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Usuki Singing Stars #51: A New Snow Friend


by downrightdude

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“This is going to be the best snowman Neopia has ever seen!” Cuddles declared. The snow Bruce placed the medium sized snowball on top of the largest one and stood back, pleased to see progress was coming along smoothly. “How’s the head coming along, Jhoudles?”

     Jhoud patted her smaller snowball. “It’s great! Just a few more pats and it’ll be perfect,” said the baby Aisha.

     Ever since the first snow shower descended upon Neopia Central four days ago, Cuddles and Jhoud dreamed of building a snowman they could befriend and talk to. They were especially excited because it was the twenty-third day of the Month of Celebrating, which meant their new snowman friend would be able to celebrate Christmas with them—that is if they were able to finish construction and find a suitable carrot for its nose.

     “All done!” Jhoud held up the head, which Cuddles attached to the snowman's bodice. “Hey Cuddles, is it true that singing to the snowman will bring it to life?” asked Jhoud. “That’s what Cuddles Jr told me.” Cuddles Jr was Jhoud’s snow Bruce plushie, currently perched on the doorstep.

     “Cuddles Jr sure knows a lot about snowmen,” Cuddles remarked as he smoothed the head, “even though he never made one before. Then again, he knows lots of things about Mystery Island.” Stepping back to admire their work, Cuddles walked over to Jhoud and beamed. “It’s perfect! Now, all it needs is a face, a scarf, a nose, a hat and arms.”

     “And hot chocolate,” said Jhoud. “I think Cuddles Jr is still guarding all our supplies. You go, and I’ll make a snow Warf.”

     Cuddles hurried to the doorstep and picked up everything that was there. Then he carried it back to the backyard, dropping the items onto the powdery snow. “Cool, a top hat! What a neat idea, Jhoudie.”

     Jhoud frowned. “Hey, where’d the scarf go?” She pointed to the remaining items. “There’s only the button eyes and earmuffs left. But I remember my Mommy gave me a red scarf, saying we can use it as long as we didn’t get it too wet.”

     “I don’t see any scarves or red things around here,” said Cuddles, looking around. “But I’m sure it’ll come back when it’s ready. Now let’s go inside and eat cookies!”

     “Sure!” Jhoud and Cuddles headed inside, content with the progress they made that day.

     ***

     The next day, Cuddles led Jhoud outside to the snowman. “Since it’s Christmas Eve, I was thinking we could decorate the snowman with those shiny colourful lights we use on our trees,” he said. “Snaw said he’ll steal some from Greg if we wanted them.”

     Jhoud looked up at the snowman and gasped. “Look Cuddles! Mr. Snowman’s hat is gone!”

     “Good job, Jhoud!” said Cuddles. “As for the hat, I’m sure Snaw has a million more inside. Let’s go see.”

     Just as Cuddles turned around, a flash of red caught his eye. He turned towards the snowman, where a young blue Gelert was leaning against it, twirling the end of his red scarf. He snorted, “You two are so pathetic. Why in Neopia would you leave a perfectly good scarf outside on this snowman? What, did you actually want somebody to take it?”

     “Hey! My mommy got that scarf from the Money Tree,” said Jhoud.

     The Gelert stuck out his tongue. “Ya? And what are you gonna do, pipsqueak?”

     “It’s great that you like that scarf,” said Cuddles, “but I think our snowman friend needs it more. He’s cold, and since we can’t fit any other clothes on him, that scarf was supposed to be for him.”

     Smirking, the Gelert put up his hood and perched a top hat on his head. “Your snow-thing can live without his scarf. His hat was also too small for his enormous melon-shaped head.”

     Jhoud threw a snowball at the Gelert’s knee. “There’s more where that came from,” she hissed, shaking a fist. She quickly formed and threw four more snowballs, aiming primarily at the Gelert’s legs.

     “Pfft. You babies are so stupid,” sniffed the Gelert, stomping on the snowballs with his boots. “Kanrik is much cooler than you two.”

     “Who’s Kanrik?” Jhoud asked, adding a new snowball to her ever-growing pile.

     Cuddles was on the ground, moving his arms and legs. “I don’t know, but I remember he and Hannah did that capsule event together. They’re probably great friends.” He stood, admiring the snow angel he had made.

     “Wow, you two really are [i]dumb[/i] babies.” The Gelert shook his head in disbelief. “Kanrik is the leader of the Thieves Guild, and he’s the coolest thief in all of Neopia! Hanso’s okay, but I’m a bigger fan of Kanrik because we’re both Gelerts.”

     Jhoud threw another snowball at the Gelert, but missed. “He sounds pretty scary. And even if he was a thief, I bet he wouldn’t steal from a nice snowman.”

     “He’d be much cooler if he was a Bruce,” said Cuddles. “That way he wouldn't be a thief at all.”

     The Gelert sighed. “Thieves aren’t always bad Neopians you know.” He shoved his hands into his pockets. “Some of us [i]have[/i] to steal in order to survive, especially when winter comes. I mean, where else would we be able to find the warm clothes and food we need to make it till spring?”

     “My mommy doesn't think stealing is a good thing,” said Jhoud, forming another snowball.

     “Snaw says stealing's okay if you rob your enemies,” Cuddles countered. He turned to the Gelert. “Sorry Mr. Gelert, but we still need that scarf back for the snowman. Also, if you could give back the hat you’re wearing over your hood, that’d be nice too.”

     “And we can even get you an even nicer scarf if you wanna wait,” Jhoud offered. She followed Cuddles into the house. A few minutes later, they emerged with a blue scarf and a paper bag. Jhoud held the scarf up to the Gelert. “Here you go, Mister! Mommy says you can have it since it’s old.”

     “It’d look a lot better on you than in our fireplace,” Cuddles insisted. “That was going to be Plan B.”

     The Gelert took the scarf and mumbled, “Thanks.” He added a little louder, “You can call me Max.” Eyeing his new scarf, Max removed the red scarf he was wearing and wrapped it around the snowman’s head. Then he tried out his new one, smiling a bit at Cuddles and Jhoud. “You know, it’s not half bad.”

     “At least you don’t think it’s two seasons too late,” said Cuddles, relieved. He handed over the bag. “We put some cookies in there! They may not look like Christmas trees, but they still taste pretty good. We even decorated them with jelly beans.”

     “It’s a thank you gift for returning the scarf back to the snowman,” said Jhoud. She turned to the snowman and gasped. “Cuddles, look! He grew arms!”

     “Cool! It’s a miracle,” said Cuddles.

     Max rolled his eyes. “Please. I was the one who found those sticks; I attached them after you two went inside.” He shrugged. “Just thought that, maybe, your snowman needed a few limbs.”

     Cuddles nodded. “Now we’ll wait to see him grow legs and sing a merry song.”

     “Whatever.” Max eyed a misshaped tree cookie and took a bite. “Hmm, not bad. It’s not too sweet.”

     “Thanks. My Mommy says sugar cookies are the yummiest cookies in the universe,” said Jhoud. “We also made sure you had extras for your friends.”

     Then Snaw and Lei entered the backyard, Lei standing in front of the snowman while Snaw cartwheeled around the yard. “Wow, guys! This snowman is adorable!” Lei exclaimed, scooping up Jhoud into her arms. “I especially like the button eyes and smile.”

     Jhoud clapped excitedly as Lei placed a bright orange carrot on the snowman’s face. “Hooray, Cuddles! We finally got him a carrot nose!”

     “Now he won’t get hungry,” said Cuddles.

     “How about I make you two darlings some hot chocolate?” Lei suggested. “And your little friend can come, too.”

     “With extra marshmallows, of course,” said Cuddles. “Wanna come, Max?”

     “Nah. I have, um, plans for Christmas.” Max removed the top hat and placed it on top of the snowman’s head. He gave a quick smile to Cuddles before walking away, stomping hard on the snow.

     Cuddles turned to Jhoud. “He was a nice thief, wasn't he Jhoudles?”

     Jhoud nodded. “I hope he has a happy Christmas.”

     Cuddles and Jhoud watched their new friend trudge away. They shared another smile, pleased they were able to make the holidays a little brighter for somebody in need of some Christmas cheer—and friendship.

     The End and Merry Christmas!!

 
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