It's a Sunny Side Up Day
UnaRae found herself running through grassy meadows one gloriously fine day. The sun was out, there were all sorts of colourful flowers dotting the fields, and the chirping of moaches everywhere one went. It was a beautiful day. The Koi lifted her nose and took in a deep breath.
"It smells wonderful!" she exclaimed joyfully, admiring the brilliance that surrounded her. "It smells just like... breakfast. Oh my, you know it's a wonderful day when the flowers smell just like breakfast. But what's that I hear? It sounds like... giggling? Yes, I hear giggling. But I see no one here. Still, that sounds like Ccaenine's giggling. Ccaenine?"
Just at that moment, Una opened an eye. The grassy fields melted like vapour, and instead, she recognised her Harris bed. It had all been a dream. But if that was a dream, why did she still smell something delightful? And why was there giggling from behind her?
Una raised her head and looked behind her, then let out a moan. Ccaenine was standing at the foot of her bed, a smile on his face, and a jug in one hand, a spatula in the other. Una's bedside table had been relocated so that it was next to her brother, and Una could barely see something steaming on it. The Koi groaned.
"Ccaenine, just what do you think you're doing?" Una grumbled, and Ccaenine looked at her, never losing the smile as he poked at something with the spatula.
"I'm cooking breakfast, Una," replied the merry Blumaroo, lifting a pancake with the spatula, and sliding it onto the pile heaped upon the plate that reposed on Una's bedside table. "I got the eggs finished, and the bacon, and now I'm just finishing up the pancakes. One more to go." He poured out batter from the jug as he spoke, looking proud of himself.
Una sighed. "Ok, you're cooking breakfast. That's fine. But why aren't you cooking it on the stove in the kitchen? Why are you using my tail like a griddle?"
Ccaenine focused on the pancake as it sizzled on the tail of his sister, thankful to his owner for allowing Una to take a swim in the magma pool in the heart of Moltara. He looked up.
"Una, I sold the stove over a week ago," he admitted, his cheeks flushing crimson from mild embarrassment. "We needed the NP, you know. That new wheel in Qasala was too much for me to resist, you see."
Una levelled her eyes, smoldering with suppressed fury, at her brother, and narrowed them. Ccaenine gulped. UnaRae was a wonderful sister, but when she got mad, goodnight! She spoke up at last, and Ccaenine heard the steel in her voice.
"You sold our stove for quick NP, just so you could spin the Wheel of Extravagance in Qasala, which, as I recall correctly, costs 100k for just one spin?" There was a sting in every word. The poor Roo winced, but nodded. He wiped the sweat from his brow, and smiled again, a weaker smile from before. He flipped the pancake, looking very nervous.
Una glared at her brother, who looked very ashamed of what he had done. He still said nothing, which only infuriated the Koi even more. It was true, he had not done a good thing, and Una let that fact hang in the air, though she wished her brother might say something in defence. Nothing happened. At length, she addressed him in her most dangerous tones.
"So, after all that, are you planning to replace the stove, along with every bit of the NP that you so foolishly wasted in such a fashion? Just what do you have to say for yourself, sir?" The Koi looked at her brother, and he could see how furious she was, with her narrowed gaze and taut mouth, drawn into almost nothing as she sized him up.
Ccaenine looked up after a moment's hesitation. "I won a Nerkmid, actually. I sold it and replaced all the NP as soon as I possibly could. As for the stove, I sort of thought... well... um..." The poor Roo was in such a plight, but at least the news of the Nerkmid sale seemed to satisfy his sister. Her eyes widened a trace, her mouth relaxed a bit. He scratched his head, and shrugged, then lifted the plate of smoking hot pancakes. "Want a pancake, Una?" he finally asked, summoning forth another weak smile.
Una found her anger evaporating quickly. Ccaenine had done wrong in selling off the stove and spinning that wheel, it was true, but the announcement of the Nerkmid win, and prompt sale thereafter, brought him back into her good graces, as far as she was concerned. In any case, he had done a wrong thing, and Una knew this couldn't be allowed to slide. Luann would know how to handle the situation, thought the Koi to herself, but not a word did she say, only offered a fleeting smile of forgiveness, and accepted the proffered pancake. Despite her vanishing anger, and the sorrow in her disappointment toward her brother, that was a very good pancake. It was a peace offering, she knew.
Later on that afternoon, Luann, their owner, heard the story, and spoke with the culprit. Ccaenine owned up to his wrongdoings, admitted he was sorry, and asked for forgiveness of his owner. Luann looked at the Blumaroo with some amusement. After all, hearing of his ingenious impulse at cooking their breakfast on the tail of his magmafied sister, did strike her as something of a funny situation, though she hid her amusement behind a mask of justice. She finally announced a punishment, and the matter was settled.
After supper, Ccaenine went into the kitchen to wash up, and Una told Zadar and Jenssen that they were not to help out this time. She told them, briefly, of what Luann had decreed, and the reasons for it. Though they were shocked, Zadar and Jen said nothing. Una, feeling a bit awkward, left the others, and went to play her piano for a while, something she very rarely did. Ccaenine scrubbed the dishes, rinsed them, and put them in the racks to dry, then he got away as quickly as he could, to reflect on the lesson he had learned.
In addition to washing dishes for the rest of the week, Ccaenine was put to work in helping out in the Soup Kitchen. The young Roo found the work decent, and it was nice to help hand out bowls of soup to hungry Neopets who had very little to eat.
Zadar and Jenssen, though aware of certain details behind their brother's week of community service, did not tease him as much as they might have done otherwise. Zadar was only mildly annoyed with his little brother, but he held his tongue. Jen smiled at her brother, and gave his hand a friendly little squeeze, then left him to his own devices.
After that week came to an end, Luann, stopping in for a moment, told Ccaenine to take no further liberties with the Wheel of Extravagance, and left to pay a visit to the Mystery Island family. The Blumaroo nodded, and said he would remember to keep his word, and Luann, satisfied, hugged him before taking her leave.
Ccaenine watched his owner depart, twitching one floppy red ear, then he smiled, coiled his tail, and hopped off to read a book with Jen. Una, looking at her two youngest siblings, smiled in satisfaction, and joined them for an hour of after-supper amusement, the best time of the day for their family, thankful to know that all was well once again.
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|Sailing the Stars: Part Five|
The Battle Faerie stepped forward. "Thank you all for coming," she said quickly. "As you all know, the Sloth menace is quickly getting out of hand."