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- Today's Pet Spotlight -

Pet Name: aitace919973
Owner: willowriver
Breed: Uni

About aitace919973:
The sun bathed Uni Fields in warmth that was neither hot or cold. It was a perfect mid-day. The slight breeze made nearby trees whisper in a lovely song. Four-leaf clovers were underfoot, and butterflies fluttered among the yellow flowers that sprang up here and there.

Aitace pranced and shook his mane—now full and thick from the magic of the rainbow pool. His coat had gone from blue to a rich brown that looked like milk chocolate in this summer light. He stamped his cloven hooves almost in a dance. He flapped leathery greenish wings. His new wings were so much like a dragon now. Rainbow pool had made him look like a Tyrannian and he loved it. He shook his mane again and snorted. He loved being a link through the lands magic between it's present and ancient past.

Meridell castle overlooked the antics of the many uni from such a distance away that it was not much more than an outline on the horizon. Above the clouds of the fairie realms seemed to do their own lazy drifting dance. It was a perfect day. Nothing could stop the silly uni and his friends. This was a perfect day for a race around the fields.

Now, what most people who make their first visits to Neopia do not understand is that Uni's are not mean. Unlike Earth-world counterparts called the horse, the uni does not know abuse. They do not know pain. They have freedom and it's a lovely thing. They do not have an owner, but a companion in their human or fairy friend. This allows them to have a powerful sense of play. Still, sometimes, a uni can feel lonely.

The uni all lined up at a makeshift line carved with cloven hooves in the grass. This would be start and finish. The rules would be simple. No flying. No magic. Just run. Run until the coat is wet with moisture. Run until you cannot run anymore. The last one running would win. Go 'round and 'round the Uni Fields even if the moon rises high in the sky.

The race began on it's own. No bell rang. No horn sounded. All had started at the line and leaped into a run on powerful hindquarters in unison. Uni have a wonderful sense of timing since they are a very magical being. The hooves thundered across the landscape. Soon, fairie came down from their lands. In truth the fairie are the only ones who have patience and time to enjoy such a long spectacle as a uni race. Uni can run for a long time.

Some uni dropped out early. Those were the ones who had the magical illnesses that could sometimes make a neopet sick. As the race wore on others dropped out to play a different game (uni can be easily distracted sometimes). Others left when their human companions called out for them to come eat. The hopes would be for a chocolate treat or a fancy baked good of Meridell.

Still Aitace ran. He'd won many of these races before when his coat was as blue as the sky. The new, wider hooves gave him even better footing on the moist grass. His lungs puffed through flared nostrils. This race he was nose to nose with an Island uni named after the great fairie named Illusen. Both were smiling. Running was fun! The twenty left racing when dusk came over the land were still smiling. A sheen of sweat was starting to form and the fairie cheered above. Would Aitace win?

Over the din of cheering and hooves Aitace thought he heard a sound. It was so faint, but he thought he heard a uni foal! He tried to continue the race.

Once more they circled around and were back on the western side of the fields. Mountains formed a wall on this edge. Peaks were so high as to block out any idea of sky above. Once more, above the noise and with only ten uni left, Aitace heard the sound.

He slid to a stop. The other uni dashed around him without missing a beat. Dirt kicked up around him as others dashed away to become dots in the distance. He heard the bleating of the foal again. It had to be investigated. His ears twitched in the direction of the sound and he turned to follow it to thick underbrush near the mountain edge. He sniffed the air and snorted. This didn't smell like the stables where uni foals are born! It was a clearly unfamiliar scent.

The loud noise of cheering and running was only background music now. Uni are curious creatures. The bleating and strange scent was just too intriguing to pull his attention back to the race. Aitace entered the bushes.

There was a tiny clearing in the underbrush. Aitace snorted and his ears perked forward. He arched his neck and shook his mane again. It wasn't a threatening posture. It was one of surprise. In the middle of this tiny clearing was a creature that looked almost like a uni foal. The green mane and hooves were strange. It had huge eyes. The white body and white wings were a beacon in what was becoming moonlight above. The little creature was laying down with his hooves over it's face and it's bleating was actually crying. Aitace crouched a little and moved closer.

The little creature that seemed to be a uni without it's horn looked up at him. Fur under the eyes was moist with tears. Uni, and what seemed to be an alabriss, touched nose to nose. “Why are you crying?” Aitace thought nothing of propriety or social niceties. Like any young child he just blurted out questions.

“I'm lost. I was....I am lost. It's dark. Loud too!”

Aitace sat down on his hindquarters. He tilted his head. “It is dark. Did you hear the race?”

“It's a storm coming.”

“It never storms in Uni Fields. That was us racing without flying. What is your name?”

Tears ran again and the alabriss cried loudly. “I don't have a name! I'm new here! It's lonely.”

Aitace tilted his head the other way and heard the sound of crickets chirping. “You need to have a name.”

“I know that! There is no one to name me!!!”

A cricket entered the tiny clearing and rubbed it's legs together quickly before it jumped away. Both the uni and alabriss watched. “That was a pretty sound,” Aitace said. The alabriss nodded.

“I wonder if the cricket was telling us something. Maybe he just gave you a name?”

The little white alabriss looked back up at the much larger uni. “What name is that? And I'm still lonely!”

Aitace nuzzled the alabriss again. “You know....I have a great person as my companion, but I'm a little lonely too. I get played with a lot, and I think she would play with you too. Her other neopets have friends, but I don't. I would like a petpet with me. It would make my family complete.”

“You have a family?”

The uni nodded. There was cheering far away. The forgotten race had been won, but Aitace didn't care. “Yeah. We could talk to my human Willowriver and see if she wanted you too. I think she would. She wants a petpet for me. An alabriss would be perfect!”

“But I still have no name!”

Aitace thought back to the cricket. “How about Cricket?”

This time the white alabriss shook his name and puffed up his chest. “Silly name for an alabriss.”

Aitace stood up and waited as the alabriss thought. Night was full now. The fields were quiet except for night birds, insects, and the wind in the trees. He waited for the white creature made it's decision.

“I rather like Cricket. I'd like to have a home and friends too.”

“Let's go home then, Cricket. I'm hungry. I think Willowriver has chocolate dipped Peophin cookies for us.”

Aitace led Cricket out of the clearing and started walking across the once busy fields. Neither had noticed Illusen nearby watching over them. The tiny cricket sat in her hand and rubbed his legs together in a cheerful song. Illusen waved her wand and the moonflowers suddenly opened their glowing petals. They formed a path that the fairie knew would take the two newfound friends home. In a way, Aitace had won the race.

She smiled, and with the cricket still in hand flew off into the night sky for home.

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