him and the other even smaller. "I-- I'm Lupe," he said weakly, his teeth chattering. "Wh--who are you?" The two creatures introduced themselves as Wocky and Jubjub. "Wh--what are you doing out h--here?"

"We're searching for the Faerie Queen, so that she can grant our tribes the ability to live outside our dens." Lupe was amazed. He explained to the two travelers that he was on the same journey. The three of them instantly joined together as friends in their shared dream, and with the support of each other they were able to continue despite the perpetual storm.

It seemed as though their journey would never end though. None of them had ventured more than a few feet outside of their homes before and the outside world seemed infinitely immense. They did not even know where the Faerie Queen lived or which way they should go to find her. They were simply following their instincts, clouded as they were by the surrounding blizzard. They had no idea how long or how far they had traveled, but one day finally, they came to a halt, not because they had found the Queen, but because they had come to the edge of a cliff with a steep drop off that seemed to descend into nothingness. Surely this was the end of the world, each of the NeoPets thought to himself, as they stared down at the snow and ice swirling endlessly into the abyss below. And yet they still had not found the Faerie Queen. Jubjub and Wocky drooped their heads in disappointment. "Our tribes were right," they said, "There is no Faerie Queen, it's just a fantasy. We've been fools to follow it, to imagine we could have any other life than the one allotted to us. We should give up and go home."

They turned to leave and began to walk back through the biting wind. His head hanging low and his tail tucked between his legs, Lupe turned and began to follow them, but something made him stop and face back toward the cliff. He couldn't give up, not now, not after he'd come so far, so much farther than anyone had thought he could, than anyone else had ever gone. With a new determination shining in his eyes, Lupe halted his companions with a shout, "No! She does exist! I know she must, and we're going to find her--we're going to change things like we set out to do!" The other two felt a small ray of hope at the resolve in their friend's voice, and that is when they saw the light.

A light hovering just over the gaping hole before them was growing steadily brighter, accompanied by a warmth and a heavenly humming sound that made all three NeoPets lean toward it as far as they were able. Suddenly, floating before them was a beautiful and serene woman, held in the air by a pair of fragile wings. She held a sceptre and wore a crown upon her lovely head, and despite the cold that made all three pets shiver, she seemed not to feel it at all in her thin purple dress. They all knew without asking that this was the Faerie Queen. They gazed at her in awe, unable to speak.

"Noble creatures," she said in a lilting voice, "You have traveled far to find me, but I was here all along. You had only to prove that you truly believed and would do anything to fulfil your hearts' desires. I know what you have come here to ask for, and because you have so bravely sought it, it shall be yours. Go home to your people and you will find that they are no longer constrained by the cold of our world." The three NeoPets struggled to find the words to reply and offer their thanks, but before they could, the Faerie Queen had faded away again into the darkness.

Lupe realised suddenly that he felt much warmer than he had in all the time that he had been on his journey. He looked over to Jubjub and Wocky to see if they felt the same and was shocked to see that their short fur was growing longer. He looked down at himself to see that his body was going through a similar change until a long coat covered him entirely. Insulated as they were from the cold, the snow, wind, and ice no longer bothered the three brave creatures, and their journey back to the spot where they had first met was much easier and even pleasant. They split up there and headed back to their respective homes. As Lupe approached his cave he heard shouts and laughter. He crested the final hill that separated him from his home to witness a happy scene. His fellow tribe members were frolicking in the snow, all of them with long fur coats like his. Seeing their leader, they all ran to jump on him and lick him lovingly, giving him a hero's welcome for bringing them this gift.

For a long time after that, Lupe was content as he never had been before. His people were able to live their lives as they liked and no longer spent all their days sleeping in the shelter of their cave. But after a while he began to look around and realise something. While his tribe had been liberated, along with those of his friends Wocky and Jubjub, the many others that lived around them had not. He watched as the Gelert tribe ventured out for only moments at a time to find food and run back inside and as the Moehog tribe watched longingly as the Lupes played in the snow, and he remembered what it had felt like to live like that.

Finally, one day, as his tribe was still playing in the snow around the cave, he ventured off to be alone. He closed his eyes and concentrated with all his heart, but was still surprised to find when he opened his eyes that it had worked-- the Faerie Queen was once more before him. "What is it you wish of me Lupe?" she asked gently.

Lupe hesitated. "Oh great Queen, I know that you've already granted my greatest wish and I don't deserve to ask for more. But... while my tribe is happy now... the other NeoPets are not. I just wish--I wish that all of them could live in the freedom that my people have found."

"Good creature, your noble request proves that you are truly pure of heart, and for that it will be granted. And because of your goodness, from now on, all NeoPets, any NeoPet who believes, may make a request of me to change their people for the better." And that is how the different tribes came to be different, because of the work of the Faerie Queen and the wish of Lupe that made it possible by proving their worthiness.

Lupe, meanwhile, thought as he headed home that the other tribes would grow long coats just as his own had. But the more he walked, the more he noticed that things were changing. Slowly, the clouds were clearing, the sun was growing warmer overhead, and the snow and ice were melting. By the time he reached his home, every member of every tribe had come out of their caves and was prancing in the long-hidden grass. It was spring, something that none of them had ever experienced before. Time had begun in Neopia. The Month of Sleeping had just passed, and it was the first day of the Month of Awakening...

***

I finished my story and looked down at my side to see Moeioe's drooping eyelids finally fall closed as Achi's snores echoed from the couch. "And ever since then, that's how it's always been. Sleeping passes into Awakening, winter passes into spring. Be patient Moeioe, eventually the spring will come." And with that I settled my head on my paws, closed my own eyes, and fell asleep.

To be continued…

Previous Episodes

Legends of the Seasons: Part Two

Legends of the Seasons: Part Three

Legends of the Seasons: Part Four

Legends of the Seasons: Part Five

Legends of the Seasons: Part Six

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