Wayfarer Finds a Friend
Wayfarer snorted softly as she was shaken out of sleep. "Come on, Wayfarer, I've got a surprise for you," whispered Faeraday urgently.
The little blue Flowper petpet rubbed her eyes and squinted at the clock. She opened her eyes wider and stared. It was 2:42 am! She fought the urge to lay back down as Faeraday spoke again.
"I'll explain while we walk, you have 3 minutes to get moving." She walked briskly out through the open door, leaving Wayfarer by herself.
Gosh, she could be so bossy sometimes, thought Wayfarer. She loved her owner, though. Faeraday was a beautiful Kyrii princess who lived locked in the top of a tower. Wayfarer was pretty much her only friend in that high, chilly place. Her father had put Faeraday in the tower with the thought that she would quit sneaking out, but it didn't stop her, she always found a way.
They had been on many adventures together. Once, they climbed out the window in the middle of the night. Wayfarer almost fell, but Faeraday was there to steady her. They snuck out into the woods and met some tree-elves who happily played them songs until the wee hours of the morning. Wayfarer glanced at the window, and was happy to notice there were no sheets hanging there this time. She must have found another way out.
The little petpet scrambled out of bed and into the main sitting room of the tower. The door was wide open, a slight breeze blowing in and ruffling her fur. Faeraday was nowhere to be found, so Wayfarer strode quietly down the long, spiraling staircase. At the bottom, she looked around. There was no one around, the occupants of the castle were fast asleep. These were fairly peaceful times in Neopia, so the guards that sometimes filled the castle walls at night were absent, and the stillness was almost unnerving. Wayfarer shifted her feet uneasily as she waited for her owner.
Soon, Faeraday came running out, her hands filled with various objects. In the dark, Wayfarer could only make out a long waving object and a basket of some sort. Her owner grabbed her hand, and lifted her onto her shoulder. They were off!
Once they had snuck past the castle gates, Faeraday visibly relaxed. They crunched along the rocky path and Faeraday burst out talking in an excited voice. "Wayfarer, you know what? I listened to you! I remembered that one night when you said you'd always wanted a pet of your own, and I think I found the perfect one!" Wayfarer's heartbeat picked up. Her own pet? She'd always thought it would never be allowed in that cold, stark castle.
Faeraday continued, "I had been trying to think of a pet for you that could fly, so that it could go in and out of the tower if it wanted. It was then that I remembered a little boy I met a few years ago. He was a strange traveler and the first thing I noticed about him was a little bug perched on his shoulder. It had long, shimmering wings and the biggest, most gorgeous eyes. I asked him what it was and he told me it was a Draphly!"
A Draphly? Wayfarer thought those were extinct. She'd seen pictures of them in some of the old, crinkly books she'd seen in the library, but there were no recent texts on these creatures.
The young princess went on, "I'd always thought Draphlys were just a myth, but he told me that they were just very hard to find," Faeraday continued. "The thing is, there's only one Draphly egg born to a mother Draphly a year. She lays her tiny, shiny egg in a small hollow in a tree at the start of summer. The egg sits there alone for the rest of the summer, waiting for the full moon in May."
Wayfarer glanced up at the sky. There was indeed a full moon peeking out from behind the clouds.
"The problem is, on that night, at 3am, the egg requires one drop of water, or it won't hatch. The mother Draphly usually flies off and forgets where she laid her egg, so not many eggs get hatched. It also doesn't help that the eggs are a tasty treat to many animals." She paused and then continued excitedly, "Well, while father and I were fishing a few days ago, I noticed a glimmer in a small tree near the stream. I pulled out some of the leaves around it and there sat a little blue egg, about the size of a small pebble."
Wayfarer sucked in air and stared down from her owners shoulder into her eyes.
"I'm pretty sure it's a Draphly egg, Wayfarer! I looked at all of the old library books that I could find, and the eggs looked just the same. Look, we're almost there, see that tree?" Faeraday pointed in the direction of a scrawny little tree.
Wayfarer nodded excitedly as Faeraday handed her the butterfly net she'd been carrying.
"I brought the net just in case. I heard they were pretty fast, even newly hatched. Once you catch them, though, they are yours forever." Faeraday smiled and pulled out a little jar of water. They were almost there and Wayfarer couldn't keep the smile off of her face.
They came up to the tree and Faeraday set Wayfarer down gently in the leaves on the ground. She moved aside the leaves she'd piled up in the hollow and revealed the tiny little egg. It seemed to glow in the dark. Faeraday glanced down at the pocket-watch in her hand. "2:57, we are right on time! Let me get the water ready."
She pulled out a little dropper, and crouched down in front of the egg. Wayfarer stuck her little nose down close, holding the net at the ready. As soon as the little hand on the watch hit 3 A.M., Faeraday applied the drop of water. Nothing happened at first, but then the clouds over the moon shifted a little, and a moon beam cut down through the air, lighting up the scene. The water on the egg glistened for a moment in the sudden light, and then absorbed into the shell. The egg shook a little, and before they could blink, the top popped off and a small creature flew out, darting between the two startled watchers.
Faeraday squealed excitedly and pointed, and Wayfarer swung her net. The little bug had no chance, it flew straight into the netting and was soon tangled up inside.
Wayfarer bounced around in excitement for a moment before examining her catch. She peered into the net and stared in wonder at the little flying creature. The Draphly was even more beautiful than the pictures could depict. In the moonlight, the bug looked like it was made of 1000 different colors all at once. Its body was mostly blue, but had an iridescent coat which sparkled and shone. The large, luminous eyes didn't look like one eye, but a million tiny eyes all in one. It was the most beautiful creature she'd ever seen. It calmed as she reached in to untangle it, and Faeraday put her arms around Wayfarer as she raised it to give it a hug.
"You have a safe place with me," whispered Wayfarer to the creature, who was now smiling. The Draphly buzzed its wings contentedly and the trio happily headed for home.