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An Introduction to Xweetoks


by obviousfakename

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They came out of seemingly nowhere. They're cute, furry, and they're shooting up through the pet popularity chart. At the time of writing there were nearly half a million, and doubtless there will be many more by now.

What am I talking about? Xweetoks, of course!

I know what you're thinking. "Xweetok? That's not a name; it's a sneeze! Or possibly a really bad hand in Word Poker." Granted, while it may look like one of Eliv Thade's fiendishly obscure anagrams, it's not really the Xweetoks' fault that the average Neopian is boggling over the correct pronunciation of their name. (Which has now been confirmed as "Zwee-tock". Still sounds like a sneeze, but we're just going to have to get used to it.)

There’s a lot of mystery currently surrounding Xweetoks, and many questions about their kind. Where did they come from? Why did they go unnoticed for so long, and why did they suddenly decide to make themselves known? Is it all part of an elaborate Neopia-wide conspiracy involving Meepits and a certain nonexistent jelly-based location?

Alright, so maybe not that last one.

But what do we really know about these new additions to Neopia? Well... They’re the fifty-second Neopet species. Unlike the last arrival, the Hissi, they’re not limited or restricted in any way. Their four basic colors consist of a brown body with a bright stripe down their back, and their painted colors are a little more exotic but still retain that characteristic stripe pattern. They’re incredibly fluffy. They sort of resemble what would happen if you somehow managed to mix together a Wocky, a Kyrii, and a chipmunk.

Truth be told, their arrival was so unexpected that we have very little real information on these creatures, aside from what is known from their species lookup and their petpages. As a Xweetok owner myself, I've managed to assemble the following facts for both new owners and those of you who are thinking about adopting one of these intriguing pets.

Origins:

Xweetoks come from the forests of Neopia, living in burrows and crevices around the bases of trees, and eating whatever berries and seeds they can find. But despite their squirrel-like appearance, Xweetoks are ground-dwelling Neopets.

They mainly seem to have been living in quite remote areas that few other Neopians ever visit, which probably explains why most of us have never seen them before. But now that many of them have decided to come and try out life in other parts of Neopia, they’re fast becoming a common sight. There’s already more Xweetoks out there than Cybunnies!

Behavior:

Xweetoks are very active, friendly little critters who love nothing better than a good game of chase. Potential owners be warned: a Xweetok requires a lot of attention and exercise every day. They’re fluffy bundles of seemingly boundless energy, and are more likely to tire you out than vice-versa. If you're willing to take the time and effort to care for them, however, you'll find that they make loving, affectionate, and incredibly loyal pets. On the other hand, they can also be extremely mischievous, and have a talent for getting themselves into trouble. Luckily, they’re also very good at getting right back out of it again -- it’s hard to stay mad at something so cute, after all.

While they're capable of quite agile climbing and amazing acrobatic jumps, Xweetoks prefer not to go up too high just in case they can't get back down again. That would be embarrassing, stuck in a tree like a Kadoatie!

They can also be wary around the more predatory-looking species like Lupes or Eyries, so be careful when introducing them to other pets. But, as long as they don’t feel threatened, Xweetoks will usually be willing to make friends with just about anything. You shouldn’t have any problems giving them a petpet, either, as they love having a companion to take care of.

And remember that Xweetoks absolutely adore jelly beans. Give them some and you have a friend for life, and the promise of those sugary treats can convince a Xweetok to do just about anything for you.

Grooming:

Xweetok fur is already becoming famous for its amazing softness. Warm and fluffy and perfect for hugging, true, but it’s also quite high-maintenance. Being cuddled all the time can really mess up that lovely fur, you know. Regular grooming is essential if you want your Xweetok to stay soft and huggable. They take great pride in their coats and enjoy being groomed, but be careful if you’re planning on giving yours a bath. Properly washing that thick, fluffy fur is a difficult job, and drying them off afterwards takes almost forever. It doesn’t help that many Xweetok seem to seriously dislike getting themselves wet.

But, luckily, there’s a way around that problem. In the wild, Xweetoks will roll in sandy dust to remove dirt and parasites from their coats. Strange as it sounds, this acts like a natural conditioner for their fur, making it soft and shiny. So a great way to keep your Xweetok clean is to give it some sand to roll around in -- the black volcanic stuff from Mystery Island works very well. If you don't mind them somehow managing to trail the stuff all over your Neohome afterwards, that is.

Contests and Battling:

Xweetoks’ beautiful fur also makes them great choices for the Beauty Contest. They can’t resist a good competition, and love posing for pictures. It’s one of the few times you can get them to keep still! They sometimes get a little bit too obsessed with winning, though.

Xweetoks have excellent hearing and vision, and very fast reflexes. Along with that rather competitive streak, this makes them good candidates for the Battledome. In fact, they already have several of their own battle items, including the Xweetok Helmet and the Xweetok Spear. Their characteristic battle cry is a loud "Chirka! Chirka! Chirka!" -- a sound they may also make outside of battles if they feel scared or threatened.

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I hope all you Xweetok fans enjoyed this overview of the species. Of course, it’s just a general guide. Your mileage may vary, as individual Xweetoks will have different personalities, just like any other kind of Neopet. The best way to learn how to care for yours is to spend time with it and find out what it likes best.

(And as for the Meepit/-blocked- conspiracy? The Xweetoks are refusing to comment.)

 
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