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My Little Chocobo (Article)

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 Connecting all lands and peoples in her everlasting embrace, the sea bears to Limsa Lominsa the wisdom and voices of a thousand shores.
In today’s edition, The Harbor Herald examines the events which led to the departure and return of a feathered friend.

A Tale of Childhood Disappointment

There was once an ordinary little boy who came from a working-class family. His father was a fool of a man, a dockhand who squandered all the meager coin he earned on drink. Yet one blustery day, in an inexplicable fit of affection, the drunkard saw fit to gift his son with the object of his desire: a chocobo egg. Over the moons with joy, the boy went about tending to the life blossoming within with such singleness of mind as only children are capable of.

After a fortnight went by, however, what emerged from the confines of the shell was not a noble steed in the making, but a dodo chick nigh as round as the encasement that had held it. Struck dumb and racked with disappointment, the boy fell into the depths of depression, becoming still more disillusioned with the father in whom he had precious little faith from the first. In time, however, he came to appreciate that a chocobo was not an object within the means of a simple laborer, and learned to look back in fondness at his old man’s gesture.

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Chocobos to Pace the Wilds of Eorzea Once More

Owing to its ideal natural environment, the Holy See of Ishgard has long been Eorzea’s foremost producer of fine chocobos. Decades ago, however, the city-state began imposing harsh restrictions on exports, quoting a dwindling chocobo population. This led to a steep decline in the number of the birds across the continent, which was said to have plunged to as low as one to every fifty-score folk, giving rise to the fear that chocobos would vanish from the face of Eorzea entirely.

Avian lovers now have reason to rejoice, however, for some days ago it was announced that Ishgard will once more supply the other city-states with mounts. The move has raised many a smile upon the faces of rental stable operators, but much more is at stake than the prosperity of local businesses. The resumption of imports was made possible only through the joint effort of the Grand Companies of Eorzea, who impressed upon the Ishgardians the vital nature of fleet-footed reconnaissance units in dealing with the Garlean threat. So it was that the isolated mountain nation relented and agreed to provide all three Grand Companies with birds—but not without conditions. Reluctant to relinquish their monopoly on chocobo breeding, the Holy See will permit naught but male birds to leave its domain. In response, the other nations have raised their voices in objection, and are seeking to overturn what they deem a profit-driven decision in the midst of wartime.

Not waiting to see how the protest will unfold, the three Grand Companies have proceeded to make provision ahead of the gathering storm. At home, no sooner had word arrived of the return of chocobos than the Maelstrom commissioned Naldiq & Vymelli's with the mass production of reinforced barding in a bid to strengthen its military capacity on land. Jests can now be heard among sailors that the thalassocracy will finally have a cavalry to call its own.

To end on a personal note, the thought of majestic steeds in tight formation, arrayed in gleaming suits of armor, is enough to set this reporter’s heart aflutter. Indeed, it was the very imagining thereof that put me in mind of my childhood—of my little chocobo that was not quite a chocobo, but whom I adored nonetheless.

Petyr Winsome