A Day of Play
Urasina’s note: This story took place when I was still the only Neopet in the family.
When I woke up one morning, I took a moment to look around the bedroom of my owner’s Neohome. Everything seemed so peaceful and calm. To me, everything was right with the world.
I rested my head on my forelegs as I began to think about my life so far. My owner, BG, took excellent care of me, and I had a safe, comfortable home to live in. I had toys to play with, grooming items if I wanted them, and many other such things. As an only Neopet, I guess I was slightly spoiled. It was hard to believe that about two years ago, I had been locked up in the Pound, afraid that I would never be free again.
As I thought about all that, I got a funny feeling inside. It was a sense of playfulness. And it was very strong. I just wanted to spend the whole day playing and having fun. And I wanted to get BG involved as well.
I looked around the bedroom, wondering what I should do first. My gaze rested on my toy chest for a moment, but I quickly had another idea. I got to my hooves, hopped off the bed, and began to look around in the bedroom closet. There was all kinds of stuff in there, so it took me a few minutes to find what I was looking for: an old white drop cloth. BG used that cloth when he repainted the Neohome last fall, but it was still in pretty good shape, despite the paint splatters.
I draped the cloth over my body, making note of where my eyes were and where my horn hit the cloth. Then I took it off and carefully punched out two holes for my eyes and one for my horn, then put it back on. I looked in the bedroom mirror to ensure that I was completely covered.
“I make a pretty good ghost!” I thought to myself.
Once my “costume” was ready, I walked as quietly as I could down the hall. I could smell breakfast cooking, so I knew that BG was in the kitchen. I stopped at the kitchen door and peeked in. My owner had his back to me, which was perfect. If I took even one step on the tile floor, he would hear me, so I spread my wings under the cloth and silently flew up behind him, landing not even five inches from his legs. I carefully bumped my head against BG, which made him start to turn around.
“Rawr!” I said as soon as he could see me. I was fighting the urge to giggle as I did so.
BG looked only mildly amused. He was a pretty knowledgeable man, so I didn’t really think I’d have scared him.
“’Rawr’ yourself,” he said. “You’re too cute to be scary.”
I just had to giggle as he pulled the drop cloth off of me. As BG began to fold it up, I grabbed one end in my mouth and scooted backwards, trying to pull it out of his hands.
“Oh really?” BG asked, looked quite amused now.
He gave the cloth a firm tug, pulling me right to him. My hooves had no traction on the tile floor, so I couldn’t stop him. Just as he pulled me in close, I took several short hops backwards, and we repeated the process for a good five minutes before BG let go of the cloth to finish his cooking.
“I see that some little girl is feeling her oats today,” my owner commented.
I dragged the drop cloth to a corner of the kitchen where it wouldn’t be in the way, then went back to BG and leaned happily against his legs. It was a nice feeling just being near him.
BG put a plate of pancakes on the table and then picked me up. I made a mental note to myself that I had to ask him how he can pick up and carry a Royal Girl Uni like me so easily.
“What does ‘feeling your oats’ mean?” I asked.
“To the best of my knowledge it means feeling energetic, wanting to have fun, being in a good mood, things like that,” he replied, rubbing my nose.
“That’s me all right!” I sang out, nuzzling him.
Once breakfast was over, I hurried back to the bedroom to look for a specific toy. After digging through my toy chest for a few seconds, I found my Green Uni Plushie. I carried it back to the kitchen and threw it at BG.
“Come on! Play with me!” I said happily.
He spun around, caught the plushie, and threw it back.
“I have to finish cleaning up,” he said as he turned his attention back to the dishes. “Give me five minutes, OK?”
I picked up my plushie and headed for the main room of the Neohome. BG showed up a few minutes later, and I threw the toy at him again. Once more, he caught it and threw it back. We played catch with the plushie for a long time before I began to grow tired of that game. I still wanted to play, but I didn’t know what to do next.
BG must have noticed how I felt, because he left the room and came back with his camera.
“OK, there’s a new roll of film in here,” he said, turning it on. “Here’s my challenge: will you run out of funny poses, or will the camera run out of film first?”
I started giggling as I stood on my forelegs and grinned at him as he took my picture.
Then I flopped down on my back and made a funny face.
I had lots of ideas for funny poses, so I wasn’t surprised when he turned the camera off again.
“There were thirty pictures on that roll of film, and you’re still posing,” BG remarked as I tried to balance on one foreleg.
I giggled some more and promptly fell over, then bounced back onto my hooves.
“I guess I won!” I said.
I took a moment to think about what I wanted to do next. It didn’t take me long to decide that I wanted to go outdoors and get very, very messy. BG and I live in the Lost Desert, so getting messy is a fact of daily life. And I’m the exact opposite of most Royal Girl Unis: I love to make a mess of myself.
I scurried out the back door and looked around the yard. There was a half-dug hole in one corner, but I didn’t feel like continuing to work on it just yet. Instead, I began to run around, periodically skidding to a stop and blowing up a cloud of sand as I did so. Each new cloud added another layer of sand to my pink fur, so it quickly began to turn yellow.
As I continued to run around, I was completely oblivious to what BG was up to. I suddenly felt something cold hit my side, and I yelped in surprise. I turned to him, and saw that he was pointing the garden hose at me.
“Think fast,” he warned me, turning it on.
I didn’t have time to dodge the first jet of water. As it hit me right in the chest, I shrieked and started laughing, then began to run again, trying to dodge the water. I wasn’t having much luck though; BG does archery in his spare time, so he has very good aim. The water was mixing with the sand on my coat, making me even messier. Even better, in areas where I succeeded in dodging, patches of wet, sticky sand were forming.
Once BG turned off the hose, I began to run from wet sand patch to wet sand patch, rolling in each one. I knew I would be a total mess when I finished, and that made me feel even happier. As I stood up after rolling in the last sand patch, BG’s kickball rolled past me. I quickly caught up to it and turned to face my owner.
“Here it comes!” I called to him, giving it a light kick with one foreleg.
BG caught it easily and rolled it back. This time, I kicked it harder, angling my kick to send it up and onto the roof of the Neohome. But that wasn’t a problem: the ball rolled right back off, and I kicked it up again.
This time, though, BG jumped in front of me and caught the ball.
“Come and get it,” he teased, setting it down and kicking it away.
I gave chase, trying to get it away from him. I’m faster and smaller than my owner is, so it wasn’t that hard to get the kickball. But keeping it away from him was a lot more difficult, as I have very poor ball control. He wound up taking it back easily. We played with the kickball for another hour, periodically taking short rests to regain our strength.
After a while, I was tired of playing with the kickball. But I STILL wanted to play!
BG put the kickball away, then came back out with a flying ring toy.
“Catch as catch can!” he teased, throwing it above my head.
Of course, I ran off after it, eventually leaping into the air and snagging it around my horn. Then I galloped back to my owner and handed it off to him. He threw it again, higher this time, and again, I chased and caught it.
“Fly for it this time,” BG suggested, throwing it VERY high.
I did just that, zooming into the sky after it and snagging it with one front hoof, before swooping down and dropping it on my owner’s head. It looked like a very funny hat, and I could help but start giggling again.
BG took the flying ring off his head and threw it again, a curved throw this time. I had to turn sharply in midair to catch up to it.
We played with the flying ring for quite some time before I said I was done. But I was still in a playful mood.
“Let’s go for a flight!” I exclaimed after a moment’s thought.
“Under your own power, or in the fighter?” BG asked.
“Under my own power for now,” I replied. “But if I get tired, I won’t say no to a ride in the fighter.”
The “fighter” was an experimental two-man Virtupets space fighter that BG had stolen from the Space Station years ago. He had repainted it in desert camouflage and renamed it “Desert Guardian.” He and I used it for a variety of purposes, not the least of which was rapid trips across Neopia. We could circle the planet in several hours at top speed.
“All right, let me get this ship off the ground,” my owner said, heading over to the large triangular machine.
I watched until he turned on its engine, then spread my wings and took to the skies. Several seconds later, the Desert Guardian flew up beside me. I waved happily to BG before focusing on my flight as he dropped back to follow me.
I led the way as we flew a random pattern over the Lost Desert. At one point, we flew low over Sahkmet, and BG throttled up the engine while holding the engine brake at full, making it roar loudly. I had a little giggle fit at that. The Neopians of the city knew about the Desert Guardian, so they didn’t seem too bothered.
We returned to our flight, but after a while I began to feel tired. I looked back at BG and gave him the “tiring out” signal, to which he flew beneath me and brought the fighter up until I felt my hooves touched the ship’s Kreludite hull. I stood proudly on the Desert Guardian’s nose as my owner flew it back to our Neohome.
A lot of time had passed as BG and I played together. The sun was beginning to go down now.
“You, little one, are a mess,” BG commented as he climbed out of the fighter.
I giggled and stood on my hind legs, placing my front hooves on his waist as he rubbed the sweet spot between my ears.
“Aren’t you glad I’m not like most Royal Girl Unis?” I asked.
“Of course I am.”
He picked me up and carried me to the bathroom, setting me down in the bathtub. He started the water running, then added a small cup of bubble liquid.
“Yay!” I sang out. “Bubble bath!”
BG laughed as he rolled up his sleeves and began to clean me up. It took a little while to get all the sand out of my fur.
“Is this the new record?” I asked him, catching a bubble on the tip of my horn.
“No,” he replied. “Your previous ‘getting messy’ record still stands.”
“You mean the day I painted myself brown in that mud puddle?”
“Exactly. And you didn’t just paint yourself brown; you painted the whole kitchen brown too.”
I giggled at the memory.
Once dinner was finished, I was still ready to play. After a few minutes of wandering around the Neohome, I found a deck of cards.
“I’ll play you at Blackjack,” I said to BG, to which he nodded and sat down on the floor to deal the cards out.
I have an unnaturally lucky streak with Blackjack. Whether I’m dealer or not, I almost ALWAYS clean BG out. And this round of the game was no different. My owner dealt first, and I had him down to nothing in 19 hands. Then I was dealer, and won all his NP in 12 hands.
“I’ll never know how you get all the luck at that game,” he commented, amused.
I giggled some more. We never played with real Neopoints; we used imaginary ones, starting with 500 NP per player and betting 50 per hand.
With the card games over, it was bedtime. But I was STILL all wound up! While BG got ready for bed, I paced around the bedroom, trying to settle down. But nothing seemed to be working. My owner noticed this and scooped me up, then set me down on the bed. I knew what he was going to do, but for some reason, he didn’t do it. He just stood there.
“What are you waiting for?” I asked, feeling my anticipation build.
“I’m letting the tension rise a little,” he remarked.
I started giggling uncontrollably, but BG still stood there. I lay down and rolled onto my back, anticipating his next move.
In a move so fast that I couldn’t even see him do it, my owner was tickling me mercilessly. I love getting tickled, so I was shrieking with laughter, as I always do. I was also thrashing around and trying to shove him away, which I guess was just instinct. I managed to curl up in a ball and hide the ticklish spot on my underside, but BG merely went after the other spot behind my ears, forcing me to uncurl again.
“Oh… please… stop!” I pleaded, running out of breath from laughing so hard. But I knew BG wouldn’t stop; he knew that I loved this, so he would keep it up until I was totally out of breath.
Finally, BG stopped tickling me. I flopped down on the bed, still giggling. It took me a few minutes to calm down, but when I did, I was very tired. I rolled onto my back again as BG lay down next to me.
“Thank you for all the fun today,” I said sleepily as he rubbed my underside.
“I’m glad you’re happy,” he replied. “Sleep well.”
It had been a wonderful day, and as I fell asleep, I thought about how lucky I truly was.