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Once up on a time, in a far away land, there was a poor village. Although the village was poor in gold and silver, it was rich in friendship with the nearby pokemon. Each family had at least three pokemon friends to help them.

Then one day, a sickness struck the village, carrying off many of the villagers and pokemon and leaving most of the rest greatly weakened.

The leader of the village called a meeting of the healthy villagers. "Our village is in bad shape because of the sickness. We need someone to go to a distant village and get medicine to heal our sick."

No one spoke, until an orphan pushed through the crowd. "I will go. The sickness has taken my father and mother, so no one will argue against my leaving. The sickness has taken my brothers and sisters, so no one need me to tend to them."

"Agreed," said the leader. "Because of the sickness, we must send you on this journey with only one pokemon from the last hatching. Choose carefully, for this pokemon will be your friend, your ally, and your greatest companion. You may choose a water summoner and always have fresh water to drink, a plant grower and always have food to eat, or a fire maker and always have safety when you sleep."

- Excerpted from "The First Pokemon Master" in Pokemon Tales from Around the World.

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October 2015

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