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Petpet Name: Ty
Pet Name: Zu_Kee
Breed: Faerie Ukali
Ty's eyes were big and sad back then, and Zu Kee's heart had ached when she saw him staring out of his cage in the Petpet shop. "This one," she whispered to herself. "He's the one."
The little Ukali didn't protest when she lifted him into her arms and brought him to the cash register. He didn't seem frightened or distressed, just sad. So, so sad, as if someone had taken his hopes and dreams and dashed them against the rocks of some forlorn shore. As they stepped outside into the sunlight, he'd lifted his eyes very briefly and studied the sky, then sighed and sank back into his gloom.
That night, as she watched Ty's unenthusiastic explorations of his new home, Zu Kee asked her owner what she could do to help him. "It's just the way Ukalis are," he said. "No one knows why, exactly, but they always seem to be in mourning. There's nothing much we can do to cheer him up. You just need to love him for who he is."
"Of course I love him for who he is!" Zu Kee shouted and clutched the Ukali to her chest. Ty was perfect exactly as he was, but that didn't mean he shouldn't be happy. And, as anyone who knew her could affirm, Zu Kee was never one to accept defeat so easily.
She made a study of it. Notebook at the ready, Zu Kee began to follow Ty everywhere he went. She spent hours taking notes and drawing sketches as he slept in his bed, as he munched on the Petpet kibble she'd bought for him at the shop, and as he wandered through their Neohome and into their backyard. She did not fail to notice the way that his eyes always seemed to drift upward whenever he went outside or passed under a window.
An idea began to grow in the Zafara's mind. One morning, determined to finally crack the case, Zu Kee scooped Ty up and hustled him into the yard. Ty stared at the sky as soon as they stepped outside, and Zu Kee felt even more sure that her conclusions were correct.
She chose a clear, open space, one where nothing would get in their way. The sky above them was a beautiful shade of blue, splotched here and there with big, puffy white clouds. Ty craned his neck up to examine them. He then huffed out a sigh and laid his head down on her shoulder.
Gently, Zu Kee lifted him away from her and set him on the ground. Crouching down before him, she lifted his chin with two careful fingers. "Is that it, Ty? Do you want to fly?"
Ty blinked at her.
"I don’t understand, Ty," Zu Kee said. "You've got wings! If you want to fly so much, why don't you just give it a try?" She brushed one pale wing with her paw, then grasped its edge and straightened it, hoping to show him what to do.
He mimicked her, stretching out his wings and giving them a tentative flap, and for a moment Zu Kee felt a bubble of hope growing in her chest.
She then saw what the real problem was.
Ty's wings were sturdy and strong, but they were also far too short and stubby to carry him aloft. With no other Ukalis at hand to compare him with, Zu Kee had no way of knowing if this was usual for his species or if Ty was a special case, but none of that mattered. What mattered was that she was absolutely, positively convinced that she knew how to help him!
Faerie Petpet Paint Brushes were expensive, there was no question about it. It would take her months to save up enough to purchase one, but Zu Kee made Ty a promise that very day. No matter how much it cost, she was going to make sure that he would fly. She was going to make sure that he was happy.
When the day finally came, Zu Kee made her way to the Petpet Puddle, carrying Ty in her arms. The little Ukali trembled the whole way there, seeming to understand that his dreams were about to come true. Zu Kee was anxious herself; what if this didn't work? What if Ty still wasn't able to shake off the famed Ukali blues?
The second she placed him in the water, Ty became very still. He stared up at her with those big eyes of his as she pulled the small paint brush from her bag and ran it carefully down his back.
The change was instantaneous. Ty's color darkened to a pleasant shade of green, and his chubby wings stretched, becoming long, transparent, and blue. Zu Kee held her breath as he gave them a hesitant flap.
Then, with small chirp, Ty leapt into the air! He took to the skies like a natural, soaring twenty feet into the air and doing a loop above her head, then rushing back to her waiting arms.
Zu Kee was laughing in delight, and she spun him around joyfully. "Ty, you were flying! You really flew!"
Ty chirped again and nuzzled her cheek. He then drew away, and for the first time since he first flew Zu Kee got a look at his face.
The little Ukali was smiling, and she couldn't help but hug him.
"Mission accomplished, Ty. My Ty, the first Ukali to smile!"
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