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Isabella's Best Friend


by beau_lis

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Today was a grand day; full of sunshine and breezes. All around one could smell the honeysuckle and flowers which decorated the front lawn of the Neopian Pound. It was spring! Several pets were outside playing in the garden area, beside the Neopian Pound. In the middle of all the play was Ms. Droplet pushing a few pets on the swings. She enjoyed the fun play almost as much the pets did. However, she was not someone who let the pets get away with being naughty. Ms. Droplet was a new pound staff member, replacing Ms. Snowflake. At first, the pets didn't know what to make of this new change. After a little while, they came to know Ms. Droplet (who can really push the swings high), and liked her just as much.

      From out of the pound came Mr. Pickles, the pound chef. His arms were full of food for the picnic they were to have. Once he reached the picnic tables, he laid out all the food. His little helper, Goren, a red Meerca, rang the bell letting the others know it was lunch time. In a flash the pets raced to the table. They had no intention of missing out on the feast. And what a feast it was; ham, chicken, punch, pastries and so much more!

      Among these lucky diners sat Isabella, a Tyrannian Elephante. She was a bit shy about her large size and furry coat. Even so, she was well liked by others at the pound. She looked at the goodies, wondering if she wanted ham or chicken. It was a very hard choice because Mr. Pickles always made great meals.

      "Issy, (pronounced Izzy), pass me the chicken, would you?" demanded a little blue Mynci, named Jake.

      Isabella looked up, a little confused.

      "What?"

      Jake gave an exasperated sigh.

      "Table, chicken, pass it… hello?"

      She handed Jake the plate of chicken. That Jake can be so irritating at times! she thought.

      When everyone was fed and very full, (Isabella chose the ham), they went from the table back to the garden. It was JoJo's turn to help Mr. Pickles clean up. JoJo was a lovely green Shoyru and Isabella's best friend.

      JoJo turned to Isabella and said, "I'm so full and tired. Would you take my turn to help Mr. Pickles clean up, Issy?"

      "Sure," replied Isabella.

      "Great! Thank you! I'll take your next turn with Mr. Pickles, I promise," JoJo shouted back as she ran to play on the swings.

      Isabella went to find Mr. Pickles. He was picking up trash that had escaped the rubbish bag. He looked up.

      "Ah, Isabella, what can I do for you?"

      "I'm here to help," she replied.

      "I thought it was JoJo's turn to help clean up," Mr. Pickles said with a questioning tone.

      "It was, but JoJo asked me to take her turn because she was too full and tired."

      Mr. Pickles looked toward the swings and noticed JoJo was running around, having some fun. He returned to cleaning up with Isabella's help.

      Later that night, most of the pets were sitting in the recreation room, playing games, with toys and talking. Ms. Droplet came into the room and called for attention. She had an announcement to make.

      "This weekend we are going on a trip to Mystery Island. We'll stay over night, so plan what you will take with you. One other thing… Only those pets that behave and do their best in neoschool will be allowed to go."

      All the pets started chattering at once. The excitement filled the room. Ms. Droplet looked around the room, smiling, making sure everything was ok before going back to her office. As she turned to go, she noticed Isabella playing with the blocks and JoJo next to her. She watched as Isabella gave the blocks to JoJo. Even though she couldn't hear their conversation, she had a pretty good idea of what it was.

      When the clock struck 8pm, the bell chimed, letting the pets know it was time to get ready for bed. They all had to be in bed by 9pm sharp and no one wanted to take the chance that they may not get to go to Mystery Island.

      Isabella went into her room, which she shares with JoJo and Dinah, a purple Wocky. She gathered her things and headed toward the bathroom to take her bath. JoJo caught up with Isabella.

      "Can I take my bath first, Issy?" asked JoJo. "Oh and can I use your bubble bath soap?"

      "Well… I really…" Isabella stammered.

      She really wanted to take her bath. Her bubble baths were one of her favorite things to do.

      "Oh come on, be a friend, Issy," whined JoJo.

      Isabella didn't want to be a bad friend, so she handed over her bubble bath soap and let JoJo take a bath first. She went back to their room and sat on her bed, waiting for her time to take a bath. She looked at the clock on the wall. It was 8:30pm! They all had to be in bed at 9pm sharp!

      Isabella waited.

      And waited.

      Finally JoJo came into their room. Looking at the clock, Isabella saw it was 15 minutes to 9pm. She didn't have time to take her bubble bath. Isabella sighed, put her things away and put on her jammies.

      JoJo looked at Isabella.

      "What's wrong, Issy?"

      Isabella looked back at her friend.

      "It's just that your bath lasted a little longer than I thought and I didn't get to take my bath."

      "I am sorry, Issy. But you probably couldn't have taken a bath anyway. All the hot water is gone. Oh and you're out of bubble bath soap," JoJo stated matter of factly, putting on her jammies.

      Getting into bed, Isabella was a bit upset. That bubble bath soap was expensive and had taken her a long time to get enough neopoints to buy it. Without realizing it, she let out a big sigh.

      "Issy, you didn't want me to be dirty, did you? I had to make sure I was nice and clean. Oh come on, Issy, it's not a big deal," JoJo stated as she made herself comfortable in bed.

      Isabella closed her eyes and went to sleep.

      The sun shined into the girls' room. It looks like it's going to be a beautiful day out, Isabella thought to herself. She got out of her bed and went to wake up JoJo. It's was Isabella's turn to help Mr. Pickles with breakfast today.

      "JoJo, wake up. You're supposed to help Mr. Pickles today."

      JoJo turned to face away from Isabella.

      "Immurphn."

      "What?" questioned Isabella.

      "It's your turn, not mine," JoJo said as she faced Isabella.

      "But you said you'd take my turn if I helped you with clean up at the picnic," Isabella stated.

      "Come on Issy, I will take your turn with Mr. Pickles, but just not today. I'm so tired and I can't help Mr. Pickles when I'm so tired," whined JoJo.

      "But you promised and I wanted to go out this morning," Isabella replied.

      "Issyyyyyy," JoJo whined again. "Be a friend, Issy, and I'll take your next turn after this one today. I promise," JoJo pleaded.

      Isabella looked at her friend and thought, I don't want to be a bad friend.

      "Alright, JoJo, I'll take my turn and you'll take my next turn after today."

      "Thanks so much, Issy. You're a real friend!"

      Then JoJo made herself comfortable in bed once again.

      As Isabella left her room, she didn't see the figure standing on the other side of the doorway, just outside the bedroom. Ms. Droplet decided that maybe it was time to speak with Isabella. She turned in the direction of the kitchen. As she entered, she saw Isabella, across the room getting the things needed to set the tables in the dining hall.

      "Isabella," Ms. Droplet called, announcing her arrival to the kitchen. "I'd like to speak with you for a moment."

      "Sure," said Isabella, stopping what she was doing and walked over to Ms. Droplet.

      "I've noticed that JoJo seems to be taking from you a bit more than she should."

      Isabella looked surprised.

      "Oh no, Ms. Droplet. JoJo is my best friend."

      "Isabella…" Ms. Droplet was going to say more, but decided against it. "Alright, I'll let you get back to your work.

      It was the weekend! All the pets were busily getting their things together for the big trip to Mystery Island. Everyone was full of excitement about the trip, except for Isabella. JoJo was angry with Isabella for 'tattling' on her. She hadn't spoken to Isabella since Ms. Droplet confronted JoJo about her treatment of Isabella.

      Boy was JoJo mad, thought Isabella. She thought for sure that JoJo would talk to her by the time of the trip. The argument with JoJo replayed in her mind over and over.

      "You told on me?! I thought you were my friend," yelled JoJo.

      "I am! I didn't tell or say anything like that. I would never do that," cried Isabella.

      "You aren't a real friend, Isabella. I don't want a friend who tattles," stated JoJo as she left their room.

      Isabella was crushed. JoJo wasn't going to be her friend anymore! She was going to lose her best friend! Standing in her room, she brought her thoughts back to the present. She looked over at JoJo, who was finishing her packing.

      JoJo looked back at Isabella and then turned away. Trying again to get JoJo to talk to her, she offered to carry JoJo's bag downstairs.

      JoJo glared at Isabella, saying in a flat tone, "Fine."

      Isabella was excited! JoJo spoke to her! Maybe the argument was over! She carried JoJo's bag and her own downstairs and placed them with the other bags.

      "I hope you don't think this means we're friends again. I only let you carry my bag because I figure you owe me for getting me into trouble," came the snotty comment from JoJo.

      Isabella was hurt by that comment, but she thought she could make it up to JoJo on the trip. Finally, everyone was ready. Then off they went to Mystery Island. They arrived at Mystery Island by late morning. Oh how beautiful it was! Sunny skies, warm weather and lots of palm trees. Many of the pets had never been to the island before, so to them, this trip was going to be a grand adventure.

      Ms. Droplet called the group to attention.

      "We will have some beach time, but we're also going to go on the Tiki Tour, visit Tombola, see the Cooking pot and do many other things this island has to offer. We're going to stay at the Training School."

      After everyone was settled (Isabella carried JoJo's bag), they went to the beach. There were a lot of pets, petpets and owners enjoying the beach as well. The pound pets all chose what they wanted to do first. Some played volleyball, some did quests and some just wanted to lay out or play on the beach.

      Isabella wanted to play with JoJo. However, JoJo was off playing with other pound pets.

      Isabella found a nice spot on the beach to sit down. She leaned back against a palm tree to get as much shade as possible. She watched as her friend and the others played. She could hear the laughter and squeals of delight as the young pets rushed around in a game of tag.

      Looking away, she noticed several baby pets were sitting around a large sand castle, making it bigger by adding buckets of sand.

      Isabella turned her attention to Mr. Pickles as he brought the food out. He had made an island treat for lunch. Normally, she would look forward to the goodies Mr. Pickles made. Today, she wasn't very hungry.

      Watching the scene before her, she tried to pretend that she was having fun, but it wasn't a very good attempt. She even pretended that it didn't matter that she was the only pet on the beach not playing with the other pets. But deep down in Isabella's heart, it did matter. It mattered so much that she didn't even realize that a tear had escaped from her.

      Without realizing it, she turned her focus back on the other pets playing again. She even laughed a bit when one of the pets tripped in their game.

      "Why you cwy?" asked a baby Blumaroo catching Isabella off guard.

      "Huh?" Isabella looked at the baby pet crawling before her.

      "You no dirtee nappies, so why you cwy?" the baby Blumaroo asked again.

      "I... I..." was all Isabella could manage.

      "You come play wif san," directed the baby Blumaroo as he took the paw of Isabella.

      Tugging the large Elephante was no easy task for this little baby Blumaroo. But once they were at the sand castle, the baby Blumaroo, whom Isabella found out was named Faris, handed Isabella a shovel and they went to work building a bigger sand castle.

      While the small group continued to build, JoJo came over to them.

      "Playing with a bunch of babies? THAT is sad, Issy." JoJo shook her head.

      "Who you caw baby?" Faris looked up from his sand castle.

      JoJo just ignored the baby Blumaroo and walked to Isabella, going through the sand castle they were building.

      "HEY!" all the baby pets cried.

      "You a meenie," declared Faris.

      "Issy, would you go get me a drink? I'm really thirsty and it's too hot to walk all the way back there," whined JoJo.

      Isabella stood up, brushing the sand from her fur. The baby pets looked up at her. "I can not believe you just did that."

      "Did what?" JoJo asked innocently.

      Isabella just looked at her, starting to really see her. "You just messed up their sand castle."

      "Oh that… Will you get me that drink, Issy?" JoJo asked again.

      Isabella just stood there, staring. The baby's heads looked from JoJo to Isabella and back to JoJo again. Other pets started gathering around them. Isabella had never realized JoJo was anything other than a best friend. Who was this standing before her, Isabella thought.

      Isabella turned and sat back down to help the babies rebuild their sand castle. Slowly, the other pets standing around them sat down and began to help rebuild the sand castle too.

      JoJo just stood there, and then asked, "What about my drink?"

      No one answered her so she raised her voice and repeated, "What about my drink?"

      Isabella paused for a moment and looked up at JoJo.

      "What about it?" Isabella replied and turned her attention back to building the sand castle.

EPILOGUE

      Isabella had been dreading the trip to Mystery Island. What she expected and what happened were two completely different things. By the end of the day, Isabella did make new friends with other pets and she helped the babies rebuild their sand castle. She even got a new best friend, Dinah, the purple Wocky, who shared their bedroom. That day, Isabella had learned the meaning of true friendship with the help of a little baby Blumaroo.

      As for JoJo, she shaped up a bit once she realized the other pound pets had no intention of letting her take advantage of them. JoJo now has to do for herself.

The End

Author's Note: Special Thanks go to those who encouraged me to write again. I hope you enjoyed my short story. Please feel free to offer comments.

 
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