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Petpet Name: Neppi
Pet Name: WildeRiptide
Breed: Water Yooyu
She came back to the cove again today. The tall one with the gangly limbs.
Only a handful of pets ever visit, and I always stay far away. They’re loud, clumsy, and mess up the sand with their garbage. They’re nuisances, but predictable ones. Coming out only when the light is strong and clear, setting up dens in the sand only to take them down, and splashing about the life-water like newborns.
They’re all predators too, reaching out to attack us tinier ones with their large paws, wings, or fins. Quite frankly I don’t know how they survive, being that they never succeed at eating us. Only prodding and poking at us until we worm our way out of their grasps.
I almost prefer the normal pets to the spindly one, at least I understand them. She’s bizarre even by their standards.
For one she’s absurdly quiet, making her all the more dangerous. The only sounds she ever makes are the skritches of her tree-stick against her flat thin wood (Weewoo keeps telling me it’s ‘paper’, but I don’t believe in his made-up words).
She also never makes a den. I have only ever seen her sitting on the rocks and sand like a tinier one. No monstrous den built around her, ever. If anything, I’ve only seen her remove the den-fragments that the other big pets have left behind. I’d be more suspicious, but after swimming up and down the cove a few times I couldn’t find her collection piled anywhere.
The lanky one is also either not a predator, or a very bad one. The other day Blurtle accidentally surfaced on the same rock she was resting on. He hadn’t heard her skritches and froze at the sight of her. In that moment their eyes locked. Heart jumping in my chest I knew he was done for. She wasn’t a normal big one, she was dangerous, and her two large fangs glinted against her maw. One beat then two, I just kept waiting for her to rip and tear her fangs against Blurtles shell.
She never did though. Instead she (purposely!?) angled her head away from Blurtle, giving him time to snap out of his trance and scramble into the life-water and to the next rock over. The next few days I didn’t leave Blurtle’s side, to think I almost lost such a good friend.
Over the weeks a couple similar occurrences happened, first with Pawkeet, then Quadrapus, and then with the herd of Screal. Begrudgingly we all slowly got used to her presence and ignored her instead of scrambling away.
Unlike the other tiny ones I was still doubtful. She was still dangerous, so I kept watching, protecting my friends from any possibility of harm.
I tried to intimidate her a couple of times; flashing my big ears and eyes, creating deafening splashes next to any rock she dared sit upon. Most of the time she’d just look at me with her wide kelp-like eyes, but other times she’d let out this high pitch hicuppy sound. So quiet at first that I would have to strain myself to hear it, but progressively louder as I stared on. Somehow, this reaction only made me feel embarrassed.
Overtime, I actually began to reluctantly admire her. I now understood her differences as something good and was awed at how she moved about the life-water like she was born in it. I progressively grew bolder. Sometimes journeying to shore to sunbathe with her or looking over her legs as she skritched images on her thin wood.
Although I could not understand her speech, nor she mine, we created a game we played periodically during her visits. We would both swim about in the life-water, me nipping at her legs, while she’d try to grasp at me and toss me a few paces back. Most of the tinier ones didn’t understand our antics, but it felt nice to share something.
I heard whispers on the wind, that some tinier ones lived with big ones.
A passing Kateil told me once that their hatchmate lived a cozy life, never worrying about food, shelter, or disaster-weather. ‘Named Ones’ she called them, they saw beyond the life-water, traveling and playing in ways us wild ones could never imagine. I dismissed it back then, believing no big one, no loud, clumsy, messy creature would, or even could, offer such a thing.
But that way… just maybe… I could be with gangly one more than a few times a week. I could play with her and see the world outside of the life-water. It would be sad to say goodbye, but whoever said that I couldn’t visit the cove from time to time?
With my heart set firmly in my chest, and a brave face, I said my goodbyes to all my life-water friends. To Weewoo, to Pawkeet, to Quadrapus, to the Screal, and to little Blurtle, to whom I said my most bittersweet goodbye. Blurtle looked on with the understanding that sometimes, us tinier ones needed go onto life’s next adventure.
I spent the night waiting by the shore. Sure enough, when the light began reflecting off the water, lanky one was back. After a long day of playing, I firmly griped the slick fur on her lower arm. With a lot gentle prying later, I think spindly one finally understood.
As a soft smile played across her maw, I knew I made the right decision. Still suctioning onto her arm, we made our way out of the cove.
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