Let's Make Soup
“I wish we could go to the lake,” Alyett said, rolling the red bouncy ball to her sister. The baby Eyrie let out a sigh. “Then we could teach you how to swim. But Kela’s not feelin’ good today, Shei is at Dellayn’s, and Dark went to Neopia Central with Bastan.”
The family lived at Kiko Lake, within walking distance of the lake itself. Tsukushei, the brown Lupe known only as Shei, was hanging out at her friend’s house for the day, and their brother, DarkCheetah the island Lupe, was exploring Neopia Central with one of his friends, leaving the two youngest pets at home with their sick owner.
The baby Kougra imitated her older sister’s sigh. “I wish I knew how to swim,” she said. “Summer’s ’most over ’ready.” Mweor, called Mew, was the youngest and newest edition of the family. She had been adopted, and then Kela, their owner, painted her baby. Mew had a way of shortening her words, and sometimes she mumbled so no one could understand her.
“I’m scared of Neoschool,” Alyett confessed as the ball bounced off towards the desk. She retrieved it before explaining, “It’s my first year and I don’t know anybody! Kela says it starts on Monday. Today is already Saturday! That means in two days I have to go to school and learn stuff.”
“I wish I could learn stuff,” Mew said dreamily. “I want to learn how to write, like Kela writes. And make stories and draw pictures, too, just like her.”
Alyett smiled. Mew was an aspiring artist (although she always got confused and called it “expiring” artist), but she wasn’t old enough to go to Neoschool yet. It frustrated the little Kougra that she didn’t know how to write her own name. “Maybe Kela will teach you how to write when me and Dark and Shei are in school.”
Mew shivered. The thought of her sisters and brother leaving her behind every day for Neoschool was scary – what would she do? She’d have to go everywhere with Kela, since she wasn’t old enough to stay home by herself.
“I’m bored,” Alyett groaned, throwing the ball up against the bed that the two girls shared. “Let’s go make Kela some soup to help her feel better.”
Mew jumped to her feet. “Okay!”
The girls raced each other down the stairs, eager to reach the kitchen.
* * *
“What should we put in it?”
“I dunno. I never made soup a’fore.”
“Well, let’s check the fridge.” Alyett pulled the refrigerator door open, and the pets peered inside. “Let’s just grab some stuff that sounds like it would go in a soup. Then we’ll put it in a bowl and make it warm.”
“How? We’re not s’posed to use the oven.”
“Don’t be silly. I have a different plan.” Alyett dug around the fridge shelves. “I’ll look in here. You go pick some veggies from Kela’s garden, okay? It’s been a long time since she picked anything from there, so that means it has to be almost done, probably.”
“’Kay.” Mew trotted off to the backyard, where Kela’s old garden was. She plucked two withered carrots. They were covered in dirt, and one of them had a worm wrapped around it. Mew picked it off and dropped it back into the mud, then pulled three tomatoes off the vine. They were brown and very squishy, but Mew figured that was fine. Lastly, she yanked out a couple of celery stalks, which were lying flat on the ground and were very flexible.
Pleased, Mew brought her findings back to the kitchen. “Aly! I got the vegertibles.” She laid them out carefully on the counter, where the Eyrie surveyed them.
“Looks good. And also, it’s vegetables, not ‘vegertibles’.” Alyett was trying to help Mew with her speech, and she found that it was quite fun to correct the little Kougra. She picked up the carrots. “I’ll cut these up, and you –”
“Aly! We can’t use knives.”
“Who said I was gonna use a knife?” Alyett asked. She held up a pair of plastic scissors. “These are totally safe, and we’re allowed to use ‘em. Anyway, I’ll cut up the carrots and you can smash the tomatoes. Here, use this.” She handed her sister a big spoon, then dug around in a cupboard until she found a nice big bowl.
Mew plopped the tomatoes into the metal mixing bowl and began mashing them, not bothering to rinse the dirt off. Once it was finished, Alyett added the carrots and celery she’d cut. “There,” Aly said, plopping in the last of the veggies. “Now we need broth... what can we use for that?”
Mew shrugged. She didn’t know what in the world “broth” was.
Alyett opened the fridge again. “Let’s see. We could use water, but that would probably taste yucky. Oh – how about some of Kela’s favorite iced papaya tea?”
“Yum!” Mew exclaimed. She adored tea, just like her owner.
The Eyrie pulled out the tea and dumped the last of it into the bowl, splashing the counter. “Oops,” she said in a carefree voice. “Now we just need to add my other ingredients, and then the soup will be all done!”
She added in some sweet baked beans, a few olives, three crushed-up cinnamon honey sticks (“For extra broth flavor,” Alyett explained, “you’re not supposed to actually eat them.”), and a slice of moldy vegan cheese.
“Now the soup is finished. We just have to heat it up!” Alyett glanced at the clock. “It’s just after ten right now. Kela usually eats lunch around noon. We’ll heat it up for the next two hours and then we’ll give Kela lunch in bed!”
Mew grinned, excited. What a great idea! She couldn’t wait for lunchtime. Then she remembered, “Wait! What ’bout us? We need to eat lunch too.”
“Oh yeah.” Alyett stared into the bowl. There wasn’t enough for three people. “Oh, I know! I’ll make us popcorn sandwiches.” She smiled. “It’s my specialty. But first, we need to make sure Kela’s soup gets nice and warm. Cold soup isn’t that yummy unless it’s supposed to be cold. But our soup’s s’posed to be warm.”
The baby Eyrie led the Kougra to the backyard steps. She placed the bowl on the top step, being careful not to spill. “See how the sun is shining right here? It’s the perfect spot to heat up the soup. The sun will keep shining on it until lunchtime, and it’ll make it warm. It takes longer than an oven, but it’s the only thing we can do.”
Mew thought this was a very clever plan. “Let’s draw get better cards,” she suggested. “Then we can have somethin’ ta do ’fore lunch.”
“Good idea, Mew!” Alyett praised. “We can use your new crayons and my markers. I have lots of paper we can use.”
* * *
“Do you like my card?” Mew asked, holding up her folded paper. On the front was a picture of their family. Mew had even drawn herself wearing her favorite pink bow and rainbow bracelet. Alyett helped her write the first letters of everyone’s name underneath their picture – K, D, S, A, M. On the inside, she had drawn a pretty sunflower with some Buzzes flying around it. There was also a Babaa frolicking in the field behind the flower.
“Wow! Good job, Mew. You really are an artist. Better than me, even.” Alyett’s card front was similar – a family portrait. On the inside she drew her petpet, Ezel the white Gruslen, smiling. “Let’s take our cards to her. I bet the soup is nice and warm now.”
They woke Kela up – accidentally, of course – and gave her the cards. “Oh, girls!” Kela exclaimed. “I love these! Thank you so much.” She gave each of them a warm hug.
“And we also made you lunch,” Alyett said, wiggling in excitement. “It should be all ready by now. Are you hungry? We can get it for you! Me and Mew already ate lunch. I made –” she paused “sandwiches... for us.”
“Good job, Aly. You’re really growing up,” Kela said, smiling at the Eyrie. “And yes, I am feeling a little hungry.”
“Okay! We’ll be right back. Do you want some juice?”
“Oh, can you bring me up the rest of my papaya tea?” Kela requested.
“Uh... actually, that’s all gone. But I think we have some apple juice left.”
Kela was puzzled. No one else drank her tea except for Mew. Oh, well, she thought. Mew must’ve drunken it. “Apple juice sounds fine, thank you.”
“Okay. We’ll go get it for you.”
Mew and Alyett ran downstairs, throwing open the back door. They stared at the bowl of “soup”, which didn’t look so yummy. “Is it warm?” Mew asked.
Alyett poked in a finger. “Yep, feels pretty warm to me. Let’s bring it inside and get Kela’s juice.”
They carefully poured a glass, making sure not to spill. Then Alyett grabbed a handful of napkins (just in case) and they each started up the stairs. Slowly, Mew walked with the glass of juice, holding it with both paws. Alyett did the same with the soup bowl, holding the napkins in her beak.
They gave Kela her food. She stared into the bowl, and after a very long pause, asked, “What kind of soup is this?” she asked hesitantly.
“It’s... it’s...” Alyett fumbled for words. What kind of soup was it, anyway? “It’s a special kind of soup. We made it ourselves.”
Slowly, Kela raised the spoon to her mouth. She took a sip, and then her mouth seemed to pinch up in disgust.
“D’you like it?” Mew asked.
“Mmmhmm,” Kela mumbled, forcing a small smile. She quickly lifted the glass of juice to her lips and guzzled down half of it. “Actually, girls, I’m feeling a lot better now. In fact... why don’t we take a little trip to Neopia Central for a smoothie?”
“Yummy!” Mew exclaimed, clapping her paws together.
“Okay,” Alyett agreed. “But can we make lunch tomorrow, too? It was fun.”
“We’ll see,” Kela answered, chuckling.
8D I hope you enjoyed this story! Mew and Alyett appreciate all the attention. x3