The inside scoop on Jelly W-argh! *choke* Circulation: 119,635,638 Issue: 241 | 26th day of Hunting, Y8
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Perfect Imperfection

by animalnutz1993





     "Oh, yes," scoffed Harvey. "VERY mature."

     "At least you can actually see the floor in my room!" snarled Wintria.

     "What's that supposed to mean?"

     "Wow! If you can't figure that out, you're dumber than I thought!"

     Harvey snarled and barked and crouched on his haunches, ready to spring. "Wait! Harvey, Wintria," said Angie. "What's wrong?"

     "Harvey ate my Halloween candy!" said Wintria, glaring at my Starry Gelert. I had given up trying to break them up: my Skunk Flotsam, Angie, was better at that.

     "It was just a piece!" complained Harvey.

     "Well," said Angie slowly. "Was the candy still any good from Halloween, Winter?" she used Wintria's nickname.

     "Well, not really," admitted Wintria. "But he could've asked!"

     "Will you ask next time, Harv'?" Harvey nodded and padded off. The war was off-for now.

     I gave Angie a grateful look. "I don't know how you do it," I said. She shrugged.

     "It's an older sibling thing," she said.

     "Well, now the Underwater Fishing Cavern won't be a battlefront when we're fishing," I said, checking my watch. "I think it's time to go."

     So Angie, Harvey, Wintria, my Wocky Double A and I went to the cavern. Double A squealed with delight when the Butterfish she had just caught flopped around on the deck. We all cracked up when a few moments later Harvey caught a Breadfish. The Blandfish Wintria caught followed her hoof from its place in a clear plastic cup. Wintria said she couldn't bear to eat it, so she was going to keep it.

     Angie reeled in her line and nothing was attached. She sighed. We went home after that.


     "Mom! I beat him! I beat him again!" Harvey bounced up to me, his eyes shining. Behind him the Pant Devil was looking a little more blue than usual.

     "That's great, Sweetheart!" I said. Then there was a shout of joy to our left.

     "I did it!" squealed Double A. "Mommy! I defeated Punchbag Bob!!!" I swung her up and whirled her around, celebrating. Wintria came over, smiling at Double A. She chose not to fight today. She'd just defeated the Pant Devil the day before and was taking a break. She kicks butt in the Battledome.

     I looked over sympathetically at Angie. "We can get some ice for that," I said. She looked at her bruises and scratches and sighed.

     We left the Battledome and headed home, trying to avoid the rain. I hoped we'd get home soon; lightning flashed the sky. When we opened the door, a flash of lightning behind us lengthened our shadows. Wintria's Angelpuss, Noel, mewed in fear and dashed under the couch.

     She stayed there and no one could get her out. Angie came into the room after she had been treated to a soothing healing potion. She got down so that she was level with the bottom of the couch.

     "Hi, Noel," she cooed to the little Christmas Angelpuss. A pair of yellow eyes stared back at her. "Did the lightning scare you? Well, it's gone now. Do you want to come out? Wintria has some milk for you." She looked at her younger sister while she said this part and Wintria nodded. Then she went into the kitchen for some Kau Kau Farm Milk.

     Angie began to make little chirruping noises and Noel stopped shaking. Angie started humming the tune to the game Word Pyramid. Noel timidly came out and lapped up the milk that Wintria set down.

     I smiled. I didn't know how Angie could do it. She's so gentle! But she looked rather depressed for the rest of the night. I wondered why.

      ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*~

     "Whatsa matter, Angie?" asked Double A. "You LOVE the beach! How about you an' me go swimming?"

     Angie smiled but shook her head. "No thanks, Double A," she replied. "I'm just gonna relax on the beach." Double A looked skeptical but turned to splash in the surf. By now, everyone could sense that there was something wrong with Angie: even the petpets. But as much as we knew something was wrong, the less we knew what exactly WAS wrong. I watched from my beach towel as Angie propped herself up on an elbow and drew in the sand with a little stick.

     She gazed out to the dock and I followed her gaze. A Baby Lupe and Kougra were wrestling playfully while their parents were talking. Suddenly, the little Lupe tumbled over the edge and there was a splash!

     Angie gasped and leapt up. She plunged into the sea and swam furiously for the struggling little Neopian, way ahead of the lifeguard. I sprang up and darted for the dock, where the parents and Baby Kougra were shouting hysterically. Crouching on my hands and knees, I held out my hand to grab Angie's free fin while the other kept the Lupe's head above the water. She hoisted up the soggy furball to the frantic mother while I, the other frantic mother, pulled my pet close to me.

     The Yellow Lupess, clutching her son dear, laid her paw on Angie's shoulder. "Young lady, how can I ever thank you?" The Lupe wriggled out of his mother's grasp and threw his arms around Angie's neck, and his stunned sister followed suit. Angie smiled softly.

     "It's really no problem," she insisted. "I'm just glad this little guy's alright," she rumpled his damp hair.

     That day, I was prouder of Angela than ever before.


     "Woo-hoo!" Double A pounded the air with her paws. "I win! Come to Mama!" she swept together all the pieces of Bubble Gum we had bet on winning the board game. We all groaned. After the game, Angie was very quiet for the rest of the evening, and shortly retired to her room.

     It was dusk, and I wanted to go out to my precious garden to watch my Autumn Sunset Daisy shoot up sparks in greeting of the setting sun. So I got up out of my Curvy Recliner and went down the hallway to watch the fun. But as I passed Angie's room, I heard… crying. I looked in and Angie was lying facedown on her Fresh Bamboo Bed, crying quietly.

     "Angie," I exclaimed. "What's the matter?"

     She looked up and met my eyes. "Don't act like you don't know what's wrong, Mom," she sniffed.

     "Angie, I swear by Fyora's wings that I'm not acting." I took a step towards her.

     "I can't do anything right!" she sobbed. "I'm the oldest, and Harvey, Wintria, and even Double A are better at everything than I am! I'm so---worthless!"

     "Worthless!" I cried. "Holy asparagus, Angie!" I sat down on her bed. "Today you saved a life! What are you going to do tomorrow, save Neopia?"


     "Angela, you're not worthless! You're perfect!" I gathered her up in my arms, but she pushed away.

     "No, no, no, no, no!" she shrieked. "I'm the last thing from perfect! I can't fish, I can't fight in the Battledome, I can't even win a board game against my kid sister!"

     "Oh, what do ANY of those things have to do with anything?" I protested.

     "Making you proud," she sniffled sheepishly.

     I stood stock still, stunned. Angie took this as an opportunity to add detail. "I want to be that pet you have that you can brag about to your friends: 'You should've seen it when Angie kicked the Lava Ghoul's butt!' 'Today Angie caught the biggest fish I've ever seen!' 'The Beauty Contest judges just loved Angie!'"

     "Sweetheart, ANY parent can brag about that!" I cupped my hand under her chin to meet her incandescent violet blue eyes. "I'm one of the few that gets to say, 'My Angie is one of the gentlest, kindest, and caring Neopians I've ever met!'"

     Her eyes questioned me.

     "You're the only one who can stop Harvey and Double A from fighting; fears vanish at the comfort you give to everyone; and to top it all off, you can make flowers grow faster than Illusen!" I gestured to where the vines Angie cared for clung to her window, begging for her attention.

     Angie still looked doubtful.

     "You know," I said slowly. "There's one more thing you give to everyone, which always comes back to you; something so precious and wonderful that it can only be felt inside you."

     "What?" she whispered.


     And from that day on, Angie never doubted how much she meant to me.

The End

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