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Petpet Name: Scout
Pet Name: Timmou
Breed: Snow Zomutt
The most extraordinary thing happened in my town this past Day of Giving morning.
Everyone expected a green Christmas. It had been a snowless Month of Celebrating: a dull winter, murky brown and grey, with bare trees that looked desolately down upon their scattered leaves, strewn across the trampled grass and sidewalks spattered with mud. The weather forecast held no snow. Some days were mild with sun, some were mild with rain, and some were cold with leaden skies that seemed to promise snow, but lied. The world was dead until spring, and we mourned it. A winter world without snow seems made for nothing but mourning.
We had all given up on the idea of a white Christmas. My family, my friends, our neighbours, coworkers and classmates had all resorted themselves to a Day of Giving that looked much the same as any other day this winter.
So imagine my town's surprise when it woke up bright and early to find those bare trees, that brown grass, those muddy sidewalks covered in white! Snow, the softest and blithest of its kind, blanketed our housetops, our lawns, our walkways and streets, every fence post and everything in sight! It had graced us with its presence during the night, and was still falling; still drifting quickly down in large, downy flakes. It was like a faerie tale. It was like a miracle.
After breakfast was finished and presents were unwrapped, I stepped outside to make my Merry Christmas visits to my neighbours. It was then that a flash of brisk movement caught the corner of my eye.
It ran right out in front of me, skirting the fence in jaunty leaps and bounds, kicking up snow as it went. I could only see it from behind, but I could tell it was a dog-like creature, a canine Petpet of sorts. Its tail was orange and wagging madly, its brown ears flopped with its every bouncing stride. But its body was pure white, blending almost invisibly with the snow. If it weren't for its ears and tail, and the veritable blizzard it sprayed in its wake, I may not even have known it was there.
When it reached the end of the fence the Petpet rounded a tree twice, as if a little confused as to where it was going; then it took off down the street. It seemed to carry with it an aura of mystery that intrigued me in a way I can't express... I couldn't help myself. I followed after it. I'd never known such a Petpet to live in my neighbourhood, and there didn't seem to be an owner nearby...
I followed it right to the end of my street, to a little flower garden that backed onto a ravine. When I was a child there always seemed something magical about this miniature meadow, where the trees had stood since the houses were built, and the same children who once climbed them now sat and watched their own children play. On this present winter's day there were no flowers. The annuals were dormant under the new fallen snow, and the rocks and trees shimmered in their icy casing. I hid behind a frozen oak and watched my mystery Petpet as he came to a sharp halt in the middle of the garden.
"Mmm, woo woo!" the Petpet cried, when suddenly another creature appeared; literally appeared, seemingly materializing from nothing before my eyes!
It bore the appearance of a blue JubJub—frosty blue, with fluffy white wings that looked as if they were made of the morning's snow itself. The Petpet turned around at last, and now I could see that it was not merely the same colour as snow, no! It was snow! It was a Petpet species I had seen in the past... a dog from the Haunted Woods... a Zomutt, was it called? Except this Zomutt had no grey or green fur. It was composed entirely of the white stuff, with bare brown branches for its flopping ears, and carrots for its tail and tiny Zomutt horns. It gave a little shake as if to scratch an itch, and it sent a flurry of sparkling snowflakes into the air.
"Good job, Scout!" the JubJub praised his canine companion. "Everyone seems really happy! Christmas is so much more Christmassy-er with snow."
"Woof! Woo woo!" The Zomutt—or shall we say Snowmutt?—stuck his nose in the air and started to sniff. "Woo woo roo!"
"Are you picking up another trail?" the JubJub asked, in an energetic, childish little voice that sounded like a tinkling bell. "Where is it coming from, boy?"
"Mrmgh, mm woo!" the Snowmutt howled. And the JubJub seemed to understand this perfectly. "A town called Pankhurst in Meridell?" he translated. "How many people want it?"
"Wooroo woo. Woof roo woo."
"Somewhere between ten and fifty-three?" The JubJub giggled. "Oh Scouty, where between ten and fifty-three? Could you be a little more pacific?" (I took this to mean 'specific'. He pronounced his words like a child, too.)
"You don't know? Well, okay, no worries! Ten to fifty-three people will be very happy. Let's give them a white Day of Giving, Scouty!" The JubJub hopped toward his Petpet, but before he made another move he stopped. The Snowmutt was whining softly, looking up at his master with big coal eyes (I noticed now that one was slightly bigger than the other).
"What? What if this town's snow melts while we're away? All snow melts event-shly, Scouty."
The Snowmutt whined again, and scampered in a little circle. "You think we should give them just a few more flakes?" understood the JubJub. "Okay then! Come on, buddy, we'll make sure this snow stays around all December the 25th!"
The JubJub raised his wings and flew up higher, higher into the sky. His Snowmutt scampered in circles beneath him, leaping and prancing and barking in pure wintry bliss, as the JubJub twirled and danced against the backdrop of the silver clouds.
Then the spirit landed—the spirit I say, for I knew at this time that these were no ordinary Neopet and Petpet—and he jumped and spun and frolicked on the ground with his best friend. Meanwhile the snow had picked up substantially. It came faster and thicker, and the flakes grew larger and larger, until I began to feel the need to move from my hiding place quickly, lest I become buried neck-deep in snow.
At the end of all this, the two collapsed in a heap, JubJub panting and laughing while the Snowmutt licked his face lovingly with his little snow tongue. "What do you say, Snow Scout? Is this enough?"
The Petpet barked in cheerful acquiescence.
"Then to Meridell we go!" sang the JubJub. "But first..." All at once I was taken off guard. I think I felt my heart skip a beat when the spirit turned and looked right at me, as I shivered and stared in wonder behind the frozen oak!
"Merry Christmas, Neopian! I know you were on Scout's list. That's why you can see us." He smiled, and his Petpet, Scout, came bounding over to me. I knelt down to say hello, and I swear I tell you the truth, Dear Reader: he licked my hand with that same icy little tongue he'd used to kiss his angelic owner only moments before. No puppy kiss had ever felt sweeter to me.
In another moment Scout was safely tucked between his owner's feet, as the JubJub flapped his great wings and took off into the sky. The JubJub shouted "Goodbyeeeee!" and Scout gave a farewell yelp, before they faded back into nothingness above the glistening tops of the snow-laden trees.
I don't exactly know why I'm telling you all this, Dear Reader. I'm not even sure the spirit would appreciate word of his existence being spread. But credit must be given where credit is due. The next time it snows in your town, whether you love the snow or hate it, remember it doesn't fall merely by chance. Somewhere nearby is a worthy Neopian longing for it with all their might... and somewhere out there is a Snowmutt to hear (or sniff out) and answer their wish. He and his owner work tirelessly, faithfully and with smiles on their bright little faces to ensure all our winter dreams come true.
Mrrgm woof! Woof, woo roo! That means, "May your winter dreams come true, too."
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