A Guide to Overcoming Shortness
There are many perils in this world of ours for even a normal-sized pet. But I – Terroryse, Camouflage Krawk – and many other pets suffer from a curse...the curse of being small. Small stature is not all bad, however; here, I will explain the blessings and the dangers of being, as we may call ourselves, dwarf pets, and what we can do to help our survival.
Dwarf pets are those that stand merely 20cm high or under, for example, I am only 17cm. I asked a fellow dwarf, Wulde the Mutant Draik, what it was like for him to be small; this is how he responded:
"What's it like being small? Small? Heh, please. It's not about how big you are. That doesn't matter. It's about how big you make yourself. Numbers might say I'm barely over a foot tall, but no one's thinking about numbers when they're running away with a burning tail. So why don't you go ask someone who really knows what it is to be small, eh?"
An insightful opinion and one I will be returning to later on; first, however, I must touch upon the dangers of short stature.
Being short can have many negative effects, from getting stuck in almost any crowds to being unable to reach the top shelf. Whilst the latter is fairly minor, being stuck in a crowd – and indeed many other situations – can be lethal to dwarf pets, yet merely fairly uncomfortable for others. Even trying to catch the attention of a friend can be hard, as they are less likely to see your flailing arms/tail/wings in your attempt to notify them of your presence.
Other problems may occur when exploring Neopia. In the Deserted Tomb, for example – I have heard first-hand from my sister Arcanyis that a multitude of arrow traps lie within that she has had to protect our owner, Arceus, from. A dwarf pet may be unable to stop all the projectiles, and end up with their owner injured. We are also small enough that the Turmaculus could try to eat us, thinking us to be Petpets – this is an especial danger for us Krawks, and to a lesser extent, Blumaroos.
To rectify these problems, there are many solutions we may take advantage of. First off, and as Wulde rightly said, no one will notice your shortness if you are scaring them away. Unfortunately, in some situations, this would not be the best solution – you wouldn't want to scare away your friend, now would you? The acrobatic pet could invest in a pair of Wooden Stilts, at only a few NP; this may not, however, be the best idea for all pets. I, for one, could not balance on a pair of stilts for three seconds.
So what could the less fearsome or acrobatic pets do to protect themselves? There is always Supersize, which temporarily increases the size of any pet many times larger, though I would be wary of buying one that makes you TOO big. Alternatively, keep a Petpet at your side at all times, as a pair (or more) of extra eyes. My loyal Reptillior, Nagini, serves as my assistance in this matter, though less venomous Petpets are suggested for most readers. Perhaps I might suggest a Mallard? Its loud wail will alert you to any danger. Or maybe an Uggatrip – good for the budding restocker, this Petpet will trip any Neopets in the way of that Wraith Draik Morphing Potion you've had your eye on, reducing your natural disadvantage! (A warning, however – if you don't want to be in a lot of pain, I would advise not tripping Arcanyis in this situation!)
Now, us dwarf pets have our merits. We have the advantage of stealth, particularly if like I you are painted Camouflage. But even for those who are not, being minute makes it far harder to be spotted, a good thing for events from evading the Snowager's wrath (although I hear he is hibernating right now) to sneaking through small gaps other pets would not fit into. The latter point is amazing for those pets bullied due to their size – they can flee to safety. Another huge advantage for us is our ability to ride sufficiently large Petpets; if I and Nagini wish to travel, we can take turns carrying the other and fulfilling other needs such as sleeping and eating.
For the lazy pet, another gift to being small is the excuse to be carried – on a long journey we would likely be unable to keep up, so another family member would need to take us along. The downside to this, of course, is that we may end up being placed in a backpack or other bag, and be bumped around for the whole of the trip; even a bumpy bag would be better than the one I had to be taken in when going to get Nagini, however, as Arcanyis had not cleaned it out properly and it was full of decaying Angelpuss fur. It softened the bumps from my Tyrannian Uni sister Anyope's flying (as she has an injured wing), but I would not recommend it for that purpose – use something with a scent to your taste, preferably.
As you can see, diminutive stature is no blockage to our ability, as long as we are provided with a way around it. As such, I will now deviate from the advice to dwarf pets, to give advice to their owners:
If you are looking to adopt a dwarf pet, be fully aware of their needs – if your home is full of boisterous, weighty pets, a dwarf may be inadvertently trampled in the commotion, whilst selfish pets are likely to refuse transport to their new sibling, potentially resulting in their being left behind on an otherwise all-family vacation.
Just because we are smaller does not mean we need less food! A friend I once had, a Blue Flotsam measuring 19cm, told me of her plight at mealtimes – she was always given the least food in the family, and often went hungry, but was too shy to tell her owner of the situation.
Our choice of Petpet may be more important to our lifestyle than it is to most pets. I, for example, would be unable to cope if Nagini were swapped for Anyope's Maraquan Grackle Bug, Zora, for a day – I rely on Nagini's strengths, and a Grackle Bug just doesn't have the same abilities.
Do not confuse us with Baby pets! Baby pets generally need...well, babying, whilst we do not. Anyone trying to baby me would end up bitten by Nagini, if I didn't get in there first with my claws.
Now, I believe that is all I need to say for now. Just remember, you are not alone – many other pets have the same condition; if you need urgent help, seek out another in your area. Terroryse, signing out.
(Thanks to molebucks for allowing me to use Wulde's opinion in this article!)