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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 2nd day of Celebrating, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 28 > Short Stories > Buttersplots

Buttersplots

by shelleylow

"Leggo of my leg, Magic!"

"No chance, Mira. You totally ruined my plushie!"

The two twin blue Gelert puppies rolled around on the floor, wrestling with each other and with the numerous Plushies that lay scattered around it and added splashes of colour to the cream coloured carpet.

0Miracle0, their mother, pushed her ribbon-eared, red head around the door, smiling at their antics as she did so.

"Magic, Mira, time for bed."

Immediately both pups desisted from their game and sat up on their haunches, looking pleadingly at her.

"Aw, Mum! Not yet, can't we just have five more minutes, please?"

"Yeah, Mum, just five more minutes?"

"Mira, would you stop repeating what I say all the time?"

"Am not!"

"Children," Miracle sighed resignedly as her pups began to bicker again.

"Having trouble putting the pups to bed?" Miracle's sleek golden mate, StarburstTopaz, had joined her at the door. Miracle turned her head to nuzzle him affectionately.

"Afraid so, Star. But wait, I think I've just thought of something that will work."

Clearing her throat, she called, "If you both will brush your teeth and get into bed like good pups, I'll read you a story."

The effect was electric. Miracle knew too well her pups' love of stories. Both pups once again halted in mid-fight and gazed at their mother, looks of disbelieving joy on their faces.

"You mean it Mum?" cried 0MagicStar0, the male pup, happily. Without waiting for an answer, he dashed into the bathroom with a shout of, "C'mon Mira!"

0MiracleStar0, the female pup and named after both her parents, did not need prompting and she followed suit.

Star grinned at Miracle. "It worked, then. But now you have to read them a story, not that that's a problem with you. Goodnight, Miracle. I'm going to bed too." He licked her nose, then padded off to their room.

Miracle smiled. She always felt happy with Star, and now she had her pups, she felt as if her life was complete.

When she entered the pups' bedroom, they were tucked up in bed with their favourite Plushies, expectant of a story. Miracle came and sat by the beds.

"So what story should I read to you both?"

"'Oopsy Daisy'," said Mira promptly.

Magic shot her a disgusted look. "Mira, Mum just read us that story last time."

"Doesn't matter. I want to hear it again."

"Well I don't. Why don't we hear a story we haven't read for a long time and with lots of action…like 'The Grarrl Who Crushed Tyrannia'!"

"I don't want that, I want Oopsy Daisy!"

"Who wants to hear about dumb old Daisy again?"

"Me! And Daisy's NOT dumb!"

Miracle sighed again. Could her pups agree on anything? It brought her back to her own younger days, when her owner read her and her siblings bedtime stories. She hardly knew her mother, she was from the Create-A-Pet Centre and her owner had been the only mother she had known. And yet…there were the slightest memories…

Come to think of it, she remembered. Before she had left her mother's home for the Create-A-Pet Centre, there was a story her mother had told her. She had told her that it was an old legend of the wild Gelert packs, to one of which her mother had once belonged. It had been long forgotten, but for some reason every memory of that story had come flooding back from her subconscious mind. She had thought it the most beautiful story she had ever heard, and she still did.

"How about," she said to Magic and Miracle, "I tell you a new story, one that is so old it has been passed down from Gelert pack to Gelert pack, that Neopia never put into print?"

She had the pups' attention again. "Really?" whispered Mira in awe.

"A new story sounds cool," said Magic. "OK, Mum, let's hear it!"

Both pups settled themselves more comfortably into their beds and pricked up their ears as Miracle began to spin her tale.

_______________________________________

A long, long time ago, when Neopia was fresh from creation and the first pets were starting out with the first owners, when Terror Mountain, Faerieland and all the other worlds we know so well today were not yet fully explored, there lived a young girl named Beth with her Gelert, Zym. They lived on the edge of a wood in a little house, and though they were not rich they were very happy.

One day Beth left her house to look for fruits and berries in the forest. As she walked through the sunlit trees, so fresh and new in the early morning when the sun has just risen and is waking up the world, there came to her ears a soft, whimpering cry. Feeling sure it was some wild pet who was hurt and needed help, she followed the sound until she came upon and enormous tree with spreading branches. There, between the gnarled roots, was a tiny bundle of yellow fur that was crying and whimpering. Beth leaned down and saw that it was a Gelert pup, and smaller than Zym when he first came. Probably was left behind by her pack as she was too small to keep up, Beth thought, and she felt sad for the pup and hugged her. "Don't worry," she said to the pup. "I'll look after you now." And so saying she took her home to live with her.

The new pup was joyful and full of life, and Zym and Beth totally enjoyed having her in the house. But there was one problem: no matter how hard she tried Beth could not think of a name that suited her. She tried naming her after a flower: Lily, Daffodil, Rose, perhaps? She tried people-names: Sasha, Cara, or Tanya. She tried names of great Gelert heroes: Cally, Lavender, Angelica? But none of them seemed to suit the pup. It distressed her, and she told Zym this.

Zym listened with calmness to her plight. "I have heard tell," he said after she had finished, "from the Gelert packs that call to each other at night, many tales, and one of those tales was that somewhere in the North, there is a great, magical forest, and it is this forest where all wild pets take their babies to be named. I have not heard how the forest gives the babies their names."

"Then that is where we shall take our pup to be named," said Beth, and she and Zym and the unnamed pup packed some food and left on their journey to the north.

They journeyed far, over plains and through woods, when after they had been travelling for several days, they saw in the distance a plain furred Lupe, with a tiny Lupe cub trotting by her side. She was going to the north.

"She must be taking her cub to be named," Zym whispered. "We must follow her, but be quiet. The wild pets are easily startled."

So saying they followed the mother Lupe and her cub until eventually the two disappeared into a thick green forest.

That must be the place, Beth thought, and together they ventured into it.

Inside, it was cool, but bright. Sunlight filtered through the leaves of the trees, creating golden freckles on the undergrowth. Their pup leaped in and out of the freckles, her coat glowing in the light, and then darkening again in the shadows. The mother Lupe and her cub had been lost to their sight.

"What do we do now?" asked Beth of Zym. "There is a song you must sing," he said. "It has no words to it, but simply a tune. I have heard it sung by the packs as they teach it to their young mothers." And he taught it to her, and she sang it, over and over. Nothing seemed to be happening. Suddenly, "Look," called the unnamed pup joyfully, and they looked up, in the direction that she was and saw something they had missed.

Dancing and fluttering in the sun shafts were thousands upon thousands of brightly coloured butterflies. They circled round and round, coming lower all the time until they were flying around the pup, Zym and Beth. Out of the corner of her eye, Beth spotted one particular butterfly. Her wings were not full of colours like the rest, but transparent like a dragonfly's, and like a dragonfly's, shone with glittering rainbows where the sun struck them.

As if she knew what she was thinking, that butterfly flew into the circle and perched lightly on the pup's nose, opening and shutting her iridescent wings. The pup was speechless with delight.

Beth smiled and asked the butterfly, "What is your name?" The answer came in a soft, gentle whisper of a wing.

"Buttersplots."

"Then that is what we shall call our pup," Beth said happily.

The newly named Buttersplots wagged her tail with joy at being named at last, and Buttersplots the butterfly flickered off the pup's nose to join her fellows, and together they all disappeared into the trees.

Months passed, and Buttersplots grew up into a beautiful young Gelertess and moved away from the little house in the forest. She found a mate named Harn, and when they had their first pup, it seemed that their happiness was complete. But there was one small thing. She could not think of a name for the tiny creature. No matter what name she tried, none seemed to suit her. One day, she remembered the story her own mother had told her of how she had been named, and she herself remembered the flashing wings, and in particular one silken, clear pair that had cut down from the air and landed on her nose.

So she went back to the little house, and asked her mother how to get to the forest and to teach her the song. And after that was finished she set out north, living like the wild Gelerts, just Harn, for protection against wild Gelert and Lupe packs, herself and her unnamed pup.

Eventually they found the forest, and immediately the memories of long ago re-enacted themselves in Buttersplots' mind; of the gentle touch of sunlight on her back, and the splendid colours of wings, and a butterfly's feet tenderly resting on her nose. Joyously, and with all feeling, she sang her song. And as before, the numerous pairs of fluttering wings like so many faeries spiralled down from the sunlit canopy above and eddied around the Gelerts. One particular, familiar, iridescent pair detached itself from the throng and spun and flitted down like a gossamer leaf to land on her namesake's nose, opening and closing her delicate wings. Buttersplots spoke. "What shall I call my pup?" And the butterfly gently kissed her nose and flitted to the pup and kissed her nose, and gently whispered a single word.

"Serenity."

Buttersplots looked at her pup and somehow, the name just fitted.

And later, when they returned to their NeoHome days later, the little room she had prepared for the newly named Serenity, there was a pleasant surprise. All of the room's initially plain white walls were covered with bright painted butterflies of every colour imaginable: scarlet, mauve, gold, viridian, saffron, turquoise, violet, and many more that humans have not put a name to. And out of the corner of her eye, Buttersplots saw or thought she saw, for an instant, a tiny, gauzy shape flicker softly out the window. And then it was gone.

_______________________________________

"Is it true, Mum?" Mira asked, wide-eyed. Both pups had been listening spellbound all through Miracle's tale. They too thought it the most beautiful they had ever heard.

Miracle looked up at them. While she had been telling her story, she had almost remembered her own dear Gelertess mother and how she had first told her the story. And she remembered how she herself had asked the same question, but in her mind. Now, she looked and smiled, tenderly, at her pups.

"I believe it is, but the true answer is for the wild pets to know. You two, at any rate, were named after your father and myself."

They twin blue pups snuggled down in bed with their Plushies, and Miracle gently nuzzled each of them. As she switched off the light and turned to go, though, she thought she saw, for a fleeting moment, a pale, gossamer-winged insect hovering at the window. But when she tried to focus on it, it had disappeared. Of course, it could have just been a trick of moonlight and shadow. Or could it?

The End

Author's Note: I would really like to thank my friends devil688 for giving me the idea for the story and also for trusting me to write it, and arctic_snow_fox, whiteglamtigress and the_star_chaser for allowing me to feature their pets in it. You guys are the best :)

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