Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 105,101,325 Issue: 206 | 2nd day of Gathering, Y7
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by shadowcristal


The drenched blue Kougra was walking down the road to her Neohome together with her owner. Isabella patted her poor pet who had just been blasted by the Snowager as she watched the snowflakes fall.

     "Pretty, aren't they?" the owner asked.

     "No," the Kougra replied grumpily. Snowy glared at all the snow around her. It was sticky, wet and simply annoying. She didn't understand why Is had chosen her name. Snowy... Blargh! The little Kougra shook her head as she entered their Neogarden. A bunch of Glass Roses shone in the esunlight, and the snow glittered upon them. Feeling quite sore, Snowy thwacked the roses. Unfortunately she broke her nail and the hard glass that didn't even seem to take any damage at all.

     "Nice try," Is commented sarcastically as she put the roses back to their original place. "I don't really get it... Why do you hate snow so much?"

     The Kougra muttered something incoherent as she searched for a good item to thwack, one that wouldn't break the nails on her other paw.

     "You're seeing red," the owner said when she saw Snowy clench her fist. The little Kougra closed her eyes as she took a deep breath. Don't get mad. Don't get mad. Snow is stupid. Snow is stupid...

     "Here. A healing potion." Is handed something that seemed like Essence of Everlasting Apple. The Kougra grabbed it and gulped it down. She felt her HP going up as a warm, nice feeling whirled around in her stomach.

     "Sorry about that," Is said apologetically.

     "It's okay," Snowy lied. She had learned from Is that lies were bad, but for her, it was even worse to make Is sad. Sure, no one enjoyed getting blasted by the Snowager, but if it made Is happy, then...

     The owner hugged her pet as they reached the door. She opened it and found a bunch of mail lying inside. Snowy quickly ran inside and felt the warmth spread throughout her small body. She sunk down in a nice, comfy chair and had a Cup of Tea. Ah... This was bliss.

     "Sorry to crush your dream," Is said, "But, can you get a scratchcard for me?"

     "What?" the Kougra jumped up, spilling the rest of the tea on Neopia's best newspaper, Neopian Times that was lying on the table. She gasped. "You're kidding! I... I have to go out again?"

     "Sorry," the owner apologized. "But..." She waved with her crutches.

     "Okay," Snowy said, feeling defeated. She got up from the chair, grabbed all the necessities and the bag of neopoints at the door.

     The blue Kougra walked outside, and the storm that had been brewing all afternoon hit her right on the nose. She shuddered, took a last wistful look at her safe home, and started walking. Down the Neogarden, past the annoying Glass Roses...

     The coldness made Snowy think. She sighed, kind of regretting that she had gone outside at all. But then again, Is couldn't go and that long trip to the Snowager had exhausted her. It had only been two weeks since her owner had slipped on the ice and broken a bone. A twinge of guilt hit the Kougra as she remembered how she had begged her owner to accompany her to the scary old worm even though Is was hurt.

     That's why she had to do this now. To make up for it. The Kougra grimaced at the sticky snow and kept walking. She saw some happy pets throwing snowballs at each other.

     "Come!" they shouted. "Come and play with us! This is just the perfect snow to have a snowball fight with!"

     Snowy shook her head. Ah, those naive little pets. She looked at the white, thick snow around her with contempt. It was the snow's fault! If that seemingly safe layer of snow hadn't been on that spot with the slippery ice, her owner would never have gotten injured. The Kougra spat and started to climb the mountain. The Ice Caves were not far away, but there would still be another fifteen minutes' climbing and walking.

     During the oh-so-exciting climb, the Kougra almost lost her grip twice. Oh, how she wished that Is was here with her!

     "You aren't a weakling," Snowy told herself. "It's for her sake, so you'd better stop whining and keep climbing."

     Finally she reached the top, tired but happy. The Kougra sat on the ice and let the wind blow her off to the Kiosk. When she was right in front of the Kiosk, Snowy jumped off the ice, landed on ice, slipped and crashed into the stand.

     "Sorry," the Kougra said as she got up. "Was anything damaged?"

     "Nothing, except for my poor paw," the Kiosk Wocky said. The pet held up an aching paw.

     "I'd like to have a scratchcard, please," Snowy said politely and quietly, aware of all the trouble she had caused. "There is that annoying snow again, hiding the ice and creating more problems," she thought as the Kiosk Wocky handed a Race to Riches Scratchcard to her. Quickly she scratched six squares, and just as she had expected, they were all empty.

     "Too bad," the Wocky commented. Snowy looked at the pet closely... The Kiosk Wocky actually sounded somewhat evil.

     "I guess I deserve it, for crashing into the stand and then demanding a scratchcard like that," the Kougra thought as she walked home. When she stuck her head out of the Icy Caves, the sun shone. Some of the snow had melted, and Snowy felt a little bit happy. At least the snow wouldn't be bothering her here!

     The sleek Kougra jumped down and quickly landed on the slushy snow. She kept walking as the prickly feeling in her fur told her that it was getting colder. When she passed Mr. Chipper's stand, she knew that she was halfway home.

     Suddenly something bumped into her. A pair of creamy white wings with a touch of light blue fluttered in front of her eyes before Snowy realized who it was. All kinds of delicious candies and neggs were lying around. Greedy pets snuck forward and grabbed some of them as the Snow Faerie recited a spell. She waved with her hand, and the pets froze.

     "Greedy little brats," Taelia muttered. Then she realized that she had knocked down Snowy and bent down. "Are you all right?"

     "Yeah," Snowy said as she got up. The Kougra felt that she had to do something for Taelia since she had made her drop all that stuff, so she bent down and helped the Snow Faerie to pick some up.

     "You're a good pet," Taelia said when they were finished. "Here. Consider this a treat." The Snow Faerie smiled as she handed an Icy Negg to Snowy.

     "Thanks," Snowy said, surprised. Taelia had already vanished by then, and the little pet walked on home. She stopped, put the gift into the empty bag and was just about to take a step when she noticed that her feet refused move. She tried to move them, but they simply wouldn't budge.

     A black mist of ugly feelings spread in the Kougra's heart as it sank. This was impossible! The weather had grown threateningly cold and now she was stuck here in this stupid snowstorm, unable to move. Snowy growled angrily as she tried to claw her way out of the ice.

     Of course she knew what had happened. When the sun had melted the snow into slush, she had walked in it and now that it was cold, it had frozen to ice and made her into a living statue.

     It was hopeless. After a several attempts, Snowy gave up. She looked at the sky and sighed. The storm seemed to be calming down, but it was nevertheless windy. The Kougra cringed whenever a little snowflake found its way to her neck, even with a thick scarf wrapped around it.

     She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. When she opened them, it wasn't stormy anymore. The beautifully azure-colored sky was now full of snowflakes that were peacefully floating down. Snowy looked around. The wide field was full of snow, just as it always had been. But for the first time she realized how beautiful all those crystalline flakes looked. She reached out a paw and took handful of the light, powdery snow. The snowflakes tumbled around, reflecting the light that was cast upon them. It felt so serene... Even though she was stuck here, she didn't feel so awful or stressed anymore.

     The birches had their dark branches topped with sparkling frost that looked beautiful. She looked down at the Valley and noticed how beautiful those snow-covered cottages looked. The Kougra sighed, feeling somewhat content.

     As the darkness grew, worry replaced the tranquil feeling that she had experienced while frozen. Giving it one last shot, Snowy found that she could finally move! Suddenly she realized how long she had stood there admiring that beautiful snow and started to run. Is was probably worried, and if she went outside... The Kougra didn't want to think about it.

     With a few powerful sprints, the Kougra reached the block that she lived in. Running down the street, Snowy recognized the lanterns that they had placed in the NeoGarden. Those lanterns were also covered with snow that glittered like jewels. Snowy told herself that she would have time later, and that the safety of Is was first. She slammed the door open and ran into the living hall.

     The Kougra was brought to a sudden stop as she saw her owner sitting there and enjoying a Snow Slushie.

     "Welcome home," Is said. Her face looked worried when she saw the Kougra. "Are you all right?"

     "Yes," Snowy said dryly. Her owner was sitting inside and enjoying herself, and here she had been worried for nothing! The Kougra frowned as she sarcastically remarked, "And I was just about to ask you that question..."

     Is got up with the help of her crutches. She unwrapped her pet's scarf and smiled.

     "I don't suppose we won anything," she said. Snowy shook her head, regretting her rather rash remark. She hugged her owner gently as she opened the bag and showed Is the negg.

     "Wow," Is said as she closed the door. "That must've been quite an adventure."

     "You bet it was!" the Kougra exclaimed. "But the most amazing thing of all... The snow..." she whispered as she felt the last snowflake melt in her paw. "It was so beautiful..."

     "So you're finally understanding why I'm so obsessed with it?" Is asked, trying to suppress laugher. She had known that her pet really disliked snow, but this change of heart... It was quite odd.

     "No," Snowy said bluntly. "Just because it's beautiful doesn't mean it's good. Sure, no one can resist it when it glitters like that... But I still don't like it." She blew a raspberry at the thick blanket of white snow outside. "It's sticky, annoying, hard to walk in and..."

     "Okay, okay!" the owner said as she placed an arm around the Kougra's shoulder. "Calm down! Now, tell me all about your adventures and how you got that negg..."

     "You see, it was because of that stupid, stupid snow..." Snowy began.

The End

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