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Teapot is pulled from their morning routine by a newly met Noot Noot to help her find the lost and paint-stained fledglings from the Loft before the Easter Egg Hunt. __________ DracoStryx April 2021 monthly challenge entry.
It was a bright, sunny morning that shone upon Wyvera’s newly-bloomed spring flowers and gentle, green grass. The sky was a joyful blue, and the clouds were soft cottons adorning it, moving with the breeze from time to time to create new forms in the vast blue.
Teapot had woken up early with the rest of the crepuscular creatures that enjoyed the flower season as much as they did. They had spent all dawn greeting the new flowers with a sniff and a tiny kiss, and had then gone to find their breakfast: a nutritious assortment of berries, herbs, and a root or two.
While wandering around looking for something to drink, though, they stumbled upon a bright orange creature that was flapping around in distress. They soon noticed it was a Stryx, like them, and approached with a smile and a purr to say hi.
The Stryx startled and ran to them the moment she caught sight of the baby Casua. “Noot noot NOot NOOT!!” The panicked, blue eyes stared into Teapot’s, hoping to transmit their troubled emotions with the action. Teapot did not understand a single noot the stranger had said, but it was relieving to them: too many Stryx they knew used words, and expected Teapot to understand and use them in return; meeting others who didn’t use words either saved them that pressure.
Still, Teapot hadn’t understood a thing. They smiled at the Cara, but stared back with a calmness that proved the Stryx’s tooting had been in vain. The Stryx sighed and grabbed a paintbrush that was nearby before she began scribbling on a piece of paper. Once she finished, she handed it to Teapot, hoping against hope that the baby Stryx knew how to read.
Unfortunately for her, Teapot did not.
She tried again with several drawings in a narrative manner. They showcased her with a few baby Stryx— a tad younger than Teapot— and some painted eggs. Teapot understood she had been carelessly put in charge of two very difficult tasks and needed help. Now that they thought about it, they remembered Mocha mentioning an orange Stryx by the name of this same one’s sounds would be in charge of the festive games that month.
Teapot’s eyes lit up when they reached a drawing that was— despite the artistic skill only two dew claws holding a paintbrush could achieve— unmistakably Teapot themself, shown leading even smaller Stryx back to the place where Noot Noot was working on the painted eggs.
Teapot skipped around happily at the idea of being able to help, and let out a joyful chirp along with a nod to Noot Noot.
“Noot noot, noot!” Noot Noot let out, her tone much calmer now that she had found someone to help. She pointed at some now-dried paint talon-prints the lost fledglings had left, and bid farewell to her new friend with a ‘noot’ as they skipped away, cheerfully following the prints, the old panic from Noot Noot not phasing them.
They hopped around and between tall, pine trees, large boulders that wouldn’t be too large if they weren’t a kid, and a few crystalline lakes surrounded by beautiful flowers. They had been humming a lullaby they had learned from Vespira— Mocha’s apparently terrifying wife, although Teapot didn’t see why one would find her terrifying at all— when they stumbled upon a dead end: the painted prints ended where a pine tree like every other pine tree began. Upon closer inspection, Teapot noticed the tree was singular in one detail: it had small painterly claw-marks up itself, and a few of its branches rustled with laughter. Teapot was clueless about a lot of things, but they knew trees didn’t drip paint, or laugh; at least not pine trees.
They backed away a few steps from the tree to look at its higher branches better, and that was when they spotted a flash of cream feathers splashed with a pink color that only looked natural on Easter eggs. Teapot’s face broke into an open smile when they noticed the other branches were also inhabited by fledglings with more paint than average. They let out what would be described like a sort of gentle honk to call out to the baby Stryx.
The sound caught all of the fledglings’ attention, the lot of them all popping their heads out of the pines to look at their visitor with curiosity. Although all were intrigued, none seemed keen on the idea of going back down, so they just stared.
They stayed still enough that Teapot could count them. There they were: the cream colored Tyto with pink paint; a slightly bigger Harpia baby with a dark and spotted coat that was smudged with green brushstrokes; a Chiroptera with painted paw-prints that made the piebald on their coat seem like a canvas; a Raptor that made Teapot wonder how they had gotten up there, with bright blue feathers painted with too much yellow; and a red colored Lycan with paint all over their muzzle that, despite their age, was almost too big for the branch they were on.
The Lycan was the first to move, looking up at the rest before looking back down at Teapot. “Are you a friend?” They asked in a temerous, puppy-like bark, their tail tucked safely around themself.
Teapot nodded at it with an unwavering smile, their eyes proving there was no malice in them. They looked around the forest, still, searching for something to prove their friendship.
Their eyes landed on what Teapot loved to give the most: flowers. They trotted over to the fresh patch of spring flowers and thanked them with a gentle chirp before picking them into a small bouquet. They ran back to the painted tree with the painted Stryx, and held the flowers up as a gift.
The tree dwellers’ faces showed visible joy in the beautiful flowers, but they still seemed hesitant. They looked at each other again, silently weighing their options.
After a bit, the Harpia spoke. “I think they’re alright!”
“But Noot Noot said we shouldn’t trust strangers…” the Tyto spoke in a more nervous tone.
“Or accept gifts from them.” Added the Raptor in a matter-of-factly voice.
The until now quiet Chiro caught the rest’s attention with a few bark-like sounds, and then gestured with their dew claws in what seemed like a silent language they had developed. Teapot didn’t know of it, but the other kids understood well what the Chiro had said, and knew they were right: the gift the Casua gave them had been chosen and picked up in front of them, and it made no sense that a stranger would track down their prints to take them back home if they weren’t friends with Noot Noot in the first place.
The Lycan mulled it over a bit, and looked down at Teapot again. “Did Noot Noot speak to you with words?”
Teapot looked down at the flowers as if trying to remember, and looked back up to shake their head with a smile. They let out two toots that sounded like Noot Noot’s ‘noot’s to prove what ‘words’ Noot Noot used, and the act had the once hesitant fledglings burst out in laugher and fly or climb down from the tree in chorus.
“That’s Noot Noot, all right!” Said one, while another nodded to the statement. They were all covered in still-fresh paint and a leaf or two that had stuck to it, but Teapot didn’t complain when they hugged them in acceptance.
Teapot only pulled away to give each new friend a part of the bouquet, after all, Teapot still wanted to give them a gift, and once that was done they parted to begin their journey again, following the small talon-prints back to Noot Noot, and back home.
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