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Baratie's Bedtime Stories: "The Two Mortogs"


by sanjisangel

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The cookie dough was falling off Baratie's paw even as he tried to lick it off.

     "Saaanjiii, it won't stay still for meh to eat it!" the little Yurble growled and tried to eat faster, but the dough constantly kept sliding off and plopping onto the table. He pouted a little.

     Sanji chuckled from where he was cutting the cookie dough into little fish shapes.

     "Go easy, kid," he murmured, glancing back at the little red Yurble. "You've got more on your face than inside it." Baratie giggled and then blinked sleepily. It was late, and Oddendale was already in bed. He had worked hard today at the Restaurant, though, and his folks were letting him stay up a bit later than usual.

     "Come on, Barrie," Angel called. He turned to see the other older neopet he lived with, a Maraquan buzz. She waved a pretty-patterned claw at him and he stood, yawning. "No, don't try and hide it. It's bed time." She grinned. "We let you stay up later than Oddy, so come on."

     "Awww. Yeh. Awright." He tugged his Aisha headband to make sure it was in place and followed after her up the stairs to their living quarters.

     "Don't be too long," Sanji's warm voice called up after them. "I need help with these cookies, Angel-san." They could almost hear the wink in his voice. Family and friends, so close during the holidays - even though Giving Day was past. It was the way it should be.

     They trudged up those stairs for a bit, then walked through the jelly living room, past the brightly decorated tree and wrapping paper scraps still crumpled about on the floor. Baratie made a face when he heard Oddy snoring from inside their room.

     "Angel, he's gonna do that all night... I won't be able teh sleep!" He scrunched his face up, staring at the blue buzz in the jinjah bed opposite him. The horrific sounds were tuned down a bit, however, when Oddy rolled over and began chewing on his pillows. Baratie blinked. "He's gonna eat his pillows again. I told you you shouldn't have gotten him those jinjah things."

     "He'll be fine, Barrie." Angel smiled at him as she patted his head. "And so will you - I'll tell you a story!" Baratie brightened. Angel's stories were his favorite. He leaped into his clown bed and dragged the covers up about his chin, wriggling with excitement.

     "What would you like to hear?" She pulled up a clown chair from the other side of the room and sat it quietly next to his bedside.

     "I want one wif mortogs in it." Baratie's eyes grew round. "I luff mortogs!"

     "All right then... this one will be about mortogs." The Maraquan buzz pondered, her face thoughtful as she gathered her ideas together. "I've got a good one," she finally grinned. "You'll really like it!"

     "Squee!"

     "Hush, Barrie... close your eyes and listen...

     Once upon a time in Meridell there lived two mortogs, one of whom made his home in a little ditch near the Turmaculus himself, and one that dwelt in a clear little stream which ran through the town of Brightvale. Of course, at such a far distance apart they'd never even heard of one another, but things happen in funny ways sometimes. The idea came into their heads both at the same time that they would like to see more of Neopia. The mortog that lived in Brightvale wanted to see Meridell proper, and the Meridell mortog wanted to see Brightvale.

     So, one fine morning they both started out along the long road that leads to the respective places they wished to see, one from one end and another the other. The journey was more tiring than they expected - of course being mortogs they had to hop the whole way -- and they were quite exhausted when they reached a little mountain halfway between the two towns. It took many a flip-flop and a hop for each to finally reach the top, but each did. And what was their surprise at seeing another mortog in front of them! They blinked, and they stared - but yep. It was true: there was another little fellow right beside them. Naturally they started talking.

     They soon explained why each were there and the purpose of their journey. One mortog exclaimed as the other scratched its little green head when they realized they had the same purpose in mind. They lay down together in a damp, cool place to rest for awhile and chat before they began anew.

     'What a shame,' one Mortog spoke at last. 'If we were only bigger we could see both towns from here, you know.'

     'Ahhh, then we'd be able to tell if it's worthwhile to keep going,' the other croaked. He was tired and cranky, and didn't want the journey to last much longer anyway. The notion appealed to him greatly. 'Say,' he finally said, 'I have an idea!'

     The concept was this: each mortog would stand up on its hind legs and hold on to one another. Then they'd be able to see the town they wanted to go to. Well, the Brightvale mortog was so delighted at the idea he jumped up and immediately put his front paws on the shoulders of his friend, who had risen also. They both stood, stretching themselves as high as they could to see the better - and holding on for dear life to each other lest they fall. The Brightvale mortog turned his nose towards Meridell, and his friend the other way...

     The silly mortogs forgot that when they stood up their eyes were in the backs of their heads! Their noses pointed towards the spots they wished to go, but their eyes saw their homeland.

     'If I'd only known Brightvale was a copy of Meridell I wouldn't have wasted my energy,' the one grumbled.

     'I wish I hadn't hopped all this way just to find Meridell a copy of Brightvale!' the other snapped. He was so upset he exploded on the spot. His friend followed not long after, considering he would have to hop aaaaallll the way back home."

     Baratie, who had been listening the whole time with half-lidded eyes, began to giggle uncontrollably.

     "They asploded," he chuckled sleepily. Angel nodded and drew the covers up to his chin.

     "You have to be careful all the time, Barrie," she told the little Yurble. "Always keep a good eye in your head. What you think you see isn't necessarily right all the time."

     "Yesh..." But his voice faded into snores. He was already fast asleep. Angel turned to leave the room only to find Sanjisuki standing at the doorway, apron on and a towel slung over his shoulder. He was clapping silently.

     "Sanji," she chided. "If he'd seen you - he wouldn't have slept for hours."

     "I know," the island Zafara murmured. His long tail had slipped around the doorknob and he motioned her out. "I was quiet... you ready to help me with the cookies?" He pushed with his tail and the door slipped shut on the peaceful little sleeping Yurble and his brother.

     "If you help me think up another story for the next time he can't sleep," Angel said, laughing. "Like... tomorrow night?"

The End

 
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