I'm OK, You're a Tigermouse
It was a warm sunny spring day. Dr. Smock was in the clinic trying to cheer
up a young Floud who had been brought in that morning to have the carrot taken
out. He headed out back to relax in his hammock once he had the little thing
settled comfortably onto some Pink Pillows.
A little while later, a beautiful Gold Uni came trotting up. It was Dr. Smock's
good friend, Mistee_Blue. They had known each other for many years, since Dr.
Smock used to participate as Master of Ceremonies at the local Beauty Contest.
Mistee had won many contests back in her days as a Blue Uni. She had even earned
enough Neopoints for the Golden Paint Brush, and was now more stunning than
ever, although she no longer participated. She did like to coach other pets
on poise and talent.
"How have you been Dr. Smock?" asked Mistee. "You didn't make it to karaoke
night last week. We sure missed your lovely voice."
Dr. Smock smiled shyly and blushed. Mistee was such a flirt. "I've been so
busy! Did you know that I'm doing Petpet grooming now? You should stop by the
Clinic sometime and give me some of your invaluable tips on style."
Mistee tossed her mane and laughed. "That sounds great. Maybe next week. But
right now, I need your help! And it's nothing so simple as grooming either.
I have a real problem child. I think I need a Petpet psychologist. I know it's
not your specialty, but you know more about petpets than anyone else. Please
"I'll do what I can," said Dr. Smock. "Tell me what the problem is."
Just then a small Tigermouse jumped out from behind Mistee and kicked Dr.
Smock in the shin.
"Why you... little... brute!" shouted Dr. Smock as he gripped his injured
shin and hopped around on one leg.
Mistee burst into tears. "You've seen my problem! Isn't she horrible? Naughty!
Naughty!" shouted Mistee, pointing her finger at the Tigermouse, who promptly
bit it. "Ouch. Ugh! Someone gave me this Tigermouse. It's name is Lil Redpot.
I bought her because the seller told me that she was wonderfully talented, and
I planned on entering her in the Petpet Talent Parade next week in the Marketplace.
But she's just so unbelievably mischievous."
Dr. Smock listened carefully to Mistee's story... at least up until the
point where Lil Redpot hit him with a stick. "Wow," said the doctor, "are you
sure that this little monster has a talent?"
"Oh yes," said Mistee. "I've seen it myself. She can play the Neopian National
Anthem on a Whistle, while riding a unicycle, and juggling six Spherical Strawberries.
It's really quite spectacular, and I'm sure we could win first prize in the
Talent Parade. If I could just keep her from tormenting the judges!" Mistee's
words dissolved into tears as the Tigermouse grabbed her tail in its teeth and
began to pull and growl. "Please Dr. Smock, you have to talk to her. Try to
find out why she's acting out this way!"
"*GULP* OK, I'll try," replied Dr. Smock. "Erm... Lil Redpot, would you
like to sit on the couch and talk a little?"
Lil Redpot howled.
"Oh... maybe the hammock?"
The Tigermouse gave him a sulky look, but then moved into the hammock. Dr.
Smock put on some soothing music and gave the hammock a little push, hoping
that the rocking motion would soothe her and not irritate her.
"Lil Redpot, we need to find out why you have so much anger inside you. Why
do feel the need to lash out at the people who are trying to help you?"
Lil Redpot was silent for a few minutes. Then in a quiet voice she said, "Hungry."
"You're hungry?" said Dr. Smock. "Can I get you a snack?"
"Hungry... for love," said Lil Redpot as a tear rolled down her cheek.
She wiped it angrily away.
"OK, I understand. You feel empty inside. Do you have a fear of abandonment?"
The Tigermouse whispered something. Dr. Smock leaned closer and asked her
to repeat it.
"Auctions," said Lil Redpot. "I've been auctioned thirty-nine times. Once
I sold for a hundred Neopoints."
"Well," said Dr. Smock "I can see how you feel. You feel like there is a pattern
to life, that you get a new owner and soon the owner will auction you again.
So, instead of waiting for the owner to decide to get rid of you, you provoke
them, by biting, hitting and other foolishness, so that they abandon you immediately.
You feel like this gives you control over your life."
"Are you sure you're not a Petpet psychologist?" interrupted Mistee.
"SHHHHH!" said Dr. Smock. Turning back to Lil Redpot, he said, "You need to
realise that you determine your own destiny.
"What if I drop the Whistle? I feel like my entire value as a Petpet is balancing
up there on that Unicycle. Where is my stability?"
Dr. Smock gently stroked the Tigermouse's ears. She moved her head as if to
bite him. "No bite!" said Dr. Smock. "We're going to move beyond that. Now... look at Mistee your new owner. She thinks you're talented. She believes in
"I'm spending 250 Neopoints on this consultation," said Mistee, "I hope I
don't have to auction you."
Lil Redpot growled at the word 'auction' and Dr. Smock looked sternly at Mistee.
"What I meant is that I'm spending the money because I believe we can help
you Lil Redpot. I lo... lo... well, I kind of tolerate you," said Mistee.
"Now we're getting somewhere. Lil Redpot, you need to learn to trust. Mistee
will still tolerate you if you drop the whistle. But you have to give her a
chance. You have to trust her. She brought you here today because she is committed
to you and your well being. Return that trust! Can you do it?"
Lil Redpot sniffed. "I can try."
"Great. I can hardly wait to see you in the Petpet Talent Parade. And if you
win, that's wonderful. And if you don't Mistee and I will still love you."
Mistee and Lil Redpot strolled off with their arms around each other. Dr.
Smock went to the Petpet Talent Parade the next day. Lil Redpot didn't win -
there was a breakdancing Clompkin that everyone agreed was really fabulous,
and he won first with unanimous votes from the judges. But Lil Redpot did get
a big round of applause. And most importantly, he got a big hug from Mistee.
"You see?" said Mistee. "I still love you, even though you didn't win. It's
not about winning; it's about trying and doing your best. And not biting!"
To be continued...