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The Joy of Being Poor


by mystics_magic

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I stared wistfully at the enclosed royal paintbrush in front of me. I started to recall those sweet, memorable days where I would waste all my Neopoints on expensive jewelry and gourmet food, but that was in the past, now, I was broke and penniless.

      "That's the paint brush I want," a blue Aisha proclaimed, interrupting my thoughts. I watched sadly as the royal paintbrush was being removed from its case and given to the Aisha in return for a bag of Neopoints.

      I stared cursing myself, how did I end up in such a pitiful state? The paint brush would have been mine, if I hadn't invested all my Neopoints in stocks, and as a result, declared bankruptcy.

      My pockets were empty and it was a terrible feeling being poor. I was craving for a golden carrot but hadn't any Neopoints on me. Nevertheless, I decided to try my luck haggling with Mr. Beans, the owner of the Health Food Shop. Being rich in the past, I always got what I wanted, and now, it wasn't going to be any different.

      Dragging my huge Zafara feet under the scorching sun, I left the Hidden Tower and arrived at the Health Food Shop. "I would like a golden carrot please," I requested.

      "Sure thing, that would be 30,000 Neopoints please," Mr. Beans replied, as he got ready to get the golden carrot from its shelf.

      My jaw dropped upon hearing this, how could the price have risen by so much? "Oh, that's okay, I've changed my mind." I lied as I left the shop, I didn't want to embarrass myself.

      Meanwhile, I remembered my friends talking about the Money Tree before. Faerie giveaways, Neopoint donations and more! Why not give it a try? I thought to myself. As I skipped along to Money Tree, I rubbed my hands greedily at the thought of all the items I would have by the end of the day.

      It was a hot afternoon, not a very pleasant day to be out in the sun. However, I was enjoying myself under the shade of the Money Tree, as I stayed alert, hoping to catch some good items.

      Suddenly, I saw a passerby place 500 Neopoints next to me, my eyes lit up and pounced towards the bag! However, to my disappointment, someone had reached to it before me, so I retreated unwillingly.

      Five hours had past, and still, I had gotten nothing. "Whatever rubbish about getting rich at the Money Tree was all a fib!" I muttered to myself, giving the tree a hard kick. At that very moment, I felt like calling it quits and heading home, but then again, if I did, all my precious time would have been wasted, so I decided to stick around and wait for miracles to happen.

      Just then, I saw Balthazar approaching! I shivered like mad, there was nowhere to hide, and I wouldn't be fast enough to outrun him if he did want to eat me! However, the Neopets around me weren't even trembling, showing no sign of fear at all. "Here you go," Balthazar smiled, as he laid down a bagful of faeries by the Tree. I was flabbergasted, so that was the Faerie Giveaway I heard all about!

      Wasting no time, I ran towards the bag, as Balthazar disappeared into the woods. There was only one faerie left, this was my chance, I was about to grab the bottled dark faerie when I saw someone else approaching, a pale, skinny Moehog!

      I could tell that Moehog needed the faerie much more than I would, so I stepped back and let the Moehog have it, although I knew I could outrun that little creature anytime.

      The Moehog looked shocked to see that I stopped running and stopped before the faerie sack, a little hesitant to take the faerie. "Are you sure you don't want it?" the Moehog asked once more.

      I shook my head, and motioned for the Moehog to take the faerie. The Moehog smiled at me, as if grateful for what I had done and bent down to pick up the faerie.

      "Thanks," thanked the Moehog, putting the faerie into her pocket. "My name is Kara."

      I looked at Kara, she smiled at me, and I smiled back. It was nice having a new friend, one who would accept me for my poverty. "I'm Sara." I introduced myself, stretching out a paw to shake her hand.

      We spent the evening telling each other about our histories, while enjoying a special recipe by Kara, cheap but tasty, a Tchea Peach Puff. I was surprised at the fact that Kara was originally from a rich family like me, but was abandoned after being gotten sick of, and now, poor and helpless.

      "But I'm used to the poor life, you'll get used to it too, someday. It isn't really that bad, you'll have many friends, like me." Kara grinned. I admired Kara's strong will, and how she was able to be so optimistic at a time of poverty. Maybe she was right, maybe I would get used to the poor life, as I was already enjoying it. "I learnt that actually, cheap things can be nice too!" she continued.

      After nibbling the very last of my Tchea Peach Puff, Kara showed me some cheap but delicious recipes, like Woo Woo Grub tea and Zenanna Omelette. "Wow! I never got to know these recipes before!" I said in exclamation.

      "Oh silly, these recipes are popular among the poor. But isn't it good that you know all these now? Zennana Omelettes beat Golden Carrots anytime!" Kara laughed.

      I had to agree with what Kara said, Zennana Omelettes were really tasty, as well as other cheap recipes. I had eaten five of them while we were chatting away and still not feeling sick of it.

           After eating, Kara brought me to where she lived, a broken down shed somewhere in Bread Street. I was a little hesitant to go in, but I did nevertheless, knowing that my status was now different. It was small, but pretty cozy, although it needed to be given a new coat of paint badly. "If you don't have a home for the time being, you can stay here, if you don't mind that is."

      Seriously, I didn't mind. It wasn't that bad after all, it was cozy, just needed some touches here and there. I accepted her kind offer and was told to sleep in the living room. It was uneasy in the beginning, as I was used to sleeping in luxury, but I slowly got used to it, day by day.

      Everyday was a good day to me. I was happier than before. Like Kara said, I made many new friends and played with them almost everyday, life for me had improved. Being poor was indeed not a bad thing!

      "Hey Sara," Kara called to me one day. "A mysterious man handed me this lottery ticket, I don't know what it's supposed to be for, and I thought you might know, so you can have it." With that, she thrust a pale green ticket into my paws before joining the rest of my newly made friends in a game of hide-and-seek.

      Of course I knew what the purpose of lottery tickets were. After all, I used to buy them everyday in the past, with no luck in winning of course. But that time, I could afford to spend my Neopoints away, now was a different case. Well, since I had it, I wouldn't waste it, so I stopped by the lottery ticket stand that afternoon and dropped my ticket in.

      A few days later, there was a visitor looking for me. I was rather surprised, wondering who that could be as I approached the door. "Good morning miss, are you Sara?" the pink Usul at the doorstep asked.

      "Yes, I am." I replied, in great suspense.

      "Well," the Usul smiled. "CONGRATULATIONS! You have won first prize in the lottery! Here's your bag of 50,000 Neopoints!"

      I was stunned for a moment, as my jaw split open. I couldn't believe I was that lucky! I was about to collect the bag of Neopoints from the Usul when a sudden thought came to my mind. Giving it some thought, I said to the Usul, rejecting the bag of Neopoints, "No thanks, please take this bag of Neopoints and give it to those who need it more than me. I may be poor, but fortunate, I am very satisfied with my life, please do a favor for those in more need than me."

      Some may think me silly, but Kara thought what I did was right. Although I would not be able to satisfy all the poor with that little amount of Neopoints, but at least I could make a difference in someone's life, and for that, I would be happy. The Usul looked puzzled, and asked me why I would make such a decision. I smiled and answered, "This is what you'll never understand, it's the joy of being poor."

The End

 
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