Helping Leena Home
Danny the Shoyru was sitting on the wooden dock at Kiko
Lake, his stubby green legs dangling in the water. It was a cloudy and foggy day,
so Danny was the only one at the lake. He preferred it that way.
He had a handful of pebbles in his hand, and
was throwing them, one by one, into the mist.
As he tossed one far out into the lake, he heard
a shout. "Ouch!" a voice cried out.
Danny stumbled backward. "Who's out there?"
he called, but there was no answer. Again, he called out, and this time, there
was a big splash out in the water. He could see a vague form swimming near the
surface, and it was coming towards him.
"H-h-hello?" he stuttered, peering into the
water. He was afraid of what was lurking under the surface, and even more afraid
of what it would do to him.
Suddenly, a head popped out of the water. It
was a sea-Aisha! She had long, shimmering hair and deep blue eyes. She was the
most beautiful creature Danny had ever seen.
"What's your name?" Danny asked, no longer afraid.
The sea-Aisha look at him for a moment with
a mesmerizing stare, then replied, "Leena."
"I'm Danny." There was a stretch of silence,
then Danny asked, "Why aren't you out in Maraqua? Kiko Lake is no place for
Leena looked down into the water and sighed.
"I'm lost, unfortunately. And I was hoping to find someone who could help me
back…how about you?"
Danny was shocked, but flattered. "Well," he
began. "I don't really know if I can…" The gleam in Leena's eyes faded, and
Danny knew that he had to help her. "But I'll try."
Leena clapped her hands together and squealed
in delight. "Wonderful! Come on in, we can start now!"
Danny wanted to help Leena, but there was one
itsy bitsy problem. "Leena, you know I can't breathe under water."
Leena let out a long whistle. "Hmm, I never
thought of that." She paused for a moment, thinking deeply. "Aha!" she cried
out. "As long as you wear this, you will have the power to breathe under water."
She held out a necklace and draped it over Danny. "I found one in Maraqua, after
the war was over." She beckoned for him to get in the water, and slowly he slid
off of the dock into the lake.
As they were both floating there, Leena asked,
"So you know the way back to Maraqua, right?"
Danny didn't say anything. He only had a vague
idea, but he didn't want to let Leena down. "Yes," he responded.
"Great! Let's head off!"
The two dove down into the water, and Danny
had no trouble breathing with the necklace on.
He looked around him. The water was a dark blue,
so it was difficult to see very far. There were all sorts of plants and fish
around him, of different colors and textures and patterns. It was all so interesting!
Danny and Leena swam out into the water for
a couple hours, and by then they were no longer in Kiko Lake. In fact, Danny
had no idea where they were. Leena could sense this. "Danny, do you know where
we are?" she asked worriedly. She didn't want to be lost once again.
Disappointed, Danny shook his head. "I'm sorry,
Leena, but I just really wanted to help you, and now I've only made it worse!"
He stared down at his feet, upset that he let Leena down.
Leena saw that he was upset, and laughed out
loud to cheer him up. "No, Danny! You haven't worsened the situation. I mean,
we're not in Kiko Lake anymore, right? We must be closer to Maraqua."
Danny thought about this, then nodded, his eyes
shining once more with happiness. He smiled at Leena in agreement. "You're right.
Let's keep going."
"That's the attitude!" And with that, the two
of them headed off into the deep.
The pair swam for hours, maybe even a day or
two, stopping every so often to search for food. They were both hungry and tired.
They stopped for a rest, sitting down on a rock.
"Let's face it, Leena, we're even more lost than before. I've let you down,
and I'm sorry."
Leena sighed. "I know we're lost, but it's not
your fault. I can't expect you to know the whole way to Maraqua. You've down
all you can, and I'm the one who should be apologizing, for bringing you into
my own problems. I'm sorry."
Danny replied, "I guess we're both sorry for
something, but I'm still going to try my hardest to bring you back home."
Leena's eyes brightened. "Really?" she asked,
and when Danny nodded, she reached out and hugged him tightly. "Thank you, Danny,"
she whispered. "Thank you so much."
"But you know, Leena," Danny said. "We don't
have to go very far to get to Maraqua. Look." He pointed down over a cliff,
and they both stared in awe.
It was the city of Maraqua, its huge gates protecting
all that was inside. It was as if the whole city glowed with a welcoming light,
telling Leena to come home.
"This is wonderful, Danny, but there's only
one problem: the gate is guarded heavily. How will we get in?"
Danny grinned. "I think I have an idea."
Cautiously and surreptitiously, Danny and Leena
swam up to the gates, where the guards could not see them. "Okay, Leena," Danny
whispered. "I'm going to distract the guards by giving you back this necklace.
When I do, I won't be able to breathe under water anymore, so I will pretend
to drown. They'll help me back to the surface, and you can go inside."
Leena smiled softly. "Thank you, Danny," she
said. "Thank you for all you've done. I wouldn't be here without you." She pulled
him to her and hugged him.
"You're welcome, Leena. Here's the necklace."
He handed her the necklace, but not before taking a deep breath. Then he swam
towards the gates, not once looking back.
His plan worked; the guards saw him "drowning"
and went to help. As they brought him to the surface, Danny watched Leena swim
into the gates, waving goodbye for the last time. With that, she entered the
gates and disappeared into the city.
People still wonder what happened to Leena and
Danny. Danny never returned to Kiko Lake, though no one knows why. He built
a house in Neopia Central and lives there with his Warf. They lead a quiet and
peaceful life, and he tries not to think of Leena, probably because he misses
her so much.
Leena, on the other hand, thinks about Danny
all the time. She still stays in Maraqua, not wanting to get lost again, but
she always waits for Danny to come visit her. She swims up to the surface and
looks for him, but she never sees him. Unfortunately, she never will.
There's a lesson to this story, one that is
quite hidden: Help others even if you think you don't have the power to, and
don't forget about what you did, like Danny did. Because Leena will always remember