Snowdrift

Twenty-six
Home Again

We received a wonderful welcome when we returned to Sunset Town. As we glided over the town, everyone in the streets waved to us. People walked out of their houses to greet us. If I hadn't been using my wings for flying, I would have waved back. I love the small town life.

We glided over the leafy tree-lined streets and into Sapphire's training ground. I saw many people running down the street after us, to see if we achieved or goal and got our egg. Within minutes the whole town was there, including every camera crew from every TV station and paper alike, all to see our little baby.

I was cradling Sapphire in my arms - he was still sleeping. But when the crowd got noisier, he woke up, blinking his big, black eyes up at me. He wriggled around in my wings and poked his head up, just so he could see out. A few people pointed, but the vast majority were talking or preparing their cameras. Sapphire dipped his head back down and gazed up at me.

Glacier came over and stared lovingly at his baby. "Told you it would be fun," he said to me, tickling Sapphire under the chin with a wing tip.

"See all those people, little guy," I told Sapphire, "They've all come to see you." He poked his head up again, then dropped it back.

Finally, one man in the audience, well, the camera crew really, yelled out above the noise, "Could we see the egg? Please?"

Sapphire the human shook her head and laughed. "No egg," she called out. There was a groan of sympathy from the audience. Sapphire reached into my wings and lifted her Articuno counter-part. "A chick!" she said and lifted him to the sky for all to see. A huge sigh of "Ohhh, he's so cute!" rose from the crowd this time. I grinned and rested my head on Glacier's side.

Sapphire was wide-awake now. He opened his little wings and flapped them, wriggling to get free. Sapphire placed him back in my wings and addressed the crowd. "We recovered the egg two nights ago from a man who bought it from EggSale.com. I don't say stolen because, as you know, this is their chick. With these two Jynx performing the traditional dance, yes, I witnessed it with my own eyes, the egg hatched. Snowfall and Glacier are proud to say the chick's name is Sapphire."

There was a roar of applause and cheering from the crowd. Sapphire was looking terrified. He buried his little face in my chest and flopped his tail over my wings. Glacier noticed this too.

"Sapphire, would you mind telling everyone to shut up, he's only a day old."

Sapphire waved her arms in silence. It didn't work. Glacier walked to her and opened his wings, a menacing glare in his eyes. That didn't work either. Then the pair of Jynx walked over and waved their outstretched fingers at them. Their eyes glowed blue. The crowd fell silent.

"How'd you do that?" I asked them.

"Mind control, telepathy, that kind of thing," said Shelly casually, shrugging her shoulders.

Sapphire tried again, "Thank you everyone. As I just told you, baby Sapphire is barely a day old, so if you wouldn't mind being quiet, it would be very much appreciated. Thanks."

I walked with Sapphire and everyone else to the press. With three people moving our separate body parts and telling Glacier to fan out his magnificent tail, we stood for ages in that pose while the press took photos of us. Then we had a separate photo session with just the three Articuno. Finally, we were able to go inside and let Sapphire deal with the interviews.

The next day at the stadium was packed to overflowing, since this would be our final battle. Both Glacier and myself would battle; that would be enough to draw people from other cities, maybe even other countries.

I knocked out a Blastoise and Glacier got a thing called a Magneton. Both battles were tougher than I bargained for, but we won them. Dewdrop insisted on going up against a Charmander, so we didn't hold her back. She was looking confident. Sure enough, a single hydro pump knocked the Charmander out.

As the orange lizard was being recalled into its Pokéball, Dewdrop glowed in a blinding bright white light. I didn't know what was happening. The white light that had once been Dewdrop changed shape. It grew bigger and bigger. I was thinking that Dewdrop was going to explode.

But as the white light faded, Dewdrop was gone. In her place stood a snowy white Dewgong with a lovely long tail and dainty almond shaped black eyes. Then it hit me. Dewdrop had evolved. I had never seen a Pokémon evolve; they don't exactly do it every day.

"No wonder she was so enthusiastic to battle," said Shelly.

I nodded, "Onya, Dewdrop!" I yelled to the Dewgong.

Naturally, with every member of our team now ice-type, we won. The crowd cheered us and gave us a standing ovation. We bowed, collected the seven-odd thousand Pokéyen and left.

When we arrived back at Sapphire's house, Sapphire turned the TV on just in time to see the news.

The reporter's face appeared on the screen, "Top story tonight, a baby Articuno is hatched in the small town of Sunset. James Cooper reports."

The camera switched to a picture of Sapphire holding Sapphire to the sky, then the reporter's voice came on. "Wonder yesterday in the tiny town of Sunset when the Articuno chick named Sapphire was revealed. The parents of the chick, Snowfall and Glacier, had their egg stolen one and a half months ago from their mountain home and came down to the town to find it. With the help of Sapphire Iyse, they were successful.

"The egg was in possession of Mr Ray Osinshyne," the camera switched to a picture of him with his hands behind his back and multiple flashed of camera lights. He was surrounded by police. "Mr Osinshyne was arrested this morning for possession of stolen Pokémon, all of which he purchased from EggSale.com. He has received a jail sentence of one year and the rare Pokémon in his possession have all been set free into their natural habitats.

"EggSale.com had been closed down and all eggs replaced to where they originally came from. The leader of EggSale was found to be a member of the notorious team rocket.

"The mayor of Sunset Town has proclaimed the Articuno Mountains to the north of the town, previously known as the Mudah Mountains, as a World Heritage Area. This means that no person may go into the mountains without a permit, definitely no Pokémon catching. All this has been a result of the Articuno chick, Sapphire."

When the time came for us to go to our real home the next morning, there wasn't a dry eye in the house, except maybe baby Sapphire.

"I'm going to miss you so much," sobbed Sapphire, hugging me tightly.

"I'll never forget you guys," I mumbled back, "When Sapphire can fly, we'll visit you every winter. Promise."

Shelly and Scarlet were exchanging tips on hair management, trying to be brave, but in the end, they caved in too. I had my beautiful tail in my beak, still the lovely sapphire blue it had been merely one month ago. I bent my head down and placed it carefully in Sapphire's hands.

"I want you to have this. It won't be of any use to me, but you can have it to remember me by."

She took it and sniffed. "I can't. It's your tail, it's a part of you..." she trailed off when I shook my head and smiled.

Shelly clambered on my back with Sapphire in her arms and we took off for our home in the mountains.

Epilogue