An Ogrin's Wild Life
The baby Yurble approached the Neopia Central Neohome. He found who he was looking for immediately. The yellow Ogrin lay reclined on the bank of the pond, watching his yellow Mallard swim. A playful breeze rippled the water and fluffy white clouds played hide and seek with the sun.
"A very lovely day, wouldn't you say, Og," the baby Yurble said, approaching the Ogrin and sitting beside him.
Og sat up, a warm smile on his face. "I would. How are you, Lofty?"
"Doing fine. Og, would you come on a walk with me?"
"Be delighted to!"
The two friends stood up and began their walk on a nearby trail. Og didn't object when Lofty took the lead off the trail. The Ogrin's biggest fear was of getting lost but he was currently with the one Neopet who never did. Og didn't object as they entered the increasingly rough terrain. He wore clothes suited for rough environments.
Og did make a sudden halt when a Tyrannian Noil suddenly appeared. Og was the type of Neopet who befriended all Petpets he came across, no matter what they looked like. This Petpet looked like he was in trouble. He seemed to be tangled in thorny brambles. He didn't struggle as Og approached.
"Hello there, little guy. How'd you get yourself into a mess like this?" Og asked in a low, soft voice, kneeling down.
Og began to untangle the Noil, who let him. It would have been a quick job if the thorns were not tangled in the Noil's fine mane. Og was thorough, running his fingers through the Noil's mane again and again. Finally, he was satisfied.
"OK, you're free, little friend," Og said, beginning to rise to his feet when he froze.
The yellow Ogrin was sensitive to his environment and at the moment, he sensed another presence besides himself and the Noil. Slowly, he began to scan the area, looking for the change. It wasn't Lofty, who, for the moment, was nowhere to be found. Then, a Desert Ogrin stepped into the open. The Tyrannian Noil tottered between Og's legs and approached the stranger; Og could hear his deep rumbling purr of greeting.
The other Ogrin reached down to rub the Noil's mane. His gaze never left Og's face.
"I saw what you did for Aage. Thank you, Og. My name is Afif. Lofty was right about you," the strange Ogrin said.
"Have a nice time, you two," Lofty said, coming into view behind Afif.
"Wait, Lofty! Where are you going?" Og turned to the baby Yurble, his brow furrowed.
"I have to get back. Sweet hates being left. You'll be fine."
Og relaxed slightly as the baby Yurble made his exit. He trusted Lofty. He turned his attention back to Afif.
"You have questions. I can see it in your eyes. Go on," Afif said with a wave of his hand.
"What are you doing out here? Do you live here?" Og asked.
"I used to live in Neopia Central. Yet, we are Ogrins. We do not thrive in all of that hustle and bustle. We long for quiet, for the joy of a sunrise or a budding flower. It took me some time to realize why I was so miserable.
"It was so freeing when I did. I moved immediately. I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge. I travel Neopia, not staying in any one place for too long. I am constantly learning new things and I'll never learn it all.
"My only companion is Aage. He is an excellent judge of character."
A soft smile appeared on Afif's face. Og took this in in silence. What Afif said was true. Og lived on the very outskirts of N.C. He looked at his hands, knitting them together.
"You are doing what I long to do. It's what I admire so much in Lofty," Og said in a low voice.
"He told me. You're afraid of being lost. You don't trust yourself to find your way back or to enjoy being lost," Afif said.
"Enjoy being lost?"
"Yes. I never know where I'm going. It gives me a freedom I wouldn't otherwise have. I have stumbled upon some amazing things."
Again, Og was silent. What Afif said was true.
"I'm just not brave enough," Og said helplessly.
Afif stepped forward and clapped a firm hand on Og's shoulder. "It isn't the life for everyone. Don't feel bad. You still enjoy nature in your own way and you're very family-oriented. I have a few scattered friends but my only family is Aage."
Og felt an overwhelming sadness for Afif. Then, the hand on his shoulder tightened its grip.
"Don't feel sorry for me. I'm living the life best suited for me," Afif said firmly.
Og gazed at Afif a moment before nodding his head.
"Now, I've been here for three months. It's about time I moved on but three months doesn't compare to nineteen years living in the area. Will you show me around?"
"Yeah! Mind heading back to my Neohome? We have a lovely pond and I want you to meet Alla," Og began, heading back the way he had come with confidence and the ease of someone on familiar ground.
"Who is Alla?"
At this question, Og felt free to chatter like an Urchull. Shy with strangers but quite the chatterbox with friends and family, Og had opened up to Afif rather quickly; exacerbated by both being Ogrins and having so many things in common. Afif also opened himself to Og. Normally solitary, with only a Petpet for company, he now had a willing and listening ear.
The friendship was mostly cemented by the time Og's Neohome came into view. Always, after enjoying time in the woods, Og felt a warm thrill as he arrived home. It was a squat Neohome, yet spacious for the four Neopets that lived there. It had a large window in front that looked over the low hill and the small pond. As always, Alla came out of the pond, quacking with delight as she greeted the Ogrin pair and the Tyrannian Noil.
The yellow Mallard was warm, loving and enjoyed meeting other Neopets, since they almost always had a yummy treat or a cuddle to spare. Og scooped up his beloved Petpet.
Afif smiled. "So this is the lovely Alla."
Og nodded his head, rummaged around in his jacket pocket and handed Afif a small parcel. "Yes, here. These are her favorite."
Afif opened the parcel, removed some bread crumbs and was delighted when Alla enthusiastically nibbled them out of his open palm. The two Ogrins made their way to the hill, where Og had been only a short time before. He set Alla down and she waddled back to the pond. Aage curled up in the grass besides Afif. Afif and Og looked at the clouds, all of their words spent, for the time being.
Afif's ears twitched and he rolled onto his stomach, nudging Og as he did so. Og followed the Desert Ogrin's lead. Now their eyes were at grass level. Nothing happened for a moment, then the grass rustled. Og's eyes widened and he hissed in his breath as he saw the familiar green, white and red stripes of a Cobrall.
The Cobrall didn't acknowledge her audience, merely continuing on her way, down the hill. If Afif hadn't alerted him, Og would have missed it. For the rest of the day, the two Ogrins watched from the pond bank: a Greeble catching Petpetpets, Urchulls chattering in the nearby trees. A flock of Beekadoodles flew about them, blue blurs singing their sweet song.
"There is just something about a Beekadoodle's song to make one feel all is right with the world," Og said.
Afif nodded his head in firm agreement. Suddenly, the serenity of the scene was broken by two laughs: one as harsh as fingernails on a blackboard, the other positively angelic. The breeze brought the odd scents of omelette and strawberries. Og could see a yellow Pteri and a Christmas Zafara coming fast in their direction.
"My siblings are coming home from shopping. Would you... Afif, wait! Where are you going?" Og asked in surprise.
The Desert Ogrin didn't answer at first, as he was busy heading for the shelter of the trees, his Tyrannian Noil padding along behind him. Then, he paused to look back. He smiled warmly at Og before he disappeared into the trees. Og stayed there, looking at the place where he had last seen Afif. He had been taken aback by his friend's abrupt departure, yet, he believed he understood.
My siblings aren't the best pets to meet, especially if you're used to solitude, like Afif, Og thought. The yellow Ogrin turned away to meet his siblings as they arrived. This was the best day ever and one that I'll never forget.