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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 24th day of Hunting, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 79 > Short Stories > The Petpet Zoo

The Petpet Zoo

by hexxxie

The Omega Petpet Jungle was the largest Petpet Zoo in all of Neopia. They had over one thousand different types of Petpets, including some ultra rare Faerie and Meridell pets. The owner of this fine establishment was Mr. Varren, a greedy and ambitious young Cybunny who delighted in Neopoint grubbing and never missed an opportunity to promote his zoo. So, when he heard that the local Neoschool was looking for fieldtrip location, he was quick to offer the services of The Omega Petpet Jungle, for free!

     Of course, this so called "good deed" was just a shameless publicity stunt, but what did Varren care? It was just more Neopoints for him. He sat in his office, paws clasped in anticipation as his security cameras picked up the class of Neopets walking briskly to the zoo gates. He grinned evilly, folding his oversized ears back over his head.

     "Welcome, class of Year 5!" he cackled. "Enjoy the free admission to the park... And then buy some two thousand Neopoint a piece souvenirs! Hahaha!"


Jozee, a bright and chipper starry Grarrl, had been looking forward to this trip to the zoo for weeks. Ever since her teacher had announced it in class, Jozee had begun counting down the days on her calendar, anxiously awaiting the day when she would finally get to see the elusive and rare Petpets in The Omega Petpet Jungle.

     Jozee had always loved Petpets, ever since her owner had given her an adorable little Gruslen as a coming home present. Everyone else in her class was excited, to, though none as much as Jozee.

     When the class of pets finally reached the large marble statue of a Cobrall which coiled majestically outside the zoo, they were instantly greeted by Varren, wearing a huge smile on his face and handing out tour guides.

     "Welcome all, to the fabulous Omega Petpet Jungle! I hope that you all enjoy the many fine exhibits that we have to offer, and maybe even consider purchasing a year round membership!"

     The teacher smiled warmly at Varren, shaking his paw earnestly.

     "Thank you so much for allowing us to come! Will you be our tour guide?"

     Varren grinned. "Of course! Shall we begin the tour?"

     The entire class cheered as they trotted eagerly behind the Cybunny, anxious to see the exhibits. Varren led them over to a small, round pool where two Pepitos were lying lethargically in the shallow water. Varren smiled and gestured at the Pepitos with his paws.

     "These two little guys are the zoo's twin Pepitos, Happy and Cheerful!"

     Jozee gasped as she looked at the poor Petpets. They were gasping in the algae ridden water, too underfed to move. She heard similar gasps of shock from behind her as her classmates saw how poorly treated the Petpets were. One pet, an obnoxious, spoiled Shoyru called GoldenHorn, poked one of the Pepitos with his paw.

     "Can they do anything?" he asked, sneering.

     Varren coughed, his smile faltering slightly. "Well... they can, um, they can move their fins around. Anyway, let's move on to the next exhibit, mmm?"

     Varren led the uncertain pets over to the next exhibit, a tiny little cage that contained a Airax. The Airax lifted his head feebly and squawked as he saw the pets and Varren approaching. Varren stood next to the Airax's cage as he began his speech.

     "Now, this lively little fellow is called WellFed, and he certainly is a happy young Airax!" He said, aiming a small kick at the cage in a vain attempt to get the Airax to move.

     GoldenHorn rolled his eyes. "This is sooo boring. These dumb Petpets don't even do anything."

     Jozee bristled angrily at the remark. "They are not dumb!" she growled. "They're just to exhausted to move! This jerk who calls himself a zookeeper has been mistreating them!"

"Well now," Varren shouted, stepping between Jozee and WellFed's cage. "That's just not true! DO you think that I would give my Petpets such happy names if they weren't happy?"

     Jozee narrowed her eyes. "Your names all misnomers, suited only for the purpose of false advertising. You just want to make everyone think that these poor Petpets are well treated and happy when they're not! You disgust me," she hissed, thumping her tail loudly against the floor.

     The teacher, sensing an argument, quickly stepped in. She smiled feebly at Varren and gave Jozee the evil eye. "Now Jozee, don't you think that you're being just a tad excessive?"

     "No," Jozee said simply. "This would be overreacting."

     Jozee grabbed WellFed's cage with her claws, and, using her superior Grarrl strength, pulled the door right off.

     "Fly free, little Airax! Go quickly, and get away from this place!" She whispered, poking WellFed lightly with her claw. When the Airax failed to move, Varren stepped back in and snatched the cage deftly from Jozee, glaring angrily at her.

     "You see," the Cybunny said, with an air of one who was speaking to someone stupider than him. "Maybe they don't want to leave. Looks like you were wrong, Ms Bad Tempered Grarrl."

     At this point, Jozee lost control. "The only reason that they aren't going anywhere is that they're too weak to move!" She roared, a scary thing for a Grarrl to do.

     For a moment, Varren was petrified with fear at the sight of the enraged Grarrl. In a few seconds, however, he regained his composure and pointed a paw at the door.

     "Out! Now! All of you! And never, ever come back!" He paused to growl at Jozee, "Especially you!"

     And with that, he turned on his heel and stormed off towards his office, leaving the silent class and their teacher abandoned in the hallway. Finally, GoldenHorn broke the awkward silence.

     "Nice going, Jozee!" he snarled. "You cost us our field trip."

     "Oh be quiet, GoldenHorn," said Henry, a shadowed Techo. "I'm glad. I didn't want to stay in there, anyway. That Cybunny was mean."

     The rest of the class spoke up, to. Telling their teacher about how cruel Varren was and how they should tell The Neopian Times. Henry, who's owner was an author, told the class that he'd tell his owner to write an article about Varren and how cruel his zoo was.

     The article was published in the next issue of The Neopian Times, and Varren's zoo was shut down. About a week later, Jozee and Henry, who were good friends now, were walking in the park when they saw a slightly familiar looking Cybunny selling hot dogs. They approached him, and sure enough, it was Varren. Upon seeing them, he growled and slammed his paw down on the hot dog cart.

     "You!" he hissed, pointing a paw at Jozee. "You shut me down! I'm ruined! All my money, it's gone," he sniffled sadly. "And now look at me. A millionaire a week ago, and selling hotdogs for Hubert today."

     "What happened to the Petpets?" Jozee asked.

     Varren snorted. "The ones that weren't adopted were taken back to the Petpet shops," he sighed sadly, staring off into the sky.

     Even though he had been cruel, Jozee couldn't help but feel a little sorry for him. She cleared her throat uncertainly.

     "Uh, tell you what Varren..." she began, glancing at the hotdog cart. "I'll buy a couple hundred triple dogs."

     Varren smiled and rang a bell on the cashier.

     "That'll be twenty thousand Neopoints, miss...."

The End

Author's Note: The moral of the story? Zoos are evil. Shut down your zoos, or you may find yourself selling hotdogs to an overly sympathetic Grarrl.

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