"So now what?"
That seemed to be the question of the hour. Ruby
paced the kitchen floor restlessly, while I leaned on the ice box. Sapphire
busied herself making cookies while Emerald tried to eat the raw dough. Every
time his hand would get close to the dough bowl, it was met with a smack by
Sapphire's wooden spoon. Rider's eyes were on the Scorchio, but her brain was
"It's obvious," Ruby answered Rider. "We start
saving up again. Keep working towards it. There's no way some little mishap
at the Trading Post ruin our chances of getting a Weewoo."
"How much do we have left in the bank, Rider?"
Emerald asked, prying his eyes away from the bowl of dough.
"550," Rider answered sullenly.
We all stared at the floor in silence. Except
for Emerald, who managed to get his hand into the dough bowl. As he stood licking
his fingers, Sapphire rapped him over the head with the spoon. I swear I heard
a hollow sound.
"Well," I suggested at last, "we do the same
thing we did before. Play games, try to win prizes, stay away from gambles like
the Wheel of Excitement."
"But the price of Weewoos is going crazy!" Ruby
protested. "By the time we get enough, Weewoos might be worth a million Neopoints!"
"What have we got to sell?" Sapphire asked,
spooning dough onto a cookie pan. "We've got Neohome furniture that we don't
"I've got unused Battledome weapons," Ruby offered.
"They're not going to fetch much… Hey! I have an Orb of the Fire Faerie we can
"You're offering to give up your weapons?" I
asked, with my eyebrows raised. "But how are you ever going to beat the Pant
"Eh, the Pant Devil can wait," Ruby replied.
"This is a Weewoo. Your dream, Rider's dream… my dream too."
"I can go without my Usuki dolls," Sapphire
said, thwacking Emerald's knuckles with the spoon again.
"Can you keep your grimy paws off the cookies
for five minutes?" Ruby asked in exasperation. Emerald snatched the spoon away
from Sapphire and flew over to Ruby, holding the spoon in a threatening manner.
"Can we sell Emerald?" Ruby asked in a joking
manner, getting her body into a defensive pose.
"No," Rider said, grinning. "We probably couldn't
fetch a good price for him anyway."
"Wait a minute." Emerald said, zooming out into
the hallway. He flew up the stairs and into his room. He was back thirty seconds
later, carrying a large cardboard box. "Had these stashed under my bed. They're
a bit dusty, and I may have sat on some of them at one point. But they'll still
fetch a good price."
"Emerald!" Rider said, "Where did all of these
sweeties come from?"
"Here and there," Emerald said casually, picking
up an apple sweetie and picking the dust bunnies off of it. Ruby gave Rider
a look that said, "We're probably happier not knowing."
"You guys are the greatest siblings ever!" I
cried, wrapping poor Ruby in a bear hug. "Hey!" the Uni snapped, "Watch the
"Aww, group hug!" Emerald teased, purposely
mussing Ruby's mane. The Uni laughed, prying herself from my grasp and dashing
after Emerald, out the door. "Get back here, you!"
"Thanks," I said to the only sibling left in
the room, Sapphire. "How can I repay you?"
"Don't worry about it," Sapphire said with a
smile. "Just keep that overgrown lizard away from my cookies."
* * *
The weeks passed. We sold the unneeded weapons,
Usukis, sweeties and furniture. Thankfully, the price of Weewoos had taken an
unexpected drop. They were now 350,000. "But petpets are on a rollercoaster
market." Ruby observed. "They might be double that next week."
Snow coated the fields and trees of Neopia Central.
Gentle white flakes drifted down from an overcast sky. "It's CHRISTMAS!" Emerald
called, sliding down the banister of my Neohome stairs. "What'd Scorchy Claus
"He got you coal," Ruby said wearily, rubbing
the sleep from her eyes.
Emerald glared at his sister. "Ha-ha. Very funny."
I followed Emerald down the stairs. Sapphire
and Rider were already in the kitchen, and the delicious aroma of waffles rose
to meet me. "Hey Emerald!" Sapphire called, holding a sticky pile of syrup-covered
waffles, "Want some?"
"Can't, sorry sis," Emerald replied hastily,
throwing himself onto his biggest gift.
Ruby, Sapphire and I ate our waffles like civilized
pets, while Rider took a look at her bank book. "Amethyst…" She said softly,
"I think we have enough Neopoints to get a Weewoo!"
"You're kidding me!" I said, looking up from
"Nope. Let's go down to the trading post to
see if they still have any!"
"Yeah!" Ruby cried, forgetting about eating
like a civilized pet and bolting down her food.
Sapphire grinned. "It's beginning to look a lot
Rider grabbed her bank book and coat. "Take your
time eating, Ruby."
"Can't," my Uni sister said, shoving her dish
in the sink and grabbing her scarf and hat. Sapphire and I followed suit. And
within three minutes, we were out the door.
Emerald looked around cluelessly. "Hey… where'd
* * *
The Trading Post was abuzz with last-minute holiday
shoppers. Jhuidah the Island Faerie in green elfin shoes and a Scorchy Claus-style
hat struggled to direct the chaotic traffic of pedestrians. Almost immediately,
we found a Weewoo. "It's Dreamer," Amethyst said. "It's Kanama's Weewoo!"
"Going for the low price of 350,000," the owner
said with a grin. "I found the poor guy by the side of the road, abandoned.
Actually, he looked like he escaped from his cage. Poor little bird."
Rider grinned back, handing the girl a few bank
notes. "We'll take it! Oh, and have an extra 22 Neopoints, a sausage omelette
and a lint ball."
"Thanks," the girl said with a grin. We made
the exchange there at the Trading Post, (Rider had since then gotten a paranoid
fear of delivery companies,) and Dreamer was ours. Really and truly ours. I
held the bundle of feathers in my hands, and he looked up at me with his beady,
black eyes. "Welcome to the family, Dreamer," I said. "You're all I've ever
* * *
We returned home to a scene of chaos. It looked like a tornado had swept through
our Neohome. Bits of wrapping paper and ribbon were strewn everywhere. "Got
a little overexcited." Emerald said with a grin. "Sorry."
"You're cleaning this mess up," Rider said dryly,
handing the Scorchio a broom.
"Rider?" I said, ignoring Emerald's grumbling,
"How are we going to paint Dreamer white?"
"We had a white petpet paintbrush at one point,"
Sapphire said. "What did we do with it?"
"Sold it, I think," Ruby replied, grabbing a
dustpan from the closet. "For 25,000 Neopoints"
"They're worth around 75,000 now, and still
rising," Emerald said, a bit unnecessarily. Rider already knew. She had been
keeping track of the price for some time now.
"This is insane!" she cried, kicking the wall
in frustration. "Absolutely insane."
"I'm sorry, Rider," I said, hugging Dreamer
gently. The Weewoo made a purring noise like content Kadaotie.
"It's not your fault, Amethyst," Rider said
And with that, she burst out the door.
A moment of awkward silence, during which Emerald,
Ruby, Sapphire and I were trying not to stare at each other in confusion.
"I'm going after her," Sapphire said, grabbing
her jacket again.
"No, I am," Emerald said, dropping his broom
with a mischievous grin on his face.
"Nice try," I said, picking the broom up and
handing it back to Emerald. "I'm going after her. It's my Weewoo, my dream.
My business. I'm taking Dreamer with me." I started towards the door.
"Take a coat," Sapphire advised. "Good luck
* * *
The snow had stopped falling, but a chilly wind
had picked up from the northwest. I pulled my coat more tightly around me, my
teeth chattering. Dreamer flew over my head. Nothing like feathers to keep in
the warmth. The bird wasn't even shivering. You wouldn't expect that from a
petpet that comes from a tropical place like Krawk Island.
We were approaching Rainbow Lane Park, a small
recreational plot of land that was more weeds than park. Fortunately, you couldn't
tell the difference in the winter, when snow covered the ground. Rider was several
meters ahead of me, staring down at the ground in front of her feet as she walked,
too absorbed in her thoughts to notice my presence. Coming to a bench, she dusted
the snow off the seat and sat down, watching the snow swirl in the wind, glistening
coldly. "Beauteous, isn't it?" Rider and I both turned to see Rider's friend,
Neo_Tomi walking through the park, snowflakes caught in his dreadlocks. His
striped Wocky, Braylo was with him. "But people are better off admiring it from
beside a warm fire. That's where I'm going. What about you?"
"Hey Tomi," Rider replied dully.
"What, no enthusiastic greeting?"
"I'm not in the mood."
Tomi dusted off the bench spot beside Ridergirl.
He didn't say anything about me. I suppose he assumed that Rider knew I was
here. I wasn't about to ruin that, so I continued to stand silently. "What's
wrong, Rider?" he asked.
Rider paused. Looked at the snow at her feet
for a moment. Then proceeded to tell Tomi everything. Our long, wild-goose-chase
to get a white Weewoo. The saving, the selling, the hunting down of trades.
And our success in finding the Weewoo, only for the white petpet paint brush
to elude our grasp. "I knew I should have kept the paint brush. But I didn't.
Now how long do you think it'll take me to get a white petpet paint brush?"
"Less time than you'd imagine," Tomi said with
a small grin.
"Still too long," Rider said sullenly. "And
frankly, I'm so sick of waiting."
Tomi knew that Rider had more to say. "But…"
Rider gave a small sigh, her eyes leaving the
ground for the first time during that conversation. Her eyes met Tomi's. "But
I'll wait anyways. A white Weewoo will be worth it. I haven't given up yet,
and I don't plan to give up any time soon."
"That's the spirit, Rider," Tomi said. "Now
it's getting cold out, and I've got a turkey dinner roasting over the fireplace
"Yeah, and I have pets who'll want their owner
home on Christmas," Rider said. "Hopefully, Emerald will be a little less hyper
by the time I get home." I inadvertently let out a giggle. She turned around.
"What?" I asked, innocently.
Braylo and I exchanged glances. Rider and Tomi
exchanged glances. "Well," Rider said at last, "we better get going. Bye!"
"Bye!" Tomi and Braylo called as they walked
* * *
"What's this made of, rubber?" Emerald asked
at dinner that night, poking his Grackle Bug Turkey moodily.
"No, plastic," Rider said sarcastically. "Now
"I wish we could have a real Christmas dinner,"
Emerald whined. "But all the money had to go towards buying that little bundle
of feathers." He paused. "Hey, you suppose he'd go good with gravy?"
"Nice try," I said, positioning myself firmly
between Emerald and Dreamer. I knew my brother wouldn't really eat my Weewoo,
but it was times like this when he became very hard to trust.
A burst of wind interrupted my thoughts. The
door flew open, and the wings shrieked and howled outside. "Ho-ho-ho!" called
a familiar voice. "Merry Christmas!"
Two figures stood in the doorway. One was a Wocky
in an oversized coat. The other was a human dressed in a red and white suit
like Scorchy Claus. A bell jingled merrily at the end of his hat. He carried
a burlap sack slung over his shoulder. And he had… dreadlocks?
"Tomi?" Rider called, dropping her fork and
knife and rushing to the door. "What are you doing out on a night like tonight?
Come in, it's cold out there."
"No need to tell me twice," Tomi said, pulling
down his fake beard.
"Hey Tomi!" I called. From inside his cage,
Dreamer gave a raucous cry. Ruby and Sapphire came to the door. Emerald kept
poking his turkey. Ruby offered to take Tomi's coat, but the boy refused.
"Well, I heard the entire family was very good
this year!" Tomi said.
Rider raised her eyebrows. "Scorchy Claus with
dreadlocks. You know, with the exception of the donkey suit incident, this has
got to be your weirdest costume yet."
Tomi rolled his eyes. "Okay, so most
of the family was good this year. Fact is; I've got something for you." He put
the sack down and pulled a box from inside.
Ruby tore through the paper eagerly. Opened the
box. And pulled from it…
"A white petpet paint brush?" Rider gasped.
"Tomi… really. You shouldn't…"
"It wasn't a problem." Tomi said. "I had that
thing lying in my Safety Deposit Box since white Weewoos became possible. Come
on. If we hurry, we can get to the Petpet Puddle before it closes."
Rider was almost in tears with gratitude. "Tomi…
this is amazing. Thank you so much! What can I do for you? Any way I can repay…"
"Don't worry about it," Tomi said. "Let's just
get to the puddle. Last one there is a rotten Grarrl Keno Gobstopper!"
* * *
We did it. After several long months, several hundred thousand Neopoints, a
few painful farewells to Usuki dolls and Battledome weapons, countless painted
buildings and a whole lot of dreaming, he was finally ours. Dreamer quickly
became a member of the family. He learned how to appease Stripety the Gruslen
without losing his tail feathers. He learned that Emerald is dangerous in the
kitchen, and Rider tends to throw things on the nights before major math tests.
He became so attached to me that before long, his cage was no longer necessary.
He'd sit on my neck, getting his claws tangled in my mane. He'd soar above the
water while I swam. Before long, we were inseparable.
Rider once said that, "One person's dreams can
come true if you have the will and the friends to back you up." She originally
said it in reference to Linny and the original white Weewoo movement. But looking
back on those long months, I realize that the quote applies to us too. Several
times along the way, it seemed impossible that we'd ever get a Weewoo. But we
never gave up. The thought crossed our minds, but never for more than a fleeting
moment. Then we were back on our feet again, fighting.
And we have some amazing friends. Of course,
there was Tomi. A sweet-hearted kid if ever there as one. And Rider's guild
and Neofriends were there by her side, encouraging her throughout the entire
process. A few days after she received the Weewoo, Rider learned that one of
the guild members, Demon_in_paradise was going to organize a trade to help Rider
earn the money. A noble goal.
The Weewoo was always a symbol of fantasy becoming
reality. This experience just strengthened that knowledge. And I'll never forget
that twice in a white Weewoo, a dream can come true.