Noelle's Field Trip
Noelle went to a secret field that she knew of, a quiet meadow with rolling hills ringed with trees, or other woody plants, -- alder, beech, black walnut, laurel, oak, rowan, etcetera, etcetera. The grass there was unusually succulent and tasty. It wasn't in the forum, but it also wasn't too far away. She always went here when she needed some time to think, to retrospect, to introspect.
She always liked to feed slowly at first, working up to a higher gallop. As she did so, her mind wandered. She remembered her past and how she came to be here, how she came to bear the Mark of a RAFian.
She came from humble beginnings. The daughter of a minor technician, who loved her deeply. It was decent scoop, nothing overly extravagant, and nothing too shabby either. She was an avid reader of stories, and found some of the fictions of Earth particularly engaging, some of which in the nearby town -- the Andalite analogue of one, anyway -- thought was odd, and thought Noelle a bit of a nonconformist for liking over Andalite stories, despite the fact she liked Andalite stories as well.
She walked to the town, singing:
<Little town, it's a quiet village.
Every day like the one before.
Little town, full of little Andalites,
Waking up to say -->
Then Noelle strolled nonchalantly amongst them.
<There goes the maker with his tray, like always.
The same old thingmajigs to sell.
Every morning just the same.
Since the morning that we came
To this poor Andalite town.>
<Good morning, Noelle!>
<Good morning, sir.> she had replied. Then she noticed some peculiarities about his behavior, before deducing that it was because he was looking for something. <Have you lost something again?>
<Well, I believe I have. Problem is, I can't remember what,> he said, absently. <Oh, well. I'm sure it'll come to me. Where are you off to?>
<To return a book to Erep-Bertor-Beekooppur,> Noelle said, <it was about how the Yeerk Empire collapsed.>
<Historical fiction? Sounds boring,> he replied before heading off onto his business.
Then the townsfolk sang as she walked by:
<Look there she goes, that girl is strange, no question!
Dazed and distracted, can't you tell?
Never part of any crowd
Cause her head's up on some cloud!
No denying she's a funny girl, that Noelle!>
<How is your fam'ly?>
<How is your wife?>
Noelle then proclaimed, before entering the trade post, which functioned as a small library (though not much call for books), run by Erep:
<There must be more than this provincial life!>
"Ah, if it isn't the only bookworm in town." he said, affectionately, when he caught sight of Noelle though his right stalk eye. Turning to face her with his main eyes, he asked, <Where did you run off to this week?>
<Two planets in the northern quadrant,> Noelle said, smiling. And, with Andalites, smiling is all in the eyes. <I didn't want to come back. Have you got anything new?>
<Not since yesterday,> Erep said, with a laugh. <But you may reread any of the old ones, if you like.>
<Your small library makes our small corner of the galaxy feel so big,> Noelle said, in thanks, as she selected a book that she already twice reread.
<Bon voyage,> Erep said, with a smile, as she left. And, when she did, the townsfolk started in again:
<Look there she goes, that girl is so peculiar.
I wonder if she's feeling well.
With a dreamy, far-off look,
And her nose stuck in a book.
What a puzzle to the rest of us is Noelle!>
Noelle sang, as she thumbed through the book.
<Oh, isn't this amazing?
It's my favorite part because you'll see
Here's where she meets War-Prince Gnimrach
But she won't discover that it's him, 'til chapter three!>
The townsfolk sang:
<Now it's no wonder that her name means "beauty",
Her looks have got no parallel!
But behind that fair façade,
I'm afraid she's rather odd.
Very diff'rent from the rest of us.
She's nothing like the rest of us.
Yes, diff'rent from the rest of us is Noelle!>
Meanwhile, looking at her from afar, Ardnalil-Shicom-Maar watched her, almost voyeur-like. He was accompanied by his "friend" (more like a lackey and a minion), Syko-Phantik-Phoohl. Ardnalil was village hero and utterly infatuated with Noelle, who deigned to date him. It only lasted an Earth week, before she got so fed up and kicked him to the curb.
But this only made him more amorous and more . . . well, let's just say, he didn't take "no" for an answer.
<Look at her, Syko,> he said, imperiously addressing his friend. Syko seemed to like Ardnalil in a different way, though. <My future wife. Noelle is the most beautiful girl in the town. That makes her the best.>
<But she's so . . . well-read,> Syko argued. <And you're so . . . athletically-inclined.>
<Yes . . .> Ardnalil said, <but ever since the war with the Yeerks, I've felt like ive been missing something. And she's been the only girl whose given me that sense of . . .>
Ardnalil looked as if he was struggling to find the words, so Syko supplied, <Mmmm .
. . je ne sais quoi
<I don't know what that means,> Ardnalil said, still eyeing Noelle with desirous stare, before launching into song:
<Right from the moment when I met her, saw her,
I said she's gorgeous and I fell!
Here in town, there's only she,
Who is beautiful as me.
So, I'm making plans to woo and marry Noelle.>
Then three airheaded admirers of Ardnalil sang:
<Look! There he goes.
Isn't he dreamy?
Oh, he's so cute!
Be still my heart.
I'm hardly breathing.
He's such a tall, dark, strong and handsome brute!>
Then a cacophony of townsfolk singing about various, but disconnected things, before Noelle proclaimed:
<There must be more than this provincial life!>
Then, unheard by Noelle, Ardnalil declared:
<Just watch, I'm going to make Noelle my wife!>
Then the townsfolk sang:
<Look there she goes
The girl is strange, but special.
A most peculiar mad'moiselle!
It's a pity and a sin.
She doesn't quite fit in.
'Coz she really is a funny girl,
A beauty but a funny girl.
She really is a funny girl!
She stopped, and then looked around, and the Andalite townfolk went about their business. And she came face to face with Ardnalil, which was something that she really rather not have to deal with.
SOURCE SONG: https://youtube.com/watch?v=IzwWXNxFiyA