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Below that Well Groomed Surface


by anuqet

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The Uni: these popular pets can often be seen playing in the fields of Neopia, or enjoying the best grooming products from the Grooming Parlour. These magical Neopets are much loved by their owners, and in return their pets bring them joy and happiness. However, how else do these pets spend their days? What lies beneath that well brushed surface? Many potential Uni owners can be put off by their reputation of being difficult and highly-strung. I am intent on showing the other side to these pets. Moreover, who could be better to guide the readers through the mindset of the Uni than my very own Uni, Habali?

“It almost seems every day a new Neopet species is discovered. What about the Neopet species that are being overlooked? To be more specific, what about Unis?”

Unfortunately, I have not taken into account Habali’s somewhat…unpredictable personality. It seems that he is more concerned with his own rants against perceived slights against the Uni species, than giving an insider's view on what it meant to be a Uni.

“According to the stats, the Uni is the fifth most popular neopet. Fifth! Where is this oh so insignificant fact reflected? Where are all the Unis? Certainly not in the book of heroes, that is for sure. The Neopedia? Hah, there’s only one Uni in there, only one!”

I hesitantly mention that maybe the fact that there are not many famous Unis is not due to some organised campaign by the Neopets staff, and instead it just happens that Unis have not done much of note yet. This does not go over well. In fact, it is probably best I do not type all of Habali’s response. This is a family publication, after all.

“When has a Uni been the star of a major plot? None, they’re too busy being full of Usuls (Twelfth most popular pet, though I hate to mention it).”

Thinking it best to push on, I bring up the fact that Unis can be painted many different colours. This seems to calm Habali somewhat.

“Yes, I have heard that we can be painted lovely colours such as royal, or island. Not that I would know much about that.” He sniffs as he gazes down at his striped painted coat.

Pointedly ignoring this blatant manipulation, I ask if he believed that painted was a goal of many Unis.

“It certainly is the goal of this Uni,” he said, as he continued to make sad eyes at me.

I pointed out that he is painted.

“Yes, but stripes? That’s so last summer.”

Trying to guide the interview back to the subject, I ask what activities he and his fellow Unis enjoy when they are not under the watchful eyes of there owners.

“Well, my Uni friends and I enjoy hanging about outside the Grooming Parlour, sharing fashion tips and gossip.” Just when I think that what lies underneath the Uni surface does not amount to much beyond grooming products, Habali adds “oh, and exploring. Can you imagine it; there can be whole new worlds out there, with all new grooming parlours to find.”

This obsession with grooming and cleanliness may put many put potential owners off the idea of owning a Uni. Then they are missing all the good qualities of this little equine. What other pet will give you fashion tips?

“I must say, blue isn’t really your colour.”

Unis can have an impressive level of stamina. I suggest to Habali that he talks about his current training regime.

“Oh yes, I certainly can kick behind in the Battledome.” He has a proud glint in his eye. “I have been working very hard on my battle skills, which is despite the fact that all that exercise leaves my fur in a terrible state. Well, I suppose it is necessary to make sacrifices.”

Potential owners must keep in mind that what looks like as unruly Uni behaviour is often caused by too much energy. This energy makes them tenacious fighters. I find that a good work out in the Battledome will leave the Uni feeling tired out but happy to follow your instructions.

“Suggestions,” Habali points out. “We Unis refuse to be ordered about by just anyone.”

However, once you have built up a bond with your pet, they will quite happily follow your suggestions.

“Yes, but you’re not just anyone.”

It can be tricky to make sure Unis eat a well balanced diet, as they love sweets and abhor vegetables. However, you may find that Unis are willing to eat their veggies once you tell them how they give their fur a lovely glossy sheen.

“Even better than conditioner,” Habali agrees. “Once again, sacrifices must be made for beauty. Plus, a nice kiwi smoothie or piece of chocolate cake afterwards is perfect for taking away the icky taste.”

Like other Neopets species, Unis love their very own petpets lo look after. However, Unis are very fussy creatures. They will not take on any cheap petpet that you try to give them. I have lost count of the number of petpets Habali turned down before he was finally happy with his Huggy, Peaches.

“I was not being picky,” Habali is at pains to point out. “Choosing a petpet is a very important decision. I needed to make sure that I would get the right petpet for me, one who was suited to my needs.”

However, if you persevere, you will eventually find a petpet that your Uni will be happy with, and they will repay this perseverance by loving their new petpet, and you too.

“Okay, now you’re starting to sound like a greeting card.” Habali is now looking slightly bored. “Are you done yet? Let’s go play Deckball.”

Unis have a short attention span. While this means that you can be quite happily playing a game, when suddenly your Uni will announce that he/she is bored and will refuse to let you have any peace, it also means that your life will be a varied one.

“Seriously, I’m really, really bored here!”

However, it is best if you are able to be patient with your pet. It is worth it.

“Come on, come on, come on come on!”

 
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