Pallet Town, in the Kanto region, is my home. Well, there’s a marching song out there called “The Road is my Home,” but that’s something else. Pallet is a small town way out in the middle of nowhere, and it’s supposedly called “Pallet” because all kinds of people and Pokémon from all over the world live right here, in my hometown. It’s apparently like a pallet of different backgrounds and histories.
It’s a quiet little town, with the biggest attraction being Professor Oak’s lab on the top of the hill. There were barely any kids my age to play with while I was little, and Gary was the only exception. He would always drag me on adventures, using my temper against me to get us in all sorts of trouble. But the thing is, he could do no wrong. His parents—and of course the professor—always thought he was perfect, and they never scolded him like my mom did when one of Gary’s plans backfired and we were caught. Besides him, I didn’t have many people to talk to. Pallet isn’t exactly known for producing great Trainers. In fact, it’s not uncommon at all for people in Pallet to not go on journeys, but head to school and become accountants or whatever. So I often had to make my own fun.
And speaking of that, from an early age I remember my mom talking about how easily I bonded with Pokémon. I knew even then that she was expecting me to grow into a great Trainer. She said my dad was a traveling Trainer, and that he would be proud of me, but I know now that that was a lie. But besides that, there was one person in town who I felt would really listen to me, and take my dream of becoming a Pokemon Master seriously. This person’s name was Gardener.
Nobody knew his real name, and we just called him Gardener. Because that’s what he did. He gardened. By the time of year the Market came to Pallet, (which it rarely did, seeing as we’re so out of the way), he would always have loads of fresh berries and fruits and things to give away.
Anyway, Gardener originally came from Pallet Town, but he spent over thirty years away from home and traveling the Regions of the world. He returned to live a quiet life, apparently.
Gardener and I were friends. He would always listen to my ideas, no matter how crazy they were. He said he saw something in me, something he said he’d seen only twice in his life. He never really told me exactly what that was, but he said it had to do with how I can see things from a Pokémon’s perspective, which he said is an important lesson that takes even the best Trainers years to learn. He also told me that the most important thing for a Trainer to do is to do their best to be kind to all Pokémon. He said that humans had done horrible things to Pokémon way far back in the past, and that we had to make up for past mistakes as best we could. Never give up on a Pokémon, put their needs before mine, treat them as equals..... Those things I took to heart. Gardener taught me a lot about the world just by sitting on his porch and talking about whatever came to mind.
During my journey I tried my best to keep the lessons I learned from him in mind when interacting with people and Pokémon. My mom always said I had a big heart, and even when I was focused on getting to the next town and the next Gym, I still couldn’t pass up somebody who needed help. And I know that I have a habit of not caring about type matchups when I choose a Pokémon for battle, but that’s usually because I want to show people something. I want to show them that Pokémon isn’t just about the battling, or winning, or becoming the very best like no one ever was. It’s about finding the right path together, with your Pokémon. And as Gardener said, you won’t get anywhere without a little spirit.
And boy, do I have spirit.