A Fetching Mystery

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Boosh was a very easygoing pacapillar. Not a lot went through his head on any given day, normally. He took things as they came, and just concentrated on being nice and enjoying life. His nest was in a tree, resting snugly on a branch close to the trunk for protection, with his best friend Decoup's nest close by. Their snekket pets (Decoup had recently been rather mysteriously gifted one) were allowed to roam freely but tended not to stray too far from their pacas and always slept wrapped around them, which kept things delightfully warm. They had a handful of other pets too, who had attached themselves to the pacas and their snekkets, so he never felt lonely, even if there was a day he didn't see any of his other friends. They all ate leaves and berries and were comfortably full of magic, safe, warm, and had plenty of companionship. It was a nice life. He was totally content and happy and a very merry little fellow. 

Decoup was another story. She was very curious. It isn’t that she wasn’t content. She too enjoyed their happy, cozy life, but always wanted to find things out, and look for new things to find out. She explored a lot and was always into something. The addition of Origami the snekket to the gang had proven to be an enabling influence, because the excitable animal was forever bringing her some new object she’d come across. Most of the time this was some natural object that was interesting or pretty, but sometimes it was an item taken from somewhere items were not meant to simply be snatched away- often with an upset owner trailing behind, shouting in vain for Origami to come back with their stolen treasure. Thankfully, most of the time they were happy enough to have Decoup return these with an apology without getting too terribly angry. It helped that Origami was very cute and tended to roll over for belly rubs from the stranger once she delivered the object to Decoup.

On this day, however, as Origami came wiggling up to Decoup with something in her mouth, there was no exasperated paca trailing behind. But it was very clear what the little snekket had fetched belonged to someone. It was a very adorable teddy bear, clearly somebody’s treasured keepsake, or perhaps even a young paca’s favorite toy. What if the owner had trouble sleeping without their favorite plush, or had been gifted it by someone close to them and was sad to lose it? There was nothing else for it, she’d have to track down the bear’s owner. It probably wouldn’t be any of the neighbors they were closest with, because she’d been to most of their nests and didn’t recognize the bear at all, and it didn’t look new. It had dirt on it as well. Decoup hoped her pet hadn’t buried it at some point.

“It’s a day for mysteries,” said Decoup, as Origami followed her, head held high and proud for having delivered such a clearly wonderful object to her favorite paca. Hooray the little rhay trailed behind, flapping after them. Paddie the lilyp was having a nap in the sun on their home branch, with the little squacky, Ling, sleeping on the patient creature’s head as usual. It was her favorite perch. Decoup supposed it must remind the little squacky of her old home on the pond. Thankfully Paddie never seemed to mind.

They descended from the tree to look for the owner of the bear, with Decoup keeping an eye out for anybody who might be out and about that they could ask about it, or about other pacas who might live nearby that perhaps she hadn’t yet met. Origami’s exploring radius wasn’t generally very wide. She was something of a “mama’s girl” and stayed close to home.

After about an hour of wandering and questioning friends, Decoup was coming up empty about the bear’s possible origins. She knew that Origami was capable of leading her to the spot she’d picked it up from, but she wasn’t sure if her pet was clever enough to know that was what was being asked of her, as it wasn’t a task Decoup had trained her for (yet). But, without another lead she decided to give it a try.

She held the bear out to Origami, pointing outward. “Where did this come from?” she asked, as the snekket tilted her head from side to side, listening intently to the strange new command. Thinking quickly, Decoup handed her the toy and used a command from a game they played where she hid treats for her to find, in hopes she would be able to extrapolate the meaning. It was a long shot but it just might work. “Find it!” she urged.

Seeming to get an idea from the words, Origami happily snatched the bear and bounded off. Decoup followed close behind, hoping fervently that this was going to work.

Origami led her, surprisingly, to the riverbank. Setting the bear down, she began to nose about, as if looking for another bear. Or perhaps for treats, since that was usually what “find it” meant. But maybe this was where the bear had been discovered?

“Hello!” Came a call from close by. Decoup looked up from the riverbank to see Sachet crossing the branch that bridged the river, coming towards them. What a perfect paca to ask about the bear! Sachet was a plush maker and well renowned for her craft in the area- even if she hadn’t made the bear herself, she may know who had.

“Sachet! Just who I needed to see. Origami seems to have brought me someone’s plush, and I can’t figure out whose. Do you recognize it?” She held out the toy. Origami came running up to have Sachet rub her head, before dashing off to continue looking for the elusive treat that must surely be hidden somewhere on the riverbank.

“Oh my stars!” exclaimed Sachet. “I certainly do. I never expected to see this bear again. It’s one I made for someone. I was carrying several plushies in a bag, to deliver to the folks I’d made them for, and this one was sticking too far out of the top. It dropped right into the river with a splash, and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to find it. I wonder how Origami found it?”

That was why the bear looked worn. It wasn’t old, it was just dirty and a little ratty from being waterlogged. “It must have washed up somewhere, and dried in the sun,” guessed Decoup. “Then Origami found it and brought it to me.” Even if the bear had been washed onto a rock in the middle of the river, or a branch, Origami loved the water and wouldn’t have hesitated to swim to retrieve it. The mystery solved at last! “Thank you for clearing it up. Now you can wash it and give it to the owner.”

“Oh dear, no way,” laughed Sachet. “The state of it! I can’t deliver something in that shape, even washed off. I already promised them a new bear. Thankfully this design isn’t hard to make and doesn’t take a ton of materials either, so it’s not a major loss. I know!” Sachet whistled to Origami, who bounded back up. She jiggled the bear around and tossed it to the snekket, who caught it neatly.

“It’s Origami’s bear now,” said Sachet. “For being such a good little detective.”

Decoup laughed as she watched her pet rolling in the grass, the bear held firmly in her mouth. She thanked Sachet for the gift and called to her pet so they could head home. And wash it, she thought, not keen on the thought of her pet tracking all that dirt into the nest- and probably into her bed.

“Great job, you found it!” She told Origami. Origami shook the bear, clearly very proud of herself.

 

SeventhBard
A Fetching Mystery
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In General Pacapillar Gallery ・ By SeventhBard
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Submitted By SeventhBard
Submitted: 3 weeks agoLast Updated: 3 weeks ago

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