Mira's Big Day
Sunlight streaming in her window woke the young Acara with
"Today's the day!" Mira whispered to herself
as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes. "Today is the day I finally get my chance
to make King Skarl laugh!" Mira had dreamed of this day for months. She had
done everything she could to prepare, from reading every jokebook in Neopia
to joining a special comedian school. Now she felt that she was truly ready.
Mira put on her best tunic, ran a comb through her silky brown fur, and clambored
down the stairs to grab some breakfast. Her mother was at the stove, frying
"Now, are you sure you want to do this?" Jenissa
questioned her young daughter. "I don't want you to end up being disappointed
if he doesn't laugh."
Mira rolled her eyes and sighed. "Yes, Mother,
I am positively sure. Could I just have something I can take with me to eat?
I need to get in line." Without waiting for an answer, she jumped up, grabbed
a scone, and ran out the door. All Jenissa could do was look at her daughter
galloping down the path and sigh.
Mira skipped along the path, rehearsing exactly
what she would say to King Skarl. She was so deeply into her daydream that she
didn't notice what lay ahead. Suddenly, she tripped on a stick and fell, facefirst,
into a mud puddle. She came up spluttering and spitting out mud.
"Oh drat!" Furiously, she wiped the mud off
of her face as best as she could and sighed. "Well, I suppose I can't go back.
The king doesn't take appointments after 1:00." She was too excited to be very
upset, so Mira continued on. She had just reached the bridge that led to the
castle grounds when a bush snagged her dress. Hurriedly, she yanked it free,
only to be entangled in the prickly vine that was growing on the bridge's stone
sides! She wriggled and thrashed, only managing to get herself further ensnared
in her vine-y trap.
Twenty minutes later, Mira had managed to cut
herself free. She raced down the path and at long last reached Meridell Castle.
She stopped dead in her tracks and gasped. Neopets of every size, shape, and
kind were lined up at the castle's gate. Stepping behind a speckled Ixi, Mira
tapped him on the shoulder.
"Um, what are all these people doing here?"
The Ixi looked at her in surprise. "Don't you
know? An announcement was made last night that a prize of great wealth will
be given to whoever makes King Skarl laugh?"
Mira blinked as she took another step forward.
"You mean if I do this, I'll not only have saved Meridell, but I'll be rich,
The Ixi snorted. "As if you have a chance. Have
you looked at yourself?"
Only then did Mira stop to look down at her
dress. "Aaargh!" Her best tunic was now in tatters, her hair was a rat's-nest,
and, upon glancing at the Ixi's shiny hooves, she saw that her face had muddy
patches which were now stuck to her fur. "What am I to do? I've come too far
to let this opportunity to go to waste, and imagine what Mother will say if
I come home without even getting my chance. Anyway, the line's moving rather
quickly now." The young Acara's brow furrowed as she thought through her dilemma.
"Too late; you're next," the Ixi snickered as
a guard led him down the hall and to the throne room. Frantically, Mira tried
to untangle her hair and clean her face, but she didn't have time.
Moments later, the same guard came back down
the hall toward her, his eyes immediately taking in her bedraggled appearance.
"Your turn, miss." Without another word, Mira followed him down the hall. She
entered the throne room and gasped. There ahead of her, larger than life, was
King Skarl, who appeared to be dozing.
The guard walked up to him and muttered into
his ear, "Sire, another, uh, peasant to see you." Skarl gave one last tremendous
snore and opened his eyes.
"Um, your majesty, I can explain..." Mira stuttered.
Skarl's eyes opened wider, and he snorted. Then he wheezed and spluttered. Finally
he gave the loudest, longest laugh that Mira had ever heard. Tears poured down
his cheeks, and his giant belly jiggled up and down as the king was overtaken
by spasms of giggles.
The guard looked at Mira with newfound respect
and amazement. "Y-you have done it. You made King Skarl laugh!"
Five hours later, the king's laughing fest had
ended. His face seemed to have a permanent grin on it as he spoke to Mira, who
had long since gotten cleaned up. "Young lady, you saved my life-and you saved
Meridell. For twenty-five long years I was as blue as the ocean itself. Hundreds
of thousands of neopets have tried and failed to make me laugh. Now, thanks
to you, I can take my place as ruler again and Meridell will prosper. I am eternally
indebted to you. Now, about that reward." He beckoned to several of his burliest
servants, who dragged a large chest out from behind the throne.
"Is-is that mine, sire?" Mira murmured.
"For your heroic deed, you will receive one
million gold coins, one million silver coins, one million bronze coins, and
one million doubloons. Use it wisely." The king smiled tenderly at her before
returning to his kingly state, ordering everyone around. "Petron, prepare a
carriage and have Mira taken home." The Kacheek standing next to the king nodded.
"Oh, and Mira?"
Mira, who was having trouble taking everything
in, paused before answering, "Yes, your majesty?"
"You and your family are invited to the banquet
I am having to celebrate this most joyous of occasions. Be back here tomorrow
Mira nodded and curtsied. "Thank you-thank you,
your majesty, for everything!" She hurried down the hall to her waiting carriage,
thrilled at the thought of bringing the magnificent treasure back home to her
mother. The servants immediately left to prepare the feast and the guards went
back to their duties.
Once alone, Skarl whispered, "No, thank you,
Meanwhile, Jenissa was worried. Images of her
daughter making the king angry and then being dragged off in chains to the dungeon
filled her head. Her stomach churned and her brow knotted with worry as she
stirred the stew that bubbled on the stove. Lost in thought, she didn't notice
the hoofbeats until they were right outside the cottage door.
"I'm home, Mother!" Jenissa whirled around to
see her young daughter standing in front of a royal carriage, the magnificent
steeds pawing at the ground impatiently. Her heart leaped as she realized what
"You have done it! Oh, my daughter, I am so
proud of you!" Jenissa laughed for joy as she hurried to the door.
Mira tugged on her mother's sleeve. "And, Mother,
wait until you see what I brought."
Jenissa's eyes widened as she saw the chest
piled high with coins. "Mira, what is all this?"
Mira smiled. "I won the contest."
Jenissa looked confused. "What contest?"
Mira sighed as she explained. "So I made King
Skarl laugh, and this treasure is ours," she finished.
Jenissa was speechless for a moment, until she
noticed her daughter's change of clothes. "Mira, what happened to your other
tunic? And what happened to your cheek? You're all scratched up."
Mira grinned. "Mother, you're never going to
believe just how I made King Skarl laugh. Can I tell you about it over dinner?"
Jenissa nodded in agreement. And so, mother and daughter strode arm in arm back
to their humble cottage, while Petron hefted the chest onto his shoulder and
carried it through the doorway.
"Thanks for all your help, Petron. I'll see
you tomorrow," Mira called as Petron strode back to the cottage. With a tip
of his hat, he was off.
Jenissa looked at her daugher quizzically. "What
do you mean, 'See you tomorrow'?"
The young Acara sighed and sat down at the table
with a giggle as she realized the humor of the circumstances which led to her
sudden wealth. "It's a long story, Mother. And it all happened because I fell
into a mud puddle!"
Thank you Maggie and Becca for saying you loved my story :)