Rawr, the Fiercest Tasu
"Shoy, do you think I'm fierce?"
The query arose from a small speckled Faerie Tasu whose crystal blue eyes looked expectantly up at his best friend, Shoy, aka shoyrusrock_2004.
“Fierce, Rawr? How many times have I told you that faeries aren't fierce? Faeries are graceful and elegant, soft-spoken, and charming. We flit, we don't...pounce!" Shoy admonished as he caught Rawr by the scruff mid-pounce.
“I'm pretty sure I've seen Jhudora pounce a few times before...," muttered Rawr under his breath. "It's just that all the other Tasus are so tough - petpets get out of their way when they see them coming. I'm a Tasu too, but...but I can't even scare away a cloud!” Rawr whined as he tried to push away the tiny Strale that floated up alongside him. Shoy gently put Rawr down on tree branch and took a deep breath.
"Rawr, being able to intimidate others and scare them out of your way is not a sign of being fierce or respected, it means that you're a bully. People don't respect bullies; they may fear them, but they don't respect them. Tell me, who do you think is the fiercest of all Neopets?”
“Why, Kougras of course!" Rawr replied with a cocky tone of voice as he flashed his claws and arched his back in an imitation that nearly sent him flying off his tree branch. "Everyone knows that Kougras are the greatest warriors in Neopia! Us felines gotta stick together," Rawr said with an exaggerated toss of his head.
Shoy had an idea. "OK then Rawr. I have an old acquaintance that I want you to meet, a Kougra I knew in my youth who now lives in the heart of Mystery Island. I want you to set out first thing in the morning, as the journey is long, but there you will find the fiercest Kougra of all, and you may finally find an answer to your questions."
And so at first light of dawn, Rawr packed up a few light snacks and eagerly set out on the journey that he knew would change his life. Finally he would meet a Kougra warrior who could teach him how to be fiercest Tasu there was! A warm breeze blew softly under his wings, and carried Rawr across colorful canvas of sky over Neopia. He let his mind wander for a moment and imagined basking in the glory of admiration once he had learned the secrets he so desired. He knew he had greatness inside him.
It was nearly dusk by the time Rawr arrived at the shores of Mystery Island. Tired as he was, his eyes lit up at the sight of his destination.
“Now, to find this great master!" Rawr flew up a few hundred feet over the roofs of the village huts, and he spotted a long line of Neopets winding through the streets and culminating at a blazing fire on the shore of the harbor. "That must be it! Wow, just look at all the Neopets who have come to pay homage to this Kougra. He must be fierce indeed!" Rawr thought to himself.
"I've got to get a closer look," he decided and skirted around the line, hiding in the shadows of the trees. Rawr crept up an old crooked tree, digging his claws into the rough bark to pull himself onto the first thick branch he could find. Quietly, he leaned in as close to the fire as he dared without being spotted, and what he saw made him rub his eyes in disbelief. Sitting humbly by the blaze, dressed in the simplest of garb, was a female Kougra. Her coat was dull with age, but her eyes sparkled brightly with the knowledge that burned inside of her. There sat no warrior, but a wizened old soul who handed out her wit and wisdom freely to those who would seek it. Confused, Rawr squinted his eyes and looked closer. Was he missing something? All of these Neopets came here to see... her? This couldn’t be right.
“She can't teach me to be the bravest Tasu in Neopia! What could anybody learn from..." And then Rawr's small rant came to an abrupt stop; so abrupt that it left his mouth hanging open in mid-sentence, for next in line to speak to the old Kougra was none other than the mighty Jeran himself. Jeran - the bravest warrior in Meridell's history had something to learn from HER? Struck by awe, Rawr watched as the Lupe listened to her words of wisdom, bowed his head in respect, and quietly departed into the night. Before he could regain his wits, the next figure in line approached the Kougra, knelt down, and whispered something quietly to the Kougra. Rawr crept closer and strained to hear her words. After a few moments, the figure nodded and pushed back the hood of her brown cloak from her head. A brilliant purple glow illuminated the night, outshining the fire and revealing the figure to be none other than Queen Fyora herself! Completely taken aback, Rawr let out a loud gasp and, rather ungracefully, fell from his perch landing right in Fyora's lap! Startled and embarrassed, Rawr quickly regained his feet and struggled to explain himself. Before he could force his shaky voice to utter the rest of his story, however, Fyora smiled, put her finger to her lips, and slowly stood up, leaving Rawr and the Kougra alone.
Her eyes bright, she spoke with kindness in her voice, "My name is Rorru. I can read into your thoughts, and offer you what wisdom I have to aid you in your journey. This is my gift to you:
He who knows his heart
With strength to act upon it,
The fiercest of all.
Contemplate this and return again when you find yourself in need."
Mimicking the behavior he observed from the others, Rawr bowed his head in respect, and quickly sprang to his feet and hurried back to the trees. Once hidden from sight, the little Tasu stopped to catch his breath and wrap his thoughts around what he had witnessed. Anxious to get back home, Rawr didn't wait for morning to depart. He took to the sky and flew through the starry night, eyes half-closed as he felt the cool night breeze upon his face.
The hours passed like minutes, and soon enough, as the sun began to peek up over the horizon, Rawr landed on the tree outside Shoy's house and promptly fell asleep. A few hours later, he felt a nudge and opened his eyes to see Shoy's smiling face in front of him.
"So? Did you find any answers to your questions in Mystery Island?" Shoy asked with a twinkle in his eye. Rawr yawned and stretched his body out on the sturdy branch.
After a moment's pause and a thoughtful expression on his face, he replied, "Yes. Appearances may be deceiving, and one does not need to be the toughest or the strongest Neopet to be the fiercest. Courage, bravery, and wisdom can make even the smallest Tasu the fiercest one of all." With a sleepy smile, Rawr closed his eyes again, turned over, and rolled right off the tree branch to the ground.