The First Dash
I know today is going to be special because my owner checked the weather. He wants the day to be perfect and fun for outdoor activities. He puts my collar on and attaches a leash to it and I can’t help but prance around a bit. I guess this makes it hard for him to get the leash attached because it takes him a few tries to clip it on my collar. I begin to feel excitement rush into my paws as I tap dance around his two cloven hooves.
“Puppyblew, calm down,” he says as he opens the door with his trunk. My leash is grasped firmly in his hand as I make a mad dash outside, tugging him along behind me. I feel the warm breeze of the early spring morning blowing through my fur. I close my eyes for a moment to enjoy the feeling of being outdoors. I open them just in time to see a child riding past on her bicycle and I feel the strong urge to give chase. We Puppyblew enjoy children and we especially love giving them a good chase. The only thing we love more is food!
We walk briskly down the street, my tiny paws padding almost silently and my owner’s large green hooves thudding loudly just behind me. I tug harder on the short length of my leash, urging him forward, but he continues his pace making me slow down to avoid choking myself. I am usually not quite so eager (though my owner may disagree) but I know today is special. I just know it!
We stroll painstakingly as he slows quite a bit and pass many young Neopians who are having fun outside. My heart pounds faster as we near the park. The park! That was my owner’s plan for the day--a walk in the park! I am even more excited now, as I love sniffing around the park and meeting other petpets who are there with their owners to enjoy the weather. We walk past a couple Dogglefoxes on leashes who give me a passing sniff, but my owner does not allow me to stop and say hello. I just wag my tail as I am pulled away to an isolated stretch of flat grassy land on the far side of the park.
I look up inquiringly at the Elephante who is holding my leash, but he only unclips my leash and says “Stay” firmly. I do as I am told because I know I am not supposed to run off. The scent of hotdogs from a stand on the other side of the park rushes to my nostrils and I can feel myself beginning to drool. I realize that I am fairly hungry because I have not eaten this morning. Maybe my owner forgot to feed me? Maybe he planned on getting hotdogs today? I wag my tail and it thumps loudly on the ground as I begin to feel excitement again at the thought of hot food. My owner reaches into his pocket and I wonder if we are going to be doing some training with treats as rewards. He pulls something out and my heart drops. A peanut? Peanuts are great and all, but definitely not what was on my mind. Still, my tummy rumbles a bit and I accept the fact that I will be eating peanuts for breakfast. I like any food, really.
But my owner does something odd next. He places the peanut in his trunk! How ridiculous! He has perfectly good hands to feed that peanut to me! I begin to question my owner’s sanity. He looks down at me and must see the confusion in the form of my tilted head because he crouches down on one knee and looks me in the eyes. “Puppyblew, we are going to play a new game that I invented. It is called 200m Peanut Dash.” He pats me on the head and I wag my tail faster. I love games. “I am going to launch this peanut from my nose. You have to run and see if you can catch it. If you do, you get to eat the peanut. Doesn’t that sound like fun?” I bark in agreement. Strange, yes. But definitely a fun idea. Have I mentioned that I love chasing things and food? He stands back up and closes his eyes, concentrating on building pressure in his trunk, I believe. I watch him for a moment and then turn around, readying myself for the chase.
After only a few seconds, I hear a loud POP and the peanut goes flying overhead. I take off instantly, keeping my head tilted upward to see the peanut. It has flown upwards so high that I don’t see anything more than a speck slowly flying away and downward. I realize that I am not watching where I am going too late, as I trip over a fallen branch that has not yet been cleared away. I take a moment to recover and another moment to spot the peanut, now far ahead of me. I resume the chase, running as fast as I can while keeping my eye on the peanut and the surrounding area, scanning for obstacles. I begin to catch up to it and then I pass it and slow my pace so that I can be even with it. Just as I begin to think this game might be easier than I had thought initially, a Crokabek flies overhead, blocking my view of the peanut. I speed up to regain sight of my precious peanut and the annoying Crokabek speeds up too.
Suddenly I notice that the bird’s head is tilted upward, staring at the peanut! He wants to catch it too! I run faster to beat that pesky bird to my prize and I see he is behind the peanut while I am running a bit ahead. I keep my distance at first because I see another tree branch coming up. I have no time to skirt around it so I ready myself and jump at the right time to go sailing over it. I land on something squishy--another Elephante laying out sunbathing! I bounce on his belly and go flying forward as he yells at me from where he is laying on the grass.
I slow myself to where I am just ahead of the Crokabek and I see that the peanut is falling rapidly now. The bird flies up to catch the peanut and snaps his beak at it…but he misses and the salty delicious nut falls down, spiraling directly into my open mouth. I crunch it open victoriously and the bird flies off, defeated, into a nearby tree to glower at me from afar. My owner walks up, out of breath, and picks me up. He gives me a pat on the head and a snuggle before saying “Let’s do that again!” My tummy rumbles, not nearly filled by the one peanut in it, and the Crokabek squawks loudly from his tree.