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TMP 2 - Introducing Vanduhguyr!


by devotedslothminion

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Ave Neopia! At the time of writing, it is now around two and a half years since my introductory article was published, so I will not blame you if you have forgotten me. Unfortunately, a bout of space flu left me with chronic fatigue, which I have been battling ever since. (As you can imagine, this has made it difficult for me to find the energy to pursue some of my more taxing hobbies.)

This will not be the article that some of you were expecting – indeed, it would probably take an entire 15,000 word dissertation to list everything wrong with the Neopian Pound and its current place in the system – so for now I will simply focus on a happy story. Those of you who know me, either from my previous writings or from the neoboards, may be aware that DrSlothWannabe is no longer my sole dependent on the Space Station. On the first of December, Y16, a friend of mine challenged the community to visit the Pound and foster the first pet we encountered, regardless of name or species or colour, for the entirety of the month of Celebrating. During that time, we were required to clothe them, feed them, and love them as we would any of our “permies” (or permanent pets). If we so chose, at the end of the month we could abandon them back to the Pound, preferably in a more desirable state than we found them.

But then I never was one for premature goodbyes.

Yes, vanduhguyr (Van for short) has become part of the family – a good thing too, as I am certain there would have been more than one entity out there who might try and force her into giving them information. (One can never be too careful.) Van was barely a month old when we welcomed her into our home. From the beginning, she showed a great interest in learning about her surroundings, including the people around her. Crazy in particular took surprisingly well to the new addition, even sharing with her his most precious articles of clothing until such time as we had the opportunity to buy her an outfit of her own.

Indeed, the change in Crazy has been remarkable (so much so that I am beginning to wonder if his more challenging behaviour was merely because he was lonely). Having a two year old and a four year old has its difficulties, what with work and my other commitments, but at least said four year old has finally calmed down.

And so it is my esteemed pleasure to introduce you to the newest member of my family. Over to you, Van!

Oh, okay – hello readers! My name is Van and I am a christmas Ogrin. I used to be a green Ogrin but that was a long time ago. Ted wanted me to tell you what I've learned and what I've enjoyed about living with them. The first thing I remember learning from Ted is that there is no air in space, but later on they taught me how to read and write. I practised by writing to some of Ted's friends (hello!), but then Ted bought me a violin so I haven't been writing as much recently. Crazy is very good at writing, but then he is older than me so he's had more time to learn!

I don't remember much about my life before Ted fostered me. Ted says that's probably a good thing and I guess I agree. Crazy and I have a lot of fun around the space station, but some of his stories are a little scary. I wanted to write my own story though, so here it is:

Once upon a time, there was a young Ogrin called Van. Her owner decided they had made a mistake in creating her so they gave her up for adoption. The Pound was overcrowded with Neopets, many of them abandoned by thoughtless owners who wanted a Neopet with a better name, or a rarer species, or a more expensive colour. Some of these Neopets had been living in the Pound for years, others had been adopted and re-abandoned many times, some of them losing their Petpets in the process. Van was sad that there were so many abandoned Neopets, and she was scared of staying forever in such a miserable place. Potential owners passed by every day, taking one look at her details and moving on, or occasionally staying long enough to take a photograph so that they could giggle with their friends. She began to resent every human who entered, even if they ended up adopting a pet, and still more Neopets poured into the Pound than could ever be adopted.

Then, on the first of Celebrating, a group of humans came looking for Neopets to foster. They weren't supposed to look at the names or the details or even the colour or species because of a dare they'd been set by somebody else. Some of the Neopets in the Pound were offended because they didn't want to be used as a measure of a human's charity. Other Neopets begged Dr. Death to send them to the front of the queue, since most of the visitors were adopting the first pet they came across. Van desperately wanted to escape from such a horrible place where no one ever seemed to be happy, but she was also terrified of being adopted by a bad owner like the ones in the horror stories.

Then suddenly she was face to face with a human she had never seen before but seemed to recognise her.

“It must be fate,” the human gasped and then they smiled.

“Who are you?” asked Van, who was confused and scared.

“My name is Ted,” said the human. “And I want to foster you.” And then they told Van about their job working for Dr. Sloth on the space station and about their older pet who sounded very intelligent and protective and like someone she could trust. Okay so Dr. Sloth might be scary but this might be her only chance to meet a nice family who liked her. So she was very brave and she went with Ted and met their Moehog Crazy who was very excited to meet her and gave her a shot of his hat.

Van was very happy in her new home. Whenever she had nightmares, Ted or Crazy would always be there to give her a hug and listen to what was frightening her. Ted had work and also other pets to look after, so Van and Crazy would spend a lot of time with each other. He showed her around the space station and introduced her to his friends as “my new sister”, even though Ted hadn't decided to foster her indefinitely yet. Ted was also very good to Van, and spent a lot of time with her when they could. They let her listen to music, they read her stories, and they taught her about anything she wanted to know. She really enjoyed living on the space station, even though she missed the blue sky and the green grass and the weather. And she began to feel dread as the year drew to its end.

“What's up?” said Crazy one day. It was nearly the Day of Giving, and Van had been really looking forward to it until now, but now she just felt sad.

“I'm scared,” she replied.

“Scared? Scared of what?” he said again.

“I'm scared of going back to the Pound.”

“Oh.” He looked sad and sat closer to his foster sister, putting an arm around her, which she found very comforting. “I don't know that you do have to go back. At least not yet, if you don't feel ready.”

“What if I don't want to go back ever?”

“I know that Ted cares about you very much, and I care about you too. I would be happy if you stayed.”

“But Ted wasn't looking for someone to adopt. What if they don't want to look after me forever?”

“If that's the case, I will persuade them it's the only right thing to do. I have them wrapped around my hoof, don't you know?”

Van giggled and cuddled her foster brother (but only very briefly because he doesn't like long hugs).

“Thank you Crazy. You're a good big brother.”

Day of Giving came and went, and Van did her best to enjoy what she thought would be her last few days with the first people she ever really felt like calling family. Then on New Year's Eve, which Ted liked to call “Hogmanay”, they watched the firework displays that were happening below, every hour on the hour. Both Van and Crazy were very hyper, as it was one of the special days they were allowed sugar. When Ted came back to take them home, Ted looked as excited as they did.

“Happy New Year!” they all called to each other. Then they went home to have supper and go to bed.

“Van,” said Ted, grinning the biggest grin Van had ever seen. “Crazy and I discussed something yesterday, and I think we've come to a decision on what our new year's resolution should be.”

“What's a resolution?”

“It's a promise that you make to yourself,” Crazy explained. “That means you'll use your time to change something for the better during the next year.”

“We want you to be part of our family!” Ted bounced up and down on their feet a minute before giving Van a big warm hug.

“You mean,” Van's eyes widened as she realised what this meant. “I can stay? You'll really be my owner, and Crazy will be my brother?”

“Yes!”

Crazy put his hoof on Van's shoulder. “Welcome to your forever home, Vanduhguyr Minion.”

Van felt like crying. It was the happiest she had ever felt in her life. She finally had a family.

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Questions for the minion!

exinspired asks: Did you always live on the Space Station, or did you just move there for your job? What's it like there, compared to other places you've lived or stayed at for a while?

The artificial gravity takes a bit of getting used to, and there's always a comforting background hum. As for where else I have lived, I've spent a good time in the Haunted Woods. Being near the deserted fairground, we get a lot of ghosts playing outside (usually when I'm trying to sleep, in fact). Meridell's not a bad place to live either if you can cope with the occasional clouds of biting insects.

Anonymous asks: Why was Chadley designated a cheater. thats my question

Short answer – because he cheated! Longer answer – as to why he specifically was called out when there are almost certainly more egregious examples out there is a matter of timing, the fact he himself is a celebrity, and the media clout of the family he was trying to one up all no doubt contributed to the sensationalism of the story. When discussing the problem of cheaters, however, we really need to think about why people are driven to cheat. While there will always be those few who cheat as a hobby in itself, the majority of people who are caught are those who were driven by desperation and frustration. Since Chadley's humiliation at the hands of AAA in Y15, it's likely he's been trying to improve his scores - in vain, it would seem.

mishievious_man asks: How many pairs of trousers do you think a rational person should own? At least two! That is all I will say. (Of course I own more than two pairs of trousers. Who told you otherwise? That's slander!)

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Before I say goodbye, I should like to thank you all for your patience and support. I'm grateful for each and every one of you who has ever sent a kind word my way. I wouldn't still be here without you.

Disclaimer: The opinions contained within this article are those of one individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Dr. F. L. Sloth or Virtupets Inc. as a whole. This message has been approved by the Solicitron v2.6.1.

 
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