A New Home
I pulled my bright yellow parka tighter around me as I trudged through the roads of Faerieland. The weather was rotten: pounding rain and the distant rumble of thunder warning us of an approaching storm. I shivered. My house was only a few blocks away from my school. School had just ended and now I had to walk through this bad weather. I wished that my mom had picked me up. A hurrying Faerie almost knocked me flat as she hurried down the street.
My homework will be drenched, I thought grimly. I turned around leading to my house as the wind picked up, whipping my drenched hair into my face. Suddenly, my feet almost gave away from under me. “Yikes!” I just managed to catch myself on the wet ground. My wings flopping uselessly at my sides, I scrambled back to my feet, examining my hands. They were splattered with mud. Groaning, I wiped them off on my parka, and immediately wished I hadn't. Now even my parka was muddy!
I glanced around shortly to see what had caused my fall, and my eyes widened at what I saw lying there. On the side of the road, completely soaked and sad-eyed, was a shivering, blue Poogle. It stared up at me with wide, fearful eyes. I was overwhelmed with pity for this young Neopet that someone had just left here on the road amidst the storm. I looked back at the Poogle helplessly. I already had three pets! Another one would make the chaos in my Neohome worse.
But I couldn't just leave the poor guy there. I hurriedly scooped up the pitiably small Neopet in my arms, and ran the rest of the way home.
* * *
As soon as I arrived at my house, my Rainbow Gelert jumped up at me happily as I stepped through the door. Suddenly he stopped, looking at the Poogle in my arms questioningly. I shook my head slightly, indicating that I didn't have any time to explain.
I set the Poogle down on the kitchen table gently, and dropped my backpack on a chair as I rummaged through my closet for the spare basket that I had always kept in case I got another pet. I raced upstairs and fetched a soft pink pillow from my bed and a small blue baby blanket, which I tucked neatly into the basket. I carried the basket downstairs and placed it next to the stove, where it was warmest.
Using a towel, I dried off the Poogle thoroughly as my other pets - a Gelert, a Flotsam, and a Xweetok - watched intently. Soon, my newest pet was sparkling clean, and I placed him in the basket. The Poogle smiled softly up at me. I put three slices of cheese, a Doughnutfruit, a Loveberry, some Orange Chicken and a Green Apple onto a plate, not knowing what the newest member of my family would like to eat. I put a cup of Meepit juice and a Strawberry Blend Slushie in front of him and sat on a chair, watching the little guy anxiously. The Poogle ended up eating the cheese, Loveberry and the Doughnutfruit, and drinking the Meepit juice. Contented, the Neopet blinked gratefully up at me before curling up into a tight ball and going to sleep. My Cloud Xweetok, Tania, swiped at the Green Apple and started eating it, happy that the Poogle had been kind enough to leave some food for her. The Gelert, Chip, snatched the Orange Chicken and was about to gleefully take the Slushie too, but the Baby Flotsam Tansy beat him to it, picking up the Slushie and whacking Chip's paws gently with her tail fin, shaking her head gently.
I wondered what I should call the Poogle. I thought that I should call him 'Stripes' but the name didn't seem right for this peculiar pet. Chip placed his multi-colored head on my lap, looking at me with his gentle, brown eyes. I petted his head softly, still musing over a name for the Poogle.
* * *
As I snuggled under the covers of my bed, Tania jumped up beside me, borrowing herself under the covers until she was lying right beside me. I grinned as I stroked Tania's soft fur.
“So,” Tania said, snuggling deeper down under the covers. “What are you going to call him?”
I shrugged. “I don't know yet.”
“Oh. You know, I think that Tansy had a name for him... It was something like... erm...”
I looked at the Xweetok, waiting patiently.
“Erm... Kootchie or something like that...”
“Okay... I'll sleep on it. Thanks, Tania.”
“No problem, Samantha. But thank Tansy, not me. She's the one that made it up.”
“See you tomorrow!”
I grinned. It didn't take much for Tania to fall asleep.
* * *
The next morning was the weekend. I was glad. Now I would be able to find a name for the Poogle and get to know him a bit better. I yawned audibly, slipping out of bed and putting on my slippers. I flexed my wings; they were still a bit damp from yesterday's rain. I ran a comb through my hair and hurried down the stairs, draping a long red robe around me. When I came downstairs, an unbelievable sight greeted my eyes: The kitchen table had a long tablecloth draped over it and four plates were set on the table, along with freshly made pancakes and glasses of Meepit juice. Chip, Tansy, and my Poogle were sitting in front of the table, beaming proudly.
Just then, Tania poked her head around the corner of the stairs, her eyelids still drooping with sleep.
“What's going on?” Her eyes lit up at the sight of the pancakes and she raced over and sat on the stool, her tail a blur as it wagged wildly. The three Neopets on the floor looked up at the Xweetok. Tania looked at them, then at me, then at them again. Finally she noticed that she wasn't supposed to start eating without us and she had raced towards the table a little too fast.
“Oh... err... nothing healthier than a spot of breakfast when it's piping hot, eh?” she said, wagging her paw nervously. I couldn't help it. I broke into gales of laughter at the sight of the impossible Xweetok sitting on the stool, grinning nervously and shuffling her paw sheepishly as her eyes darted back and forth from the pancakes on the plates. I petted all of my pets before I sat down at the table. No pet moved, save Tania's paw that was straying purposely near her plate of pancakes.
“Come on! We can eat now!” I said, slightly puzzled, to my pets on the floor. Chip, Tansy, and the Poogle needed no second bidding. They jumped up onto their chairs and started eating the pancakes, as if they hadn't eaten in a week.
“So,” I said to Tansy through a mouthful of pancake. “What was the name that you wanted to give to our new family member? Koochie?”
Tansy shook her head as she gulped down her Meepit juice. “No Koochie. Name fo da Poogy be Janda.” I almost let loose a flurry of giggles as I turned to Tania, who was taking a second helping of pancakes.
“Koochie?” I said questioningly to the Xweetok. Tania shrugged.
“Wot? I was trying to get to sleep so I had to think of a name to keep you busy.”
I shook my head in mock disappointment. “My, my, what a naughty Xweetok you are, Tania!”
Tania looked at me indignantly, her paws still shoveling pancakes into her open mouth. “Howf dlare you call mef naughlty?” she mumbled through the pancakes.
Tansy giggled and clapped her fins. “Tania a naughty Xweetoks. Chop a tail off with a singlef swipey!”
The Poogle watched, his eyes alight with laughter.
As soon as all of the giggling and laughing had stopped, I said, “Hmmm, 'Janda'. That seems more like a girl name, don't you think? What would you say if we changed his name to Jeran? Like the blue Lupe who fought Lord Kass?”
Tansy started clapping her fins again, and Chip nodded agreeably. The Poogle seemed happy. He rubbed his forehead against the sleeve of my robe thankfully.
I stroked his head gently. “So,” I said. “Jeran you'll be!”
And that day was a day that I'll remember all my life. I think that Jeran will remember it too. That day, he had been given a new home, and a name. And that day, he spoke his first words to me.
Author's Note: If you are reading this, it is my first entry in the NT! Hope you enjoyed it!