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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 15th day of Sleeping, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 79 > Continuing Series > Indiana Jub and the Wooden Spoon: Part Six

Indiana Jub and the Wooden Spoon: Part Six

by barrelofmalkies

When the theme song wound down, and the redline hit the ground, Jubby let out a sigh. He didn't want to go back here… back to the heat, the sand, the heat, the inedible food, the heat, but he knew he had no choice. He turned to his dozing Doglefox, and gave the basket a little nudge.

     "Wake up, Sleeping Furry. We're here," he said.

     Digger yawned, stretched and wiggled his toes before replying. "Huh? Where are we?"

     "Somewhere south of Sakhmet and west of the Fruit Machine."

     Digger groaned. "Oh no… not the Lost Desert again! I just got cooled off from the last time!"

     "Well, the longer you stand here griping, the longer we have to SPEND here. Come on."

     Reluctantly, Digger followed our hero out into the blistering Desert sun. It took longer to get from the former War Tent to Osiris Pottery than it might have. Digger insisted on resting in the shade of every tent and palm tree they passed, though these long rests were counteracted by bursts of speed as Jubby ran across the sand to prevent his feet from getting charred.

     Finally, sweaty, dusty and too hot for words, Digger and Jubby entered the well-appointed tent of Osiris Pottery. The lovely Aisha with the astounding curly locks looked up from her work, and smiled. Hot, dusty and sweaty were usually how people entered her shop, after all.

     "What can I do for you today?" she asked.

     "We… are looking for something rather special," Jubby replied nervously. There were no other customers, but something warned him to be careful.

     "Canopic jars, serving platters, urns, salad bowls?" the lovely sales-Aisha asked, preparing to reach into the inventory and get out whatever her customers wanted.

     "Um… no… we need… the wooden spoon," Jubby told her. He leaned in close and whispered… hoping she knew what he was talking about even without the emphatic speech and sudden background music.

     The Aisha seemed to think carefully. "I'm sorry… we don't carry utensils here. Perhaps… you could buy one from the Chef on Mystery Island?"

     "But the Esophagor said it was here!" Digger cried. He felt a wave of desperation. He'd been dragged out of a perfectly good dream, again, and forced to run across the most forsaken portion of Neopian soil… all to be told that they didn't carry spoons!

     The Aisha raised her eyebrows, and looked down at Digger curiously. "What… exactly… did the Esophagor say?" she asked.

     Digger began to shiver with fear at the memory of some of the things the Esophagor had said. "Doglefox on rye!" he cried, scrambling back up under Jubby's hat.

     Jubby shook his head in a combination of exasperation and sympathy for his sidekick. "You know I'd never let him eat you," he reassured. Digger only whimpered under the hat.

     "What… else did the Esophagor say?" the sales-Aisha asked, a bit taken aback by Digger's sudden fit of angst.

     "He said that the Spoon is with the crocks," Jubby replied.

     "Well there's your problem right there," the Aisha replied, her tone growing suddenly cold. "I don't SELL 'crocks'. I sell fine handcrafted pottery. There is a difference!"

     Jubby blinked, not entirely sure what to say to that. Finally, after an uncomfortable silence, he ventured "Uh… where do they sell crocks?"

     The Sales Aisha snorted and tossed her head haughtily before honoring them with her speech. "Try Tyrannia; I think I heard something once about crocks." She said, her tone icy as the Snowager's belly. "Or with those filthy peasants in Meridell! I'm sure they'll have whatever gauche, primitive thing you're looking for."

     With a sigh and a slight (but logistically difficult) tip of his hat, Jubby exited the artistic Aisha's tent. Since Digger was still hiding under his hat, he made the run back to the Redline in far less time. After prying the petrified petpet from his head again, Jubby settled down for a nap of his own after the exercise of two long runs, and the stress of being snobbed at. When he woke, the Redline was resting in a green, lush valley, far different from the Lost Desert.

     Digger was staring out the window, his tail wagging excitedly. "Finally, someplace I can relate to!" he said, giving Jubby a long-tongued Doglefox grin. Then he seemed to remember something, and looked confused. "But…why are we here instead of Meridell? I KNOW they eat that gruel stuff with wooden spoons."

     "Well… the place is really a mess right now," Jubby confessed. "And old King Skarl's sort of upset at me about telling Lord Darigan that I'd seen his orb in Meridell Castle."

     Digger nodded sagely. "Well it's all for the best anyway! This is the only place in Neopia where pets can be free in their natural state, romp in the jungle, sun in the plateau, munch free Omelette… and listen to great music!"

     "I didn't know you've been here before Digger," Jubby mused as he walked into the green Tyrannian Jungle.

     "Nah I haven't. But my cousin Dugga lives here. He writes me letters all the time."

     "So THAT"s why we keep getting stone tablets with pictures in the mail."

     "Yup that's Dugga for you."

     "Does this mean… you speak Tyrannian?"

     "Of course! I have to be some use in this adventure, don't I?"

     "Okay, useful guy, where do you think we should go?"

     Digger paused for a moment, and put his paw to his chin in a thoughtful pose.

     "Well… I'm thinking they probably put FOOD in crocks… so maybe at the Tyrannian food shop?"

     Jubby shrugged the fur where his shoulders might have been, and started off across the Jungle, past a dark cave, the dismal Wheel of Mediocrity, and a Grarrl calling Keno numbers. The Tyrannian Food shop was an imposing Chomby-shaped building with stairs leading up into the shop. Digger happily leapt up the stairs, leaving Jubby to follow.

     By the time he got to the top, huffing and puffing from the long, steep stairway, Digger was chewing on a Nerkin leg. Jubby hardly noticed; he was too busy staring at the rest of the shop! Oozing, wiggling things, strange plants and bizarre cuts of raw meat…it was almost more than his stomach could handle.

     "Don't they cook anything in this world?" he asked queasily.

     "Sure, just not here. The villagers cook it when they get home. Well… except for this great Nerkin leg. They always cook those," Digger replied.

     "Well… while you were ordering a snack," Jubby said dryly, "did you ask about the spoon?"

     Digger blinked, and swallowed the bite of meat he had been chewing. "Uh…" he admitted "not yet."

     Jubby sighed in exasperation, and looked down at his peckish petpet. "Well… I suggest you forego the rest of your meal… and ask him!"

     Digger approached the shopkeeper with his head hung low. "Ugga-ug ugg uggh?" he asked.

     "Uggh-nuhh-guuh-uh!" the shopkeeper replied.

     "Uggga nug ugg guuh?"

     "Nu-ugh-guuh nuh."

     "Guh-nuh!"

     With that, Digger turned back to a very confused Jubby.

     "So what did he say?" Jubby asked.

     "He said that the only crocks he knew about were at the Tyrannian Petpet shop," Digger replied with a shrug.

     "Petpet?" Jubby mused. "You don't suppose they keep THEM in crocks, do you?"

     Digger shrugged once more. "Dugga never mentioned it, but maybe some of them are really mean and need to be isolated."

     With that in mind, they trudged back across the Jungle. Jubby was beginning to have his doubts about this place. Sure, it was green and lush, and not as hot as the Lost Desert… but the humidity was getting to him. He felt sure he was going to end up with some fur-related disease from being constantly sweaty. It wasn't too long, however, before they reached the PetPet shop.

     Jubby was no stranger to the wonder and insanity of a petpet shop. He had, in fact, bought Digger from the Neopia Central petpet boutique. But the sheer variety and strangeness of the petpets that surrounded the cheery Elephante, and the fact that a good half of them resembled things he'd seen at the Food Shop, had our hero more than a little shaken. Digger, on the other hand, seemed to be in heaven. With a cheerful bark and a wiggle of his tail, Digger wriggled his way into the shopkeeper's "petting zone".

     "Ugga-ugg unnh!" the Elephante said.

     Digger looked up and said, "Unngh Ugga Dugga!"

     "Dugga! Guhh nuhh ugggh!" the Elephante said with a smile.

     "Ask him about the spoon!!" Jubby hissed.

     "Ugga-ug ugg uggh?" Digger asked obediently.

     "Uggh-nuhh-guuh-uh," the shopkeeper replied, just as the last one had.

     Digger's little eyebrows knitted, and for a moment he seemed deep in thought. Finally he asked, "Unn-uggh-uggah-nuggh?".

     "Uggah! Nuuh-nuuh! Krawk!" the Shopkeeper said, pulling out a funny little lizard.

     "What did he say?" Jubby asked. "And what did YOU say?"

     "Well… I asked him if he had a wooden spoon. He said no. I thought about it, and remembered Dugga saying something about crocks too. So I asked him if he had any crocks… and…well… there it is."

     "That's a crock?" Jubby asked. He was utterly flabbergasted.

     "Nuuh. KRAWK," the shopkeeper corrected.

     "Isn't that what I said?" Jubby asked Digger, a little nervously.

     "Well… it seems this krawk is pronounced with a short-a and a 'W' sound instead of with the short o sound. That Esophagor needs speech therapy."

     Jubby nodded in agreement. "So what does that thing have to do with the Wooden Spoon?" Jubby mused. He paused, tapping his toes on the floor as he thought. Finally, he looked up and really wished he had fingers to snap. "The Esophagor said it was with the "Krawks"…plural. I wonder if there's a place where a bunch of these things run wild?"

     Digger shrugged. I'll ask the shopkeeper. He turned to the Elephante and said "Krawk unngh nugga wugga guh bugga?"

     The Elephante petted the krawk that was resting in his paws. The little creature seemed excited at Digger's mention of a place where Krawks roam free. The Elephante leaned forward and whispered "Bugga unngh Krawk yugga."

     Digger thanked the Elephante with a long string of Tyrannian grunts, and turned to Jubby. "Let's go," he said.

     "Hey, that's my line!" Jubby protested. "And where are we going?"

     "Duh, back to the redline."

     Digger headed out the door with no further explanation. As he sauntered down the path back to the Redline, Jubby jumped in front of him.

     "Getting a little big for your collar, aren't you Digger?" Jubby said.

     Digger sighed and put his head down. "I… just want to be the hero for once," he said with a whimper. "Is that so wrong?"

     Jubby sat down next to his loyal sidekick, and snuggled up. "Digger… you are a hero," he said, leaning down to give Digger a kiss on top of his little head.

     "But… you're the one with the theme song, you're the one that Fyora calls, you're the one with the spiffy hat and the bag of stuff. I'm… just your petpet."

     "That's not true Digger. I couldn't do what I do without you. Remember the time in The Temple of Boom where I was being suspended in a French fry basket over a giant vat of hot oil? Who unplugged the burner and saved me?"

     Digger looked up and said shyly "I did."

     "And who helped me wash all that oil out of my fur after the adventure was over?"

     "I did."

     "And who jimmied open the back door when I locked us out of our NeoHome?"

     Digger grinned, "I did. Thanks Jubby, you made me feel a lot better."

     "Good," Jubby replied with a smile. "Now where are we going…besides back to the Redline?"

     "Krawk Island," Digger said. "It's where the Elephante said all the Tyrannian Krawks ran to escape larger predators." Jubby sighed. "If we must, we must. But one condition…"

     "Not still worried about that Deckswabber incident?"

     "How was I to know it was a BOY Blumaroo? Only girls wear earrings where I come from!" Jubby said plaintively.

     Digger held back any comment. He realized that, hero or sidekick, everyone has to mess up sometime. Together hero and sidekick headed for the Redline, and on to Krawk Island.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Indiana Jub and the Wooden Spoon: Part One

Indiana Jub and the Wooden Spoon: Part Two

Indiana Jub and the Wooden Spoon: Part Three

Indiana Jub and the Wooden Spoon: Part Four

Indiana Jub and the Wooden Spoon: Part Five

Indiana Jub and the Wooden Spoon: Part Seven

Indiana Jub and the Wooden Spoon: Part Eight

Indiana Jub and the Wooden Spoon: Part Nine

Indiana Jub and the Wooden Spoon: Part Ten

Indiana Jub and the Wooden Spoon: Part Eleven


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