I, Yoshi Chapter 2

Koopas, Kippers, and A King

By Ryan-oshi

I woke up early as usual the next morning, and I was sure the strength of the stars was coursing through my body. I sniffed the morning air, but I smelled of it too. I brushed Nature’s debris off of me and packed up my hammock. As was his habit, Ki-oshi was still asleep, but at least his snoring had placated. Taking advantage of my early rising, I went out from camp, searching for some ripe fruit to pick.

After walking for ten minutes, I came to a spring that led into the Donut Lake some ten miles from our camp. I lapped up the water from it greedily, for I hadn’t drank anything since I had left the Island. The sense of adventure filled me, and I couldn’t think of anything else, but the flowing of the water and the stillness of the air quieted my thoughts.

Before I stopped my enjoyment of the river, my attention was diverted by a crack of a twig behind some bushes on the other side of the river. After that, there was nothing. Being curious, I hopped across some stones on the river and came to the other side without getting too wet. I cautiously approached the bushes and pulled back them back. Behind them was a small goomba, feasting on several berries. As soon as it spotted me, it hurriedly picked up the rest of the berries in its mouth and scurried off. I smiled at its behavior, but I soon began to sense the sweet aroma of berries entering my nose. It was one of my greatest joys. I grabbed a gathering bag out of my pack and picked berries for another hour. After deciding I had plenty, I started back, figuring that Ki-oshi would be almost ready to wake up.

That’s when I noticed two more goombas on the side of the river I had started on running towards where the other one had escaped to. I followed them at a distance until I started hearing koopa noises. Soon, I spotted a group of them. I crouched behind a bush, counting ten goombas, two koopas, and a magikoopa giving orders. I heard his words quite clearly. “Ok, break’s over! King Morton wants us back by noon, and we still have to wait for the other two koopas to get back. Where are those lazy…ah, there they are. And they seem to have caught something.”

I followed his gaze to a sight that filled me with terror. Approaching slowly were two koopas carrying a struggling Ki-oshi. He had his hands tied behind his back, and he had a muzzle on. They’d caught him sleeping. The magikoopa looked pleased. “Very good, troops. I guess this explains your tardiness. Morton will be glad we caught a yoshi. They’re elusive.”

One of the koopas seemed to be illiterate, and the other one wasn’t far more advanced. “We got’em sleepin’ in a hammock. Twas two hammocks, so we thoughts there might be another one, but we couldn’t find’em.”

The magikoopa laughed and waved his wand around, causing some of the goombas to cringe. I was growing furious, and I could tell Ki-oshi was mad. “This one is a stupid yoshi then. The other one’s smart. Keep a look out, though. His friend’s bound to be looking for him. We don’t want Morton’s prize to be stolen.” He signaled the other goombas off their feet. “Hop to it, beasts. We have a long march ahead of us. On the double, march!” With that, they walked off into the brush, leaving me in great distress.

I paced back and forth, knowing that if I didn’t act quick, Ki-oshi’s fate would be sealed. I also knew I couldn’t expect to tackle ten goombas, four koopas, and a magikoopa all by myself. Yoshis are tough, but we’re not all-powerful. That’s when I remembered the Kipper Grotto up ahead. If I could lose them in there, and get out with my tail intact, I could save my friend. It was a risky plan, but time was of the essence, and Ki-oshi’s future was uncertain. I got to work forming a more detailed plan immediately.

I waited patiently, ducked behind some reeds sticking out of the shallow water. I could hear the goombas faintly waddling in the distance, but now wasn’t the time to make my move. Soon though, a pesky fly decided to bother me. What started as irritating buzz escalated to a filthy insect crawling over my sensitive nose. It was only a matter of time before…ah…ah…AHCOO! I sneezed so hard that the villainous fly shot into the lake, and the reeds blew over, bending horizontally. Even worse, fifteen of Morton’s finest soldiers stood battle-poised some ten meters in front of me.

I gulped and made a quick dash for the lake, looking back to see all of the goombas, the magikoopa, and two koopas coming after me. I made a running dive into the lake and swam as fast as I could, using my large tail to propel me where my short arms could not. I looked around to see that the magikoopa was the only one keeping up, and I knew his magic wand was running low from the water’s interference. Up ahead, I caught glimpse of a sort of system of caves and holes. It was the Kipper Grotto.

Mario discovered the Kipper Grotto when he came to our land, saving the imprisoned yoshis from Bowser’s slimy clutches. It’s a vast array of several holes and small caves gathered it one area. Several burrowing fish originally formed the Grotto, but the kippers, brought by Bowser to endanger our lives, brought the burrowing fishes’ population to extinction. Now, the kippers ruled their conquered territory with jaws of steel. It wouldn’t have been pleasant for one of them to get their teeth on my tail.

Just as I was about to make a dash for the surface, a slimy yellow arm wrapped around my throat. I immediately noticed the blue sleeve hanging from the arm: the magikoopa! He must have used magic to entrap his words in a bubble, because I heard them clearly. “So, you’re the missing yoshi. You’re not as smart as I thought you were. Now, you will have your entire life as slaves for King Morton to think about it.”

As he was spelling out his words of doom, a massive shadow covered us. His arm slid off of my throat, and I frantically swam behind a rock, looking up. My mouth opened in utter amazement, for above us was the most prodigious Kipper Nature had ever spawned. It came down fast and hard, gulping up the then screaming magikoopa and chasing several koopas that had now appeared away. I sat there, trembling, for another few seconds before I realized that I had to breathe. After reaching the surface and gasping for air, I made a hasty retreat to the sweetness of dry land.

After I once again stepped on dry land, it was the work of a few seconds to dispose of the remaining two koopas. Ki-oshi rocked back and forth with his eyes blindfolded screaming against his muzzle. I freed him as quickly as possible. “It’s about time, Ryan-oshi! I’ve been waiting here with these nasty brutes trying to kill me. Why, it took them ten goombas and a chargin’ chuck just to bring me down.”

I started laughing and helped him up. He looked ridiculous. “Are you sure you didn’t just oversleep and let two koopas easily apprehend you?”

He looked surprise, but he eventually smiled. He wouldn’t lie to me two times. I told him that it was fine, and I was just glad we were ok. So, with that nasty predicament out of our way, we continued on, much of the day still before us.

Later that afternoon, we were but thirty minutes away from our destination, and the sun was still quite a ways from touching the horizon. We were merrier now, for things had been going our way, and the remaining hours of the day had held great luck. We’d picked up some lovely fruit from a kindly mushroomer, and our path was straight and clear. It was enough to make any two respectably yoshis break into song. We each took a line, and it went something like this:

O’er the fields and planted plains,
Under the colored sky,
Koopas and goombas won’t stop us,
And our yoster tongues don’t lie!

Marching on to adventure’s way,
Our fortunes seem quite good,
We’re friends now until the very end,
Singing as two yoshis should!

It wasn’t terribly talented, but the afternoon sky made it sound like a symphony or something you would read about in a book. The next voice we heard wasn’t very pleasant though.

“Stop that cat-scratchin’, ya jerks! Sounds like ya been learnin’ the chalkboard!” We looked up to see Morton Jr. on a rock. He jumped down, obviously causing his knees some pain. His baldhead and scar looked repulsive, and the magic wand he held didn’t make us feel any better. “You’se guys been causing my ranks some awful bad trouble, and I’m here to rectify da’ situation.” With that, he shot out two blasts of magic, aimed for both of us.

We both easily dodged, but his aim was sure to get better. “Let us pass Morton…”

“Dat’s KING Morton, you’se jerks! I’ll have your bulbous heads for dat insult o’ disrespect!”

The bulbous head crack was too much for Ki-oshi. In one instant, Morton was making fun of us. In the next, he was on the ground gasping for breath. Ki-oshi took up the wand and broke it in two. It was useless, and Morton was too. “That’ll teach you to make fun of a yoshi.”

Morton wasn’t able to respond, but I agreed whole-heartedly.

It was close to night, what with all our interruptions, that we reached the port. Unfortunately, the port was closed for the night, so we were forced to take up at the old Inn, formerly the haunted house. Ki-oshi was weary, but I didn’t believe in such things as bad karma. Still, boos exists, and I wasn’t about to let my guard down. Little did I know how rough the night would be.

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