Hello again! So, this is my response to the May fanfiction prompt on the Gang of Five forum, where I simply had to insert this into my story: "When the Bright Circle rose the next day, it rose over a very different Great Valley."
So, springtime has arrived, and with it comes the warm temperatures we've all longed to see again. Sadly, though, with it also comes high pollen levels and spring allergies. It's inevitable. Many are bound to get sick in the middle of spring. So, how could it have gone millions of years ago? That's what this story is all about, as the Days of Rising Waters strike again and cause havoc and sickness in the Great Valley, and our Prehistoric Pals have to find a way to get through this year's spring in one piece.
It's simply another one of those stories that will appeal to all ages, and not really contain much of any tense action scenes since I'm sometimes terrible at writing those kinds of scenes. I might inform you now, though, that there will be the slightest bit of DuckyxPetrie in this, since I can never resist shipping those two in any way I can! It's practically an addiction I have!
Anyways, without further ado, I present you, perhaps, your typical Land Before Time springtime drama!
WATERS RISE, ILLNESS FLIES
A young, light green Swimmer looked up at the sky, and for the fifth day in a row, it was filled with dark sky puffies that were seemingly filled with gallons of sky water. To everyone, this was a sign that the Cold Time was officially over, and the Days of Rising Waters were beginning again. Although this meant that the green food would start growing again, there was still so much to dread about the Days of Rising Waters; sky water storms, muddy puddles, soggy food, possible flooding, and even sicknesses from high pollen levels. For some in the valley, the Days of Rising Waters were already taking their toll, but for others, they just wanted to enjoy the warming temperatures as much as they could. However, the sky water seemed to have other plans this season.
"I was sure the Days of Rising Waters would be wet, but not this wet!" the Swimmer pouted as another shower began to sprinkle down on the Great Valley, "It has been pouring sky water for five days in a row!"
"Now, Ducky," came another voice beside her, which could only have been her mother, "Every season, you'll have to expect the Days of Rising Waters to be like this. Sometimes, the sky water can come down for many days at a time, and this is excellent for all the green food and plants around us."
"I know, Mama, but still, I am starting to get tired of getting so wet, even when I am not in water," complained Ducky, "And my friends have not been having a good time, either."
She paused as she thought about her very close Flyer friend.
"Particularly Petrie," she murmured quietly.
"I know it hasn't been a good start for your friends, but at least you and Spike can still have a good time, as I know you like getting wet," said Mama Swimmer, "If I recall, I think Cera's little sister would have a good time, too. Remember when you taught her how to swim during the last Days of Rising Waters?"
Ducky smiled at the memory.
"Yep, yep, yep," she chuckled.
"Well, I suspect Tria will be wanting to bring Tricia for a swim in the shallow parts of the river," said Mama Swimmer, feeling quite amused by the thought of a baby Threehorn being a good swimmer.
"Maybe she will," replied Ducky thoughtfully.
Barely a moment later, there came the sound of a baby dinosaur's voice, accompanied by some splashing noises.
"That's probably her right now," chuckled Mama Swimmer.
"It is! It is!" said Ducky excitedly as she stood up and looked towards the river…
It, indeed, was Tricia happily swimming down a shallow part of the river, with Cera, Tria, and an anxious Topps all keeping an eye on her in case anything went wrong.
"I think you should join them," suggested Mama Swimmer with a wink.
"I will! I will!" Ducky replied, and she instantly ran towards the river and took a splashing dive into the water.
The Swimmer resurfaced a few seconds later and swam towards the Threehorns. She excitedly waved to them to get their attention, and Tria gave her a warm grin just as Tricia came swimming right up to her as fast as she could like as if she couldn't wait to have fun with a good friend.
"Well, if it isn't the one who got Tricia so excited about swimming in the first place," commented Cera somewhat sarcastically.
Tria laughed at the comment, and even Topps had to let out a small chuckle at the mention of Ducky's excellent teaching that enabled Tricia to become perhaps the greatest swimmer among Threehorns, even though she was still a baby.
"Hi, Cera! Hi, Tricia!" greeted Ducky with a hand wave.
She had only just put her hand back down when Tricia enveloped her in a hug that just about squeezed her.
"Tricia!" she panted, "I … cannot … breathe!"
"Tricia," called Tria, "Give Ducky some room to breathe."
Tricia quickly backed away, and Ducky coughed a few times before regaining her stability.
"I've never seen any Threehorn swim so well, especially a little child," remarked Topps, "You really have a knack for being a good swimming teacher, Ducky."
"Thanks, Mr. Threehorn," grinned Ducky, "She simply saw me swimming with some other Swimmers, and she thought-ed she could try swimming herself. It took-ed some practice, but it worked-ed and now Tricia is a great swimmer! Yep, yep, yep!"
"She's quite a curious one, isn't she?" said Tria.
"You can say that again," agreed Cera.
"So, Ducky, where is everyone this morning?" asked Tria, "I've gotten a little used to seeing your brothers and sisters playing out here when I visit, but everyone seems to be taking shelter from the sky water."
"Oh, my brothers and sisters are still having breakfast. They are," answered Ducky.
"And Spike is probably having the biggest breakfast of all," teased Cera.
Ducky rolled her eyes, and she received another playful splash from Tricia.
"I think Tricia wants to play with me for a while. She does, she does," the Swimmer chuckled.
"I suppose it would be a good idea for you to entertain our little one for a while," grinned Tria.
"At least until my friends get here," agreed Ducky.
"And when do you expect that to happen, considering that Petrie can't play in sky water?" asked Cera skeptically.
"It's just that time of the year, Cera," sighed Tria, "The Days of Rising Waters can be difficult for all of us, but from what I've seen in my younger years, it's especially hard on Flyers."
"Hmm," murmured Ducky thoughtfully, "I hope Petrie is not feeling so bored-ed."
"I'm sure Petrie and his family are doing just fine, dear," came Mama Swimmer's voice, "Now then, you don't you be a good girl and play with Tricia for a while?"
"I will, Mama! Yep, yep, yep!" replied Ducky happily.
As Ducky and Tricia started playing together in the river under the watchful eyes of Mama Swimmer and the Threehorns, the young Swimmer couldn't help but think about Petrie. She hoped her best friend wasn't feeling sick or bored, or that the sky water was trying to wreck his home again like it had done last season…
Up in a small mountain cave where the Flyer family lived, it was not a very pleasant sight…
The Flyer children were shivering in their nest as the sky water shower splashed a few sprinkles into the cave and left them feeling cold. Mama Flyer was covering her children's wings with tree stars in an effort to keep them warm.
As for Petrie, he was sniffling and shivering as he sat by himself in front of the entrance. His feet had gotten wet yesterday when he helped his mother gather some deliciously moist food for lunch, and all through the night he had felt his system get stuffed up as he tried desperately to get some sleep. When he woke up in the morning, he felt miserable. He was coughing and sneezing every few minutes, and he constantly had to wipe his beak with tree stars as it occasionally oozed out some nasty boogers.
"Aw, Petrie. Not again," sighed Mama Flyer sadly as she watched her poor son suffering the way he was.
"Me … (sniffle) … hate Days of Rising Waters!" complained Petrie in a miserable voice that could clearly show how congested he was, "Something bad ... always … (sniffle) … happen to me!"
"Now, now, Petrie. I'm sure it can't just simply be a bout of bad luck that strikes us every season during the Days of Rising Waters. You know that this time of the season is particularly difficult on Flyers compared to everyone else," assured Mama Flyer.
"But why!?" sniffled Petrie, "Three Days of Rising Waters in a row, something happen to me! First me get sick, then sky fire and sky water wash our old home away, … and now …"
He couldn't finish his sentence as his beak suddenly had another blockage, and he gasped several times before he let out yet another, "ACHOO!" The force of the sneeze tossed him backwards, and he landed roughly on his back.
"OW!" he wailed in pain.
"Aw, my poor Petrie," Mama Flyer sighed to herself, feeling so sorry for her son.
Petrie tried to get back up, but before he could swing himself back on his feet, his mother pulled him up for a hug and sat down, placing the little Flyer on her lap.
"Great!" pouted Petrie, "Now me no can fly for a week!"
"I'm sure you'll feel better in just a few days, dear," said Mama Flyer.
"What if it be longer than few days?" complained Petrie, "All because of stupid sky water!"
"Petrie, my little one," sighed Mama Flyer, "I know how much you can't stand the sky water, but it has to come down every season. Think of what would happen to all the leaves and tree stars if they didn't get sky water to help them grow. We would all run out of food and have to find somewhere else to live."
"Me know," sniffled Petrie before he coughed a few times.
"That's what this time of the season is all about, Petrie. The tree stars and other leaves receive the sky water they need, and it will help them grow and keep the Great Valley looking green all season long," explained Mama Flyer.
Petrie couldn't argue with that. He knew she was right. He couldn't imagine the Great Valley being without food because of a water drought. He and his friends had already survived their few fair shares of droughts, and he shuddered to think about having to do it again.
Suddenly, he thought about how his friends were coping with all this wet weather…
The only ones whom Petrie knew could have so much fun in sky water were Ducky, Spike and Tricia, after hearing the story of how Ducky taught Tricia how to swim during the last Days of Rising Waters. Cera was probably having to keep an eye on Tricia, Littlefoot was staying with his grandparents for a while, and Chomper and Ruby were sheltering in the Secret Caverns to keep themselves dry; the Sharptooth only relying on bugs that foolishly slipped into the caverns.
"Ahh … ahahahaaaahe … ACHOO!" Petrie sneezed, his mother hugging him tightly so that he wouldn't fall forward.
"Bless you," said Mama Flyer.
"Thanks, Mama," sniffled Petrie, and he felt more boogers oozing out of his beak, so he grabbed another tree star and wiped his face so that he wouldn't risk getting his mother sick, "Poor me."
"There, there, my little Petrie," soothed Mama Flyer, gently rubbing her son's chest and patting his head, "You'll feel better soon, dear. I just know you will."
"Me hope so, Mama," sighed Petrie despondently.
"Mommy?" said one of Petrie's sisters, "We've been kinda … waiting for our lunch for a few extra minutes now. We were wondering if it's here?"
"Your lunch is right here, children," Mama Flyer responded, and she set a couple of tree stars in front of the other children.
The kids licked their beaks excitedly. There was plenty for everyone to enjoy.
"Sorry you had to wait, but Petrie is sick, and I gotta take care of him while he's in the state that he's in," explained Mama Flyer.
The other kids looked at their sick brother, still sitting in his mother's cuddle, and he simply frowned and looked away.
"Don't worry, kids. Your brother will feel better in a few days," their mother assured, "Now, be good kids for me and enjoy your lunch. It's very moist, so you'll find it might be delicious."
"Okay, Mom," said one of Petrie's brothers, and they all began nibbling on their lunch.
Mama Flyer went back to snuggling Petrie, and the little Flyer sighed and stared out at the pouring sky water outside. He soon sniffled several times and nearly sneezed again, but he barely managed to take a few deep breaths to stop himself from sneezing.
"This going to be long week," he said weakly.
"We'll see, dear," said Mama Flyer gently, kissing her son's cheek, "We'll see."
Throughout the day, Petrie continued coughing and sneezing with a runny beak. He wished he could see how his friends were doing, and he had no idea how much fun Ducky and Tricia were having…
Ducky and Tricia kept playing in the water all the way to the evening. Topps and Cera had gone home, and the sky water continued to fall, but Tria and Mama Swimmer were still close by, watching happily as their daughters played with each other for hours, and Tricia never did seem to get tired, unlike Ducky.
As the valley grew darker, the young Swimmer grew exhausted. All that swimming and splashing with Tricia all day had taken a lot of energy, and she wanted to have a quick drink and rest up for the night.
"Tricia?" called Tria, and the baby instantly gave her mother's attention, "It's time to go home now, dear. Ducky's very tired, and it's getting very late. We don't want your father to worry about you, now do you?"
Tricia looked downcast. She felt like she could play in the water all day and all night, but, being a baby, she needed her sleep even more than Ducky and everyone else her age needed theirs.
"Don't worry, Tricia. If the weather finally improves tomorrow, you're very welcome to come back," smiled Mama Swimmer.
Ducky wasn't quite the happiest when she heard that. Playing with Tricia all day for one day was tiring enough, but two? That seemed a little too much for her, and she wanted to meet up with Petrie at some point as she felt worried for her dear friend.
"Mama?" the Swimmer spoke up.
"Yes, dear?" her mother replied, looking down at her daughter.
"Um, would it be okay if I went-ed over to Petrie's tomorrow to see how he is doing? I have not seen him for a few days. No, no, no," confessed Ducky.
"We'll see, Ducky," said Mama Swimmer with a wink, "Now, why don't you have a drink? You look tired."
"I am very tired. I am, I am," sighed Ducky, and she stepped back into the shallow water and sat down to soothe herself, while dipping her head down to take a drink.
"Duck-ey?" came Tricia's voice as she came up to her one more time.
Ducky brought her head up and smiled at the Threehorn, and Mama Swimmer and Tria were laughing at the baby's adorableness.
"You said-ed my name for the first time. Yep, yep, yep!" Ducky said in amazement.
Tricia nuzzled Ducky's cheek with her frill and gave her another innocent smile. Ducky returned the gesture by gently patting Tricia's frill with her hand, and she gave her a small splash.
"You had better hurry home, Tricia, or Cera will worry about you. She will, she will," said Ducky.
Tricia nodded and nuzzled the Swimmer's shoulder one more time, then she finally turned around and went the other way to join her mother.
"Bye, Tricia! Bye, Tria!" called Ducky.
"Goodbye, Ducky! See you tomorrow, Mrs. Swimmer!" Tria replied.
"See you tomorrow!" Mama Swimmer called.
"Good-bye!" Tricia squealed as she and her mother disappeared.
The Swimmers giggled as they heard the sound of Tricia's voice again. Although she was only one Cold Time old (about half the age of Spike and Chomper), her speech was still in its beginning stages, but her family seemed to be doing a good job at helping her learn words, particularly Cera.
"Cera has one smart little sister," commented Mama Swimmer.
"She does, she does. Yep, yep, yep," agreed Ducky, yawning tiredly.
"Well, dear, ready to come back to the nest? Poor Spike hasn't been feeling well today, and he desperately can't wait to have your company," said Mama Swimmer sadly.
"Poor Spike," sighed Ducky, "I wonder why he would get sick?"
"He simply caught a cold this morning after you left," explained Mama Swimmer, "I think you were just lucky enough to avoid it."
"Hmm, well, I will eat one of these white flowers over here just to be safe. I do not want to catch a cold. No, no, no," said Ducky, and she pulled out a white flower and slowly ate it to protect her body from any sicknesses that might be going around the valley, "If Spike is sick, and Petrie is … probably … sick, … then I do not want to risk myself getting sick."
"Good idea," smiled Mama Swimmer, "That flower should guarantee that you'll be protected from sickness at least for tonight. Come now, dear. Let's go home."
"I am right behind you, Mama," yawned Ducky, and the two Swimmers returned home to their nest.
When they got back, Ducky was shocked to find Spike not looking good at all. The last time she had seen him, he was looking quite fine, yet suddenly he appeared to be dreadful.
"Oh, my," she gasped, "Poor Spike."
"I'm afraid so, dear," sighed Mama Swimmer as she sat down next to her daughter, "He started showing symptoms just a few minutes after you left. He's been coughing quite a lot since, and he was sneezing for a while until I got him to go to sleep for the night. Don't be surprised if he wakes you up in the middle of the night."
"Okay, Mama," nodded Ducky.
"Here, Ducky. Why don't I cuddle you tonight? We don't want to risk you getting sick by snuggling up to Spike like you usually do," said Mama Swimmer.
"Sure, Mama," agreed Ducky, and her mother lied down and allowed her daughter to snuggle up to her chest, "It has been a while since you and I cuddled together to sleep. Yep, yep, yep."
Mama Swimmer lovingly hugged her daughter and nuzzled her with her bill. This earned a few cute giggles from Ducky before she yawned again and closed her eyes.
"I love you, dear," whispered Mama Swimmer.
"I love you, too, Mama," replied Ducky weakly, "Goodnight."
As Ducky fell asleep in her mother's cuddle that night, she hoped that things would finally change for the better tomorrow. Little did she know, though, that things would change, although not in the way that anyone would have expected …
When the Bright Circle rose the next day, it rose over a very different Great Valley.
The river seemed to have gained a few inches in height, and there were thousands of mud puddles throughout the valley landscape. Water was still sprinkling down from leaves and trees hours after the sky water had stopped. Any tree stars that had been blown off the trees and were laying on the ground were completely soaked in water. Some of them even had mud on them. However, none of this compared to another surprise that the residents would discover in just a short matter of time.
Ducky opened her eyes and yawned while stretching her arms. She saw that she was still in her mother's arms and smiled as she thought of the two of them having had a very pleasant sleep together for the first time in a very long time.
As Ducky glanced over at Spike, the Spiketail still looked very miserable. It was obvious that he was still sick, as his cold obviously hadn't settled down overnight. He was still sleeping, but his sleep pattern was very unusual. It seemed as if his cold would wake him up every so often during the night, and he would cough or sneeze for a few minutes before trying to go back to sleep.
"Poor Spike," Ducky sighed quietly.
At that moment, she felt her mother stirring around. She looked up as her mother yawned and opened her eyes.
"Good morning, Mama," said Ducky softly.
"Good morning, dear," her mother replied, "I see that flower you ate really did a good job at keeping you healthy."
Ducky giggled, and it was then that she sniffed the air and sensed that something was very … off. She looked around and saw puddles of water and mud everywhere.
"Oh, my," she gasped, "Look, Mama. The sky water has made-ed so many mud puddles. It has, it has."
Mama Swimmer examined their surroundings, and everywhere looked like a mess.
"I think we might have some cleaning up to do around here, especially since Spike is in no condition to help us move the nest to another location," she commented, "We're gonna have to work frantically and get this area cleaned up as soon as we can."
She opened her arms and let go of Ducky, and the young Swimmer walked curiously around their nest to see what had to be cleaned up. Many of the tree stars appeared to be deliciously moist, but some had mud coating them, and muddy tree stars weren't quite the best meal for the family's breakfast. Others were even so wet that they turned soggy and essentially could not be picked up without causing a mess.
"We could take a drink without having to walk all the way to the river," she suggested.
"We could, but you never know if there's even the tiniest drop of mud in the water puddles that appear to be clean from afar," Mama Swimmer pointed out, "You'll have to be careful around those, Ducky. Mud may be soothing for your skin, but it's not very ideal to eat by accident."
"I will remember, Mama. Yep, yep, yep," promised Ducky.
"That's good, dear," chuckled Mama Swimmer, "Why don't you see how the other families are doing while I wake up the other kids?"
"Sure, Mama," smiled Ducky, "I wonder if I could help Littlefoot or my other friends."
"Alright, Ducky. Off you go, then. Please be back before the Bright Circle is at its highest point in the sky," her mother said.
"I will. I will," answered Ducky, and she set off to see if any of her friends needed help.
She may have remembered that Tricia wanted to play with her again, but for now, she wanted to be a good citizen to those in need and help out anyone who may have ended up with muddy nesting grounds. As far as she was concerned, Tricia could wait. Right now, others needed help.
Littlefoot was met with the sight of dozens of wet puddles surrounding his grandparents' home when he woke up. It was a sight that somewhat reminded him of the Days of Rising Waters two Cold Times ago, when the valley was flooded and he found a new friend in a Swimmer named Mo.
"Oh, dear me," sighed Grandpa Longneck as he looked around their home and saw the mess that awaited their eyes.
"I hope all the sky water hasn't flooded the valley again," said Grandma Longneck standing beside him, "That could be a catastrophe."
"I'm not sure if it could be a catastrophe," replied Littlefoot, "I mean, maybe there wasn't as much sky water as there was two Cold Times ago."
"That may be, Littlefoot, but you can't be too sure. If we happen to discover that the valley is flooded again, we'll have to take extra precautions," his grandfather informed, "There may be Swimming Sharpteeth in those waters that are deep enough to allow them to enter the valley undetected."
"But, … there weren't any Swimming Sharpteeth in the valley last time it was flooded," said Littlefoot.
"Sometimes, we may be lucky, but other times we might not," said his grandmother.
"I guess," sighed Littlefoot despondently, having run out of arguments, "Anyways, I think I'm gonna go help any of my friends who might need help."
"You have a way with being a good citizen," chuckled Grandpa Longneck, "Off you go, then. Don't be too long, though."
"I won't, Grandpa," said Littlefoot, and he went on his way into the nearby forest, hoping to find at least one of his friends.
It wasn't long at all before he did find one …
The Longneck slipped on a loose twig that had fallen off a tree, and he uncontrollably slid down a hill.
"Whoa!" he yelled, frantically trying to stop, but it was no use.
He landed right in a huge pile of soggy tree stars, and after stretching his neck up to peek out from the top, he spotted Ducky looking at the pile with an awkward expression.
"Oh, my. You are not a delicious tree star," she commented, trying to hold back a laugh.
"What!?" retorted Littlefoot, "Of course, I'm not!"
"I was just kidding, Littlefoot! I knew it was you all along!" laughed Ducky, "I heard-ed you shouting, so I came-ed over here to see what happened-ed, and I found-ed you!"
The Swimmer was laughing so hard that she almost couldn't breathe, and she had to sit down and take several deep breaths to calm herself down.
"Did these Days of Rising Waters give you a new sense of humor overnight?" asked Littlefoot suspiciously.
"Of course not," said Ducky, "I just wanted to share a laugh with you. Yep, yep, yep."
"Hmm, … well, … I must admit, … it kinda was funny," said Littlefoot, "Not funny enough to make me laugh, though."
"Hmm," said Ducky, putting on her thinking face, "What's green and has five points?"
"Isn't that obvious? A tree star," sighed Littlefoot.
"Nope!" giggled Ducky, and she stretched her arms and legs out to make herself look somewhat like a star.
Littlefoot laughed at Ducky's effort at pretending to be a tree star.
"Me!" the Swimmer beamed with a big, toothy smile.
Now, it was Littlefoot's turn to keep on laughing until he nearly collapsed and had to recompose himself. When he regained his stability, he brushed the soaked tree stars off his body and continued down the forest with Ducky following him.
"That was a good one, Ducky," the Longneck chuckled, "You really mean it when you say you like to give good laughs."
"I am happy when my friends are happy! Yep, yep, yep!" smiled Ducky, rhythmically walking alongside him, making it very obvious to Littlefoot that she was in one of her fun-loving moods again.
"Come on, Ducky. Let's go see if our friends need any help," said Littlefoot.
"I am right alongside you, Littlefoot," Ducky responded as they went on their way.
A few minutes later, the two friends found themselves in a very familiar area. Ahead was a big, rocky wall that could only be a small mountain. Within that wall was a pathway that led to a tiny cave in the middle of the mountain, but they knew it wasn't just any old cave …
It was Petrie's.
"I have been worried about Petrie for a while now," sighed Ducky sadly, "I have not seen him for a few days."
"Petrie has always had the worst luck when it comes to the Days of Rising Waters," said Littlefoot thoughtfully, "Two Cold Times ago, he got sick for a week, then in the last Days of Rising Waters, a storm destroyed his old nest, which is why he lives in this rock now."
"I wonder if he could help us, … or if … we could help him," said Ducky.
Then, … there was a sound that neither of them wanted to hear …
The duo gasped. They knew exactly what the source of that sneeze was. To them, the voice was easily recognizable.
"Oh, no!" gasped Ducky, "Petrie got-ed sick again! Oh, no, no, no!"
"I guess that makes three Days of Rising Waters in a row something bad has happened to Petrie," said Littlefoot sadly.
"I guess that makes two of us who cannot be helpful today," said Ducky despondently.
"What do you mean, Ducky?" asked a confused Littlefoot.
"Spike is sick, too," informed Ducky, "He got-ed sick with a cold yesterday morning. He did, he did."
"Him, too?" gasped Littlefoot, "This Days of Rising Waters must be spreading some sort of sickness. We're gonna have to eat healthy flowers whenever we can. We don't want to risk getting sick, too."
"You are right, Littlefoot. I had one last night before I went to sleep, and it work-ed very well. It did," explained Ducky.
Littlefoot grinned, and the two turned up to Petrie's cave for any other signs of the Flyer's family being present.
"Hello!?" called Littlefoot.
"Is anybody home!?" added Ducky.
Within a moment, Mama Flyer emerged from the entrance and stood on the ledge in front of her cave.
"Hello down there, kids!" she called back.
"Ms. Flyer, is everything okay up there? I thought we could hear some sneezing when we arrived," said Littlefoot.
"I'm afraid that not quite everything is okay here, kids," sighed Mama Flyer with a frown, "Petrie has woken up for the second day in a row feeling so miserable. He came down with a cold after he helped me gather some food the other day."
"Oh, no, no, no," said Ducky, "Is there anything we can do to help?"
"Well, I suppose you could help by looking for some white flowers. That'll really help Petrie feel a whole lot better," said Mama Flyer.
"We'll be on a lookout for those," answered Littlefoot, "I think we're all gonna be needing them, so we'd better find one quickly before they're all gone. I fear a sickness might be spreading to some dinosaurs in the valley."
"Are others getting sick, too?" asked Mama Flyer.
"Spike is sick," answered Ducky, looking down with a miserable sigh, "My poor brother has a cold. He does, he does."
"Oh, my. The poor fellow," sympathized Mama Flyer, "Anyways, if you can find a white flower that we can feed to Petrie, I'll be so grateful."
"We'll do our best, Ms. Flyer," responded Littlefoot.
"Thank you both," said Mama Flyer, sighing with relief, "It would be a big help."
"Me hate Days of Rising Waters so much!" came Petrie's echoing voice from within the cave, "Ah, …hehehe, … heh, … ahahahAAACHOOOO!"
Littlefoot and Ducky could hear what sounded like a small crashing noise. They knew it could only have been Petrie landing roughly on his back after his big sneeze.
"Oh, my," said Ducky, "Poor, poor Petrie."
"You two should run along now," said Mama Flyer kindly, "I'll be taking care of my little Petrie."
"Okay, Ms. Flyer. See you later," called Littlefoot as he and Ducky turned back and started walking into another forest.
"See you soon!" Mama Flyer called back just before the duo disappeared.
Right behind her, Petrie was lying on his side, feeling just as miserable as he did yesterday. Although he felt sure he would be feeling at least a little better than he felt yesterday, today was sadly no different. He felt just as stuffy, and he began sneezing a little more frequently than before. He began to wonder if he would ever recover and be able to fly out in the open sky again. He longed to see his friends again, but he was now sure it would not happen any time soon.
"Me feel so … miserable," he sobbed, "Me never get better. Me never get to fly aga- … aha … aahahaaaaCHOOOO!"
The poor little Flyer felt his back slamming against a wall, and he felt a "bump" on his head.
"AWWOWHOWHOW!" he wailed in pain, coughing several times afterward, "This worst Days of Rising Waters ever!"
He closed his eyes and began weeping as he shielded his face with his wings and laid down against the rocky floor, but a moment later he felt someone lifting him up and placing him into the warm nest.
"There, there, Petrie," came his mother's voice, "Why don't you lie down and try going back to sleep? It'll help if you get plenty of rest."
"Not if me no have anything to eat," sniffled Petrie, and he opened his eyes and saw his mother looking down at him with a sympathetic frown.
"Littlefoot and Ducky are going to try and find you a white flower," she explained, "Those always help whenever you're not feeling well."
Petrie managed to brighten up only a little, but his frown would not leave his beak.
"At least, someone try to help me," he sighed.
"I told you we'd get you some help, my little one," smiled Mama Flyer, "Now, please get yourself some much-needed sleep."
Petrie coughed some more before he rubbed his beak with a tree star to wipe any boogers off, and he rested his head against some warm sticks that made up part of the nest. His mother covered him with a warm tree star as he reached for his snuggling stick, and soon he settled down enough to close his eyes.
"Sleep well, my little Petrie," said Mama Flyer, and she kissed her son's face, earning a faint grin from him, "I'll wake you up when your friends arrive with your white flower."
"Okay, Mama," Petrie replied weakly before he began to snore ever so softly.
Mama Flyer sighed as she watched her sick son fall into a nice sleep. She was really beginning to feel worried as his health had deteriorated enough that only a white flower could save him. She began to wonder how much longer Petrie would be able to last unless he got that much-needed medicine that would save his life.
"My poor little Petrie," she thought sadly to herself as she shuddered to think about what could happen if he didn't get that white flower in time, "His condition has been deteriorating much quicker than I thought. If Spike has the same problem, then … the whole Great Valley might end up with, … no, … I can't think about that, … not with Petrie being in the state he is. I must stay strong for him until Littlefoot and Ducky get back. I know that white flower will save my dear son."
"Mommy?" said one of her daughters, "Will Petrie be okay?"
"I'm sure he'll be fine, dear," Mama Flyer replied, "I've sent Littlefoot and Ducky to find a white flower that will help him get better. Don't you worry. He's in good hands."
The other Flyer children came within sight and looked at their sick brother. They could somehow tell that by this rate only a miracle could cure him, and a white flower would be just that …
Littlefoot and Ducky ventured through the Great Valley, trying to find a white flower that would save their Flyer friend. They didn't know exactly how bad it had gotten for Petrie, but, judging from what they heard from his mother, he probably would keep getting sicker unless they found that white flower.
"Didn't you say that you ate a white flower last night before going to sleep?" said Littlefoot, suddenly remembering something.
"I did, … but it was the last one there. My mama probably went-ed to go get some more," answered Ducky, sweating a little.
"Listen. Don't feel bad just because it was the last one your home had," said Littlefoot kindly, "We'll find somewhere that has plenty of white flowers."
"I hope we do. Yes, yes, yes," said Ducky frantically.
"Let's go ask the Threehorns if they have any," suggested Littlefoot.
"Okay," said Ducky.
She wasn't sure if it was the best idea, but if Littlefoot was willing to go through with it, then she would have to play along.
Soon, the duo arrived at the Threehorn nest, but when they looked around the area, their mouths were wide open with shock…
The whole area was covered with puddles, twigs and many a tiny piece of a tree star. Logs, leaves and mud piles lay everywhere. The nest itself seemed to have split into a few big pieces from having strong gusts blowing at it or being filled with sky water.
To Ducky, this looked worse than her own family's nest. Now she could guess why Tricia wasn't in such a hurry to play with her this morning like they had originally planned.
"Whoever thought the Days of Rising Waters could cause so much trouble?" commented Littlefoot.
"I once had to move my nest during the Days of Rising Waters," added Ducky, "This season, the sky water really has not been getting along. No, no, no."
"You can say that again," came a gruff voice that momentarily startled them.
The Longneck and Swimmer jumped in shock and saw Topps staring despondently at his family's nest. He looked just as unhappy as he typically would.
"Now we may have to move our nest," he sighed, "This area just isn't suitable anymore."
"Hello, kids," came Tria's voice as she appeared from behind a tree, along with Cera and Tricia, who were oddly collecting some twigs, "This is just not our time of the season, is it?"
"I guess not," sighed Ducky.
"So, what brings you here?" asked Tria kindly.
"Oh, uh, we came to ask if you had any white flowers left," answered Littlefoot nervously.
"And why would you need one of those?" asked Topps gruffly, "You two look like you're in perfect health. What's the point?"
Tria glared at her mate and shifted her attention back to Littlefoot and Ducky.
"Petrie is very sick, and his mother sent-ed us to find a white flower for him," explained Ducky.
"Oh, my. The poor little Flyer," sighed Tria sympathetically, and she looked down, appearing to be very distraught.
"What's wrong, Tria?" asked Littlefoot.
"What's wrong is that we finished the last of our white flowers last night when we heard that a few neighbors were coming down with something," answered Topps, "So, unless either one of you happened to have spotted one anywhere near here, I'm afraid we can't help you."
Littlefoot and Ducky felt their hearts pounding frantically as they heard the bad news. With one family counted out in being able to help them, it seemed that their chances of saving Petrie had just slipped by a considerable margin. Who knew if there was another place where white flowers could be found?
"Do you … know anywhere we might find white flowers?" asked Ducky.
"None that I know of. That's for sure," pouted Cera, staring at what was once a nice Threehorn nest that was now in ruins.
Tricia was standing beside Cera and was trying her best not to cry. Ducky felt so sorry for her and wished she could cheer her up, but she quickly remembered that she had another friend to help. Time was running out fast, and she wanted to find that flower as soon as possible.
"Now, if you kids will please excuse us for now, we have some serious business to attend to," finished Topps, and he made his way to a large log next to the former nest and started pushing it with his head.
"We'll see you soon, kids," said Tria with a wink, and she joined her mate in pushing the log out of the way.
Cera said nothing and walked away, while Tricia simply tagged behind.
Littlefoot and Ducky looked at each other awkwardly. They knew it wasn't like Cera to just leave them like that when they were in a situation that involved one of their best friends being extremely sick. Perhaps, she was so distraught over the wreckage of her family's nest that she didn't find it in her heart to leave them to deal with the nest-moving work all on their own.
"I guess we had better look somewhere else," said Ducky sadly.
At that moment, an idea had flown into Littlefoot's head…
"Hey! I have an idea! Why don't we look in the forest near the Sheltering Grass? I'm sure there's still plenty of white flowers in there!" he suggested.
"Good idea, Littlefoot! Yep, yep, yep!" agreed Ducky.
"Follow me!" Littlefoot called as he ran off in the direction he knew would lead to the Sheltering Grass, and Ducky followed right behind.
Just as they were leaving, though, they bumped into Ducky's mother as she was checking around the valley.
"Oh, hi, kids," she greeted them.
"Hi, Mama," smiled Ducky.
"Hello, Mrs. Swimmer," said Littlefoot.
"What are you doing out here, Mama? I thought you were looking after Spike," said a confused Ducky.
"I was visiting with other families to see how they were doing, and I was just about to inform the Threehorns that I came across a sight I'm sure none of us wanted to see again," Mama Swimmer informed.
"What is it, Mama?" asked Ducky.
"I spotted some small flooding at one corner of the valley," answered Mama Swimmer, and the Threehorns immediately perked up and gasped loudly.
"What!? Again!?" Topps shouted.
"I'm afraid so," sighed Mama Swimmer, "And it was the same corner as before, too. The only good thing is that it's nowhere near as bad as it was two Cold Times ago, so there's practically no risk of Swimming Sharpteeth intruding our valley."
"That'd better be true!" said Topps sternly, "The last thing we need is to have our kids running off to the Big Water again!"
Littlefoot, Cera and Ducky chuckled sheepishly as Topps brought that up, but Tria quickly stepped in.
"Now, now, Topsy. We have a nest to move, and if what Mrs. Swimmer says is true, then we should just calm down and find another good place for our nest," she said gently.
Tria's kind, soothing voice managed to work its magic and get her mate to relax, and he softened a little.
"You're right, my dear," he replied, "The one thing we do need is for Cera and Tricia to have a nice home again."
"Thanks for the news, Mrs. Swimmer," said Tria kindly, "We'll keep a look out for any more suspicious abnormalities and inform you if we do."
"You're welcome, Tria," replied Mama Swimmer.
"With this sickness spreading around the valley, I think we'd best play it safe and find some white flowers once we've found our new nesting place," added Topps.
"Speaking of which, we had better find our white flowers, too," Ducky reminded Littlefoot.
"You're right," the Longneck gasped in realization, "Let's get going."
"Off to find some white flowers, kids?" chuckled Mama Swimmer as the Threehorns turned away.
"We are going to find some white flowers for Petrie, and for Spike, and maybe some for the other sick dinosaurs. We are, we are," answered Ducky.
"Did Petrie get sick, too?" her shocked mother asked.
"Unfortunately, yes," sighed Littlefoot solemnly, "His mother asked us to find a white flower for him. I don't know how bad it really is, but I fear Petrie might be really sick."
"Well, I suppose you two had better run along and find those white flowers quickly," suggested Mama Swimmer, "Who knows what could happen? I only hope it doesn't get any worse."
"We'll make sure of that," said Littlefoot determinedly, "Let's go, Ducky."
"Right! See you later, Mama!" the Swimmer called to her mother as she and Littlefoot left.
"Bye, kids!" Mama Swimmer waved at them, and she went back to her duty in patrolling the valley for any more unusual signs.
The journey to the Sheltering Grass proved to be uneventful for the two children, aside from meeting a few dinosaur families, some of which also had sick individuals, all suffering from the same illness that Petrie and Spike had caught: a nasty cold. It was becoming more and more apparent that the Great Valley had something spreading around that was causing illnesses for nearly everyone within the valley's walls. The only hope Littlefoot and Ducky had was that it wouldn't eventually get so serious, especially with Petrie already being in such a horrible state.
"I guess I can understand why we haven't seen Chomper and Ruby come out of the Secret Caverns for a few days," sighed Littlefoot.
"They probably did not want to get sick, too," agreed Ducky.
"Chomper could probably sense with his sniffer that something is terribly wrong here, and he didn't want to catch it, so he and Ruby are probably just taking shelter from this strange something that's spreading around the valley," Littlefoot summarized as he thought of why their Sharptooth and Fast Runner friends had been M.I.A. for quite some time.
"Well, maybe when everyone is feeling better-er again, they will come back out to play again," said Ducky hopefully.
"Maybe," said Littlefoot.
Then, as they ventured deeper into the forest and could see the Sheltering Grass, which was across a river of sinking sand they had once fallen into, Ducky found a sight that brightened her mood tremendously.
"Look! Over there!" she shouted, nearly startling Littlefoot, "I see a lot of white flowers! Yep, yep, yep!"
Littlefoot looked in the direction where Ducky was running off to, and he noticed about a hundred white flowers circled around several large trees.
"This must be where everyone finds their white flowers," he gasped with amazement, "You have very good eyes, Ducky."
"Thanks, Littlefoot!" said Ducky cheerfully, "Let's take some, and we can give one of them to Petrie, … or two if he's really, really sick. I will give one to Spike, too, so that he can feel better soon. Yep, yep, yep!"
"We could probably give some of them to the sick dinosaurs, too, unless maybe their relatives are on their way here to pick them out," said Littlefoot.
"I suppose we had better collect these while we can," replied Ducky, "We do not want to run into anyone who might want to take these flowers from us, otherwise, … oh, poor Petrie and Spike."
"I have an idea, Ducky. We'll take five with us, give one to Spike and two of them to Petrie, and the two that we have left over, we'll give to whomever else needs one," suggested Littlefoot.
"It is a deal, Littlefoot," smiled Ducky in agreement.
The Swimmer quickly pulled five white flowers out, and she climbed onto Littlefoot's back by using his tail as her way up.
"Alright. Let's go!" said Littlefoot determinedly, and he took off quickly, but not too quickly so as not to risk having Ducky fall off or drop any of their flowers on their way back.
They knew it would take a while for them to reach Petrie's nest again, but they were determined to get these flowers to him, even if a much larger dinosaur was to suddenly appear in front of them and block their path. Ducky felt skeptical about putting Petrie's condition first rather than her brother's, but the Flyer was likely in such horrific condition that they didn't have any time to lose. It was now or never.
Thankfully, no larger dinosaurs did bump into them as they made their way back to Petrie's home, and although they had to take a longer way around since a potential shortcut had been blocked by a very large puddle that Littlefoot couldn't jump across, they made it to the Flyer cave with plenty of time to spare.
Mama Flyer was waiting right outside the cave when the kids arrived. When she saw the white flowers in Ducky's hands, she gasped with so much relief that she thought she would pass out from excitement.
"Oh, thank you both!" she exclaimed with huge sighs of relief, "You've really shown how great friends you are for my little Petrie!"
"We're just being good citizens, Ms. Flyer," smiled Littlefoot, while Ducky blushed a little.
Mama Flyer then noticed that Ducky happened to have five white flowers in her hands, while she was expecting only one for Petrie.
"Why do you have five of them?" she asked curiously, "Only one will be good enough."
"The rest will be going to whomever needs them. Spike is going to need one. He will, he will," answered Ducky.
"We saw that quite a few dinosaurs in the valley have all caught this strange thing that's misting around our valley," said Littlefoot, "They all had a cold."
"Just like Spike and Petrie," added Ducky.
"We thought that maybe we could leave two here for Petrie, and we'll give the rest to whomever else is sick that we bump into on our way back," finished Littlefoot.
"Well, usually only one flower is good enough to cure a cold, but, seeing how unimaginably sick Petrie has become, there is the slightest chance he might need a second one later if he doesn't feel better by tomorrow morning," said Mama Flyer.
"Here you go, Ms. Flyer," said Ducky, holding out two of their white flowers.
Mama Flyer graciously took the two flowers, and she quickly walked back inside and laid the flowers down next to the nest where Petrie was sleeping.
Littlefoot and Ducky took a quick peek inside, and they found what looked to be an adorable sight from afar. Petrie was sleeping snuggly in the nest, holding his snuggling stick in his wings. A large tree star was covering his body like a blanket, so only his head was exposed. However, his sleep rumbling sounded very distorted compared to the way it would usually sound, and he seemed to be shivering ever so slightly as if he was having a bad sleep story, most likely from the sniffles he had gotten the day before.
"Um, Ms. Flyer?" whispered Ducky, gaining the Flyer mother's attention, "Would it be okay if one of us visited for a few minutes so that he has some company?"
Mama Flyer sighed heavily. She knew that Littlefoot and Ducky meant well, but she didn't want them to risk catching what her poor son was now going through, and with what seemed like a pandemic spreading around the valley with all the pollen going around, anyone could get sick very easily. However, she didn't want to hamper their spirits, or Petrie's, for that matter. She knew Petrie hadn't seen any of his friends for several days, and the longer she shielded him away from them to keep them from getting sick, it would crush his little heart.
"I will allow just one of you to come inside," she finally said, "With everything going around the valley and all the Days of Rising Waters chaos, I don't want to risk more children getting sick."
"I will come in," Ducky said at once.
"Okay, Ducky," agreed Mama Flyer.
"And I'll go to your nest, Ducky, and give one of our white flowers to Spike," put in Littlefoot, "Meet me there when you're finished here, and we'll go from there."
"Okay, Littlefoot," nodded Ducky, "I will see you soon."
"See you soon, Ducky," Littlefoot replied as he turned around to leave, holding the stems of the three remaining white flowers in his mouth.
Once Littlefoot was gone, Ducky slowly stepped into the Flyer cave. She was met with welcoming nods from Petrie's brothers and sisters before she stepped right up to the nest where poor Petrie was snoozing uneasily.
"Petrie?" came Mama Flyer's gentle voice, "Wake up, dear. Your friend is here with some white flowers."
Petrie groaned weakly and slowly opened his eyes. His sight was cloudy for a few seconds as he struggled to sit up, but his eyes quickly recovered and he saw his mother grinning down at him. He was extremely surprised to see his best friend standing beside him.
"D-Ducky?" he sniffled.
"Hi, Petrie," Ducky greeted warmly, "How are you feeling?"
"Me feel … ooooh, so … miserable," said Petrie, his voice sounding so depressing for everyone around him to hear.
"Aw, poor, poor Petrie," sniffled Ducky as a single tear escaped from her left eye.
"W-what you doing here, Ducky?" asked Petrie awkwardly.
"I brought you some white flowers to help you feel better, Petrie. When I heard-ed that you were sick, I wanted to help you anyway I could. I do not want you to be so sad, sick and lonely. No, no, no," the Swimmer said, and she picked up one of the white flowers and held it out in front of Petrie, "Here you go, Petrie. To you from your best friend, wishing you well."
Petrie tearfully smiled at Ducky after listening to her loving words, and he took the flower and slowly began to nibble on it.
"This should help you start improving, dear," his mother said, "If you aren't feeling better by tomorrow morning, we'll have an extra one here for you to eat tomorrow."
"Okay," said Petrie, sniffling constantly as he ate his white flower.
Then, he froze and sniffled several times with his eyes going wide. The other Flyers knew immediately what was about to happen, and they crouched down to the floor. Ducky took cover by ducking behind the twigs of the nest and covering her face with her hands.
"Ah, … ahehe, … AACHOOOOO!" sneezed Petrie, sending tree stars flying everywhere, and he was thrown backwards by the force of his sneeze and crashed on his back against the floor of the nest, moaning dreadfully, "Aaaoooowwwwwoooooo!"
Ducky peeked her head out from behind the twigs and watched as her poor Flyer friend clumsily got back up to his feet and wiped some boogers off his beak with a tree star.
"Oh, my," the Swimmer gasped, "You look awful, Petrie."
"Me know," quivered Petrie, "Me head feel so stuffed up it hurt so much."
"Go ahead and finish that white flower, Petrie. I'll give you a moist tree star so you can have a drink. Then, you should get back to sleep. Plenty of rest will do," said Mama Flyer.
"Okay, Mama," pouted Petrie.
Mama Flyer and her other children looked tensely at him for a moment. She could tell that his illness was beginning to give him sudden mood swings.
"What is wrong, Petrie?" asked Ducky worryingly.
"Me hate Days of Rising Waters so much," the Flyer answered, crossing his wings in frustration, "Something bad always happen to me in Days of Rising Waters. Me get sick, then me have to find new home, then me get sick again! It just no fair! Worst of all, me no get to see me friends for days!"
"But I am here, Petrie," assured Ducky, "You may not be able to leave your nest, but I will keep you company for a while. I do not want you to be sad and lonely because you cannot see your friends. Oh, no, no, no. I am here, … just for you, Petrie."
Petrie calmed down a little and looked into Ducky's blue eyes. She looked so sincere, and as far as he was concerned, somewhat loving to him in a way. To Petrie, there was something about Ducky that none of their other friends had. Sure, everyone knew her to be so selfless and very kind to all who knew her, but she was especially sweet and tender to Petrie compared to everyone else. Ducky had always had a very soft spot for Petrie, and in return he gained a soft spot for her. She always knew how to cheer him up whenever he was sad and she was the first one to find him feeling so down. Today was one of those days where it was time for Ducky to again be the loving, somewhat sisterly figure to Petrie that she was always so good at being.
Without thinking twice, Ducky stepped into the nest and gently approached Petrie. Then, she softly lifted him into a standing position and tenderly hugged him, pinning his arms down in a soothing squeeze. The Flyer felt such warming sensations from having his best friend hug him this way. His beak gradually formed a cute smile, and he partially closed his eyes as he allowed Ducky to cuddle him lovingly. Whenever the two were alone or in a situation like this, his mind always seemed to crave for these hugs from Ducky, and she responded every time like she could read his thoughts so easily from knowing him more than any of her other friends. Gradually, Petrie settled down to calm breathing, accompanied by occasional sniffles as he managed to hold his coughs and sneezes in.
While the other Flyer children thought the scene was very awkward, Mama Flyer smiled as she watched Ducky pampering Petrie as if she was an extremely loving sister. She was afraid that Ducky was risking getting herself sick by doing this, but the Swimmer felt like she knew what she was doing and knew it very well, so she silently watched and allowed the two children to cuddle together for as long as Petrie needed Ducky to soothe and pamper him.
Ducky then discreetly planted a kiss on Petrie's left cheek, right on the end of his smiling mouth. The Flyer was very surprised by this, but he welcomed it with a happy heart. He closed his eyes and savored the moment as he sighed comfortably. No one else seemed to have taken notice of the kiss, as they all thought Petrie was smiling brightly because of Ducky's hug. Mama Flyer, however, let out a small chuckle. She seemed to tell that only a kiss would make Petrie smile that way, and she felt proud of Ducky for sharing a very happy moment with him. As Ducky looked up at her, the Flyer winked at her to tell her that she was proud of her, and Ducky chuckled and smiled in response.
Soon, Ducky knelt and slowly set Petrie lying down on the warm floor of the nest. The Flyer opened his eyes and smiled up at Ducky while sniffling a little due to his stuffy beak. The Swimmer then brought her head down to the level of the Flyer's head, and she whispered very softly in his ear, "I hope you get better soon, cute, little Petrie. Yep, yep, yep."
Petrie's eyes were wide, and his cheeks blushed deep red as Ducky brought her head back up and giggled as she saw that her words had made him blush.
"Ducky think me cute?" thought Petrie happily, "Me cute? Me Mama only other one who ever say me cute. Maybe Ducky love me so much as friend."
"Go ahead and close your eyes, Petrie. You deserve some rest. You do, you do," said Ducky softly, and she covered him up by bundling several large tree stars on top of him to keep him as warm as possible.
With only his head, neck and shoulders exposed, Petrie felt plenty of warmth soothing his body pleasantly. His mother held a moist tree star right over him, and he grabbed it with his beak and began sucking in the nice, fresh water that coated it. Ducky giggled at the cute sight of Petrie babyishly sucking on a wet tree star, and she picked up his snuggling stick and slid it underneath his blanketing tree stars in a way she thought would really keep him comfortable; right on top of his chest, while one end rubbed against his cheek and the other end could be grasped by his tiny toes if he wanted to.
Within a moment, Petrie turned to his side and rested his head against the warm twigs, and he closed his eyes with the moist tree star still sticking out of his mouth, while his snuggling stick could be seen still rubbing pleasantly against his beak. Mama Flyer and Ducky giggled at the adorable sight just before they could hear the sleep rumbling coming from the little Flyer.
Mama Flyer turned to her other children and gestured for them to head outside to get some fresh air.
"I think you can all step outside if you'd like to," she whispered, "Your brother is well tended."
Without a word, the Flyer children all walked out onto the ledge in front of the cave to receive some much-needed air from the chilly breeze that blew around them, while Mama Flyer and Ducky watched over Petrie as he slept soundly and cutely.
A few minutes later, Mama Flyer gently patted Ducky's back to get her attention, and the young Swimmer looked up.
"You should go back out and help your brother," she insisted kindly, "I'm sure Spike needs just as much help as Petrie did."
Ducky looked out towards the ledge where Petrie's siblings were standing around. She had just about forgotten that Spike was sick and desperately needed her to comfort him in his time of need. All that time she spent snuggling Petrie had nearly made her forget. Sure, Petrie may have been her best friend, but Spike was her brother, and family was often more important than friends. Somehow, though, she couldn't bear the thought of leaving Petrie, even if his family was here to keep him company.
"You are welcome to come back and visit later, Ducky, if your mother is okay with it," Mama Flyer added.
This was enough to lift Ducky's spirits a little, and she stood up and stepped out of the nest before looking back at Petrie again.
"I will be back soon, Petrie," she murmured quietly, "I promise … you will not be alone."
She took a deep breath and exchanged a faint smile with Petrie's mother.
"I will see you later, Ms. Flyer," she said.
"See you later, Ducky," Mama Flyer replied.
At last, Ducky turned around and walked back into the outside world that was their ever-so-beautiful yet somewhat infected Great Valley, hoping to meet up with her family and make sure Spike was at least starting to make a recovery.
When Ducky arrived back home, an encouraging sight awaited her …
Spike was looking better than he had this morning. It was obvious that Littlefoot had given him one of the white flowers they had collected near the Sheltering Grass, and now he was back on his feet and walking around. At the very least, it meant that the Spiketail was making a good recovery, somewhat quicker than Petrie was.
Ducky's mother was watching happily, along with Littlefoot. They felt so relieved to see Spike getting better very quickly, although he still had his sniffles from time to time. His sneezing had decreased considerably, and now he was only sneezing once every hour or so.
"Wow! Those white flowers work wonders! Yep, yep, yep!" said Ducky excitedly.
"They sure do!" her mother chuckled in agreement, "He was right back on his feet just before you came home, Ducky. You and Littlefoot have done a great job!"
"Thanks, Mama!" beamed Ducky.
"We're always happy to help, Mrs. Swimmer," added Littlefoot.
"How's Petrie?" asked Mama Swimmer.
"I gave him a white flower, and he is starting to get a little better-er," answered Ducky, "Maybe Petrie could be better-er tomorrow. Yep, yep, yep."
"That's great news, dear!" said her mother.
"I was wondering if I could visit Petrie again before the Bright Circle goes down," said Ducky hopefully, "His mama said-ed she was okay with it if you were okay with it."
"I'll allow you to visit Petrie just as long as you're back before the Night Circle is out," smiled Mama Swimmer.
"Oh, thank you, Mama!" cheered Ducky, and she ran up to her mother and hugged her ankle, "Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
Mama Swimmer laughed at her daughter's cheerfulness, and she gently calmed her down so she wouldn't get overexcited.
"For now, though, why don't you and Littlefoot deliver the rest of those white flowers to whomever else is sick?" she suggested.
"Okay, Mrs. Swimmer," answered Littlefoot promptly, picking up the two remaining white flowers and holding the stems in his mouth, "Come on, Ducky!"
"I am coming, Littlefoot!" Ducky replied as she trailed behind him, "Bye, Mama!"
"Bye, kids!" Mama Swimmer called before the two disappeared.
Ducky turned back one more time to get a quick peek at Spike before she caught up with Littlefoot.
Early that evening, Petrie was sitting calmly on the ledge in front of his family's cave. The skies were in a beautiful shade of yellowish-orange, indicating that there was only about an hour left before daylight would disappear for the night. The little Flyer held his snuggling stick in his wings as he wanted to have something to keep him comfortable as he still felt rather stuffy. Thankfully, he wasn't sneezing as much as he had been, and his coughs were mostly reduced to just occasional sniffles. The kid was happy to be starting a nice recovery, but he longed for the day he would get to play with all his friends again.
"Are you feeling okay out there, Petrie?" his mother called from inside.
"Me okay, Mama," Petrie replied with a smile.
"Okay, dear. Just be sure to come inside when the Bright Circle goes down," said Mama Flyer.
"Me will," answered Petrie, and he shifted his eyes back to the admirable view of the Great Valley that was blanketed by a yellow-orange shade of light.
Then, as he turned to his right to get a glimpse at the setting Bright Circle, he noticed a sight that put a huge smile on his face …
It was Ducky.
The Flyer almost couldn't contain his excitement as his best friend arrived at his home to spend more time with him as she had promised. Simply the sight of Ducky seemed to melt Petrie's heart with happiness, particularly at times when the two of them were alone together.
"Hi, Petrie," chuckled Ducky with a cute voice that just about made Petrie purr cutely as if he was in some sort of trance.
"Hi, Ducky," the little Flyer said once he snapped out of his brief trance.
"I see you are so happy to see me. You are, you are," giggled Ducky as she approached Petrie and sat right next to him so that their legs touched.
"Me so happy to see you again, Ducky," said Petrie adorably, making Ducky chuckle, "Me love it when me best friend here to share happiness with me."
"Me, too, Petrie. Yep, yep, yep," agreed Ducky, and she wrapped an arm around Petrie's back.
The Flyer instantly felt a very warming sensation as Ducky pleasantly rubbed his back. He always loved it whenever the Swimmer cuddled or snuggled him in one way or another. There was something about Ducky that he loved so much which their other friends didn't have. Compared to Littlefoot, Cera or Spike, Ducky seemed to be the best when it came to being a comforting figure to him. It was like the Swimmer had something so special that only Petrie could sense was in her.
"How are you feeling, Petrie?" asked Ducky.
"Me feel a little better," grinned Petrie, "Me not sneezing so much anymore. Me still feel sniffles sometimes, but me think me might be able to play with you again tomorrow."
"I am so happy for you, Petrie!" chuckled Ducky, "I am always happy when my best-est friend is happy!"
With that, she playfully lifted Petrie onto her lap and squeezed him and his snuggling stick in a tight hug with a very cheerful, "Yep, yep, yep!"
Petrie grinned brightly and giggled bubbly as his cheeks blushed slightly. Being hugged by Ducky this way often felt embarrassing, but at the same time it felt so pleasant that it was like being cuddled by his big sister.
Ducky took notice of Petrie's somewhat playful expression, and she knew that her hug was what plastered that adorable smile on his face. She was proud to have given her best friend a reason to smile at a time when nothing else could.
"That white flower must have really done you some wonders, too," smiled Ducky.
"Yeah," beamed Petrie, "Me glad me friends know how to make me happy, but you especially know how to make me happy!"
"Oh, I know something that will make you even happier-er!" said Ducky.
"What that, Ducky?" asked Petrie curiously.
He almost wished he hadn't asked that, yet at the same time he was happy to have said it, because the answer came in the form of a large kiss from Ducky. The Swimmer puckered right on the Flyer's right cheek, pleasantly warming his face, and the unhidden left end of his mouth pointed upward at such an angle it seemed as if he was having the happiest moment of his life. His left cheek could clearly be seen turning deep red from embarrassment and happiness from the warmth of the kiss.
Soon, Ducky pulled away with a big, "Mwuah!" and Petrie found that he couldn't stop smiling. Twice in one day, he had received a soothing, pleasant kiss from his best friend, and he felt that nothing could compare to that. For a day that saw him stuck at home with sickness all day, it felt all complete, thanks to the only one who knew so well how to put a smile on his face. Somehow, he wished he could receive another kiss, but Ducky would likely know better since she didn't want to risk getting sick by catching the cold he had gotten a few days ago.
"That … feel … so … warm," Petrie spoke, still surprised from the kiss.
"I am so glad," giggled Ducky.
"You know, me especially feel happy when me have both me snuggling stick and you by me side," said Petrie.
"Aww, that is very nice, Petrie," blushed Ducky, feeling touched by the Flyer's words, "I am so happy to have you as my best-est friend. Yep, yep, yep."
"Me, too," agreed Petrie, "Me snuggling stick may feel like best friend, but me know that you me true best friend. In fact, you best friend me could ever ask for, Ducky."
"You are the best-est friend I could ever ask for, too, Petrie," said Ducky.
The two children smiled at each other, and Ducky turned so that the two were facing the Bright Circle. They nuzzled their heads together as they exchanged warmth and smiles. They felt perfectly content having their peaceful moment together. It was in moments like these where they could share how special they felt for each other and how much they seemingly loved each other as best friends. It was as if they had known each other since right after they hatched, even though they had really only known each other for two Cold Times. Regardless of that, they could read each other so well and always knew exactly what to do when one of them was sad. In this case, it was Ducky's turn to be the warm, fuzzy figure to Petrie, and she had done a great job at that today. She felt very proud of herself for turning Petrie's frown upside down and replacing it with a cheerful smile.
Before long, Ducky felt Petrie calming down, and she saw that he had partially closed his eyes and was sighing comfortably.
"Are you falling asleep on me, Petrie?" she giggled.
"What?" said Petrie, quickly opening his eyes, "Oh, … n-no, Ducky. Me just … feel so warm that me no could, … um …"
"It is okay, Petrie," assured Ducky, "I would not mind if you fell asleep on me for a while. Besides, I want you to be very comfortable while you get better-er."
"Thanks, Ducky," grinned Petrie.
"Although, I think the nest would still be the best place to fall asleep," came another voice right behind them.
The two kids gasped in surprise and turned around to see Petrie's mother smiling down at them.
"Mama? You nearly scare us," said Petrie.
"Sorry about that, kids," apologized Mama Flyer, "I see you've done a good job, Ducky, at comforting my little Petrie."
"Hehe," chuckled Ducky as Petrie's cheeks flushed red, "Thank you, Ms. Flyer. I promised-ed Petrie I would make sure he was not lonely while he was sick."
"And for that, I'm proud of you," praised Mama Flyer, "It's very sweet of you to come by and brighten Petrie's day when nobody else can."
"I am always happy to brighten Petrie's mood when he is not feeling well. It makes me sad to see him so sad. It does, it does," said Ducky.
"Me happy you here to make me happy, too," smiled Petrie, "Thank you so much, Ducky."
"You are welcome, Petrie," replied Ducky, and she briefly tickled Petrie's chest, making him laugh a little.
"I just thought I'd let you know that it's just about time to come back inside, Petrie. It's getting late, and you'll need plenty of rest so you'll feel better tomorrow," informed Mama Flyer, just as Petrie let out a rough-sounding sniffle, proving his mother's point that he wasn't quite fully recovered just yet.
"You right, Mama," he said, and Ducky released him from her hug.
"How is Spike doing, by the way?" Mama Flyer asked Ducky.
"Spike is getting better-er very quickly," the Swimmer answered, "He will definitely be all better-er tomorrow. Yep, yep, yep."
"That is great news," said a relieved Mama Flyer, "I was beginning to worry that something was going on around the valley, but it seems that it'll be gone just as quickly as it came."
"Maybe everyone will be better-er tomorrow!" said Ducky hopefully, "Then, we can all play again! Yep, yep, yep!"
"Oh, I'm not sure about that, little one," sighed Mama Flyer, "Some dinosaurs may still be sick tomorrow, and others will have to move their nests around. When I flew over the valley today to find some food for the children, the ground was covered with mud puddles, soggy tree stars, and even some broken twigs. Some of the nests I saw were in terrible condition. Worst of all, though, I noticed that part of the valley was flooded."
"I know, Ms. Flyer," sighed Ducky, "My Mama already told-ed me about that."
"Oh, my," gasped Petrie, "Me glad me no did have to see that."
"I once had to help my family move our nest during the Days of Rising Waters," Ducky pointed out, "I know how they feel. I do, I do."
"We once have to move our nest, too," sighed Petrie, remembering the previous Days of Rising Waters, "Sky fire hit tree above our old home and wash everything away."
"I heard-ed the story from Littlefoot," Ducky recalled, "It seems that we both have had to deal with it before."
"At least me still have me snuggling stick," said Petrie, grinning at his stick and kissing it with his beak, "Me thought me lost it forever, but Chomper find it for me when he save Mama from mud slide."
"I will always be grateful to Chomper for saving my life that day," said Mama Flyer, looking down at the valley's amazing view, "Like you said that day, Petrie, you really do know how to pick great friends."
Ducky and Petrie both blushed at that comment, and they turned around and saw that the Bright Circle had almost completely disappeared.
"Oh, my. I think I should go home now," gasped Ducky, "Mama is going to worry about me."
"Alright then, Ducky. You run along now and get some much-deserved rest, and thanks again for helping Petrie. That white flower really did the trick," smiled Mama Flyer.
"You are welcome, Ms. Flyer. I was happy to help. Yep, yep, yep," responded Ducky, and she gave Petrie a very quick kiss on the tip of his beak, "Something extra special just for you."
"Aww, Ducky," blushed Petrie.
"See you tomorrow, Petrie. Bye, Ms. Flyer," said Ducky as she began to trot down the rocky pathway back to the wet valley ground below.
"Bye, Ducky!" called Mama Flyer.
"See you tomorrow, Ducky!" Petrie called, and in a moment, the Swimmer was gone.
"That was very nice of her to brighten up your day in several ways," commented Mama Flyer.
Petrie smiled with his cheeks still red, and he responded, "Yeah. Ducky such wonderful friend, … like … me very … special friend."
As he began to think warm thoughts about Ducky, the Flyer sniffled some more and let out a yawn.
"I think someone needs his sleep," chuckled Mama Flyer, "Let's head back inside, dear."
"Okay, Mama," yawned Petrie, and he slowly walked back inside, still holding his beloved snuggling stick tightly.
"Would you like some more tree stars to cover yourself up again to keep you warm?" his mother offered.
"Sure," nodded Petrie, "Me like that. Me think me like sleeping that way sometimes."
"Okay, dear," his mother chuckled.
Petrie joined his sleeping brothers and sisters in the nest, and once he lied down and rested his head against the wall of twigs, his mother blanketed him with several tree stars, covering him from shoulder to foot. As soon as he felt the tree stars warming him up, the little Flyer closed his eyes and sighed comfortably.
"I love you, dear," he heard his mother whisper to him gently.
"Me love you, too, Mama," Petrie whispered in reply.
"Goodnight, Petrie," Mama Flyer spoke before kissing her son on the cheek.
"Goodnight, Mom," whispered Petrie weakly, and within seconds, he began snoring softly, indicating to his mother that his condition was very well improving.
"He's definitely on the path to recovery," she thought happily as she settled down to rest for the night with bright hopes for tomorrow.
Ducky arrived back at the Swimmer nest to see Spike already asleep, along with her brothers and sisters in the nest. Only her mother was awake when she returned. She was still feeling very proud of herself for turning Petrie's lonely evening into a happy one, and now that he was on his way to recovery, the foreseeable future looked very bright for them and all their friends.
"Hello, Mama," the young Swimmer whispered to get her mother's attention.
Mama Swimmer turned around and smiled at the sight of her little daughter's presence.
"Hello, my dear," she chuckled, "How's Petrie?"
"Petrie is getting better-er," answered Ducky, "He is down to just a few sniffles, but he should be all better-er tomorrow morning. Yep, yep, yep."
"That's a relief," sighed Mama Swimmer, "After hearing about how sick he had gotten this morning, I was extremely worried for him, but I'm happy to hear that things have improved."
"Have you heard-ed anything from the others?" asked Ducky.
"Nothing from Chomper or Ruby, but I did visit with the Longnecks to see what was to be done with all these illnesses spreading around, and when I told them about how you and Littlefoot were being helpful by giving white flowers to some sick citizens, his grandfather's very words were, 'tell your daughter to keep up the good work'. He's very proud of you, dear."
Ducky smiled at that thought, "I am just trying to be helpful to everyone."
"And you're doing a good job, Ducky, so I'll say it now: keep up the good work," her mother chuckled.
"Oh, I will, Mama. I will, I will! Yep, yep, yep!" answered Ducky energetically.
"Sssh! Not so loud, Ducky. You'll wake the others," whispered her mother.
"Oops," murmured Ducky, covering her mouth with her hands, "Sorry, Mama."
"It's okay, dear," Mama Swimmer reassured, "You can save your excitement for tomorrow. I'm glad you're happy to be a good citizen, but for now, I think it's time we all got some rest, … just like everyone else in this valley."
Ducky looked over at her sleeping Spiketail brother.
"I think his story will be the same as Petrie's," her mother answered, "He just might wake up tomorrow morning feeling very bright and cheerful again."
"I would love that, Mama," said Ducky thoughtfully.
"Would you like to sleep with me again tonight, dear, so that you don't risk getting sick?" offered Mama Swimmer.
This reminded Ducky that she intended to eat one of the white flowers her mother had found near the Sheltering Grass during one of her trips with Littlefoot to help the other sick residents, and she quickly rushed over to their small collection of white flowers and grabbed one.
"Just to make extra sure I do not get sick," she pointed out.
Her mother nodded in understanding, and the little Swimmer slowly ate the white flower that would ensure that no illnesses would come to infect her during the night. Once she had finished, she waited as her mother crouched and lied down on the ground next to the nest, and she walked up to her and nuzzled her bill. Mama Swimmer gently rubbed Ducky's back with her hand, and the young Swimmer cuddled up to her mother before yawning tiredly.
"I love you, Mama," she spoke softly.
"I love you, too, dear," her mother replied, "Goodnight, Ducky."
With that, the two Swimmers snuggled together and fell into a deep sleep with happy thoughts about what the near future would bring. Although the Days of Rising Waters had started off roughly for everyone in the Great Valley, seven special kids would wake up the next morning with very bright thoughts about how the season would improve, and before long, another fun warm time would begin in their beloved Great Valley.
And that'll wrap it up! Springtime may have gotten off to a rough start for our Prehistoric Pals, but with Petrie and Spike on their way to recovery, we can safely say that their spring will turn out just fine. Spring may be a tough time of the year, but if you stay healthy, then you'll be in for a good few months before everything turns hot.
With that, this is DiddyKF1 signing out, and I'll be seeing you later! :)