Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 112,982,760 Issue: 225 | 27th day of Sleeping, Y8
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Taking a Sick Day

by saphira361


It was very early in the morning, but a certain Yellow Usul had been awake for hours, preparing. She had a huge math test at school that day and she was determined to miss it.

      "Let's see, now," she muttered to herself. "Purple paint- check. Cauliflower- check. Red marker- check. Yellow clay- check. Well, I guess I'm ready," and she set to work. She covered herself in purple paint, glued pieces of cauliflower to her fur, rolled the yellow clay into lumpy balls and pressed them onto herself, and drew on red spots as a finishing touch. She gave herself a scrutinizing look in the mirror. You see, Kestrel, as the Yellow Usul was called, had done some research the other day, and looked up the symptoms of many diseases and ailments. Among these were Fuzzy Fungus, Neowarts, Neezles, and Lumps. Now, from afar, it looked like she had all these illnesses put together. Kestrel had also practiced sneezing uncontrollably and acting like a chicken (to feign Chickaroo and Sneezles).

      She looked at her watch. Time to go. She took a deep breath.

      "Cock-a-doodle-doo!" Kestrel crowed. The result was instantaneous. Bowman, the youngest in the family, fell off the top bunk of the bunk bed he shared with Hanno, the eldest, and flapped his Blue Shoyru wings furiously to keep off the ground. The Red Kyrii who occupied the bottom bunk merely groaned and rolled over with a pillow over his head. (Hanno, after a brief stint of being a Baby pet due to Boochi's ray gun, had been painted Red once again.) Pinto, a Green Kacheek and the youngest girl, raced out of her room screaming,

      "The chickens are coming! The chickens are coming!" She collided head-on with Sarah-Charlotte, the pets' owner, and they fell to the floor in a heap. Rubbing her head and ignoring Pinto who was rolling around on the floor in apparent agony, Sarah-Charlotte sat up and tried to remember what the fuss was about. The chaos was so normal in her household that she wasn't sure there was a reason for it.

      "Cock-a-doodle-doo!" The 'chicken' gave another ear-splitting cry, and Sarah-Charlotte remembered.

      "Where's Kestrel?" she asked, suddenly noticing the absence of her second child. She went to Kestrel's room, peeked in, and almost fell over again in surprise. "Hanno!" Sarah-Charlotte cried. "Come take a look at this!" The Red Kyrii materialized by his owner's side and looked in as well.

      "Wow, Kess," he said, "I'm impressed. You really did it this time!" Meanwhile Sarah-Charlotte had whipped out her Round Notebook and Basic Pencil and was taking notes on Kestrel's symptoms.

      "Hm," she muttered, "red spots, constant sneezes, yellow lumps, cauliflower-like things, purple fur, and ... and ..." Just then, Kestrel strutted out into the hallway and pecked at an invisible piece of corn before crowing again. "...And chicken-like behavior." Sarah-Charlotte finished her notes and frowned, then commenced to scribble furiously. A few minutes later, she had produced a complete list of medicines Kestrel would need, including Honey Blossom Extract, Neowart Fungus, Neezles Jab, Medicinal Mud Bath, Herbal Scrambled Eggs, and Magic Cookie. "Pinto, Bowman, Hanno!" Sarah-Charlotte called to her three healthy neopets. "Listen, I have to stay home with Kestrel, so you're going to need to buy these items for me." Unlike Kestrel, Pinto and Hanno had been looking forward to school- Pinto's class was throwing a party for her teacher's birthday, and had wanted to join in a soccer game at recess. As for Bowman, well, he was at that age where he actually liked school for no particular reason. So the three pets weren't too happy about this arrangement.

      "Mom! No! Today's the party and I said I'd bring Lemon Sweeties!"

      "I can't miss the soccer game!"

      "Our teacher said we would learn subtraction today- I can't miss that!" The last comment was from, obviously, Bowman. Pinto and Hanno stared at him briefly, then took up the argument once again.

      "It's not fair!"

      "Sorry," Sarah-Charlotte said, "but that's the way it is. Off you go." She handed them a bag of neopoints, then shooed them out of the neohome in a most maddening way.

     A few minutes later, they were back.

      "I forgot the backpacks," Hanno explained, ignoring Pinto and Bowman's cries.

      "Don't bother! Just hurry up already!"

      "Why would we need backpacks anyway?"

      "Hanno! Let's go!"

      "You're wasting time!"

      "What are we supposed to put the medicine in after we buy it? We can't carry it all!" Hanno said.

     He ran into the house, grabbed three backpacks, and ran back out. The three pets began the five-minute walk to Neopia Central. While they walked (or in Bowman's case, flew), Hanno distributed the backpacks. He had brought along Pinto's Air Faerie Back Pack, Bowman's Jeran Back Pack, and his own very old and beat-up Punchbag Bob Back Pack. In a few minutes, they arrived at Neopia Central, and headed to the pharmacy. They found the Medicinal Mud Bath in no time at all, and paid for it.

     Pinto said, "Maybe this won't be as bad as we thought. I bet we get to school in no time." With lighter hearts they proceeded to look around for the other cures. Unfortunately, there was nothing else there that was on their list.

      "On second thought," Pinto announced, "maybe not."

     "Looks like we'll have to go to the Marketplace," Hanno said gloomily.

     "But there are so many stores!" Bowman was in awe of the Marketplace- he hadn't been there many times before. "How do we know which one to go to?"

     "We don't," Hanno sighed.

     "Oh well," Pinto said cheerfully, "I guess we'll just have to try them all!" Pinto loved the Marketplace.

     Bowman twirled around, his eyes closed, his wings outstretched. He came to a sudden stop and opened his eyes. "That one," he said, looking at the shop he had ended up pointing to. It looked promising.

     "Why not?" said Hanno. "They all look the same to me. Does anybody have any binoculars?" Bowman dug in his backpack.

     "I do!"

     "Fly over to that shop and see if you can find anything on our list." Bowman put the binoculars to his eyes and flew to the shop. After a few minutes he came back.

     "Well?" asked Hanno. "Did you find anything?"

     "How am I supposed to know what's on the list if I can't read?"

     Pinto rolled her eyes, and read the list to him. Bowman took out a pad and pencil from his backpack and translated Pinto's words into something he could understand. Pinto peered over his shoulder.

     "I hate to be the one to tell you this," she smirked, "but that's all scribbles! How can that possibly make any sense?"

     Bowman shrugged. "Dunno. Just does."

     "Alright, come on already!" Hanno interrupted impatiently.

     "You're right," Bowman said seriously, "we can't miss all of school!"

     "Yeah," Pinto muttered, "I'd hate to miss that subtraction."

     "Do I detect a hint of sarcasm?" Bowman demanded, looking extremely pleased at the words he had used.

     "No, none at all," Pinto said dryly. And they set off. About half way there, Hanno had a revelation.

     "Look, this is taking too long." (It had been about two minutes). "We should split up." He then strode off to the nearest market, while Bowman did his twirling-around-with-closed-eyes thing. He flew off to the shop he had chosen, which left Pinto chanting under her breath.

     "Eenie Meenie Miney Moe, catch a Kougra by its toe ..." She finally chose a shop and walked to it.

     "Hanno!" Pinto yelled as loudly as possible. "None of the medicines that we need are in this shop!"

     "So try another one!" Hanno yelled. At this rate they would be here all day.

     "Hanno!" It was Bowman, who was in the shop next to Hanno. "There's something here that we need."

     "So buy it!" Through the thin shop walls Hanno could hear a brief scuffle, a very loud exclamation of, "No, that's MINE!" then Bowman yelled to Hanno again.

     "Someone else got it." If Hanno had had a pillow at hand, he would have yelled into it. As it was he came very close to letting out a scream of anguish.

     "Bowman and Pinto, meet me by the Shop Wizard. We need to work out a plan," he shouted. Bowman and Pinto arrived, and as soon as she saw Hanno, Pinto launched into a furious tirade of complaints.

     "How come you always list Bowman first? You like him better, don't you! Why don't you like me? Huh? Why does everyone like Bowman better?!"

     "Pinto," Hanno said as calmly as he could, "we don't have time for this. Listen. We will all go together into a shop-"

     At this Bowman began twirling around, and Pinto started to chant, "Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Moe..."

     "- That I choose," Hanno finished quickly. Pinto and Bowman stopped abruptly. "Then," Hanno continued, "if we see something we need, we get it. I don't care if someone else already has it. Just... tackle them or something. Forget what Mom says about being polite. Just do what you gotta do." Satisfied by this enlightening pep talk, the four pets set off toward the nearest store.

     "There!" Pinto cried. "Magic Cookie!" Hanno grabbed it off the shelf and paid for it as fast as he could. A trip to the second store resulted in a similar scenario. None too soon, there was only one item left on their list. The pets entered a store and looked around with some trepidation. Hmmm... No Herbal Scrambled Eggs on the shelves. No Herbal Scrambled Eggs on the counter. No Herbal Scrambled Eggs anywhere... Wait! A big, burly, tough-looking Grarrl was in line at the checkout counter, holding a package of something that was none-other than Herbal Scrambled Eggs.

     Hanno took a deep breath. "Well, guys, this is it!"

     Bowman walked over to the Grarrl, and, with a sweet smile on his face, said, "Excuse me, but could we have those Verbal Scrambled Neggs or whatever they are? Our sister needs them. She's sick."

     "Very sick," piped Pinto from behind him.

     "Sorry, kid," the Grarrl told him, "I need these Eggs."

     "Are you sure?" Bowman asked sweetly. The Grarrl nodded. "Ok, then ..."

     "Charge!" yelled Hanno. Pinto jumped on the Grarrl from behind and wrapped her arms around his back in an attempted grab of the Eggs. Hanno stood on a chair that was, for some reason, in the middle of the aisle, and jumped on the Grarrl as well, bringing the poor thing to the ground.

     "Geronimo!" screamed Bowman, and he fluttered delicately into the pile of groaning neopets that Pinto and Hanno had managed to knock over as well, grabbed the Eggs, and flew to the front of the line at the checkout counter. "Sorry, folks," he said, "but I'm on a tight schedule." He paid for them, then zoomed out of the shop with Hanno and Pinto at his heels, along with an angry mob from the store. Including the Grarrl.

     "Uh-oh," Pinto squeaked. "RUN!" And run they did. All the way home, in fact. They made it back in record time, and collapsed in a heap on the floor.

     "Hi, Mom," Bowman weakly greeted Sarah-Charlotte. "Got the medicines for you." Kestrel appeared, gloriously attired in paint, clay, and marker.

     "Oh, hi, guys!" she said cheerfully.

      "Kestrel, there you are! I've been looking all over for you!" Sarah-Charlotte held out the medicines. "Take these, you'll be ok in no time." Kestrel backed away. She recalled hearing that you should only take medicine if you were sick. Which she wasn't.

      "Um ..." she said nervously, "I'm sorry. It was all fake, so I would miss that big math test. I'm really sorry."

      Hanno, Bowman, and Pinto got up slowly, menacingly from the floor.

      "Are you KIDDING me?! After all that we've been through!"

      "We were almost killed by an angry mob of people out there!"

      "Now I'll never know how to subtract!"

      ~ ~ ~

      A few days later, Kestrel got sick again- this time for real. Sarah-Charlotte was out visiting a friend, so there was only one thing for her to do.

      "Hey, guys?" Kestrel croaked, "I need some Medicinal Soap. Can you get it for me?"

      "No way!"

      "Come on, please? Look, I'm really sorry! I'll never do it again, I promise! Please? Pinto? Bowman? Hanno?"

      There was no answer, but Kestrel could hear faint snatches of snickering and comments like,

      "Who does she think she is?"

      "Medicinal soap, my eye!"

      "I STILL don't know how to subtract!"

The End

Author's Note: Yay! I got in! Thanks to everyone who asked me to write another story (you know who you are!). I hope you like this one. More on the way! (I hope o_O)  ~saphira361

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