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Stray


by lissiekat10

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"And stay out, you grubby filth ball!" yelled the butcher as he threw a little ball of orange and white fluff out the front door of his shop. The Doglefox landed with a thud when he hit the hard, hot pavement of the street. He yelped in pain and scrambled up. Then he ran through the crowded streets of the Lost Desert. All kinds of Neopets were everywhere, walking both ways on the narrow street. He clumsily dodged their feet, and raced along, trying to avoid notice. Sometimes he would stop at a food stand or shop door, but he was always shooed away before he could eat anything.

     Night fell, and he grew hungrier. He hadn't eaten in days, maybe weeks. And the fleas! They were driving him mad! He always itched all over because of them. He thought about his food situation as he scratched his ear with his foot. He would do what he always did... steal. He hated resorting to stealing from the Lost Desert marketplace. He almost always got hurt. People didn't seem to like him at all. Whenever he would even think about taking the smallest bit of food, just enough to fill his tummy a bit, he would get something thrown at him, or he would be thrown out.

     As he was sneaking up to a store, he got a sudden urge to scratch his back. He stopped in his tracks and rolled over onto his back. He started to roll in the sand, relieving his itch. He got back up after a moment and quietly walked over to a food stand. He could smell food. Fish. It was fresh and smelled amazing. He began to salivate just thinking about it.

     He was sinking his teeth into a fish when BAM! A rock landed right next to him, exploding the fish that it hit. BAM! Another rock and another exploding fish. He grabbed his fish and leaped off the stand, bounding away with his food. A few rocks flew through the air as he ran, but they missed by a long shot. He ran until he was in a less populated part of the desert. He turned down an alley and ate his fish in peace. Then he found a nice cardboard box and fell asleep in it.

     The Doglefox dreamed that it was raining fish. There were normal raindrops too, and he drank those. As the fish piled up, he ate them, fish after fish. It was endless, just as his stomach appeared to be. The best part of the dream, though, was that he didn't itch at all. Not once. He was disappointed when the dream began to fade.

     The Doglefox woke up the next morning with a full stomach. He had a good scratch to celebrate, then realized that he was extremely thirsty. This was probably brought on by his dream of rain, the heat of the Lost Desert, or both. He decided to go downtown to see if he could come across something to drink. He found the scent of water on the wind. The Doglefox followed the scent and came to a strange circular structure made of stone. The Doglefox didn't know what a well was, but he smelled water so, without thinking, he jumped right in.

     It wasn't a very deep well but, to the Doglefox, it was too deep to jump out again. Besides, he was too busy splashing in the water, frantically trying to gain his footing. After a moment, he realized the water wasn't very deep. He could stand in it and it only came up to his ankles. He drank some, then sat down, lifting his head to try and look out of the well. He was scared so he started barking at the top of his lungs. After what seemed like forever, he quit barking and lay down. It was quite uncomfortable but, somehow, he fell asleep in the water.

     Upon awaking, the Doglefox opened his eyes slowly. When he did, he jumped with surprise. He wasn't in a well, he was in a small metal box, along with a couple of Anubis. They looked at him quizzically, and sniffed him. He shrank back from the unfamiliar petpets, and they ignored him after a moment. The box was small, and he wanted out. He started wailing but nobody came to his aid. He realized that someone was carrying the box, and he frantically searched for an exit, but in vain. He would just have to wait until the box was opened.

     When the person carrying the box stopped, the Doglefox heard a door open. Then a side of the box opened and a Blumaroo gently lifted him and the two Anubis into her arms. She put them in separate cages, locked them, and left the room. The Doglefox saw something in the back of the cage and sniffed it... It was food! He gobbled it up quickly and then drank the bowl of bitter water that was next to the food. Then he fell asleep. This time he didn't dream of fish, but of millions of Anubis, all sniffing him. It was quite an uncomfortable dream.

     The Doglefox woke up when he heard the door to his cage being opened. The Blumaroo was standing in the doorway with her hands stretched out. He backed up against the opposite end of the cage but the Blumaroo's hands grabbed him easily. She handed him to a small red Kacheek, who was as wide eyed as he was. The red Kacheek handed the Blumaroo some coins and then skipped away with the Doglefox in her arms. An older, Shadow Kacheek was waiting outside and they put him in... another cage. The Doglefox slumped down and awaited what would happen next. The two Kacheeks carried the cage, which was the same size as the one he had been in with the Anubis.

     A little while later, the Kacheeks reached their Neohome and carried the cage with the frightened Doglefox inside. The Kacheek took the cage by herself and skipped up a set of stairs and went in a room. It was quite small, and clean. There was a large bed that was neatly made in one corner, and a toybox in the other. The Kacheek put the cage on the bed and opened the door. The Doglefox timidly walked out of the cage, sniffing around. He finally grew brave enough to jump off the bed and race around the room. He found another bowl of water, which he drank from, and then grabbed a toy that was in front of the toybox. The Kacheek laughed and chased him around the room. When they both grew tired, she scratched his back, which felt very nice.

     Yes, life as a house pet sure was different for the little Doglefox, but he would get used to it. It beat living in the streets. As a pet, he would be fed and given plenty of water. He was also sheltered from the hot desert sun, and had plenty of new toys to play with. He might grow to like the Kacheek who kept calling him "Rusty." Besides, he had heard that owners could do something about those irritating fleas!

The End

 
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