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Duchess Lucinda recalls stories her parents told her while passing them on. (loosely based of Tsutoshi's comic "Folks-y Wisdom")
Creation and the Spirit WorldEdit
"Yeah! I lose again!"
"Mort, you are the most hopeless case I ever seen, you know that?"
"Yes. I like it."
Duchess Lucinda sighed. It's Funday-Monday yet again and she can't do much to amuse herself (especially since the Dehauntedo kids, the junior-zookeepers who practically raised her, cut her off from her workshop in the shed for renivations), so she's reduced to spending time with her own kind, and Mort was practically the worst Fanorona player she had ever opposed. "You are too easy to beat, Mort," the young duchess confessed, annalysing the situation, "an intellectual individual such as myself would need a challange. I can't believe I'm reduced to old habits like this, but... MAURICE! YOU, ME AND A GAME OF FANORONA! NOW!!!"
"Love to, Lucinda," Maurice said, carrying fresh papaya to the Fruit Bar, "But your brother's got me busy on the Island special and I can't be in two places at once."
"Thank the Sky Spirits that new blender got here in time, or you'll have to make that particular smoothy in a pasting bowl." Lucinda gasped, as she ruined the surprise."New blender?!" asked Maurice, "What happened to the old one?!"
King Julien answered a ways off (from his loungy chair): "I got rid of it Maurice! It was being so slow and annoying! Now get to be making of my smoothy, Maurice; neither of us are having all day!"
"Just getting everything I need for the special, your Magesty... 100 ingredents; Gimme abreak!"
Duchess Lucinda growled, "He could've asked me to upgrade that one when he tossed it last night, but does he care about my brand of amusement? No!"
Meanwhile at Penguin HQ, a bunch of random objects from crumpled-up old blueprints to an unsolved Rubix-cube flung out of Kowalski's Lab, and it was Private's turn to investigate.
"No! No! Maybe this... no! That's not right either!"
"Um, Kowalski. I hate to be a bother, but..."
The young bird got frighted at the sight of Kowalski, who turned his face to reveal he's wearing his lab-goggles (with attachments)!
"Oh! Forgive me, Private," Kowalski said, removing the goggles, "I forgot I was still wearing these."
"Oh it's quite alright. My fault, really."
"So, what was it you were saying before I startled you?"
"Well, Skipper and Rico sent me to see what you were going on about." Private smiled, picking up the Rubix cube, "Skipper was muttering something about flying debris---"
(At that very moment the last object Kowalski tossed, a pen, hit Skipper on the back of the head. "Ow!")
"--plus I'm getting a bit curious myself, so, what are you up to, Kowalski?"
"Just trying to find my muse, really." Kowalski said, holding some wires in is mouth (as to not be tempted to toss them out and bother Skipper again). He took them out before continuing, "Seems I've been rather slack on my recent inventions, and I'm in a bit of a blueprint-writer's block for new ones. I figured maybe I can upgrade something, though I can't seem to deside what."
Private toyed around with the Rubix cube when something caught his attention...
"Oooo! What about this?"
"The Love-u-laser?! Why, Private that's got to be the most insane idea I've ever---!"
Private was armed with more cuteness then any other penguin in the rookery, so when he gave his best sad look, the only thing that crossed the team-genius' mind was Oh no! He's going to cry.
"--I... I mean, it's a wonderful idea. I'll get started right away."
Private smiled and waved on the way out of the lab. "Great! Can't wait until it's finished!"
Kowalski smiled back, "Okay." but once Private closed the door behind him, he had a sence of regret. Might as well work on it, Kowalski thought to himself, it'll atleast keep me preoccupied. I'll need a test subject, though, but who can I test it on without conciquence?
Back at the Lemur Habitat...
"Maurice! Where is my smoothy?! I'm dying! I am needing of it! Hurry!"
"Here you go," Maurice said, "Please stop whining!"
"Unholy konolies, big brother! The blender only took 36 seconds to make a smooth smoothy and I had to do dishes to pass the time. You're not a prince anymore, Julien, do something for yourself for a change."
King Julien didn't even hear his sister (even if he did, he wouldn't listen, for even as children, he remembers her as a bigger complainer then himself) as he sat up from his "near-dying" pose on his loungy-chair and accepted the beverage he's briefly waited for, but just as he's about to take it...
"Thank you Maur--"
...something went though the air, down form the sky, and it knocked the smoothie out of the hands of the two lemurs and spilled it all over the place.
"--ice?! What the hecks is this thing? It ruined my--"
Lucinda knew her brother was about to freak out at the sight of what happened... but she also knew what Mort was thinking by the look on his face before he spoke his mind, and she had to think quickly before bad gone to worse.
"Foot-hugging time! Yay!"
"Mort! Look! Something shiny!"
"Where? I see nothing."
"Oh You just missed it! It climbed right over the wall! Judging by the speed it might be all the way in the petting-zoo area by now! Go get it before it moves again!"
As King Julien was about to freak (and Mort had just left in pursuit of an imaginary sparkly) his attention was redirected toward the penguin habitat by Skipper's voice. Knowing who's being shouted at caught Duchess Lucinda's attention too.
"Kowalski I'm not putting up with that thing again!"
"No 'buts' about it, soldier! I don't want that thing in our HQ!"
"You don't understand! I need it for my research, and--"
"Fine! Do what you want. If it involves that contraption, though, do it anywhere but here!"
"Skipper! I need a massive amount of electical power for the Love-u-laser to function--"
"Anywhere but here! That's an order!"
"Sounds like Kowalski and I are in the same boat." Lucinda thought outloud, "Hope nothing sinks it this time around."
Julien, however, didn't see the big picture, as Kowalski walked passed them with a box full of peices of his now broken-down Love-u-lator. ("Stupid Skipper! I know he doesn't like this invention in particular, but he didn't have to throw away the most important compiment, and even if I find it, what am I going to do? I need a very powerful energy source.")
"Look Maurice! It's that smart-y penguin. I bet he threw this at my smoothie so I will not be being happy! I'm going to be giving him a peice of my brain."
"You mean 'mind'?" Maurice corrected, cleaning up the spill.
"Yes," King Julien said, "That too!"
Duchess Lucinda was torn: on the one hand, her brother was being self-relient, but on the other had, her love interest was in trouble. All she was able to do was watch.
"Oh, Julien. Can I help you with something?"
"Oh, wait... I mean: yes! This is being yours, right?"
"My Love-u-laser tracking device! You found it!"
"Holding it right there! You're not getting this!"
"This blinky-thingy ruined my smoothy and you are owing me a new one!"
"What?! Of all nonscene... I don't have time for this!"
"Then you'll be doing me one small favor, or no boxy-thing!"
"You are lucky I'm a man of science. Alright, what do you want?"
Julien takes Kowalski by the flipper.
"Uh Julien," Kowalski protested, "I understand that you don't want me to wander off but holding hands isn't that big of a nessesa--"
"You are talking too much. Anyhow, the problem is being this way."
Lucinda's eyes widen at the sight of her brother holding Kowalski's beak shut for the moment. Her instincts told her there's no danger here (Julien already made his point about the ruined smoothy), yet she'd boiling in contained rage... how come her idiot twin can charm his way around others of both genders, while she freezes up arout boys (Kowalski, especially) and can't make a move like that herself? While pondering, Lucinda followed them to what she herself calls the "catta-combs of the kingdom", where the powerlines and waterpipes of the whole zoo are connected... and the main electric-cable was ruined (Kowaski was too focused on the technical aspects that he didn't see the broken peices of the old blender on the other side of the cable from where he stood... but Lucinda noticed)! After Kowalski explained the matter to Julien, the Cattamaki twins had a small moment alone as the brainy-bird got to work with his limited tools.
"Got rid of the old blender, huh? You owe me a favor, big brother... actually, double or nothing."
"Double or nothing, sis? Really?"
"Uh-huh... one favor for not tattle-taling on you for this mess, and another one for just sending Mort on a, as you'd put it, 'wild chase of the goose'."
Kowalski had just finished his favor, and had gotten a bit cocky about it before noticing there's a lady present "Yes! Kowalski-1, Untamed Science-0! Just try and tell me that wasn't impressive--! Oh! Hi, Lucinda. When did you get here?"
The young duchess blushed and giggled, "Greetings."
A thought crossed the king's mind on sight of the two brainiacs together.
He's being smart, and funny too, plus my sister seems to dig him. If I can be keeping them together for the real dating instead of one of there usual, geeky bookworm gatherings, I'd be cracking two of the coconuts with one rock. Besidings, it might not be being so bad having him around, since that brainy bird is quite a catch.
"Julien! My tracking device?"
"Huh? Oh, this yes? Well my sister and I were talking a little bit, and were just agreeing that you can be staying in our habitat for the small whiles, since you cannot be getting into yours."
"How will that help?! I don't mean to be offending but, if anything, you lemurs would be a distraction."
"Kowalski," Lucinda said, "You've been trained to maintain focus under pressure, that's for sure. Besides, look around you! We have the best access to all the powerlines in the zoo! You can fuel a 1,000 projects at once it you want to."
Kowalski lowered his de-upgraded goggles back over his eyes in doubt, and Lucinda shrugged in the "oh well! We tried" matter. Julien pinched himself between the eyebrows in responce, the winked his eye while pointing a finger in a "watch and learn" kind of way before giving a casual yet serious speach:
"Well being fine by me, if you are wanting Skipper to be controling you that muchly. I was thinking you're being smarter then that, tis all, but hey, who is my kingly-self to judge. Come sis."
The royal family's point is sencible, since the lemur habitat does have what's required from the Love-u-lator's electircal needs. Plus, since it is the last place the team would look for me, it'll frustrate Skipper. Purfect payback for his ignorance, and I won't have to use brute force. Although, I should weigh my other options...
Kowalski thought it over as the twin lemurs walked off, and they were conversing once far enough away that he couldn't hear them.
"J-bro! What are you doing?! We can't send him away with nowhere to go."
"I'm not sending of him away, Cindy, I'm just doing the 'Shadow of a Doubtings' routiene. Have been forgeting about it?"
"Oh yah! You used to do that to me all the time when we were little...<laughing>...I hate you!"
Kowalski came slid right over, and accepted King Julien's offer, claiming it was the logical course of action...
"Plus it was very considerate of you to offer, Julien."
"Yes! Well, actually I do like to be thinking myself a very condiment ruler."
"A very 'condiment' ruler?!" Lucinda felt sick with her twin brother's losey phonics. "Excuse me, big brother, and guest of royal honor, I best check on Mort to see how he's doing at finding that crawly-shiny thing."
"What crawly-shiny thing?!" Kowalski and Julien asked together.
"My point exactly."
"Clever, my sister," King Julien said, "but why the rush finding Mort? Better stick around a whiles."
It was too late... Duchess Lucinda had already ran off. "Ha! That's being Lucinda for you," Julien explained, "a girl upon the go. Never gone long though, she might be back when I ask if Maurice is okie-dokie with you staying with us, and everything will be clicking into place."
Meanwhile, as Lucinda was laughing at how Mort made a wrong turn towards the llama habitat (yet is alright), alot of clicking was being heard at the Penguin HQ... that sound was Private, contentingly playing with the Rubix Cube... a sound that began to get on Skipper's last nerve as he tried to enjoy his coffee and newspaper.
"Confound it, Private!" Skipper shouted, knocking the cube out of Private's flippers, "That thing could drive a man insane! Where did you get that stupid thing anyway?!" "Oh! I, uh, sort of borrowed it from Kowalski," Private answered, "I didn't know it was annoying. Sorry, Skipper."
Skipper sighed, "No apology nessacary, Private. You're not the one I should be mad at... IT'S KOWALSKI!" He jumped toward the door to Kowalski's lab in an attack stance, but felt akward about it when he saw the team's scientist was missing. "Private? Where is Kowalski?"
"Have you forgotten, sir? You kicked him out for working on his 'love' invention."
"Oh! Yeah, though he's usually back by now, begging for his presious lab."
"Maybe he found somebody to help him."
"Who'd be fool enough to do that?"
Rico babbled a suggestion, but Skipper shook his head. "Nonsence, Rico! True, Lucinda's a crazed version of Kowalski's type, but word has it her own work area has been shut down for renivations. She's worse of then he is! It would take something stupid just to get either of those know-it-alls to cope."
Unknown to Skipper, someone stupid was involved as Kowalski walked along side King Julien as they left the "catta-combs" and resurface not to far from Maurice, who was enjoying himself, laying in his hamic, drinking coconut juice, and saying to himself: "Thank the Sky Spirits that penguin came by to keep the royal family busy so I'll have some time for myself."
Lucinda had just got home, and she and her twin brother shouted together: "Maurice!" "Maurice!!!"
"Well, it was good while it lasted. What is it, Julien?--"
(Figures, Lucinda thought to herself, The king's needs always come first! I hate being the second heir!)
"--Did the bird say a word you didn't understand? Oh purhaps something else happened... wait! don't tell me: He wants to play Dungeons and Dragons but needs your help to catch the Gelatiounous Cube to fight, am I right? Ha--!"
Kowalski slapped himself in the face for such a type-casting insult... besides, Jiggles was an accident, and was only made once. Maurice's laughter died down at the sight of Kowalski standing between the royal duo.
"He's here... with you... uh, you know I was just joking about all that Dungeons and Dragons stuff, right."
Kowalski and Lucinda both rolled their eyes in doubt.
"Maurice," King Julien said, "You are remembering our guest, Mr.Kowalski? He's been cast out for a whiles, so he'll be staying with us to be working on his science-y things, and I'm wanting you to ge very helpful fo him, yes?"
Maurice shrugs, "That's great, your highness, but is there a spasific reason you called?"
"Yes, you'll be watching his things to make sure Mort doesn't ruin them when he get's back from his snipey hunt, while I'll be giving our guest the royal tour."
Maurice took the box in confusion. "Okay?"
Lucinda wasn't happy. "Big brother! I was going to ask Maurice to play Fanorona with me! Now my offer would be distracting to him."
"I concur with that," Kowalski nodded, "Besides, Julien, you know I've been here before."
"Nonsence, sillies! It's being for the fun of it."
"Julien I'll have to let you know I'm a very logical penguin and I really should be working instead of having fun. And FYI--" Julien covers Kowalski's beak again.
"Tsk! Tsk! Fun and fun, and everyone is needing it once in a while, even a smart-y penguin like you. Bubble-gum in the Stopping-watch, remember?"
"Oh, I suppose I could spare a moment or two."
Lucinda looked confused, but was trusting the look on Kowalski's face that insists he'd explain later. The akwardness between them was broken by Julien's enthusiastic nature.
"Sis, I might be needing your help with this, I never get to be touring peoples around, aside you! He's already seen the Catta-combs today, shall we be starting with the royal bouncy?"
"Shed's off limits. Maybe the secret passages."
"Oo! Or maybe the shrine you've made for the Sky Spirits."
"No! The many-colored lights we just got for the dancefloor."
"Had installing them already, little sister."
As the brother and sister were blabing on with different tour plans, Kowalski was deep in thought.
What is it about those two that compels me to stay and listen. Maybe it's their childlike personalities; how they always seem to simply enjoy life. It's ... different. That must be it! I'm entranced by the lemurs because they differ from my norm. It's refreshing, really, how they're almost always on the possitive side of opinion; practically intoxicating. I've nearly forgotten what I was doing earlier. Come to think of it, what was I doing before this happened...?
"<Gasp!> The Love-u-laser!!! Left any longer in it's broken state, and it'll lead to mass erosion of the circuit board!"
Lucinda begain to worry, "Again?! That'll lead to the fourth explosion this month!"
"Correct! Sorry Julien, as much as the tour means to you, I have to work on the machine imediately, do you understand."
The king sighed, "Oh! Okays. I'm supposing I should be getting out of the ways..." then a smile crossed his face as soon as a thought crossed his mind, "... or, or I could be helping you with this! And my sister too!"
"It'll be fun! Our hands are very handy for grabbing things and as king, I'd be thrilled being of the helping and not of the minding."
"Fun? Helping? Uh, not that the thought of it isn't appealing, but I believe it's best that I do this alone for the sake... of the inven--"
The twin-lemurs give Kowalski there cutest looks possible to charm there feathered guest, and it works.
"Oh sweet science, those faces. Alright, your help is appreciated, just keep in mind that it's my project and you'll have to let me guide you through it."
Soon enough, Kowalski was sharing his knowladge with the king and duchess, and it was fun to all three of them, even though it was alot of work. That got Maurice suspicious, though.
"This is weird. king Julien is obviously doing this for a reason. there's got to be some kinda gain here, or maybe... I should stop overthinking this and use the... opportunity to... relax"
"Relax?! How can I?!" Skipper's anger and consurn mixed together into spite, "It's almost time for our pre-lunch combat drills and there's still no sign of Kowalski! Lousy no-good science garbage! I don't care how important his research is, you never miss out on basic training... ever! If I ever get my flippers on that soldier, he'll wish he was with Manfredi and Johnson."
"Uh, Skipper," Private said, "shouldn't we go out and look for him?"
"Exelente idea Private!"
"Thanks sir, I think."
"Boys! Get your binoculars and walkie-talkies ready! We're going nerd hunting!"
The machine was finally put together, and Kowalski was explaining what his invention does.
"So you are saying this thingy is a mechanical matchmaker," King Julien observed, "and that's what got you thinking that stupidy squirrel is Marlene's boyfriend?"
"Yes, and we were kind of expecting someone closer to her species," Kowalski sighed, "which is why upgrading is essential. It'll help the device work better and with more accuracy."
"Like the odds you got the right address but the wrong resident?"
"No, Lucinda has a point, such data would be essential."
King Julien scowled at his sister but was quick to forgive. Then he thought of something, "You know, Mr. Kowalski, this is kind of similar to the origins of this world and that of the Sky Spirits."
Kowalski's curiousity was sparked by that notion. "Really? Do tell."
"Oh I would tell you, as my father told my sister and me, but it is better that you'd be asking her. She used to be tutoring me in the histories, you aught to be knowing."
"We better discuss the tale over lunch, my brother; even our feathered friend's tummy is crying for food... had been for a while now."
Kowalski blushed, "Oh! Guess I lost track of time. A small snack-break would do us all good."
"Fabjulous!" King Julien was at it again, "MAURICE!!! MAKE US FOOD! GET HERE NOW, YOU LAZY!!!"
Lucinda covered her brother's mouth and shushed him, "Most undignified, King Julien. Maurice is worn out, and is napping now, and he deserves a break for putting up with you all these years."
"Most agreeable," Kowalski added, "I'm sure we can manage on our own, and keep the peace of the zoo at the same time."
King Julien thought it over, and figured it's the right thing. After all, Kowalski is a guest here (an he's getting with Lucinda quite nicely and the boundries need to be pushed further), so his royal magesty made some fresh smoothies himself from a simpler recipe then what he demanded of Maurice. Both geniuses were impressed that he managed that without insident.
"There's much I can do, though I prefer it done for me," Julien bragged, "but thanking the Sky Spirits this is one of the easier things."
"You lemurs talk about them alot. I actually was wondering about these 'sky spirits'."
Julien and Lucinda gasped, "You want to know about them? You?"
"Well, yeah, but appologies if I overstepped a boundary."
"No-no!" Julien said, "We are just of the surprising, this all. Mostly the locals here are making fun of our belief."
"That," Lucinda added, "and we figured you were no different, since you are the logical sort... then again, how can one believe in anything they know nothing of? If you really want to know, then we shall tell you, as our father told us."
Kowalski nodded yes, as the two lemurs told the tale
Zanahary and RatohovoantanyEdit
Long ago, there was nothing until the Great Creator created the world. Zanahary made the world we live in, but has left it desolate and empty. Then, Ratovoantany, the Self-Made One, shot up from the ground like a plant. Surprised, Zanahary came down from the heavens to see Ratovoantany, who was making and drying clay figures in the sun, but he couldn't give them life. Zanahary offered to give them life, but insisted that he'd take them with him to heaven. Ratovoantany refused to part with his work. Soon, they compromised: Zanahary would give them life, but only as a loan, and it must be returned to heaven when they died, while their bodies are to return to the earth that made them, to be with their creator once again.
"..it is to tell us that we are all worth the life given to us," Duchess Lucinda concluded solemnly, "and we all will be again with our creator."
"All of us," King Julien added with similar sadness "someday." Kowalski was just about to ask if they were alright, when the sound of a timer going off lifted the mood. "Smoothies are done!"
"No Visual of Kowalski in the Chimpanzee Habitat! Private, Status Report!"
"He's not at the Otter Habitat, Skipper, but Marlene did offer to keep an eye out for him."
"Good! We'll need all the help we can get. Rico!"
Rico uttered alot of jibberish, and the only clear thing heard from him was "Not'ere either!"
"Kowalski wouldn't resort to a trashcan, Rico! Though I like that out-of-the-box thinking. Fall back, boys!"
Rondezvousing at the island of their habitat, Skipper was getting at his wits end, "We searched almost every habitat in the zoo. Kowalski really doesn't want to be found! If only he put this much effort in his stealth drills."
"We have a visual, Skipper!"
"Really? Where is he, Private?"
"Lemur Habitat, sir."
"What? Are you sure you cleaned those lenses properly?"
"See for yourself!"
Skipper scanned the area, muttering, "Kowaski wouldn't be foolish enough to--?!?-- BUTTERMILK BISCUITS! Kowalski really is at Ringtail's place! And that royal-pain's twin sister is involved!"
Rico jirred at Private,"Ha! Told yah! Pay up!"
Private talks with Skipper while giving Rico his last Peanut butter winky. "What are they doing? Something horrible?"
"No," Skipper said, confused, "actually they seem to be, you know, hanging out."
"No harm in that. Is there?"
"No Private, not really."
Kowalski knew what he got himself into, since penguins naturally eat fish, yet here he was with the lemurs, offering their fruit-smoothies to him. Had done missions around the world with his team, and aware that the island of Madagascar was part of Africa, and knowing his basic Global Customs, the smart penguin knew that in most African tribes, refusing a meal is considered an insult.
Get it together, Kowalski. If it tastes terrible, just pretend to like it.
Turns out, the smoothy didn't taste as bad as he thought, a least not compared to Skipper's Monk-Fish Surprise recipe.
"These are astounding Julien!"
"Really? Glad you are enjoying them."
"These are just the nutritional value needed to finish our work."
"So, you still are not minding the kingly assistance? Becasue I thought you weren't of the liking me... like Skipper."
"What? How... unexpected. Skipper does care about you, he's just... too stuborn to admit it. No doubt he's the same with me and my brillance, but I know he won't find me here. Wait and see, once he's given up the search, I'll show myself, confident that my comrads would do anything to have me back on the team."
Duchess Lucinda rolled her eyes, "Cute and cuddly, but not really my idea of manipulation."
"I don't know, that brainy bird seems to be onto something," Julien cuckled, "not that I'd disappear for the masses, its ruining of the glamour. Speaking of disapear, sis, where's Mort? This day's getting too good to be true."
"Oh, okay! Play nice you two."
Kowalski and Lucinda looked at each other in bewilderment as he ran off to search for Mort. Lucinda smiled once they were alone... she could guess what her brother was really up to.
"This could call for shrimp cocktail, Kowalski, if it'll help you wash that down."
"Thanks. It's preferable, though not neccesary. Actually, this is practically a textured version of the fruit-juices Private keeps in the fridge... thank goodness for having a youngster on our team."
Lucinda notices the same look on Kowalski's face she and her brother shown earlier. She's far more furmilliar with the feeling then he was.
"Miss them, huh? My brother and I feel the same way about our parents. Atleast your team is still here to share this world with you. Mama and Papa, on the other hand, took a one-way trip to save our generation."
Kowalski was shocked. Although he knew that King Julien started his reign as a young orphan prince, Kowalski often doubted that it had any real impact on him... the lord of the lemurs just seemed to always be so happy with his life.
"I must've interprided what wasn't there."
The duchess could tell what her guest was thinking.
"He's with sorrow as your leader is with friendship: they're to proud to admit."
"You clearly weren't paying attention to your own narrations, Lucinda. Now, I'm partial to religion myself, but as Einstine once said: 'There are two ways to veiw life: one way as though nothing is a miracle, and the other as though everything is.' Seems there are some things that even a brilliant mind like my own overlooked, and one of them is the assurance I now give that you're ancestors are in a better place now."
"Mine, yours, and everyone elses. Just as improtant as the two halves of our existance returning to their origins, though, is how we gave it back, as mother once recited..."
Banana plants, or the Moon?Edit
Life and death are but cycles to each other, as death existed before life was gifted to us by Zanahary, and existed in but two forms placed within creation: In one, each of the Banana Plants lives for as long as it could, then withers away never to return, yet a part of itself lives on in its seeds, that grow to the likeness it originated from. In the other, the Moon has no offspring, yet it's capable of fading and restoring itself every 30 nights... ...the next best thing to living forever. When Zanahary blessed Ratovoantany's figures with life, he knew death was needed to complete the deal, as each figure was only borrowing life, but as the two forms of death were copied, he began to notice that having a lifeforce did the strangest thing to the figures: each one began to have thoughts and feelings of its own, and though at first those were blessings in themselves, the figures soon abused their gifts; chaos broke loose. Zanahary knew they had to have one thing to agree on, and that's how they're to complete thier lifecycles, so he summoned the first male and female he ever gave life to, and claimed that whichever of the two deaths they agree on shall be the fate of the whole world. Until then, none could get a glimpse of either forms. Baho, the male believes he'd do well as a father, and seen the opertunities inspite the cost, but the first female, Mahi, was vain and thought it'll be better that she stays alive and healthy forever. They gone their separate ways, and Fanany, the seven-headed surpent, soon had Mahi alone. Fanany also wanted the moon-death, and wanted to keep it to himself far more then she did, and so told her that if she pretended to agree to Baho's decision to give the world the plant-death, he's open the way to the Spirit World so she can steal th moon-death. "Why would you help me?" Mahi questioned. "For a creature without limbs, Ratovoantany made me with the most shoulders to support my heads," Fanany explained in, at most, seven ways at once, "but even if that's not so, I'm far to large for the trip. I need a smaller partner with but one head in its shoulder's... ...a good head." Flattered, Mahi agreed to the plan, but it didn't go unheard, as Kilopilopitsofy, the floppy-eared one, overheard the matter, but he wasn't the brightest creature ever brought to life, so when Baho asked him to eavesdrop on Mahi, the floppy-eared one only told him the part that his assumed master most wanted to hear. "She agrees with you, Baho." As Zanahary came down from the heavens to bring the plant-death to earth, Fanany opened the portal up to the heavens for Mahi to steal the moon-death, unaware that Kilopilopitsofy followed her there, as soon as all seven of the surpants heads fell asleep from the long wait. Mahi got ahold of the moon death, but only held it for a few moments, as the floppy-eared tagalong knocked her over, and knocked her out, so she lost her grasp of the moon-death, and the commotion awoke the biggest of Fanany's seven heads, which caught the moon-death in it's mouth... ...and swallowed it greedily! Kilopilopitsofy began to growl for the first time, and as he dragged Mahi back to the living world in his mouth just as Zanahary was providing the plant-death to every figure in the world, the floppy-eared one took his new-found rage out on Fanany, slicing up the snake until all seven heads were separated. Zanahary saw the disaster and figured out what has happened as he placed the plant-death into each of the seven peices of the snake as well as Kilopilopitsofy. Of all chaos caused by misuse of mind thus far, that was the worst, and punishments had to be arranged. "Most of the females will feel the death-form this one tried to steal, though she wasn't succesful enough to use it," Zanahary decided, "and in 30 nights, each of Fanany's heads will have life again, but will never return to sharing a body. The savagery in each will be harder to hide without sharing plans with it's six brothers, and it's crime will be harder to hide then ever." "Am I in trouble to?" Kilopilopitsofy asked. "Yes. I made it strictly clear that the only form of death seen by any in this world would be the one agreed upon and brought by me, and you are the only one that seen both in their contained states. What fate is more fitting then for you to become a bringer of death yourself? I shall converse with the self-made one for your transformation, as fruits and leaves may no longer satisfy your hunger, but instead the bodies of those weaker then yourself. There's be others like you, some of greater strength, but you shall be the first of the hunters to stike fear in many hearts." And so, the females of many species (if not all) feel pains of all kinds in curtain points of their lives, and although all reptiles shed their skin, the deadly snakes seem to loose it all at once when they grow, as though they are forever young. The worst of it though, was that from then on, our world is full of vicious predators that, though they breed and wither as the rest of us, hasten the prosses of those they catch to appease there apittites. We cannot overlook the most direct decendants of Kilopilosofy, though, for when his form was changed, so was his name... a new name used by his people from then on.
"The Fussa?" Kowalski asked. He's begining to see the logic behind the legends of lemur culture, and Lucinda's disturbed nod told him so.
"Even without them around to attack us," Lucinda explained, "even if we loose a loved one another way, the fussa is our symbol of death itself. They came liturally, though, in the case of mama and papa, and it was all my fault. I never should've listened to my brother when he insisted on throwing duriens at the sleeping preditors as a prank. It seemed a logical attack, at the time, as I thought the smelly plants would've made it so the fussa would never ever attack any of us again... instead they followed us, and took many life when we made it to our hidden village in the wild. No doubt, they kept coming back to the very spot for more when I, as your kind say, gone AWOL from the island."
"So, that was it."
The young duchess blushed, as she kept the worst part of the orphanhood story to herself for so long. "Don't tell my brother you know about that, okay? If you went around telling others, he'd never forgive either of us."
"As Skipper would put it, 'I didn't hear anything'."
"Is copper a non-magnetic metal?"
Without warning, something splashed into their beverages! After a double-take, Kowalski and Lucinda saw Fred popping out of one smoothy and retreaving an acorn from the other.
"Uh," The dopey squirrel said, "Did I drop in at a bad time?"
Lucinda ran off screaming... this was, by far, the most embarrasing moment of her life!
The First King and QueenEdit
As Lucinda was taking her frustration out on the zoo, meanwhile at Penguin HQ, Skipper was reviewing the situation.
I'm not sure I like the idea of Kowalski spending so much time away from base... wait a minute. Away from base?! Of course!
"Private!" the lead penguin spoke at last, "Do you realize what this means for us?"
"Uh... no more witty sarcasm?"
"Exactly! With Ringtail keeping Kowalski busy, we can get through our drills without putting up with any useless egg-head jibber-jabber!"
"Kablam-o, uh-uh!" Rico added, as Kowalski's experiments did get the team's weapon-specialist unjustly accused of testing bombs indoors on several occations.
"10-4 on that, Rico!" Skipper saluted, "Our base has enough problems without his random explosions."
Private began to get excited upon a realisition, "I get to watch 'The Lunacorn Show' instead of 'Chemestry Quests of Dr. Spacetime & The Continuoum Kids'! Yay!"
There was an akward silance for a moment before Rico broke it.
"Well, I do fight over the remote with him... sometimes. It wouldn't hurt him to let me enjoy the telly uninterupted now and then, right Skipper?"
"Um, right," the lead penguins shrugged, "though what it really means is that we might get some shore leave without having to get our flippers dirty about it."
As Lucinda tried to calm down, King Julien got Mort back (and sent him to try to wake Maurice once his foot-touching habit disgusted the royal pest once again) then offered Kowalski assistance on the yet-again damaged Love-u-lator.
"What are being the odds that Fred's 'dropping in' to be splashing the smoothies all the way hear from the Fruit-y Bar?"
"Oh, about 49,000 to 1. Why?"
"Because after we're done with this, I'll be fnding ways to be punnishing that squirrel harshly!"
"Flattering, Julien, but not all that neccesary. Actually, this could be a grand opertunity to teach you a thing or to on proper contraption care and mainframe maintanace."
"Ha! Good luck with that!" Lucinda sneared, "I can't even teach basic math to my brother properly! When we were kids, I tried to teach him the two-times sequence by 20, but he change the name of 2 into 'two-lien' and 11 to 'me-leven'! Never stops fooling around! It drives me crazy!"
King Julien shook his head and streightened his crown, "Sis, you've failed to be staulking this penguin long enough to know he does the teachings better then you. No offences, Lucinda, but you get all strict and boring with that stuff. Just watch, little sister, maybe we both learn something."
Kowalski had picked up on the care-free energies of the lemurs enough to loosen up, and ended up proving Julien's point without even knowing it. "Julien, you can help by cleaning the grime off this Random Access Memory processor while I change the filtures behind the cooling fans. Here's a scrubbing brush with the cleaning fluid."
Duchess Lucinda got Maurice to play the board game with her, but she kept loosing focus on account of Kowalski's teaching methods. Their was something different about them and, as a twin, telepathically conversed with her brother about it.
Julien, what have you done with the Kowalski I know? The one sturn about his work who take's things seriously? He's so... So...!
Yes sis, the penguin is different with us now, but you can be blaming of me for it, at least not like it's being a bad thing. You see, Lucinda, without the strict, regulation-ary rule-things placed upon him by the other penguins, it's like he can finally be being himself... his real self! Look at him! He's actually enjoying this, just sharing his brainy-ness, and he's not treating me like I'm not so smarter-y.
"Julien? Are the fumes getting to you?"
"Huh? Oh! No, it's fineness!" King Julien scrubbed the data board hard and vigoriously, as though filing his own nails, to hide his embarrasement. the duchess shook her head: "Told you he won't pay attention, Kowalski!"
"Don't be fooled, milady," Maurice laughed, "after all, you aren't paying attention to the game, but you won anyhow!"
"But that's not possible!" Duchess Lucinda gasped seeing that Maurice spoke the truth... then a thought crosses her mind, "Unless, of course, you're loosing on purpose!"
Maurice was about to think of an excuse when Mort was up to his old habits, and when King Julien kicked him off, Mort bounced off the bouncy... and right into the Flamingo and Baboon Habitat!
"Uh-oh! Now you done it, your highness!" Maurice said, "Landed Mort right into Darla's back yard! Don't worry; I'll cover for yah."
"Maurice! Wait! What if she finds out you're lying fir my sake? Then we're all doomed!"
As the male lemurs left the area, Lucinda and Kowalski were alone together again.
"Doesn't it bother you that we're sarrounded by idiots, Kowalski?" She finally asked him.
"Well, usually it does," Kowalski answered, "but unlike my comrads, at least your brother is willing to let me show him what I know."
"He's a class clown wearing a crown! As kids, I tried to teach him math and history when he kept daydreaming around the royal teachers, but he kept turning my topics into a joke, making me look stupid inspite being the brains of the royal family. I kept telling him that one day, when he's king, everyone would look up to him to keep our traditions alive, and who knows? He just might find need for planning things smartly for a change... sadly, he's only picked up so much. I tell you, he's a lousy student!"
"There are no bad students, Lucinda; only bad teachers."
"Maybe so, but if I had a reason for being his twin other then being a substition for queen until he can find a real one, I never whould've signed that contract with him."
"My dear friend, it's high time you know the story behind the first and most unfair rule of Madagascar rulers, as well as why the royal family has the strongest connection with the Sky Spirits. As legend goes..."
Andrianerinerina and the Vazimba TribeEdit
Once, after years of the life and death cycles proved a success over the world,Zanahary's sky-borne son, Andrio, wanted to visit the earth. Though worried what the world of the living would due to the youth, Zanahary allowed Andrio to visit the world below. The young spirit, disguised as a living creature, came to a curtain spot of the earth that, as though in greetings and Welcome, grew the verious fregrant plants that cover our island to this day. He called the place (and his disguised self) "Nerinerinah", meaning "Humbled from a Higher Calling". Not long afterwords, the Vazimba, one of the first tribes of this world, came across the visiting spirit-child, and believed his disguise and the name he completed it with... they even came to the conclusion that he was an orphaned gardener, who provided a bontious harvest in exchange for a place to stay. "he should play with our own youth," the enders agreed, "and each of our families shall take turns raising him." So they did, each day he visits, but he disappears back to the spirit world once the ones who invited him fell deep into sleep. Only in dreams did they see the youths unusual secret, as Zanahary gave each of them warnings on how to properly take care of his son, but no warning was more strict then the one against the Binding Pods, a curtain food-crop that grew in "Nerinerinah's Garden", for it is poisonious to the grower. The Vazimba tribe ignored the warnings, however(all that is, except a young maiden named Voafidy, who somehow knew there was something different about him, but was unable to get others to listen), and added the Binding Pods to the next welcoming feast for their unearthly guest anyway. Had unwittingly ate the forbidden plant, Andrio found out too late that he's become his own disguise, and had lost all his divine powers, including the abillity to re-enter the Spirit World at will... ...to rejoin his father in heaven. Zanahary soon found out, and was furious: "I should have you untie the threads of your lifes early for what you done" he said, "yet I see you listened to the rest of my instructions so I'll give you all one last chance, but on this condition: from this day on my son, whom we shall both call 'Andrianerinerina', shall be surved and respected by you as your lord and master, and when the pods no longer bind him to your world, you shall continue to show that respect to his earthly decendents." Not willing to die just yet, the Vazimba agreed, and Andrianerinera was crowned the first king. Of course, he started off a very young king, so Zanahary figured his son needed a wife, not just to help form the next generation, but also so Andrianerinera would have a second-in-command with both the maturity and the experiance to keep him out of any more trouble. Luckly, the first king has befriended Voafidy, the one girl who actually figured out his secret and tried to save him, and grew to love her, so much so that he didn't mind her bossing him around.
"Father has a proverb for this story:" Lucinda sighed, "'The king has power over the kingdom, but it's the queen that has power over the king', that's why, when Julien and I were little, we agreed that if he hasn't found his queen when we come of age, we'll have to marry each other. We only have until this year on the Spring Equinox, two weeks away, but the snow melted early this year... I guess I should just accept my fate."
Kowalski thought the issue over, and understood Lucinda's problem. Then he remembered that he's been working on the Love-u-lator and figured what ever power of the Universe was steering his fate (Zanahary or otherwise) was actually onto something when he ended up working on the lemur habitat!
An unlikely sourse, but I believe I have found my muse... the tenth muse, and her name is Lucinda.
As he thought that, and installed the address'ee-system to his invention, he unwittingly turned it on, and the main screen picked up the energies forming around it before shutting itself off again: Lucinda and Kowalski were a couple!
While Private and Rico were visiting Marlene, Skipper has snuck into Kowalski's lab and snagged a screw-driver from Kowalski's Lab. "Better milk this geek-free break for as long as I can," Skipper said to himself, "and though I know I'll hate myself in the morning for this, there's only one way to do that which I'm aware of, and I'll have to go solo for it."
After Kowalski explains the plan to use Julien as a test-subject for his Love-u-lator, Duchess Lucinda asks her guest if he's interested in a game of Fanorona.
"It's kind of like checkers," she explained, setting up the criss-crossed, 5x9 gameboard, "but it's kind of like chess to. White moves first, and each piece moves one space down an available line, but you can't move a piece into the same space twice. Some moves are capturing moves, and others are paika, or non-capturing moves, first player to illiminate all the opponents pieces wins... did I go too fast for you? Because I'm not going easy on you for being a first time player."
Kowalski laughs, "You underestimate me."
In that moment, Duchess Lucinda found the intellectual challange she long awaited for, as Kowalski liturally beaten her at her own game... twice! (Lucinda did ask for a rematch on account of it being "beginners luck", but she knew luck has nothing to do with it... she's finally having fun.)
She tells him about how Mort was hopeless and Maurice wasn't even trying... as for King Julien, there was no explaination required. "Any more of that nonsence," Lucinda confessed, "and I'd give Ibonia a run for the lottery!"
"Ibonia? Is this another fable of your native heritage?" Kowalski asked, obviously catching on fast.
"But of course, and although he isn't direct royalty... in fact, there's still debate over whether he's Andrio's son or not, those who do believe that's the case claim that while most of the royal linage was given their possisiton, Ibonia was the first, if not only, generation to actually earn it..."
The Ballad of Lord IboniaEdit
Even before he was born, the heart and soul of a boy-child cried out in love for Foraha, Joy-bringing Maiden, a young girl in his village who lives up to her name gracefully. Since this was no secret to the mother to be, it was agreed in visions that he is to be named Ibonia, the quick-glanced one. Alas, on the very night Ibonia was born, an earthquake, the very one that turned Madagascar into an island in the first place, came to pass, and out of the rubble emerged the first demon, Olavato, Trouble Stone. Some say that Olavato is created from the darker energies of the unborn child's soul, rejected as soon as possible to keep him from hurting Foraha, but resultingly, Olavato wanted the angelic girl as well. Whether the baby boy named himself or not, no one knows for sure, but though some awareness of what might lay ahead, he was named "Ibonia", meaning "Warriors Bundle". Over the years, the boy and his demon grew, as did the one thing the two halves have in common: their love for Foraha, and just as Ibonia, upon coming of age, was about to propose to her, Olavato stole her away to a dark dimention that eventually came to be called the Underworld. Consulting with the village, Ibonia heard rumors about a loudmouthed hermit named Aboako, who knows more about that demention then anyone else in the living. "Purhap's I can charm the answers out of him with my music," Ibonia thought outloud (and everyone who knew him knew he had a knack for stringed instruments), "but then again, if he's a betting man in games of wit, he'll have no choice." he reconsidered (and everybody knew he was the most talented in the game of Fanorona). "No, son," scolded Nofosana, his mother, "the man you seek is called Great Echo for a reason, as he is unbeatable in a battle of insults. I will not allow you to be shamed by him! Forget Foraha, stay home with me." Ibonia heeded his mother's words, but didn't allow them to hold him back, and so went to confront Aboako, and after exchanging insults with that hermit, Ibonia changed his stratagy, upon noticing his opponent is indeed echoing, by agreeing that both of them are the same. Noticing that Ibonia thinks outside the box, Aboako gives his new friend advice on how to survive the Underworld, especially the challanges on the quickest route to where Olavato was keeping Foraha prisoner, as well as a package to only be opened as a last resort. Thanking that hermit, Ibonia prepared himself for the journey, and stopped only to bid his parents farewell. His mother, surprised and upset he was successful against the hermit, made arrangements so that every dangerous beast on the island would attack him, with high hopes it'll atleast scare him into returning home... and to his sences! Ibonia was deturmined to prevail, however, and won every battle he fought. Had followed in secret to make sure nothing actually killed her son, Nofosana stopped him just as he was at the gates of the Underworld. "My son you don't have to go such great lengths for her," she said purswayingly, as she revealed all the available girls in the village who followed her, "there are plenty of others to choose from. Stay home, forget that worthless Foraha." As his mother talked on, Ibonia looked each girl in the eyes then shook his head, "No mother! Foraha isn't worthless, for while all these women double her beauty on the outside, they all lack the spark within she has." with those words, he entered the Underworld and, remembering the advice of Aboako, he overcame all the challanges there on the way, but the greatest challage of all was to be Olavato himself, as he wasn't any guidance on him. Of course, Ibonia made a plan of his own for such an occasion: disguising himself as an old man, Ibonia won Olavato over by surpassing as a traveling musician, as that demon claimed he needed entertainment for his arranged marriage (as Foraha, even if aware of the devide, prefered Ibonia's half, but Olavato won't let that stop him). While discussing the wedding plans, Olavato challanged his "elderly companion" to a game of Fanorona... long story short, Ibonia won, but although Olavato was a sore loser, he had a smile on his face. "Foolish Ibonia!" Olavato jeered, "There are few with your musical talent, but you are the only one who knows of me who's unbeatable at this game! Did you think your demon doesn't know you as well as you know him?! Is your own victory really more important to you then this joy-giving maiden?! SHE'S MINE!!!" Feeing a sence of loss, which proves he'd lose either way, Ibonia nearly forgotten the package Aboako gifted him, and if there was ever a time to open it, that was it. Doing so as soon as Olavato wasn't looking, Ibonia was, at first, discouraged to find it was only a stick, but then saw it's inscription: Throw at your worst enemies. If they catch it, it'll hit them in the head, and they'll have none to blame but themselves; if they don't catch it, it's spinning will make them dizzy and they'd blame everythiong but the one who threw it. Either way, you have an advantage, but use it wisely, as it could be a one time shot! -Aboako Knowing now the magic of his new weapon, Ibonia confronted Olavato once again, at the sight of him lustfully, yet unsuccessfully trying to woo Faroha. "Foolish Olavato!" shouted Ibonia, "Did you really think I don't know my own demon as well as he knows me?! Can't proving yourself to her count as a victory?! THINK FAST!!!" Ibonia threw his rod at Olavato, who caught it midair, but just as that demon was about to use the weapon against our hero, the rod controled Olavato's arm and, with every ounce of force intended for Ibonia, he knocked himself out, allowing Ibonia and Faroha to escape to the surface world together. Some say that demon lasted as long as Ibonia did, but became too ashamed to return to the world of the living ever again. Ibonia and Faroha got married after all, and our hero, they all say, died peacefully and heaven bound on their 10th Anneversery, and even after she lasted longer, even after she finally joined him, his legacy lives on forever.
"I always believed the part about his wheapon is some kind of ancient riddle," Lucinda added, changing the tone in her voice to a perkier mood as proof she finnished telling the story, "yet it's one of few even I haven't figured out yet, and even if I did know what it really was, I would never, ever blab the answer to anybody... not even you, Kowalski."
"Where's the fun in that?"
"Good point, but here's a better question, personal as it may be: do you think I'm... a freak?"
"Lucinda Cattamaki... a freak huh?!" Kowalski was shocked, yet honestly sure. "For the record, I have no idea where a smart girl like you would get a stupid idea like that! I mean, I know we don't interact much, but you and your brother seem to be the only ones that genuinely want to know what I have to say. you've provided me with a place to work, and offered help and nurrishment. Not to mention, Lucinda, that you've been a source of insperation to me, not just with your stories you tell and games you taught, but your mere presesnce intreges me. Yes, I know you and your kind get overexcited, but I do to, which is why I'd never hold that against you. In fact, it's becuase of those things that I feel that, that..." Kowalski's pride lowered as he took the duchess by the hand, sighing out the last few words of his speech. "... I feel that you understand me better then anyone else can."
upon noticing what just happened, the two lovestruck geniuses pull away. Kowalski was right in the middle of apologizing when Duchess Lucinda began to accept that very apology... the moment was indeed ackward.
"Ain't that the truth... what?!'"
Lucinda couldn't help but giggle at Kowalski's reaction. "'Misaotra' means 'thank you' in our ancestral language, Kowalski... funny thing really, it's so far old-school few besides myself knew they still know it. Point is, I'm glad you accepted my brother's invitation into our... I mean his kingdom, and for giving me this chance to get to know you."
"Oh no! I should be thanking you. In all honesty this experiance has been both enlightening and surprisingly enjoyable."
"Tsisy fisaorana. I'm happy you spent all this time with me... really."
Kowalski blushed, as he involentarily began to hold her hand once again, but this time neither of them seemed to notice.
"It... it has been my pleasure, Lucinda."
The romantic bond between them strengthened as they were about to kiss when suddenly...
... Skipper really chose a time to reveal he knows where the "missing brain" was hidding, as the lead penguin has no idea he just ruined a moment. The spell broken, Kowalski pulls away from Lucinda and shouts out the biggest fib that the hostess ever heard in her life: "I wasn't doing anything!!!"
"Just thought I'd remind you... light's out in 10!!!"
"Sounds like he's letting you back in the HQ after all." Lucinda shrugged.
"He has to let me back in," Kowalski nodded, "but not my project."
"So, uh, I guess you should be going now, huh?"
"I guess I must... but I'll be back first thing in the morning! Um, that is, if you don't mind me coming back, that is."
"No! I won't mind at all!"
Respect your AncestryEdit
"Are you sure you'll come back, Kowalski?"
"Lucinda, we still have to cover my invention so Alice doesn't find out about it, so of course I'll be back. I should be able to get more tools from my lab, though I'm usually a tad forgetful. Plus I must repay your kind offer of food, so maybe I can bring something for lunch tomarrow. You did say 'shrimp cocktail', correct. Oh we can-- Gyahah!"
As Kowalski babbled on, he didn't notice that he waddled off the edge of the pedistals until after he fell to the ground below. Lucinda peeked over the edge in worry.
"Kowalski! Are you alright."
Kowalski laughed inspite the pain. "Ahaha-! (Ow!) I'm fine," he assured, "I've had worse falls then this... far worse."
Lucinda glared in doubt (for in all her years of attempting to stalk him, she only seen Kowalski stumble over himself but one time... it was the day his brain-boosting experiment gone horribly wrong and he made himself, as her human foster-cousin Amy would put it, "sharp as a rubberband") but Kowalski got up as though his injury never happened.
"See? Right as rain."
"This I'm happy to hear." Lucinda told him, honestly, "So it's assured that you'll be back tomarrow before the zoo opens, Proffesor Kowalski Penguin?"
Kowalski was so flattered by being called "proffesor" that he couldn't think streight and almost didn't notice that at first: "It's a date! wuh- Well, not a 'date' as in the sence of action taken to determain the compatability of a mate but meaning a set time for an individual to meet, though that word could refer to something else entirely."
"Such as the... desert fruit?" Lucinda asked, confused.
"Exactly!" Kowalski responded, but as he turned to leave, he walked right into the wall! He recovered that quickly too, nervous laugh aside, "Uh-- hehe! I ment to do that! Comepletely intentional. W-well, suh-see you tomarrow! Smoove move, Kowalski."
Lucinda couldn't get the words out until after the penguin of her dreams hopped over the wall and returned to his habitat: "Yes, tomarrow. (sigh) Oh Kowalski, never have I known a more bakolava being then yourself on this earth." (note: "bakolava" is an ancient Madagascan term for "tall, smart, and hadsome", which is how she often discribes him.)
END OF ARTICLE