Hylje and the Berry Thief
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Entry for the Summer Games II: Fun in the Lake mini-game prompt for the Mime Dogs ARPG. Ft. my Mime Dog Hylje ( MD-000356 ), and his new friend, a currently nameless Páokia. Mime Dogs are a closed species ARPG Páokias are an NPC species from the Mime Dogs ARPG
It was a sunny morning, like most summers around the village. The air was fresh and smelled of sea salt and pure sunlight. Hylje had gotten up a few minutes ago, wiggling out of his cozy bed and into his bandana, to rush outside and grab a healthy breakfast.
Breakfast had decided to be a handful of berries and some herbs, which he packed inside a small bag before heading over to the pier to eat by the seaside.
Once he arrived to the pier, Hylje sat by the edge of it and opened his small bag of food. He had enough to fill his stomach for the rest of the morning, and he hummed contentedly at it. Before he could get a bite out of his meal, though, a large Páokia jumped out of the water and snatched Hylje’s bag, flying away as quickly as possible.
“Hey- bring that back!!” Hyjle called out, shocked from the attack. He knew that Páokias weren’t dangerous, but he also knew- from personal experience- that their beaks could be a force to be reckoned with.
Regardless, his belly growled, and he knew he needed his breakfast before running errands. Hylje stood up with a determined frown, and set off to follow the thief. “W-wait up! That’s not yours!”
He ran back into the village, crossing huts and trees until he stumbled upon a lake. He came to a full stop, inches from falling into the water, still cold from the lack of warmth in the early hours. He liked the water, but he didn’t like unplanned splashes, and he had a very important task that involved his breakfast.
“O… ok… now, where is that little thief…” Hylje was a good tracker; because of his sailor training, he was used to locating things even in open water. But Páokias could swim and fly, and that made things a lot more difficult for him.
He sat by the lake, thinking. He knew Páokias built nests both underwater and inside tree trunks, and he knew they liked hiding their findings as soon as possible, so his fugitive would’ve seeked the security of its home.
But its home could be inside the giant lake in front of Hylje, or in one of the many trees around him. If he had no other pointers, then Hylje knew he would be better off looking for more breakfast instead.
His round ears started drooping in defeat when he noticed; inside the lake, tiny bubbles began appearing. His village was undisturbed by other Sympans, only the occasional Páokia wandering about, so Hylje decided to take his chances and target the bubbling, in hopes that it’d be the food thief.
He pounced expertly into the water, right into the bubbling spot, and felt something swimming below him. As soon as he opened his eyes, he saw the Páokia swimming away with the now soaked bag of food, directed right into a small cave that was the perfect size for a Páokia nest.
Most Meadow Mime Dogs aren’t too good at swimming, but Hylje was often mocked for being more aquatic than meadow, and his swimming skills were usually better than Mountain Mime Dogs even. He dove at full speed towards the cave, blocking the creature’s path before it could enter. The Páokia let out a startled honk, and turned around to swim back to the surface as fast as it could.
Hylje caught up quickly again, both of them reaching land at the same time. The Páokia had started skipping away- readying its wings for take off- when Hylje tackled it down.
“No, you don’t!” He landed with his front paws on the animal’s wings, immobilizing it properly. “That’s my breakfast you’ve got there, I picked those berries this morning.” He took the bag away from the Páokia, who had let go of it now that Hylje had the upper hand. Hylje was thankful for it; he had readied himself for some nasty pecks, but he didn’t look forward to them.
Once he got a hold of his breakfast, he got off the thief.
The Páokia sat up, but didn’t fly away. Instead, it stared at Hylje, partly curious, partly wary.
Hylje paid no attention to it, though, as his belly had decided it would wait no more for its well earned food. Hylje opened the small bag, letting out a relieved sigh at the sight of his intact breakfast, albeit a tad soaked.
He picked a berry- the largest of the bunch- and placed it in front of the Páokia. “If you wanted food, all you needed to do was ask.” He smiled at the animal, his previous anger entirely gone, before he moved back to his berries and began munching on them happily.
The Páokia blinked at the Dog’s kindness; surely it had never met a Mime Dog before. It gobbled down the berry amusedly, and then stayed seated beside Hylje, accompanying him during his meal.
That day, Hylje made a new friend, and had a nice meal by the lake.
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