More Important Things...
It was an absolutely beautiful day on Mystery Island. Well... it was usually quite beautiful, except during storm season. Today was exceptionally fine, though. Three Neopets were in their home, relaxing. It was still early in the morning, so none of them would go out to the beach yet. A red Zafara was whistling as she bustled about the house, searching endlessly for any Neopoints that their owner might have dropped in the couch or in one of the armchairs. Another pet, a green Eyrie was following her around with a frown on his face.
“Come on, Kan. You promised we'd go to the beach today!” He cried out to his older sister. The Zafara frowned and looked to him.
“Kel. I told you. I'm looking for the last few Neopoints that I need.” The Eyrie huffed and fell back onto his haunches, his tail curling over his legs as he watched her search and search through the living room for any stray Neopoints. She found one and smiled, putting into her pouch. He sat quietly and watched her for a few minutes before seeing something out of the corner of his eye. There on the window sill was a sleeping Angelpuss. She belonged to his sister... but his own Airax was still asleep on his perch in his room. He smiled and snuck over to the window before giving out a loud screech that only he could do as an Eyrie.
The poor Angelpuss cried out, mewing and running, hiding under Kan's large tail, shaking her head with her fur fluffed out. Kan looked under her tail and gives a frown to her brother, who sat down once more. “Kel! You need to grow up!” Kel sighed and just laid down on the floor. Kan shook her head before picking up the scared little Petpet and nuzzling her. “It's OK, Angel. I won't let Kel bother you anymore.” She found her comb and started to comb her fur out and Kel shook his feathery head.
“You spoil that Angelpuss too much. A good scare is good for the cardiovascular system.” Kan rolled her eyes and ignored him. When the feline was back on the window sill, Kan went back to her search for the Neopoints. Kel just watched her before finally asking the burning, nagging question in the back of his mind. “Why are you looking for the extra Neopoints anyway?”
She smiles and looks over her shoulder to him before answering his question. “I've almost got enough for a new plushie!!” She was excited about that. Her owner had created a gallery for her and she decided to fill it with plushies. She couldn't help it. They were cute, squishy, and perfect. Kel tilted his head and when Kan saw his confusion, she flopped her ears a bit before continuing. “The Plushie Palace shop keeper told me that she was getting a few rare Plushie Zafara plushies in! They're a bit expensive, but I'm going to go in with what I have and see if I can haggle her down to a lower price.”
Kel had some experience with the Plushie Palace shop keeper and reached up to scratch at one of his ears a moment. “I don't know, Kan. That shop keeper doesn't like to haggle too much. I tried to give her five Neopoints for a Lutari plushie that she had in her shop and she wouldn't take it! No matter how much I begged her.”
Kan stopped and looked to her brother for a moment. The Eyrie stared back at her. Kan sighed after another minute before rubbing her face and snout a bit. “Kel. Lutari plushies are worth at least one thousand neopoints. Why would you bother with five?”
Kel yawned and laid down on the floor, his tail curling over his back legs. “I just wanted to get it for Feathers.”
Kan nearly had a heart attack. “WHAT?! Why would you give a hard to find Lutari plushie to your stupid Airax!”
Kel pouted as she said that. “Feathers isn't stupid and he needs a plushie too.” Kan took a deep breath before responding to that.
“Then go to the Petpet store and get him something from there. Don't give him a valuable plushie.” With that, she turned and went back to searching, moving from the living room to the computer room, just in case there were a few Neopoints in a drawer. She didn't want to miss anything.
While she searched, the third Neopet member of the family came downstairs, yawning. “What is going on down here?”
Kel looked up to his new big sister and smiled to her. “Morning, Daisy. Kan and I were talking about plushies and petpets.”
Daisy frowned a bit and sat down for a moment to think about that. “Why in all of Neopia would talking about plushies and petpets make you two yell at each other this early in the morning?”
Kan joined them and smiled brightly to see her new green Kau sister up and about. “Daisy! Will you go with me to the Neopian Plaza to the Plushie Palace with me??” Daisy didn't really want to go. She would have rather gone to the beach before it got crowded by Neopian tourists. When she saw Kan's face, though, she sighs and nods in agreement.
About an hour later, once the three of them had an omelette each to eat, Daisy and Kan headed out to go over to the Neopian Plaza. All the while, Kan went on about plushie this and plushie that. She told Daisy about how she was going to expand her gallery as big as it can go. And her goal was to buy every plushie that was out there for her gallery. Daisy was letting her go on and on about it, but it mostly went in one ear and out the other. They stopped for a moment when Kan saw a Neopet head into the rainbow pool. She was a plain yellow Uni, but it seemed her owner was spoiling her quite a bit today and she came out of the pool the most beautiful pastel colors Kan had ever seen. She watched as the new pastel Uni and her owner walked off. She then looked to the pool wistfully before Daisy sighed and poked her with her horns. “Come on. If you want to get to the Plushie Shop and get that plushie, we need to get going. You know very well that they won't last long.” Kan looked to her sister before nodding and the two of them headed off again. Kan couldn't stop talking about how lucky the Uni was to be painted such a rare color. She had heard of the new Pastel paint brush, but knew she would probably never see one, let alone see what she would look like in those colors.
She turned to Daisy and started to walk backwards, talking to her. “I'm going to talk to mom about a Plushie paint brush. I think I would look amazing in plushie colors. I'll tell her that's what I want for my birthday.”
Daisy just watched her as she walked. “Do you know how hard it is to find those things, not to mention how much they cost when you do. Maybe you should think about that, because she's already paying for you to have a gallery. It costs Neopoints to upgrade that thing as much as you want. Not to mention some of the plushies you want to get are super rare and/or expensive.” Kan frowned and didn't think that Daisy was being very fair. She let the subject drop, however.
Soon, they came to the shop and Kan groaned because there was a huge line outside! Daisy was kind enough not to say 'I told you so', and just got in line with her sister. They waited in the line for an hour before they finally got in and Kan looked to the Cybunny shop keeper. “Do you have any of the Plushie Zafara plushies left!!”
The Cybunny shop keeper smiled and pulled out the very plushie that Kan was looking for. “I have one left, Kan.” The Zafara squealed in delight and the two of them started a serious bargaining session. Finally, they came to an agreement, though it cost Kan every Neopoint she brought with her. The Cybunny rung it up and handed it to Kan, who hugged the plushie gently. She and Daisy then left the store to head home.
On the way, the Kau started to turn and Kan stopped. “Wait. Daisy? Why are you going this way?” Daisy stopped and looked to her.
“Because the Post Office gets a long line this time of day, so I want to go around it. If we take the shortcut, we can get back and I can still go with Kel to the beach.” She started to walk again, but Kan stopped her.
“Daisy. The pound is this way. If that scary Dr_Death sees us, he might think that we're being abandoned. And some of the Neopets in there are dangerous.”
Daisy looked to her. “What makes you say that?”
Kan whimpered and held her new plushie tighter. “Why else would they be abandoned there?”
Daisy had an idea, then, and smiled. “Come on, Kan. I want to show you something.” She started to walk off towards the pound now. Kan hesitated, but knew she couldn't walk home by herself, so she quickly ran and caught up to her big sister. When Daisy started to go into the building, though, Kan freaked out.
“Daisy no!! If you go in there, you'll never come out again!!” The Kau didn't stop and headed in. They didn't go into the abandon door, but instead, made a turn to go through a flower covered door. There, a pink Uni was doing some paperwork. She looked up and smiled. “Daisy! So happy to see you. Who is this little one?”
Daisy smiled to her. “This is Kan, my new younger sister. I just wanted to show her something, if that's OK?”
The Uni smiled to her and opened the door to the back. “Sure thing. Anything for you, Daisy.” Daisy smiled and nodded, heading in with Kan holding onto the Kau's tail so that they wouldn't be separated. They walked down the hallway, and through another door. It was darker in here than in the office or the hallway. Kan looked around and saw room after room of different Neopet species. Some were reading books that were ripped from their spines, or were missing covers. There were some gathered in a communal room, playing with Broken Mynci Puppets, or ripped Chia Plushies.
As they walked, Kan looked around, her ears laying back a bit. She didn't seem scared anymore, but rather sad now. She stopped and Daisy stopped with her as she saw a blue Grarrl. She was in her room, looking out the window. Her generic Neopet clothes were a bit tattered and dirty and Kan saw that she was crying.
The Zafara looked to her sister with questioning eyes and Daisy sighed before finally speaking up. “I brought you here to see this, because you were worried more about Neopoints, Plushies, and Paint brushes than you were about anything else. There are things more important. Not enough funding goes to the pound to buy new books, or new toys, or new plushies. Not even new clothes, let alone species specific clothes. They don't get to eat omelettes from Tyrannia every day because there are too many of them here. They wouldn't have enough. They usually have to make do with a churro or maybe a bag of Neocrackers. If they're really lucky, they'll have a huge pot of porridge to eat from. The Soup Faerie can't do it all by herself, either, because there are a lot of owned pets that don't have enough to eat.”
Kan looked to the floor, rather humble at the moment. She went into the room and spoke to the Grarrl. “Why are you crying? I didn't think Grarrls cried.”
The Tyrannian creature looked to her. “Why wouldn't I cry? I was created by someone who I thought would take care of me and love me forever. He had me for about a week before we went for a walk. We came here, he took me to the black door out there, and left.” She shook her head. “Dr_Death found out a few days later that he decided to get a Lupe instead. They can be just as ferocious, and not eat as much.” Kan bit her lower lip as she heard the story and whimpered softly.
“That's so sad.” She looked around a bit at the tiny room that the Grarrl was living in. She didn't seem to be that much older than herself. She looked down to the brand new plushie in her arms before holding it out. The girl looked to her, not understanding. Kan sighed and spoke up. “I.. I'd like you to have this. I know it can't bring you a new owner, or your old one back, but maybe it might cheer you up if you hug it at night.”
The Grarrl was touched by the gift and gently took the plushie before nuzzling it and smiling to Kan. “Thank you.” It was her first smile since being left here. They talked with her for a few minutes longer before Kan and Daisy turned to head out again.
They took the shortcut and finally started to head home once more. After being quiet for some time, Kan spoke up. “Daisy. How did you know so much about that place?”
Daisy didn't look to her as she answered. “Where do you think I came from? I wasn't created like you and Kel were.” That fact took Kan by surprise. She had no idea that her new sister had been an abandoned Neopet before their owner came along and rescued her. Daisy continued, “I wanted to show you that there are more important things in life than just what new plushie is going to come out next week, or how you're going to get your hands on that elusive, amazing paint brush.”
That statement stuck in Kan's mind. From then on, she devoted time to the pound. She volunteered there and organized donations, both in Neopoints, as well as food, books, toys, and clothes. She was still keeping her plushie gallery goal in her sights, but she always knew there would always be more important things...