Bob Didn't See It Coming!
For as long as he could remember, Bob had been a loyal petpet, a trustworthy companion for Max, the Faerie Acara. Bob, being a dependable Moink, couldn't even imagine being petpet to any other than Max. He joined Max every day, to his job at the Faerieland Employment Agency, helping him wherever he could. On the long journeys Max made around different parts of Neopia, Bob always stayed on his side. Even when those journeys took them to scary and remote places like the Haunted Woods, Darigan Castle or Terror Mountain. They brought joy in each other's lives, both having the same sense of humour and valuing each other's company as the precious bond it is.
Likewise, Max offered the best care possible since he took Bob under his Faerie wings. He provided Bob with a cute petpetpet, took him to the Petpet Arena and the Symol hole from time to time and protected him from the feared Turmaculus.
Lately, however, Bob started noticing some unexpected changes in Max' behaviour. It all started the day Bob and Max went fishing at Ye Olde Fishing Vortex. Usually they sit and fish together for a couple of hours, and head to the Kelp restaurant afterwards, for a three course meal. Today however, Max asked the little Moink to stay put, while he would grab a snack and return with it to Ye Olde Fishing Vortex. At that point, Bob didn't have any suspicion that something was going on. He kept on fishing and waiting.
But as time went by, he grew more and more worried that something might have happened. More than two hours had past and still no Max in sight! To Bob's great relief, he suddenly spotted Max, running towards Ye Olde Fishing Vortex, carrying a snack indeed. The little Moink hugged Max and said: "I was so worried! Where have you been all this time?" Much to Bob's surprise, Max didn't gave him a straightforward answer, but instead mumbled something about long waiting lines and bumping into some old acquaintances on his way. Furthermore Max was behaving rather out of character. He didn't look directly into his petpet's eyes, and seemed quite nervous. He was wiggling on his feet and his wings were moving in an agitated kind of way.
The only time Bob had seen Max like this was that time when Queen Fyora paid an unexpected visit to the Faerieland Employment Agency, while Max was working there.
Although this behaviour struck Bob as odd, he wasn't suspicious yet. It was a busy time of the year. The cleaning up after the big party for Tyrannian Victory Day was only just finished and the preparation for Fyora Day had also taken its toll on Max. Ever since Max had met Queen Fyora, his admiration for her had skyrocketed and he was participating in all kinds of teams engaged in the organisation of the new Fyora Day. Besides that, the work at the Faerieland Employment Agency had accumulated in the month of Hunting and the month of Relaxing. It seemed like everybody was trying to find a good job in order to earn some neopoints to spend during the Neopian summer. Taking all this into account, Bob decided to ignore the strange behaviour. Instead they went home and enjoyed a relaxing evening playing Kacheekers.
The next day, however, there was again a curious event. Like every morning, Max and Bob woke up together and took their healthy breakfast: Apple Fruit Pancakes with Fizzy Apple Juice for Max and some Pumpkin Waffles for Bob. They were talking about the weather, when suddenly Max said: "Bob, I'm really sorry, but I can't take you with me to the Faerieland Employment Agency today. It's way too hectic around there nowadays and I'm too busy to take care of you." Of course, this came as a huge surprise for Bob, and not a pleasant one, obviously. Never before Max had gone to work without taking Bob with him, no matter how busy it was. So you can imagine how upset Bob was when Max took off alone, leaving Bob at home, aghast and with a lot of questions.
The first few hours, Bob didn't know what to do with himself. But as time progressed, he started to reflect upon the recent series of events. And although he had a hard time permitting himself to think this way, some discomforting thoughts crossed his mind. What if Max didn't enjoy his presence anymore? What if his suspiciously long trip to Kelp Restaurant was in fact the result of a visit to the Maraquan Petpet Shop? What if there were plans to replace him with another petpet? You can easily imagine the effect these thoughts had on our little petpet friend. His worries increased by the minute, until he couldn't just stay put anymore and he left the Neohome, in search of answers.
In a state of panic, Bob rushed to the Maraquan Petpet Shop, in order to check if Max had been there the previous day. The Maraquan Elephante that owned the shop was surprised to find an agitated petpet without his neopet companion running around in his shop. He tried to calm Bob down and explained that he hadn't seen the Faerie Acara Bob was describing to him. Unfortunately, this didn't seem to take away the Moink's worries. On the contrary, it left him even more puzzled than before. What could there be going on? Was Bob just imagining things? The little petpet left the shop in a rush, not even noticing the balloons the Maraquan Elephante had put in his shop earlier this morning.
After aimlessly wandering around in different parts of Neopia for a while, Bob decided that he could only get answers to his many questions by addressing Max directly. He gathered his courage and started marching towards the Faerieland Employment Agency. Along the road one could see some unusual activity and feel the energy in the air, as if something special was about to happen. Bob, however, was so preoccupied with his worries that he didn't notice any of those things. With every step he took, his hesitations about the plan grew a bit more. By the time he arrived at his destination, he was overcome with doubt.
Standing at the entrance of the Faerieland Employment Agency, Bob was considering going back home and wait for Max to return. It was at that moment he first became aware of the unusual noise and commotion around him. Much of it appeared to be coming from inside the Faerieland Employment Agency. Intrigued and confused at the same time, Bob decided to enter the premises and check out what all this fuss was about.
What he discovered after opening the door really took him by surprise. The place was fully decorated. There were balloons and garlands everywhere. And never had Bob seen so many petpets in one room. Everybody was laughing and having fun and there was food aplenty. And then he heard somebody calling his name! It was Max, who was right in the middle of putting up a big banner. While he read the words on the banner, everything became clear for Bob. It said: "Happy Petpet Appreciation Day!"
So this was what Max had been up to. This was why he stayed away so long the day before in Maraqua. And this was why he didn't take Bob with him this morning. He was making preparations for the festivities! And because it was in honour of all petpets, Max had to keep it a secret for his petpet too. Max said: "Bob, I knew you would come. I'm sorry I had you worried, but it was the only way I could keep this a surprise for you. Happy Petpet Appreciation Day! I'm so glad you're finally here! Let's celebrate!"
Bob realised at that moment how well Max knew him; and his cheeks became even redder than they were before. How could he have ever doubted Max? And how did he miss all the clues? Petpets were being celebrated all over Neopia and he hadn't noticed a thing. Bob was overcome with joy. He, Max and everybody else continued the celebration and made it a day to remember.