As keeper of the Neolodge, I have been accustomed to greeting
strangers and providing a peaceful surrounding while they stay with us. Some stay
only a night, others an entire month, either way, experiences and new knowledge
are passed to me daily as I help book rooms and offer services with the help of
our amazing staff. Guests venture from all over, from Tyrannia or Faerieland;
no guest is denied access to our facilities (unless we are not paid, of course).
I am known as Cadoc, the friendly blue Gelert,
and keeper of the Neolodge. My family lives with me on the bottom floor of the
Neolodge, squished together in a tiny room. My owner Helene, my adorable little
sister named Leona, and I, care for the giant building. I have never ventured
farther than Neopia, for we have never needed to. I can only learn about various
parts of our world through wild stories of travellers, and through the Neopian
Times, which I read weekly before delivering to our guests. Some guests bring
stories with them, but others are stories in themselves, such as the young Kacheek,
we refer to as, the “Quiet Kacheek”.
I wouldn’t have noticed him myself, but as I
brooded over our taxes (The Tax Beast looming over me annoyingly) Leona pointed
out a small brown Kacheek sitting outside on the fountain walls. Curious, I
followed Leona through the thick glass panelled doors and crouched down in front
of the young Kacheek. I inquired for his name, but he remained silent. We prodded
and asked and offered many things, yet his mouth never twitched opened and his
expression never changed. We returned inside not thinking more of the Kacheek.
Yet, he sat like a statue for many more hours,
waiting for something. Waiting for something that would never come before darkness
overtook the sky. Being a caring Gelert, Leona and I exited once more to offer
him a free night’s stay. Leona grabbed his paw and led him inside.
I led him to an Economy room and gave him a simple
meal of bread, cheese, and water. He ate it hungrily, as if he had not eaten
in a long while. Leona then pointed out weird cracks on his fur. I investigated
closer, and soon realized he was not really painted brown. He was just extremely
dirty. Leona was disgusted that she had held his hand but I just chuckled and
took him to the Grooming Room.
Marty, the usual groomer had gone to bed by now,
so I filled the large tub up myself. The Kacheek did not question my actions,
and cooperatively waded into the warm tub. I handed him a bar of soap to clean
himself up but he only looked at it nervously.
“It’s just soap,” I cooed eagerly.
The little muddy Kacheek still looked at it nervously
before inquiring, “Sope?”
I chuckled once more, and explained to him that
it would clean him up. Still looking confused, I became puzzled how this small
Kacheek ended up here and why he had never seen soap. I decided it would be
best if I cleaned him up myself.
In the early morn, I had just finished shampooing
his now soft, golden fur. For the first time of the whole night, the now yellow
Kacheek looked up at me and smiled. My heart melted. The bright glow of the
sunrise peeked through one of the windows, filling the room with gentle warmth.
I dried the Kacheek off with the cute smile still perched upon his face. First
giving him a quick hug, I then carried him into the lobby, just as the night
clerk was leaving the desk to go sleep. A fairly plump red Kacheek was pacing
impatiently around the room muttering nonsense words under her breath.
“Mama!” the young Kacheek squeaked loudly.
Snapping her head up, the round Neopet waded
over and tore the yellow Kacheek from my arms. Then turned and rushed out of
the building without another trace. I have never heard any word from either
Kacheek since that morning. Though I found the end of my experience with the
quiet Kacheek to be sudden and rude, it taught me to be open and kind to strangers,
for they may not have many luxuries such as simple hygiene products.
Also by being a keeper of such a widely visited
building, I have learned to deal with frustrated pets in the calmest matter,
to avoid jeopardizing them as customer. However no guest has ever been more
ignorant than a very rich Chia, named Nigel.
Nigel came waltzing into the Lodge on a very
chilly December day. He wore a very expensive suit and was wearing long golden
chains around his neck. His stubby fingers each bore at least one gold ring,
some having jewels. Behind him entered a struggling little Doglefox, pulling
a wagon full of suitcases bursting at the seams. Nigel ignored the poor pup
and strutted up to the desk, where I was currently in charge of. He boasted
loudly that he was on his fourth vacation of the year and demanded the best
room in the lodge.
However, it being close to Christmas, most rooms
were booked and I could only offer him a Luxury room instead of a Deluxe. He
grew impatient of my polite explanations and began to whine.
“Kick someone out to a lower room. I deserve
a better room. I am richer, better looking and, just…better!” He demanded rudely.
“I’m sorry sir, we cannot do that. However, since
we cannot provide a room to your liking, we can offer you a free extra.” I added
Unfortunately, the Chia was unhappy with any
offerings I had made, though I was bargaining a great deal. Soon he began yelling
threats at me. Guests sitting in the lounge began to look up. I was afraid they
thought I was mistreating him and so began asking him to lower his tone. Nigel
only spoke louder.
My patience soon grew wary, and I was forced
to ask him to leave. With great frustration burning in his eyes, he grabbed
the glass of water on my desk and splashed it in my face. Now I was angry and
so I snarled bitterly at him. He was taken aback by my sudden spout of anger
and remained silent for a few brief seconds. I was shocked at my own behaviour
and apologized profusely.
Nigel however, left the Neolodge and has never
returned. I regret ever growling. I really am a nice Gelert. I just happened
to be pushed to the brink by one annoying Chia. However, you can’t change the
past and for most reasons I am glad. For if the past could be changed, some
friendships would never have been born.
Since the Neolodge is my home as well as my business,
it is also the founding feature between all bonds created between me and customers.
Bonds so grand, the pets are no longer considered customer or guests but as
friends. Such a bond was created and still remains between me and another traveller.
The traveller came from a distant land, one they
call Tyrannia. Having never left my home, I was curious and inquired much from
him. He smiled with each question and answered truthfully. Though young as I
was then, I still held a business manner when discussing hotel conditions.
The traveller, whose name was Motty, a rather
interesting name for a Tyrannian Kougra, soon began to ask questions about myself
and the Lodge. I soon found out he had never been swimming before, and so I
suggested he visit the pool.
It was a mistake on my part not to hire a lifeguard.
I did however put up notices that there was no life guard on duty and so non-swimmers
should be supervised. However, being from Tyrannia, Motty didn’t read our Neopian
English. He dived in, but soon realized his paws could not reach the bottom.
He splashed around for a while before his head was fully submerged. Unfortunately,
it was rather late when Motty ventured to the pool, so no other hotel guests
were swimming at the time.
I rose from my desk after a long and boring day.
Few vacant rooms had been booked. I was on my way to take a nap in my room when
I heard an odd yelp from another room. I dashed down the halls and burst through
the swimming pool doors.
I slipped on a puddle of water and was sent skimming
into the waters. Once under the waters I noticed an odd shape struggling. It
was Motty! I reached over to him and pushed him to the wall. Once I was able
to crawl out, I reached and yanked Motty onto the side.
He began to cough up what seemed like a gallon
of water. But he was going to be alright. I patted him gently on the back and
told him in a calming voice I would hire help.
After a brief visit to the Neopian Hospital,
I quickly hired a swimming instructor for Motty, who had booked a month with
us. The instructor was strict but a good teacher. Motty being persistent and
eager became a great swimmer at the end of the thirty days. He enjoyed it so
much; he painted himself Maraquan to help him glide through the cool waters.
Now you can open the pool door and find Motty swimming through the water or
sitting on top his lifeguard post. Now I have no worries of non-swimmers, for
Motty will save all who need help. Motty, however, plans to take a trip to Mystery
Island soon, to further enhance his swimming skills. He will return, but I do
miss his companionship, since he is more than a co-worker to me.
From having a business, I have opened my heart
to all, from the sweet and innocent, to the rude and ignorant. Never avoid the
kindness of strangers, for every experience will alter your life in some form.
Even the smallest change can lead to a grand friendship or memory you will never
forget. So do not ever push aside a memory, and open up to others, and your
life, can be filled with wonderful tales and adventures. So grand, they will
be talked about forever.
Now I wait at the front desk, wondering if the
next person to wander through the front doors will bring new life to this frail
Gelert’s old mind. Each new encounter brings a smile to my wrinkling face, and
warmth to my heart. And I can only hope that I too have made an impression on
the same pets that have to me. And so maybe, I too, will be remembered one day.