You pass through the grove underneath the large trees that grow there. You are staring into a bunch of branches, examining the pale purple flowers that are there, when suddenly, a large melcey face pops out of the branches.

"Hi!" he chirps.

"Ahh!" you yell, surprised and stumble backwards a few steps before recovering. Meanwhile, the melcey lithely pounces down to the ground and comes over to you.

"Not a tree person, eh?" the melcey asks. "That's all right, I like them plenty enough for both of us. My name is Monocon Vito'hqle, but you can call me Noco. Everyone else does... I think it's because they can't figure out how to say 'hqle', right?" He cocks his head with the question.

"Umm, probably," you say. You couldn't tell what the word he spoke was anyway. To you it sounded like a jumble of consonants. "Do you live here?" you ask, not able to think of a better question.

"Yep, this tree right here is my home. It's really quiet, it's close to the sky, and nothing ever bothers me up there. I don't understand why the other mels don't live in trees too. Oh well..."

"So you're a sky melcey?" you ask, catching the hints.

"Uh-huh, without a doubt. I love the heights... Indy's promised to take me to the mountains some day so I can be closer to the sky, but for now, the trees will have to do."

"Do other melceys climb trees too?"

"Well, they can... but usually they don't. Usually, they make me do it for them." He laughs at this. "I enjoy it though, so it's no big deal."

Listening to Noco talk, you realize that his English is looser than the other melceys'. Most of them spoke using perfect English.

"Umm, not to be insulting," you begin, "but you speak English more freely than the other melceys I've met. Is there a reason for that?" Noco nods.

"Sure! When Indy started out, she taught Cu and Patrona to speak English, and they learned it exactly and properly. They didn't start going to the Savannah for quite a while after they were grown, so their English wasn't affected by the slang used on Faidia. When I was taken here, however, we always went to the Savannah, so I learned by listening to the other melceys. My English is a bit more Faidian than proper. It's too hard to remember all those grammar rules and stuff. Besides, using all that proper English makes those two sound like professors or something..." He laughs and flicks his tail.

"I understand," you say. You don't always use proper English, so why should the melceys?

"Well, if you don't mind, I'm going to get back home. I was redecorating a bit before you showed up staring at my door. Breathe deep, traveler!" With that, he scurries up the trunk of the tree and is hidden from sight, leaving you mystified.

"Seek peace..." you say, even though you're sure he can't hear you by now. Redecorating? Door? You shake your head and keep going.

View Monocon Vito'hqle

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Last Updated: June 18, 2004