Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 99,276,740 Issue: 197 | 1st day of Swimming, Y7
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Charley 'n' Me


by dragonhadley

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I guess you're wondering who Charley is. He's my Spardel, good little dog, always does what I tell 'im. Now you're thinking, why would I want such a stupid petpet? Right? Listen here, Charley ain't stupid; he's smarter than you, I bet!

     A common mistake in Neopia is the one above, just 'cause a petpet looks stupid, it is stupid. The Neopets Team, rulers of all Neopia, have even stereotyped Spardels as stupid. They're good petpets, and my Charley is the smartest petpet around!

     I got Charley a long time ago, I can't remember what day. But I can remember how much I wanted a Spardel when they first came out. They looked just like my old dog, Shadow, and ever since he died, I wanted something to remember him.

     So many days I spent saving money for a little Spardel instead of buying the things my Neopets had been demanding I buy for them.

     You see, I'm not the saving type of person. Whenever I see something I want, I go out and buy it instead of putting my money away for that white paintbrush I've wanted ever since I came to Neopia. So, as you can see, I'm not rich at all.

     But I held out for my Spardel, worked and saved and sold things in my store. And I finally got him!

     I'd saved up 13k in Neopoints, which is a lot to me, but probably not to you big-shot rich people who could go and buy a grey paintbrush out of Fyora's tower any day of the week, and I was walking to the Petpet Shop when something happened.

     This Mynci, blue and all dressed up in a black sweater and ski mask, jumped out of the crowd, and dove for my bag of NP. He snatched it out of my hands and ran away.

     My Lupe, who had been with me the whole time, snarled real loud and took off after the thief. I called to him to get back here, but he kept going. I let out a long sigh. I guessed I'd have to go chase my Lupe.

     I ran after my Lupe, trying my best to dodge the people and Neopets walkin' around and looking at the shops. I bumped into a few who yelled at me in a mix of numbers and letters, but kept going.

     I found my Lupe at the rim of the Rainbow Fountain, growling and barking. The Mynci was standing on top of that big fake rainbow and clutching my Neopoints to his chest.

     "Don't move or I'll dump your 'points in the fountain," he barked. I started gettin' real worried, because I knew if my Neopoints went into the fountain, the powerful paint would melt 'em into gold paint and then I would never get the Spardel I wanted so much.

     The Petpet Puddle had so many little petpets around it that day that I didn't notice one petpet about to be painted Halloween by his owner, a brown Shoyru. That little petpet saved my NP and gave me a friend for life.

     I heard lotsa barking all of a sudden and over at the petpet puddle, I saw this little Spardel running towards the fountain. The Spardel jumped into the fountain and splashed starry colored water over a nearby Elephante. He waded through the water and climbed up the rainbow to the Mynci.

     "What th--?" The Mynci never got to finish his sentence 'cause the little guy had bit his tail and made him drop my 'points. I reached out and barely caught my money before they hit the water.

     The brown Shoyru who owned the Spardel ran over, paintbrush still in hand and started calling to his Spardel. The little guy let the Mynci's tail go and the Mynci hopped away scared.

     "Dumbo, c'mere, Dumbo!" he yelled, an' Dumbo the Spardel came to the Shoyru's call. The Shoyru then turned to me, "I'm so sorry Dumbo did that, miss, he's usually a real good Spardel."

     "Ah, don't worry your little tomato shaped head, ' I said, 'cause Shoyrus' heads are shaped like tomatoes. "That Spardel saved my Neopoints!"

     "Oh, really? Well, if my dad tells our customers that, then this Spardel with fetch a hefty price!" the Shoyru said, smiling and patting Dumbo's head.

     "You're gonna sell 'im?" I asked.

     "Yeah, Dad said that I gots to paint him Halloween 'cause one of his customers is offerin' lots of money for a Halloween Spardel."

     "Well, can I buy him instead?"

     "If ya gots the money. Just let me paint IM first…"

     "No, just as a normal Spardel."

     "Okay, Dad says Dumbo costed him 13,000 Neopoints. You gots that money?"

     "Yeah, here you go!" I put my bag of NP in the Shoyru's hands and he gave me the Spardel. "I'm sure Dad'll buy another one for that other guy."

     I hugged my new Spardel. What luck I had! Now all that was left was to decide a new name for IM, 'cause Dumbo isn't a very flattering name. I looked at him and at his face, I wanted to name him something real creative so everyone would be like 'WOW! What a cool name for a Spardel! I wish I had thought of it!', but nothing would come to me.

     I looked around, trying desperately for a name, and then I spotted a shop.

     It had a big sign on it and on that sign was written "CHARLEY'S" in big capital letters. There was my name.

     "You are Charley!" I said, holding up my new Spardel. He barked happily and licked my face. It was the start of a beautiful friendship.

     ***

     So there you have it, how I got my Charley. But don't think that everyday with Charley was sunshine and butterflies, sometimes things got real bad. I can remember one time Charley did something that still makes me upset.

     It was a few days after I bought Charley, it had been raining a lot lately and the Neopian weather man had said Neopia Central had better look out for a big storm hitting the area.

     My pets and I had been stocking up on goods just in case this storm was so big we wouldn't be able to go out and get more food from the downtown food shop. I had just come home from grocery shopping with Mystik, my Shoyru, when Snowstorm, my Bruce, came running all upset and holding Barzul, her little petpet, real tight.

     "Dragon, Dragon!" she said, hopping from one foot to the other.

     "Yeah?"

     "Remember how you told me to watch Charley?"

     "Yeah."

     "Well, I took my eyes off him for one second and he vanished! I looked through the whole house and he's gone!" she cried, squeezing Barzul until he turned blue.

     I stared at her for a second, dumbfounded. Charley had run away? If he did, I had to go and find him! The storm was due to hit soon and the thought of my little Spardel out all alone in the rain just made me want to cry.

     We went ahead and put our groceries inside, then I got my raincoat and went out looking for Charley.

     Our street was next to the water, which really had me worried, perhaps Charley had gone into the water and gotten washed away? NO! I would not think about that.

     "Charley?!" I called, walking through our neighborhood and straining my ears for my little dog's bark, "Charley!"

     I walked and walked. I couldn't find Charley anywhere! To make things worse, I could see the storm out over the water.

     It was a huge, completely black cloud with streaks of rain falling from it. High winds shrieked in my ears. I hugged myself to keep warm under my thin raincoat.

     Suddenly, a thought came to my head, Charley's old name was Dumbo, perhaps he still answered to it!

     "DUMBO!" I yelled over the howling winds. No answer.

     I didn't have any more time, the storm was about to hit and if I stayed out any longer, I'd be blown away. I hurried back to my Neohome and got inside.

     Charley was gone.

     The storm hit a few minutes later. I worried about Charley, but I was more worried about our Neohome. Since we weren't that rich, it was mostly made of cardboard and I was worried about how it would hold up.

     Suddenly, through all the pounding rain and howling wind, I heard a shrill bark.

     "CHARLEY?!" Racing outside despite the rain, I went to Charley. He was there, on the front steps with a bundle of papers in his mouth. I brought him inside and took the paper from his mouth.

     I looked through them and realized that earlier today, I had forgotten to pick up my Neomail.

     He'd gone out and gotten it for me.

The End

Author's note: Whee! My first time in the NT! *dances*

 
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