The Air Faerie Makes Emerson At Home
One day in a beautiful park, a young Green Poogle walked along sadly. She sniffled, for she had just moved from Mystery Island, and the weather was all wrong in this new place. It might not sound so bad to a grown Neopet, but Emerson was young yet, and she was incredibly frustrated. She missed her home and she missed the sun.
Well, at least this place had leaves that changed colors. That was fascinating. It was while she was admiring the touches of brown, red, and orange on the leaves, that a sudden gust blew by. And then, one by one, the leaves began to fall.
"Strange," thought she. "It almost looks like someone's plucking them by hand." And it did, indeed, for this was no shower of leaves, but a methodical dropping.
Just then, right before her eyes, the gust swirled around into something almost tangible and able to be seen. What looked like clouds began to form. When the wind died down and the clouds had parted, Emerson gave a squeal of delight and clapped her hands, her sorrows forgotten for a moment.
"You're -- you're the Air Faerie!" she exclaimed. An Elderlyboy would be quite startled and confused, but Emerson was young yet and saw magic in everything. Therefore, the faerie's sudden appearance was as natural to her as anything else in the world.
"That's right, little one. I see you've heard of me." The Air Faerie smiled, leaning down to say hello.
Emerson nodded emphatically. "Of course! You're my favorite Faerie. One day, I'm gonna be Cloud, and then I'll look just like you." She frowned. "Well, as much like you as I can, anyway. I'm a Poogle, not a faerie." Her voice held a tinge of disappointment.
The Air Faerie laughed, and it sounded just like a cool breeze in the summer heat felt -- wonderfully beautiful.
"Have you ever plucked a leaf our helped out a friend?" the Faerie asked.
"Well... yes. But how does that help?"
"What's your name, little Poogle?"
"Emerson!" grinned the girl.
"Emerson. Well, Emerson, you see, if you've ever helped out a friend or plucked a leaf, then we have more in common than you think we do. You've heard of the Air Faerie, but have you heard of all the forms I take?"
"Nooo," Emerson said slowly, her brow furrowed in obvious confusion.
"I'm not only a faerie, but the wind itself. When the wind blows through you hair, I'm there. When a chill goes through you, that's me."
Emerson scrunched her nose, her previous troubles remembered. "I don't like being cold. I grew up in Mystery Island, and it was never cold there. Now that we're in Shenkuu, I get cold a lot more since it's so close to Terror Mountain. At least that's what Mommy says. I've never been to Terror Mountain. Have you?"
The Air Faerie grinned. "I have! I've been to a lot of places. And I'm sorry I've made your walks unpleasant at times. I don't mean to make you cold, but in the winter time, I can't seem to help it. And I can't feel that it's cold when I'm the wind, so I don't even know I'm doing it most of the time."
The Poogle considered this. "If I were a faerie, I probably wouldn't get cold. I wish I were a faerie. I don't think I'd ever be unhappy if I was like you. Do you ever feel sad?"
The faerie thought for a moment. "Winter is harder. In spring, everyone turns their face to the wind and enjoys it along with the sun. In summer, the heat is unbearable in some lands. In some places, it's as if they think I'm the greatest gift that could possibly have been given to them." She laughed. "They love a good, cold breeze in the summer. In the fall, I get to help the leaves fall. I pluck them away, one by one, and then they fall to the ground and rest. Eventually, they mix in with the dirt, and then the next spring I get to say hello to the flower that sprung up from it. It's like meeting an old friend for the first time, over and over again. People aren't quite as excited about the wind in fall, but they enjoy the break from summer and the smell in the air. But in winter..." the Faerie trailed off.
"Nobody wants wind in winter, huh?" Emerson said in understanding, placing one paw on the faerie's hand.
"It's okay," she said, patting the young Poogle's paw. "They just get cold. I'd help it if I could, but I can't. They put on more and more jackets, coats, and sweaters, trying to keep me out. There are times when I get sad and upset, and that's when I go into a frenzy and set the windows rattling."
Emerson's eyes widened. "I don't like that," she said.
The Air Faerie cringed, embarrassed. "I don't, either. It doesn't make anyone happy, least of all myself, because fits only cause Neopets to bundle up even more!"
"Sometimes I get upset and don't act good," Emerson confessed. "So I know how hard it is to be good when you're so sad. What do you do to make it better?"
"Well, usually I'll go off by myself to play tag with the skaters on the ice newly-formed by the cold. Even though their cheeks turn red when I go by too fast, they still like it. They put their faces up and just smile, as if it were spring all over again."
"Is spring your favorite?" Emerson asked.
The faerie nodded. "It's one of them. Spring is better. I get to brush against the water and make patterns. Do you want to learn how?"
Emerson jumped up and down. "Yes!" she affirmed loudly, looking forward to learning how to do a trick.
"Well, why don't you come over here, and I'll show you how you can do it." Taking her by the paw, the Air Faerie brought her to the side of the water. "Dip you finger in, just on the surface." Emerson did as she was told. Ripples began to form, one ring after another. "See? Isn't that neat?! Watching how they begin in small rounds and grow to become large ones has always been one of my favorite things. Sometimes, they even reach to the edge of a lake! I've seen it so many times, but it still fascinates me."
They sat silently and watched for a moment before the Air Faerie went on. "Spring is lovely in general, really." She blew ever so slightly, and a wind stirred up the surface of the water, causing more ripples. "Sometimes I feel as if I were the most ancient being in the universe. But in spring, I feel as if I've just been born. There's so much laughter and strength, and everything feels so new." She gave a sigh of contentment. "Do you have a favorite season, Emerson?" she asked, turning to the Poogle.
The idea of time was mostly a mystery to Emerson. She was still learning the months of the calendar and simple mathematics. But she did know one thing.
"I like it when it feels like it did in Mystery Island," she said."Which season is that?"
"That's summer!" The Air Faerie said. "That's a wonderful choice. In the summer is one of my favorite times to be the wind, because I can fly over such bright greens and blues -- land and ocean, farm and brook. I know every blade of grass spiking from the brown dirt of Neopia. I'm familiar with every veined emerald leaf on the sturdy branches of the trees. Of all the faeries, I like to think I know Neopia best," she said somewhat proudly.
"That sounds like so much fun," Emerson said wistfully. "I wish I could be the wind. I could go anywhere I wanted. And, besides, I don't like some parts about summer, and being the wind would make it easier."
The faerie laughed. "Do you get too sweaty in the summer?"
Emerson nodded. "Buckets!" she exclaimed. "I still like it, though, because when the wind comes, it's not so hot. I always liked that in Mystery Island." Her eyes lit up. "Hey! Was that you?"
"It was!" the faerie confirmed. "My favorite places to go in summer are Meridell and Brightvale, though, to help out the farmers. Every now and then, I'll linger around a sweaty farmer Kacheek or Gelert. I know them all well, having passed by them and over them too many times to count. I don't think you would want to be the wind, though. It's difficult, sometimes, knowing them but not being known yourself."
"You mean they don't know you're the wind?" Emerson asked, eyes wide. "How come they don't know, but I do?"
"Because," she explained, "It's hard for them to see me. Most people forget that they saw me transform once they get older. They don't see magic in everything quite so much, and it makes it hard for them to see. I could try to show myself to the farmers, but they would just think I was mist instead of being able to see my form."
"That sounds lonely," Emerson commented.
"It can be. But when I get too tired, I can always take time out to play with a Baby Neopet just learning to crawl, or Petpet. I've learned that young ones of all species enjoy chasing down things. When I sweep a leaf in front of a curious Doglefox, he'll end up in an excited chase. But he doesn't keep the leaf. He'll snap at the leaf a few times with his sharp white teeth, and then let it go. Baby Neopets will generally squeal, shake it a moment, and then let the leaf go. I'm not sure why they enjoy chasing so much, but it makes me very happy to watch them smile. So, I keep at the game and play as often as I can. So, no, it's not too lonely." Here the faerie smiled to herself, remembering all the fun times she'd had in the past. "It's a good reminder to me, that I can have fun and be happy no matter where I am. There's always a new friend to be made."
"I get lonely," Emerson admitted. "Everything is so new, and I don't know anyone."
"Well, now you have me. Remember," the Air Faerie continued, "I will always be with you. When it's summer and a breeze comes through, that will be me saying hello. When the leaves fall from the trees in autumn, that will be me making a pile for you to jump and play in. When winter comes and I give you a visit, know that I don't mean to make you cold, I just want to see how you are. And when the spring comes around again, know that the wind bringing the smells of flowers to you is my way of bringing you a gift. No matter where you go or whether you're happy or sad, I will always be there." She tapped Emerson on her little Poogle nose.
Emerson smiled. "I'd like that." She took the faerie's hand, and they walked along the shore, talking of old homes and new ones, pasts and presents and futures. Her past was a wonderful memory, her present was not so gloomy, and her future began to look hopeful.
When Emerson grew older, she did get to be painted Cloud, but she couldn't remember why exactly it meant so much to her. Or why the breeze felt like such an old friend. But whatever it was, she had learned to feel at home.