"The warm toasty fur -snoooooooooooooooooooooooore!- " Dark continued rubbing Robin's warm, downy cloth.
' I almost giggled, but I tried to keep it to myself. It was very hard, but I managed.
It was a bit hard for me to fall asleep, as I was not really comfortable having to sleep with other people, but I should really try to adapt to this, lest they would hate me for real. I tried sleeping while I was sandwiched between the two Links... and thankfully I did. I eventually nodded myself off to dream land...
"Mommy, where are we going?"
"Why, it's the summer festival, Vaati... it's where we go to have fun every summer."
Mommy smiled at me as she fixed my outfit for the day. She put a flower around my neck that almost felt like a neck cape and a lei at the same time. She put one around Daddy's neck too, who was tying his hair in a ponytail.
"Well, we should really go now. Master Ezlo is probably waiting." chuckled Daddy at us before he looked at himself one last time in the mirror shard stuck on the leaf. Daddy was Master Ezlo's apprentice before he took me in as his next apprentice.
"I guess we should... I don't want him to get angry with you." Mommy replied, fixing Daddy's hair a bit after fixing mine.
"Don't worry about it, honey... if he gets angry, he gets angry only with me. Not you. Not Vaati."
"Teehee, oh you! Stop it! Let's just go already." Mommy giggled, though I really didn't understand what they were talking about at the time.
Daddy then went closer to me and carried me over his shoulders, like he always did. It was really fun! I loved it when he'd run fast, holding me tight as we go through the village! This day was tad different though, for I remember this day was when we held the annual picori festival.
And this event, as far as my memory takes me back, happened four years before Gufuu, my shadow, corrupted my soul and took over my body and all of Hyrule.
"Ah, my young robin!" it was Master Ezlo, welcoming my father. He was dressed differently, as were the other Minish dressed for this annual event. He wore a similar robe, though it was made of different material, and still held that staff with his hand. He also wore a hat similar to what all the other Minish wore, with a small leaf stuck in it.
"Master!" Daddy hugged Master and lifted him off the ground in doing so.
"Whoa there, son! No use getting too excited now, right?"
Daddy chuckled sheepishly, and I swear his face turned red when Mommy giggled at them.
I squealed when somebody suddenly grabbed me from behind and so I called out for my parents. Then that person just made me face him and lifted me off the ground.
"Quite the peculiar yet adorable little child." said a man with glasses and a tall hat, wearing a robe.
"Let me go... you... you stranger...! Daddy, Mommy, a stranger touched me...!"
"Unhand him, you stranger!" I heard Daddy say, and then he snatched me from the stranger's grip. He hugged me and told me that everything would be alright. Then he told me to go to Mommy.
I saw him go to that robed man and faced him. I closed my eyes for I thought that he was going to hit him, but he didn't. Instead, he hugged him tightly; the same manner that he hugged Master. I was quite puzzled, but then Daddy brought him along and went in front of Mommy and I.
"There's no need to be afraid, Vaati... this is my friend, your uncle. He's not a bad man." he urged the other man to shake my hand. I was reluctant, but since Daddy told him so, I guess it must be fine... right?
Yes, he didn't hurt me. Now I could see his kind eyes behind those spectacles of his. He let out a sweet smile, but not as sweet as Daddy's nor Link's...
"Little Vaati, I am Festari." he said, smiling at me.
"UNCLE Festari." Daddy corrected him.
"I refuse to be called as so. It feels so awkward as it makes me feel somewhat older than I should."
"Hey, I'M a father already."
Uncle Festari just shrugged it off and went on with his business. He left Mommy, Daddy, Master, and I and made his way to where the other Minish hung out.
I remember that the Minish Village was so full of vigour... the sun was shining so brightly as the heavens smiled down upon us. The flowers and the mushrooms stood so tall and colourful, beautifully giving vividness and life to the festival as we enjoyed ourselves. It was also the time I saw many butterflies in the air, and sometimes even dragonflies, as the other Minish from the town come home to celebrate with us and their families they left behind here.
It was happy indeed, as they hug their loved ones as soon as they land on the flowers and get off their butterflies and bring along with them scrolls made out of receipts humans use, which in turn, we use for packing up our necessities like spare clothes. Some of them do not come home from the town at all... Daddy said that it's either the butterflies weren't enough, or they have no relatives to go back to here.
If I may compare the festivity back here from the Picori festival the humans held, I must say that I enjoyed it most back here in the village. It was far simpler, no doubt, but I was happy to have celebrated it with both of my parents as well as Master, who was indeed my godfather.
Little Minish my age were bouncing up and down the different-sized mushrooms, colourful and delightful to the eyes; such eye candies for young Minish.
Others were making kites out of dandelion seeds, but it was tad hard to make them. The dandelion seed was very delicate, and so one must be good enough to make one.
Daddy approached me. "Vaati, I got you a-"
"A dandelion seed kite!" I squeaked. I got it from his hands and almost wrecked it, but thank goodness he stopped me before I ruined the poor thing.
"Now let's make it fly up in the air, like all those other people do!"
We went to the open space where many of our kind went to for kite-flying... it was just wonderful. Such a beautiful sight to behold seeing all those dandelion seeds in the sky, along with the free dandelion seeds swaying with the wind, whom I considered to be a mysterious stranger at the time.
Daddy and I had fun playing with the kites until we had to stop and eat for both of us were hungry. I see that Mommy already got some water drops in small, rolled-up leaves for us to drink. On the other hand, Master Ezlo got us some food. It was a strawberry the size of ten Minish... a regular-sized strawberry in the world of the humans. It was more than enough for the five of us, including Master Ezlo and Uncle Festari, to eat.
We did have a very fun time together while eating. We sat on the ground covered by a leaf of a mango tree so that we wouldn't get too dusty or dirty as we ate. It seems that they spoke in words I couldn't quite understand back then, but now as I look back...
"I remember I saw a beautiful girl who looks like your wife back then, in my days..." Master told my daddy, who in return gave a questionable look.
"Must be her grandma." answered my dad.
"Now I'm not THAT old, am I?"
".......... I'd best not to answer that." Daddy said with a chuckle, as he flinched as if he waited for a-
"BONK!" went Master's rod on Daddy's noggin.
Mommy giggled at this, seeing that they got worked up again. Uncle Festari tried to keep it all in, but nonetheless also gave a slight chuckle at this.
Now, I remember my thoughts about Uncle Festari... I always thought that he was a cool guy with glasses, and that I wanted to have glasses like him! I always wondered what power he had as he wore those glasses... was he able to see through things? Does it turn into a butterfly so he can fly off with it? Oh, maybe he has laser vision!
Oh, those thoughts... looking back at it now, I chuckle at my own self. I honestly can't believe how wild my imagination was.
"More strawberries, anyone?" Uncle Festari asked them.
Mommy gave me another serving of the sliced strawberry, a little smaller than the average human pinky nail. But, I think I gave up... I was far too full. I think I remember that they asked who would eat my left-over... Daddy and Master pointed at each other... and they even played rock-paper-scissors for it!
"DARN PAPER." Daddy said, giving himself a double facepalm.
"Ha. And thus does the master always beat his student." Master said proudly, giving a look of victory at Daddy.
"Fine. Fine. You're the man."
It wasn't as if Daddy didn't want to eat my left-over, but I think he wanted to win against Master that time.
"Now who wants to go bounce on the mushrooms?" Daddy asked, and I know he wanted me to answer.
"Eeeee! I do! I do!" I squeaked as I jumped up and down with my arms upward so Daddy may carry me. He did lift me up and carry me over his shoulders like he usually does and went along with Mommy to where the mushrooms were.
Master volunteered to stay with Uncle Festari... I guess they had some "adult matters", as I fondly called it as a child, to attend to.
"WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE~!" I squeaked the loudest of them all while bouncing on the mushrooms.
There were different-sized mushrooms, and as I could remember, some of them looked like platforms that were aligned as if we were to jump from one mushroom to another... like in one of Dark's video games!
I couldn't quite understand back then why Daddy fussed so much... he was indeed bouncing with me as Mommy watched us from below, but I didn't get why he fussed over me jumping to different mushrooms a bit far away from where he was.
I mean, come on.... it was really boring staying in one mushroom like what he did. I went to... twenty different mushrooms, I think? And mind you, I didn't jump in a single fashion, sometimes I jumped doing a cartwheel or a somersault, and those were the only times I could do such things. Surely enough, Daddy chased me all the way...
Now that I go back thinking about it, I feel sorry for Daddy.
"Okay. That's enough, you little rascal." Daddy chuckled as we were done bouncing on the mushrooms.
"Daddy, your face looks funny! It's the same color as your outfit!"
"I-Indeed..." Daddy chuckled, trying to keep it all in.
I think Mommy was busy talking with some of her girl friends, while Daddy was just there to take care of me. I could see Uncle Festari in the distance, talking with some others looking at a rather peculiar object.
It emitted bubbles.... bubbles! Such a pretty sight, I wanted to go to it! But of course, I couldn't go without Daddy... I asked him to go with me, but he just shook his head and rubbed his tummy with a sour look on his face. I saw Uncle Festari going away from the bubble-making-thing-a-ma-bob. Oh, sweet heavens, please don't just yet! Ah well...
"Vaati.... stay...here..." Daddy groaned.
He ran away to who-knows-where and left me there near where Mommy and her friends were talking. I tried to understand what they were saying, but it was adult talk AND girl talk. I couldn't comprehend any of them, let alone both types.
I thought it was boring, so I sneaked out of their reach and went over to where that peculiar thing-a-ma-bob was. The others were peering in it, as it looked like a broad, short cylinder of some sort. It was filled with liquid that really looked like water...
But what really amazed me is that a lot of bubbles came from the liquid... and not only did it stay down there, the bubbles rose up to the air, glimmering in the sun as it rose higher and higher! Such a wonderful sight to behold it left me staring at all the bubbles in astoundment.
I peered in like some other Minish did, but they did not stay as long as I did. I tried catching a bubble, preferably a big one, but it was hard. I squeaked as I almost fell in the pool of the water-like substance, but a giant bubble just caught me before I did. And.... wait, did I just fall INSIDE the bubble?
I... I did. And I was now floating in mid-air! I could see the glimmering sun above me as the objects and the people looked as if they were slowly shrinking. I looked around... I saw other bubbles floating around with me as we slowly drifted up in the air. Some of them were slowly ascending as my bubble, but some of them were pretty quick.
And then Daddy... I saw him down there, as if he was relieved of something. He just wiped his mouth as he left a place. Seems that he felt better. Mommy was still talking to her friends, but then...
She looked like she suddenly panicked. I wanted to tell them "Mommy, Daddy, I'm floating in a bubble! Look at me!"
She did panic and met up with Daddy who just went to where we were just a little while ago and talked with him. Daddy looked troubled... but then I think he looked straight at me for a while and pointed at me with a startled face. Mommy turned to me as well and was frozen.
Now I remember my thoughts as a child... "Wow! They're so amazed at what I could do! Maybe I should do some stunts!"
I played around in my bubble like a little hamster in his wheel... and all the more Mommy stared at me with that look... Daddy, on the other hand, went to the bubble machine and jumped on one of the bubbles. I was excited as I thought he wanted to play with me.
With his bubble, he slowly ascended into the air, trying to maintain balance as he hugged the bubble with his whole body. I remember giggling as I saw his bubble rotate on its own axis, making it look like he was slowly spinning.
Now I remember a classic song that I just heard recently from Grandfather Smith's phonograph just the other day... he played two songs, in fact, but this scene from my dream of the past reminded me of the classical songs, "The Blue Danube" and "The Skaters' Waltz". Hahaha, absolutely charming.
"Ooooo~!" I marveled seeing all the Town Minish returning home.
Now the Minish Festival was a season for the Town Minish who have their beloved relatives back here in the forest as I had mentioned earlier... it was a tradition for them to come home every time we have a festival, the annual Minish festival and Christmas being among the many events.
Some of them were looking at me... and the most I could think of at the time was, "Wow, even they're amazed! I'm sure they're jealous of me!"
I couldn't care less, but I saw Daddy trying to maintain his balance on the bubble. I think he was about to slip, but he managed. Mommy was down there, looking up at us... in my young mind back then, I thought she was amazed by Daddy and I... but it was the other way around, now that I see it.
"Hang on, Vaati!" I could remember Daddy shout as I was looking at the different butterflies in the sky.
The scene shifted to where Master Ezlo was... he was with my Mommy and Uncle Festari. He looked the same way he did when I did something wrong. He did not talk with Mommy, but he sure looked angry with Uncle Festari as my uncle was rubbing his head. I suppose that he received the same punishment Daddy and I get from him when we do something outright foolish.
"YOU. WANKER. LOOK at what your human fascinations did to us! Your bubble machine made the child float all the way up there... without stopping!" I could now hear him say.
Wanker? Oh, Master Ezlo...
"I'm sorry... I didn't know... but I'll try my best to save him." Uncle Festari, being a cool-headed guy, collected his wits and looked for a nearby butterfly.
"W-Why didn't my husband think of that....?" thought Mommy out loud.
Uncle Festari shrugged at this and rode on a butterfly, preparing to soar to where Daddy was.
"My apprentice WAS a little short up in the noggin." Master told her. "Which is why I constantly reprimand him. He has to learn it the hard way."
"OR it was the result of you bonking his noggin each time he had a mistake, so a lot of his brain cells died in the process." Uncle Festari cynically said as he hung on tight and flew up to my Daddy.
I could see him chuckle as Master was getting worked up again down on the ground with my Mommy... oh, Master.... the many things you go through AND you put yourself into.
"Why didn't I think of that?" Daddy said as he held onto Uncle Festari tight, as Hylians would with a motorcycle ride or a horseback ride. Uncle just chuckled at this... I think he remembered Master at that instant.
But then, I think this dream allowed me to hear what he mumbled under his breath. "Why don't they share my utter fascination with the human race? Sure they do like them... but no one really understands me when I express what I really feel."
"What?" Daddy asked him.
"Nah, nothing. I said your son looked good."
"Of course. WHO'S his dad? A mango tree wouldn't bear an apple."
Uncle Festari sighed and smiled at this. He couldn't help but be humoured by my father, who was quite the joker around people he was closest to. Wait... they went on top of my bubble....
"NOW!" Uncle told him, as Daddy jumped off the butterfly and landed on my bubble, the same way he did with his own bubble back then.
"Don't worry, I got you, Vaati!" Daddy told me as he tried to keep from slipping.
Then, my sight became clear... it wasn't shiny anymore, and I could see Daddy clearly. Wait... what? I...
"Uh-oh..." Daddy froze.
We both screamed as we realised our bubble just popped and we came rushing to the ground. Why, oh why weren't there any soft cushy mushrooms to fall on?!
He got my hand and embraced my tight, defending me. He turned his back against where we are going to land... I never understood back then what he was doing. All I knew is that I was excited for such a free fall... but Daddy....
"AGH!" he moaned as we landed...
"Did you really think I'd just let you be, honey?"
When we came to, Daddy was lying down on his back, with me on top of his torso, snuggling on him tight. We saw that Mommy was riding on a butterfly, and that we landed on its back. Apparently, she was all alone on the butterfly, so we could assume that she piloted the thing.
"Next time, you had better be careful..." she reprimanded him, looking both angry and worried. "I was so worried for you and Vaati that I thought I would die!"
"..." Daddy looked sorry as I looked up to him. He got up and hugged Mommy so tightly. Of course, I was happy that they were happy... and that they loved each other so much. "I'm sorry, dear... I wasn't careful enough. That's what Master always told me..."
"And that's why he's so worried for you... please do take care of yourself, we need you..."
As soon as they parted from their embrace, Mommy came for me and hugged me tightly, as if she would never let me go. I had no idea what had just happened... all I knew was that I was having fun in that bubble down to that free fall... but she looked so worried. I thought it was just one of those "adult matters", so I went with the flow and hugged back.
Once we landed, we saw that Master was talking with both Uncle Festari and another old man... I swear I had seen him before...
Of course! How could I forget... he had a big needle with a string on it which scared me a bit, for I remembered that Master always told me that he uses it to poke bad children and tie them up with his string...
I was scared and I hugged Mommy tightly as we went to them after landing.
"A job well done, Festari. I knew I could count on you in times like these." the old man said.
"No problem, Gentari. Just doing my job." he replied, with a kind smile as he fixed his spectacles.
They all turned to Mommy and congratulated her, as well as my Daddy. But of course, they were surprised at how Mommy could have saved both of us...
"MOMMEEEEE!!!" I cried as I held her back.
"What...? What's wrong, Vaati?" she looked quite puzzled.
"Mommy, he's scaring me! I... I'm a good boy... right?"
"Of course you are..." she turned to Daddy, who gave a shrug with a questionable look.
Master Ezlo was a bit nervous as he tried to divert our attention and change the topic.
"A-Anyway!" he cleared his throat. "Aren't we here for the festival to have fun? I mean, really... look at all that had just happened!"
"You're right." smiled the old man called Gentari, who I discovered later in my life to be a good man who helped my best friend Link. "Well? We must not stop having fun, we still have some events waiting... oh, would anybody be in favor playing with Festari's bubble contraption? Maybe we could hold some contests regarding..."
"NO!" everyone gave out a surprised look and a hesitant gesture. I looked up at them and tilted my head to the right, wondering why they would do so. But surely enough, I laughed at them, for they DID look quite silly.
"Oh? Well, if you say so." Gentari was tad shocked. "Well, maybe we will just hold a butterfly riding contest... racing if you must call it."
Daddy looked at Mommy and smiled. Then he said, "Let us enter that contest... with the best pilot there is."
She chuckled as Daddy embraced her from behind and gave her a sweet kiss on the cheek.
"EEEEWWWW!!!" I retched as I saw them, as I covered my eyes with my hands. Well, curious as I am as a child, I peeked through my little fingers after a few seconds and then covered them again.
They both chuckled as the other sages merely stared at them, feeling for me, I suppose. But the sages just smiled at them and decided to leave them alone for a while.
"We will be waiting for your registration then. Just stop by the only luminous mushroom we have, where we will be staging some live events later on in the evening." Uncle Festari said, as he followed Gentari. Master Ezlo also went with them, chatting as they walked away.
Indeed Mommy and Daddy joined in the butterfly racing contest, with Mommy piloting their butterfly as I watched them from below with Master. They flew by so quick, I swear Daddy was screaming while Mommy kept her eyes focused on the path. The others found it hard to fly past them, for Mommy seemed to be an expert in this... I never knew!
"No! No! To your right.... no no no, to your left! YOUR LEFT!" Daddy screamed as he was panicking.
"I know! I know! Will you just let me drive?!" Mommy shouted back while focusing.
And you know what? They did win! I was so happy that I hugged the both of them as they landed, with Daddy looking tad dizzy and haggard, but with Mommy looking as fresh and dainty as ever. Master Ezlo tried to talk with Daddy as I hugged them, giving him some calm words, including some words of sympathy.
"Please excuse me...!" Daddy ran away for a while, and I soon heard a retching sound not too far from where we were.
Later that night, all the Minish settled on top of the giant luminous mushroom, watching the night skies as we saw all the beautiful sparkling stars. That night was one of the best I ever had, for it was the first time I ever saw a meteor shower... they were so beautiful as they descended from the heavens and disappeared into the night.
But of course, this was also an opportunity for us to ride the fireflies after the meteor shower viewing. Mommy said that she passed for now... she said that fireflies are different from butterflies, and that she had enough flights in one day. Daddy still rode with me though, with me in front of him, having the front view of the firefly we rode. He piloted the firefly as we took a flight around the forest, looking beautiful even in the night.
"Honey, we will be going to the town for a while... alright? It's not everyday we get to do this!" Daddy said as we returned to ask permission.
"Oh.... fine. But be here before it gets too late, alright?" Mommy kissed Daddy, and then away we flew.
Daddy and I flew past the forest and went to the town of the humans... Hyrule Town.
It was truly lovely and simplistic, as we were met by its rustic beauty. It wasn't a mini city as Link introduced me to it just now, but it was the simple town I almost conquered in my youth. We both flew around it as we saw the different lanterns lit up and about. Some people were playing their band drums altogether as they played a single rhythm. It was noisy, but joyful, as we saw how the humans celebrated this fiesta.
I also saw some sculptures made out of.... rice? Rice sculptures, very colourful at that, met us in different forms. They were really big... as big as humans or even bigger! And they embodied different things, like stars, a stereotype Minish, and a hero welding a sword.
Children were having fun, playing hide-and-seek even in the night, for it was safe with their parents and relatives watching over them. Different stalls were there, mostly for food and merchandise like toys for the children.
I could see... a young, blonde boy? Yes, he was a bit away from the other children as he just got his luminous sword of some sort, while talking to a boy who looks like him, who had black hair instead.
"Look at my light saber!" said the blonde as he excitedly showed it to the other.
"So you got a light saber, so what?" said the black-haired one, a bit mean in tone. "Daddy also bought me one. Oh wait, TWO of them!"
"YES fair!" the black-haired one said as he gave a thumbsup, with a questionable smiling face I had never seen before. He... was creepy, but funny in a way.
"Remember, Vaati.... don't show up to bad little children such as that little boy over there. He's not such a good boy, taunting his playmate like that." Daddy warned me. "Who knows what they will do with you?"
I swore never to show myself to that boy, even as I grew up. But I just know I broke my promise...
We saw some Town Minish waving at us, some of them probably Daddy's friends as he landed our firefly to chat with them. I was right, they were some childhood friends of his who settled in the town. We had fun ourselves, as we got some of the offerings the humans gave us. The humans apparently believed in us, and gave us some offerings like a piece of fruit on a plate in each of their houses.
We passed the night in the town, and had some fun before we left for the forest, where we met Mommy in our house since we saw that the meeting place earlier was left almost empty. I suppose it was already late, for I was half-asleep by then in my Daddy's arms as he piloted our firefly.
I could hear ourselves coming home, as I felt my Mommy take me in her arms and cradle me gently, singing the ever resonant lullaby in my head...
i mong nanay
Ili ili tulog anay..."