My New Life
I've never known what it was like to live in a neohome. I've been fending for myself on the streets for a long time now. My owner abandoned me when the ray zapped me into the creature I am today. The pound didn't have enough room for me either, so I was left to roam Neopia Central alone. I eat from garbage cans at the back of the shops. I live in a cardboard box in the woods behind the bank. No one knows I'm here, so I'm safe.
I have three eyes and three buck teeth. My fur is an unruly purple mass and my claws are sharp and black. I'm an ugly creature; I'll never be pretty like the other Usuls I see playing around the Money Tree. The only friend I have is my Yullie, Pipkin. She comes with my everywhere. She even lets me pick her up and cuddle her when I'm feeling really lonely.
I like to spend my time under the Money Tree collecting what I can. I especially love when people leave food behind, or toys to play with, or books to read. The people are really nice when they leave things like that behind. It's really nice when they leave warm clothes in the winter months because then I'll be warm. The people who leave their things behind probably don't realize how much pets like me can use them. But they really are very nice; I don't know another word to use though. Nice doesn't seem good enough, but I'm not that smart, you see. So I'll continue to call them nice.
Once in a while I'll find something really good like an expensive item I can sell for lots of Neopoints to spend on food or a night in the Neolodge. I love to spend a night in the Neolodge when it's cold out because I can be warm for a night. If I'm really lucky I get to spend two nights there. I don't like the looks the other pets give me when they see me though. I can tell by their faces that they think I'm not good enough to be in the Neolodge. They make me want to go back to my cardboard box, but I stick around because I want to be warm.
There was one day during the Month of Storing when my whole life changed because of the kind people that donated their things to the Money Tree. It was a really cold night and I was waiting for someone to drop off a coat or something so I could keep warm for the night. I usually had a store of blankets and coats by then, but I hadn't been able to uncover many that year. It was a dark night because the moon was covered by clouds. The first snow storm of the season was approaching quickly. I knew I had to get some warm things soon.
But anyway, as I watched a hooded figure dropped something close to the base of the Money Tree. I scurried forward with Pip and saw what the mysterious figure had dropped: a Paint Brush! I immediately thought 'This is my chance! I can change and then maybe someone will adopt me!' I picked the brush up with shaking hands and saw that it was a Skunk Paint Brush. Not the most flattering color, but I wouldn't be a hideous mutant anymore! I was so excited so have something so valuable, and I wanted to thank the stranger. But when I turned they were gone. I whispered, 'Thank you,' to the cold night air, hoping that they would hear me.
Then I went to the Rainbow Pool. I'd never been there before. It was such a pretty place, even in the dark. The water shone with the moonlight that trickled down onto its surface. It seemed the clouds had cleared for my special moment. The rainbow was there even in the dark! It was beautiful and it was all mine. No one else was around on this dark, cold night. I stood at the edge of the pool of water and gazed into my hideous reflection. Those three yellow eyes, buck teeth and unruly purple fur. This was the last time I would ever see that face reflected back to me.
I slowly stepped into the water and set Pipkin on the edge. "Help me, Pip," I said with a smile. The little Yullie smiled back at me. I could see in her eyes how happy she was. "We might get a real home soon. People won't make funny faces and look away from me anymore," I promised to my little friend. Then Pip ran the brush up and down my back, and I took care of my front. When I stepped out of the water I felt like a new Usul.
I gazed into my reflection and smiled. I only had two eyes now, and they were a pretty blue. The unruly purple fur was now smooth and black with a white streak running down my head and back. I smiled at myself, glad my buck teeth were gone. I grabbed Pipkin and held her close. Now all I needed was a real home, and I truly hoped my new color would help with that.
Three days later was the Day of Thanks. It was a day where all Neopets ate a big meal and said thank you for all of their blessings. Of course, I was still on the streets with Pip. But I did have something to be thankful for. Neopians were beginning to notice me and greet me. It was on the Day of Thanks that someone offered their home to me. I'd seen her before shopping around with her other three Neopets. She was short with black hair and a kind face. She was always very nice in giving at the Money Tree and she had begun to notice me and my new look after that night. I could feel her eyes on me when she walked by, but I couldn't look at her and her happy family. It made me too sad.
I was scrounging in a garbage can outback of the Food Shop when she spoke to me that fateful day. She asked me what I was doing, so I told her. I told her everything about my life since I'd been abandoned. I was surprised how fast the story came to my lips. She was very understanding and when I was finished she asked me if I'd like to come home with her. She told me no one should be alone on the Day of Thanks and that I could stay with her if I wanted.
So I took Pipkin and went home with the girl. The other pets were very nice to me when we got there and said they'd noticed me and told their Mom about me. That's what they called their owner, 'Mom'. But they'd noticed me when I was still ugly! Their mom didn't have any room for another pet at the time. It'd taken weeks for a room to be ready for a new pet, but when they'd come for me they couldn't find me. I'd already used the paint brush and was unrecognizable. It was the sad look in my eyes that the girl recognized. She knew it was me then, and knew she could help me. So she did, and she also told me that, no matter what color I was, there was always someone who would love me.
That evening we sat at the table and ate a big meal. It was the biggest meal I'd had in the longest time. We went around the table and told what we were thankful for. I told them I was thankful for such a nice meal and that I was glad they'd welcomed me into their home. I can't remember what they said though because I was too caught up in my own blessings. They were very happy though, especially with a new member of their family. Now there was someone else to play with. And I couldn't wait to play with them! I hadn't had a friend to play with (besides Pipkin) in the longest time.
That night when I was tucked into my new, cozy, warm bed Mom said something to me I'll never forget. "You have a new home now. No matter what happens, know I'll never abandon you and Pipkin." Then she turned out the light and went to her own room. The kind words made me feel so warm inside, like I'd finally found a place to belong. I truly believed her words. I'd never felt like I'd belonged more than I did that night and every night since. And I fell asleep that night knowing I'd never go hungry or be homeless again.