Usuki Singing Stars #41: Go and Fly a Kite!
Three of the characters--including Ben Fitzgerald--are borrowed from There Goes That Man and His Kite by Dewdropzz.
"Hooray! We’re at the park!" Alan cheered. The blue Shoyru ran around excitedly and then headed towards an Elephante shaped slide. "I’m going to go down the slide first! And then I’ll go on the swings."
Patricia groaned. Babysitting Alan and Brayden at the park was not how she wanted to spend her Saturday. Instead, she would have preferred to be at the Smoothie Shop—or any other place in Neopia Central—with her friends. "Okay, but be careful!" the faerie Shoyru shouted, struggling with keeping her grasp on Brayden, who wiggled excitedly. Patricia sat down underneath a leafy tree and placed Brayden on the grass. "I hope this boring day goes by quickly," she remarked to the baby Shoyru.
Brayden crawled around, admiring the scenery. "Blagoofa!" he exclaimed happily, inching towards a daisy.
There’s got to be something interesting to do, Patricia thought, looking around the park. She saw two elderly Elephantes strolling down a path, three Bruces engaged in an intense soccer game, a muscular Christmas Draik and a fire Shoyru were admiring the clouds that drifted above them and…a middle-aged Ixi was flying a kite?? Patricia did a double take. "Well, I’ll be," she gasped as she watched the brown Ixi wander about the park, his red kite soaring in the sky.
Two passing Acaras stopped and watched the Ixi for a few minutes. Then they left, the pink one giggling, "That old nut comes to the park every day to fly his toy! Isn’t that adorable?"
The yellow Acara roared with laugher. "More like lame! What kind of modern Neopian enjoys something as boring as kite-flying??"
"He’s not that lame," Patricia muttered, though she had to agree on one thing: kite-flying was boring. Yet despite this, the Ixi seemed to be enjoying himself—despite the numbers of gawkers that would watch him before parting ways. How could somebody so old enjoy something so kiddy? Patricia wondered.
"Hey Patricia!" Alan was running towards her and waving his hands excitedly towards the Ixi. "Did you see that man with the flying diamond toy? Doesn’t that thing look like fun?"
"Not…really…" Patricia said slowly.
"I bet that, if we ask them, he’ll let us play with him and he’ll buy us ice cream!" Alan jumped happily and made his way towards the Ixi. Brayden squealed and crawled after him.
"Wait! Come back!" Patricia groaned and quickly caught up with her brothers, who were staring up at the kite and the Neopian that was flying it.
Alan craned his neck high up in the air, his mouth wide open. "Wow! Your red diamond toy is so tiny! Is it trying to fly away?"
The Ixi shrugged. "If it’s trying to escape, then I’ll just pull it down with my string," he mused.
"You must be the oldest Ixi in Neopia!" Alan gasped. "I bet you’re much older than my mommy!"
"Well, I am in my forties," the Ixi chuckled.
Patricia scooped Brayden up and grabbed Alan’s hand. "I’m sorry if my brothers are bothering you, mister," she said. "I’ll make sure they don’t disturb your kite-flying time."
The Ixi shook his head. "Please, let them stay," he insisted. "They’re not bothering me at all; in fact, I’ve been enjoying their company a lot." He nodded. "And please call me Ben."
After introducing herself and her brothers, Patricia asked Ben, "So, uh…why are you flying a kite here and now? Aren’t you embarrassed of all the stares and murmurs you’re getting?"
"Oh, I’m gotten used to all that," Ben explained, his gaze still fixed on the kite. "It’s doesn’t bother me in the slightest. In fact, I think it’s amusing."
"You do?" Patricia gasped. "Because I think I would just die if any of my friends caught me flying a kite." She shrugged. "They’re so childish, ya know?"
"Does that mean I can fly mister’s kite now??" asked Alan hopefully.
Brayden clapped. "Moonga!" he exclaimed.
"Well, you’ll have to be ever-so-careful when you’re flying a kite, young man," Ben instructed. He crouched down to Alan and handed him the handle. "How about we fly together for a bit? Then, when you get the hang of it, I can let you fly it solo."
"Okay!" Alan said, beaming. He followed Ben’s example and, after gripped the handle, looked up above, being vigilant of how far away the kite was getting and how strong the wind current was. "Wow, I’m flying it! I’m flying!" Alan exclaimed.
"Pagaba!" Brayden shouted, waving his daisy in the air.
"You see, Patricia," said Ben, standing up. "Everyone can enjoy kite-flying! All you need is a kite and a nice wind current."
"Eh, it still looks boring to me," Patricia confessed, "and it is childish."
"Do you really believe that only the youngest of children are the only ones that can enjoy the pleasure of kite flying?" Ben wondered. "Shouldn’t the activity of kite flying be enjoyed by every one of all ages?"
Patricia shrugged. "I guess." She watched the kite drift farther up the sky, and Alan was squealing loudly as he led the kite in a figure eight. Watching Alan enjoy the kite was a no brainier: after all, little kids like him would enjoy any toy they get their hands on! Older pets, however, were a lot wiser and more particular in their passions and interests. Despite Ben’s persuasiveness, Patricia couldn’t imagine anybody older than Alan enjoying the ‘pleasure’ of kite flying. Well, besides Ben, of course, Patricia mused.
After a few more minutes, Alan gave the handle back to Ben. "It’s getting boring now," he insisted. "All the kite's doing is flying. It doesn’t even talk!"
"Kites aren’t supposed to talk, ya know," said Ben, directing the kite away from a flying Pteri. "Then again, it would be impressive if the Toy Shop could release a talking version sometime."
"I’d prefer a Puppyblew shaped kite," said Alan. Brayden nodded and added a squeal of approval.
Ben turned to Patricia and, with a slight smile on his face, handed her the handle. "Why don’t you try it yourself? Maybe you’ll develop a taste for kite flying."
"I can’t," Patricia insisted. "I’m too busy looking after Brayden to fly your kite."
"Let me hold him for you," Ben insisted, "and then you can fly the kite for me. Deal?"
Reluctantly, Patricia handed her baby brother to Ben and took the kite handle. "Here we go," she murmured, watching as the kite dove downwards before being picked up again by a passing current.
For a few minutes, everything went smoothly. The kite was still flying, Alan was cheering, and Brayden squirmed happily as he watched the kite continue it’s descent into the sky. "It’s so high now!" Alan exclaimed, standing on tiptoe. "Do you think it’s touching the Virtupets Space Station yet??"
"I don’t think it’s that high up yet," Ben insisted.
"Ploogal!" Brayden said, pointing to the kite and slobbering over Ben’s sweater.
Ben wiped the slobber off with his handkerchief. "Well Patricia, how are you enjoying the kite flying? Is it ‘hip’ and ‘groovy’?"
"I…uh, wouldn’t use those exact words as adjectives," Patricia replied. "But the kite is okay, I guess. It’s kind of peaceful."
"That means she likes it more than doing Neoschool homework," said Alan. "And she really likes doing homework!"
"I see," said Ben.
"Oofgah," said Brayden, clapping. "Moogah boo!"
"Yes, I completely agree," said Ben, laughing.
Patricia forced a smile. The kite flying wasn’t too bad: yes she was starting to attract a small crowd of onlookers, but at least nobody she knew was there to watch her. For a while, Patricia felt a calmness sweep over her as she watched the kite float in the breeze. Then, just as she was halfway through a figure eight, the Christmas Draik that had been cloud-gazing got up and started charging towards her. Startled, Patricia gasped and handed the eager Draik the handle, saying, "Here, you can have it if you want."
The fire Shoyru rushed over and patted the Draik’s shoulder. "Now Joseph, I believe that it was the faerie Shoyru’s turn to fly the kite."
"It’s okay, mister," Patricia insisted, taking Brayden from Ben’s arms. "He can fly it if he wants—I was getting bored, anyway."
Joseph smiled widely and, with his muscular arms, led the kite around in various half circles. Alan jumped excitedly. "Let’s see if we can get the kite all the way to the Virtupets Space Station!"
"Kite, fly," said Joseph proudly.
"You’re doing great, buddy," said Ben, beaming. He turned to the fire Shoyru. "It’s great that you’ve decided to bring Joseph here, Kevin."
Kevin shrugged. "Well, I am the best social worker in Neopia," he boasted. "And besides, Joseph always looks forward to his park visits—especially if his buddy Ben is here with his kite."
Patricia looked around and noticed the crowd was growing. By now, a pink Poogle was flying the kite with Alan; Joseph was on the ground, admiring a flower as Brayden was babbling happily. "Wow, I didn’t know there were so many Neopians interested in kite flying," Patricia remarked.
"Ben’s famous for his kite," Kevin explained. "Ever since his little experiment he did this summer was published in the Neopian Times. Now everybody in town knows the name ‘Ben Fitzgerald’."
"I didn’t know he was so renowned," said Patricia, "but his experiment-thing must have touched a lot of hearts."
"Everybody enjoys the simple pleasures of life," Ben explained. "My greatest pleasure, for example, is kite flying. And if I can share my passion with others, then that only strengthen my love."
Patricia looked up at the kite, which was now drifting farther away in the now pink and purple sky. "Sharing your passion with others is a great idea…even if it’s kite flying, every one of all ages can connect to it! And if they can admire your devotion, then that has to be the best thing of all!"