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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 24th day of Swimming, Yr 26
The Neopian Times Week 137 > Short Stories > The Gift of Giving

The Gift of Giving

by playmobil_is_my_life

Today was very special for Berkley and his family. Today was the day that his brother Alec had been created and he had been adopted. The two Kougras were so glad to be brothers -- they had so much fun together. Every year, their owner Jamie would go to different shops in the bazaar and buy some gifts to have on their special day. The family wasn't rich, but they always managed to have a good time.

     "I'm going to do a bit of shopping today," said Jamie, rising from the breakfast table. She turned to her boys, "You guys can start decorating and when I get back we'll start our party."

    Berkley and Alec whooped and cheered as they ran off to get the streamers and party hats. Jamie tucked a small sack of Neopoints into her coat pocket, said goodbye and strolled out the door. When she got to the bazaar she stopped at the gift shop first. Just as she got in the door, a red Scorchio greeted her with a smile.

    Jamie looked along the back wall behind the counter and something caught her eye. It was a multicolored jacket, with a picture of the popular band, 'Chomby and the Fungus Balls' on the front. It looked so warm, and since it was still cold, two jackets would make great presents for Berkley and Alec. Last year for their family party, Jamie took the boys to see that concert in Tyrannia, and ever since they loved to hear that music.

   "Could you show me that jacket that's hanging up in the center?" Jamie asked.

   When the Scorchio brought down the jacket Jamie loved it. It was so warm and comfortable-perfect for Berkley and Alec. Leaving satisfied with the two new jackets folded into a bag, Jamie made her way over to Uni's Clothing to find something for herself. As she opened the door, bells jingled. Jamie looked around, admiring the pretty clothing on the racks, and deciding what she would buy. New T-shirt? Hat? Scarf? What I really need are some new boots to wear when it's rainy... Jamie thought. She crossed the store to look in the shoe department. She tried on several pairs before she picked a stylish black pair and slipped those on. A perfect fit! Jamie took them to the counter where she faced a beautiful blue Uni who was wearing an orange scarf and shades. She looked like she knew good style. The Uni rang up the Wellington boots. They were 500 Neopoints.

   For Jamie, that was an expensive present. But, since today was special, Jamie decided to splurge, and she bought them anyway. She left the store and sat down on a bench, resting and watching the other Neopets saunter by. Jamie tried to think of anything else they could have for their anniversary party. Seeing the bakery, Jamie looked down at her feet where the bags rested and wondered if she should get a treat for them to eat after dinner. That sounded good, especially since they didn't get treats very often.

   So she decided to stop at the bakery and she bought an Iced Vanilla Kougra cake. It looked so scrumptious that Jamie couldn't wait to get home to show Berkley and Alec what she had gotten for them this year. This evening was going to be wonderful! With no more Neopoints left, she began to make her way home.

   It was getting chilly, so Jamie pulled her jacket snuggly around her. She spent so much time in each shop that she didn't realize how late it had gotten! She clutched the bag with the cake in it tighter -- in fear that she'd drop it and it would be ruined. The walk home was horrible! The wind was so fierce that it blew right through her coat and she shivered. To make things even worse, it started to drizzle. Pressing on, she squinted down the nearly abandoned street. There was a dark forest, which looked like a good way to go -- the dense trees would help shelter her from the wind.

   The forest was actually the park, but since it was dark, it was hard to tell. Jamie's face was cold and her nose felt numb. Her hands were tucked into her sleeves to keep them from getting stiff. Since the cold was slowing her down, Jamie's head raced with thoughts: I hope Berkley and Alec don't worry I'm lost... I'm getting hungry -- that cake will taste heavenly after dinner! A small figure in front of her interrupted her thoughts. It looked like a Kyrii. What's a Kyrii doing out here all alone? Doesn't she have a family to go home to? The Kyrii stood very still...

    "Come on, I won't hurt you," Jamie cooed. The Kyrii hesitantly came over and Jamie noticed that she looked ragged.

    "You should be home and out of the cold."

    The Kyrii shook her head, "My friends and I don't have homes," she mumbled and she looked down at her feet.

    So this was a homeless pet. The Neopet's feet looked half-frozen from walking around in the rain. Jamie reached into her bag and pulled out her pair of Wellington Boots.

    "Wear these if you're going to be walking in the rain," said Jamie.

    "Oh, thanks!" squealed the Kyrii and she slipped on the boots and ran off in the opposite direction. Before Jamie could think about what happened, she stopped. She had heard something, like a tiny voice. She turned to her left to see a figure huddled on a park bench -- no wait, two Wockys that were clinging to each other. They looked up at Jamie with big eyes.

    "Please..." the larger Wocky was saying, "My sister and I are very cold. C-Could you spare a blanket or something?"

    Jamie looked down at them. She was about to say, "No, sorry, I don't have anything," when she remembered the two 'Chomby and the Fungus Balls' jackets. She looked at them for a long time, thinking about what would happen if she gave them the jackets. Her boots and the jackets would be gone, then. At least we'd still have the cake... Jamie thought and she felt so much pity that she withdrew the bag from under her jacket and pulled out Berkley and Alec's jackets. Both Wockys gasped with delight and eagerly put the jackets on, stammering their thanks.

    Jamie smiled and murmured, "You're welcome," before she started off again. It felt good to something nice for them. She just wouldn't tell the boys about the jackets. They could still eat the cake and be happy. And it felt good to do something good for these pets, even if that meant hardly anything for her family. But right now, that was okay. Now, Jamie was almost out of the park. She could see the clearing!

    "Excuse me...?"

    Jamie stopped and turned around, realizing that she had passed someone.

    "We're all very hungry," a Techo was speaking, "We haven't eaten for days. Do you have anything you can give us?"

    Jamie sighed and said, "I'm sorry, I don't have anything."

    The Neopets began to turn away. There were so many of them -- a Buzz, Techo, Zafara, Shoyru, Acara and an Aisha. They were all so thin that their bones were showing. It looks like one gust of wind would blow them all away. They all got up and moved way from her, searching the ground for food. Jamie made up her mind,

    "Wait... wait, I... just remembered. I do have... one thing..." Jamie slowly and reluctantly pulled out the Iced Vanilla Kougra Cake. The Neopets cheered and surrounded her in a big hug, thanking her over and over again. As Jamie turned to leave, they tore into the cake and exclaimed how good it tasted.

    The cake was gone. Jamie had nothing to give Berkley and Alec. Thinking that things couldn't get any worse, Jamie heard a voice behind her, "Hello?"

    It was a Zafara from the group whom Jamie had given the cake to. She must have run all the way here to meet her.

    "Ma'am... you gave all of my friends something that you bought for your family."

    Jamie wondered how the Zafara could possibly know that all of the items were for her family. The Zafara continued, "You have been blessed with the gift of giving. The others and I are grateful for your benevolence. So we have one thing to give to you in return." And from behind her back she withdrew an old green fuzzle with matted fur and only one eye. It meant something great to them.

    It is that item that Jamie displayed on her nightstand when she got home. It is that item that Jamie uses to tell the story to her boys about the night when she decided to cut through the park. It is that item that reminds Jamie, Berkley and Alec of the gift of giving.

The End

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