Blue Skeith Blues
“I don’t really know where to start my story. I suppose I could start at the beginning; but it doesn’t matter how I was born, or why. But what matters to me is where I ended up: The Neopian Pound. My name? Well, if you must know, it is Jac1753.” The Blue Skeith shifted uneasily after speaking these words, watching the Yellow Uni beside him. “It’s okay.” Jac1753 looked away for a moment to hide his embarrassment. “Most Neopians react that way when they hear my name.”
The Yellow Uni shook her maned head slowly, a small sad smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. “It’s not your name, Jac,” she said quietly, lifting her hoof under his chin to turn his face back to her. “You don’t mind if I call you Jac, do you?”
Jac1753’s eyes lit up a little and he smiled. “Nobody has ever called me that before.” He liked it. And while it didn’t matter to him about the numbers behind his name, it was nice to have it shortened.
“I’m sure if they got to know you, they would like you,” the Uni said, lowering her hoof again as she glanced around at the other pets. “If they would just give you a chance.” She moved to stand beside Jac1753, looking back at him. “Is it always so crowded in here?”
Jac1753 nodded. “Some pets don’t stay in here long; but others...” He let out a small sigh. “Others never leave.”
“Never?” The Uni looked back at Jac1753 with her eyes widening slightly. That was horrible. How could it be this way? She didn’t want to spend the rest of her life in here. She wanted to run in fields and make friends. She wanted to be taken shopping for clothes, and be spoilt. Swallowing a lump that had grown in her throat, she looked down at the floor and then slowly shifted her focus back to the Skeith. “Why?”
“Our names. They are not so appealing to most.” Jac1753 looked away again, a noise at the front door of the pound getting his attention.
“No. No!” the Red Lutari cried, squirming wildly in her owner’s arms as she was presented at the desk. “I don’t want to be with someone else. I want to be with you.” Her owner shook his head, holding her out for the pound assistant to take her. “No!” she cried louder, causing most of the pets nearby to stop and look at her. And with a final desperate struggle, the Red Lutari escaped from her owner’s hold, dropping to the floor and running quickly from view.
“Poor thing,” the Yellow Uni whispered, stomping her hoof on the floor. “I wish I had thought of that.” Though she couldn’t blame the Lutari for not wanting to come into the pound. It was crowded and many pets were crying or shivering from cold and hunger. People were continually coming and going, and while many pets were sent in, it seemed that not as many were being taken out.
It didn’t seem fair to the Uni to see so many pets unwanted and abandoned. Yet she herself was brought in here because her owner no longer wanted her, deciding on having a ‘better’ pet. Better pet? How could there be a ‘better pet’? Were they not all created equally? Did they not all deserve a chance at life, a happy home?
Her thoughts were distracted as a group of people passed the cages, looking at the pets inside. Some pets had barely left their owners’ hands and people snatched them up, taking them away with them. “Nicely named pets,” Jac1753 muttered to himself, noticing how easily people didn’t even bother to look at him.
“I beg your pardon?” The Uni turned her attention back to Jac1753. “What do you mean?”
“Watch,” Jac1753 said, nodding in the direction of the door as another pet was presented. “He has a good name.” No sooner had Jac1753 uttered those words, the pet was quickly grabbed by another Neopian and taken away. “Painted pet,” Jac1753 muttered again as a Darigan Lupe entered. Within the blink of an eye, the Lupe was claimed by someone else.
“This is how it is?” the Uni asked incredulously. “Always?”
“I’m afraid so,” Jac1753 replied with a slight shrug. Every day all day, the select few with good names and nice colours were taken before they could even taste the stale air inside the stone walls. “By the way, what is your name?”
“Jeniai,” the Uni answered, suddenly noticing someone moving towards her after hearing her name.
“This one,” the young Neopian girl said pointing at the Uni, and the attendant opened the door to the cage.
“I guess this is goodbye then,” Jac1753 said quietly, watching the Uni be lead away by her new owner. As sad as he was that it was not him chosen, he was happy to see the Uni find a new home. But he couldn’t help wishing that it was him instead that had been the girl’s choice. Yet he had seen this happen too many times before. Sighing, he lay down on the floor, watching the comings and goings with a small pang of envy, and sadness stirring inside of him when he thought how many more like him would be left there and forgotten.
Within moments another pet joined the cage that Jac1753 was in. Jac1753 gave the Green Lupe a small friendly smile as it entered, its tail tucked between its legs. “Hi, what’s your name?”
“Goblin_335,” the Lupe replied, tilting his head a little to look curiously at Jac1753. “What’s your name?”
Jac1753 opened his mouth to say his name when someone stopped outside the cage, looking between the Skeith and the Lupe.
“I only have room for one of you,” the young Neopian lady said, looking a little sad as she continued to look both pets over. “It’s not easy to decide.”
Jac1753 knew this lady. Well, he knew of her and others like her. She belonged to a group of Neopians called the ‘One Weekers Adoptions’ that were one of the very few who adopted the poorly named pets to zap them into something more desirable. It was a shame that Neopians would only consider a pet that was painted something nice; but it was how it was and always had been for as long as Jac1753 could remember.
“The Lupe,” the lady finally said, waiting for the attendant to open the door so she could take him. “I’m sorry, big guy,” she added, giving Jac1753 another look before turning to leave.
Jac1753 watched silently as the Lupe left, wishing he would be so lucky as to find someone that wanted him too.
For months Jac1753 resided in the Neopian Pound. Nobody knows what happened to him in the end. Perhaps he found a new owner; or perhaps he is still in there somewhere waiting for someone to notice him and take him home.
Next time you go to the pound, keep an eye out for him, will you? And if you can’t find him, then maybe you will see one of his friends: Another poorly named pet waiting for someone to love them.