The Woes of Being a Mail-Ixi
The houses in front of me were lined up in two rows, facing
the street. They were all large and each had a tile roof. Many had those squat
lawn gnomes in the yards and long driveways made of cobblestone. Each house was
painted a soft or pastel color and all of them matched the one across from them.
The grass surrounding the houses was emerald and flowers grew from the front gardens.
The sweet aroma of springtime wafted through
the air. The trees and bushes were all neatly trimmed; not a single branch hung
astray. The newly paved road stretched all the way down the street like a black
river and Beekadoodles were chirping from trees overhead. It was a cute neighborhood….
…So cute that I found it nauseating.
I snorted and adjusted the carrying bag that
hung loosely from my shoulder. I was wearing my work clothes-a pale blue shirt
with the letters NCPO (Neopia Central Post Office) stitched on the front, and
my blue hat to keep the sun from my eyes.
I was Wishing Well Drive's Mail-Ixi, a position
I quite loathed. Walking around the perfect houses delivering mail was not what
I called an ideal job. Unfortunately, the residents of Wishing Well Drive needed
their mail and I was the one who was hired to deliver it.
There were sixty-seven houses on Wishing Well
Drive, meaning sixty-seven stops to make before I could go home. Sixty-seven
houses to visit each day, four hundred and sixty-nine house per week and one
thousand eight hundred and seventy six houses before I could get my minimum
wage pay check. It was tough and me hating the job only made things worse.
My name is Paul and I'm a red Ixi. A Mail-Ixi.
In the first house lived a blue Bori named Penelope.
She was about as ditzy as a Neopet who just drank a jug of Achyfi. I pulled
out her mail and a brown package from my bag and knocked.
The door swung open.
"Peter!" The Bori shrieked her eyes glowing,
"How good to see you!"
"My name is Paul," I said, as calm as I could
"Oh, and I suppose you've brought the mail?"
No, I've come to have a cup of tea with you
and hear about your stories, I said to myself. "Yes, I have the mail." My
teeth were gritted to keep from screaming in frustration. I handed her three
envelopes and the brown package.
"Splendid!" Penelope said, clapping and taking
the mail. She looked at the sender's address, "This is from Aunt Gertrude visiting
Mystery Island. That little devil, it took her two weeks to send a letter!"
She laughed, the noise bouncing off the driveway behind me.
I slid away, not really wanting to hear about
dear Aunt Gertrude and Mystery Island. Penelope was one of those Neopets who
I liked to call, rather "flaky". The Bori turned back to me and said,
"Well, I'll see you tomorrow, Preston!" Before
I could answer, she slammed the door.
"It's PAUL," I roared, but she couldn't
hear me. Huffing, I turned out of the driveway and down the sidewalk. The next
few houses I got lucky-no one was home, or they just didn't want anything to
do with me. For these, I just slip the mail through the slot on the door and
start towards the next house.
To help the time pass, I usually counted the
houses once I had delivered their mail: forty-nine houses to go. I paused outside
of number 2838, sighing heavily.
A young spotted Gelert had his front paws up
on the windowsill, waiting for me. His tongue hung limply out of his mouth and
his tail wagged furiously when he saw me come up the driveway. The Gelert darted
from the window and appeared seconds later at the front door.
he yelled, his staccato voice like a loud drum beating.
"Whoa, whoa, stay down!" I yelled as he jumped
up on me trying to get the mail. I flung the mail towards him and he caught
the envelopes in his mouth, but he knocked me over in the process.
"Bye Mail-Ixi!" the Gelert yelled and trotted
into the house. I got up from the ground and brushed myself off. Muttering to
myself, I picked up my carrying bag and started back down the street.
An hour later, the remaining houses had been
knocked out, with only one more to go. This house had a very big yard and a
beautiful garden. A green Lenny was watering the flowers and when she saw me,
"Hello there, Paul." Her voice was cheery and
bright, "Anything for me today?"
"Yes, a postcard," I said monotonously. I took
a step into the lawn, but-
There was a little Puppyblew tied to the garden
fencepost. His little teeth were barred and a low growl made his whole body
vibrate. I mumbled a, "Holy Fyora," and tried to take a step closer to the Lenny.
"Arf, arf, arf, arf!" he barked, and his nose
was just a few feet from me. The petpet was straining at the leash, his little
"Ripper, don't be so rude, now," the green Lenny
I took a big step forward and quickly handed
her the mail. Ripper lunged towards me, but he was a split-second too late.
I managed to escape the jaws of Ripper, but tomorrow would be exactly the same
horrible day. Not looking back, I walked all the way home.
There were some days when I longed to see my
small house on Soup Alley. Today was one of those days.
I turned the knob and stepped into the kitchen.
My empty carrying bag slid off my shoulder and I tossed my hat onto the counter.
I went into the living room and collapsed into the Kau Print sofa. My little
brother Davie came in.
"Hi Paul, how was your day?"
"Horrible," I turned my head to look at the green
Kacheek. "It couldn't have gone worse."
"Oh come on," Davie said, leaning on the armrest,
"it couldn't have been that bad."
I moaned dramatically and replied, "First, that
Bori got my name wrong twice… again. Today she called me Peter and Preston.
She can remember that I'm the Mail-Ixi and her aunt Gertrude is visiting Mystery
Island, but she can't remember my name. Next, that frisky Gelert who lives with
his owner knocked me down. Then, that Puppyblew called Ripper would have tore
me to shreds if he hadn't been on his leash. Yeah, I had a bad day."
"That's too bad," Davie patted my arm. Then the
Kacheek's tone brightened. "Don't worry, I'm sure tomorrow will be better."
I ended up falling asleep on the couch, wondering
if what Davie said was true.
"…So next you add just a little bit of chopped
onions, it really gives it a nice flavor…"
I stood in the walkway of Penelope's house, listening
to another one of her rambles. So far this wasn't better... it was the same.
Everyday the Bori had something new to drag on about. Today was the recipe of
something she was cooking on the Faerie Stove.
"Okay, thank you," I said quickly, slipping away.
I turned and continued down the street.
"All right! See you tomorrow, Percy."
I winced, not even caring to correct her. The
second house that had always given me problems was the spotted Gelert's house.
The poor Neopet was always so excited to get the mail for his owner. She may
have thought that he was just being polite, but I found it hazardous.
"Paul the Mail-Ixi!" the Gelert yelled at the
front door. He giggled, "I've been waiting for you all day."
"I'm sure you have," I replied stiffly.
I handed him the mail, hoping that he wasn't
going to start jumping. The Gelert flipped through it with a spotted paw. "Oh
my gosh!" he exclaimed."A letter for me! Thanks, Paul, thanks!"
That got him going. He started yelling and running
around me in circles. The Gelert finally darted inside, completely forgetting
to close the door behind him.
Well, that wasn't so bad, I thought.
Everything was peachy after that. I casually
dropped the mail into the slot of the house next to Ripper's. He must have heard
me coming because I heard the clinking sound of his leash when I rounded the
The green Lenny was pulling weeds out of her
garden, and Ripper was standing erect, with all of the fur sticking up on his
back. It was then I noticed that he wasn't on a chain. The clinking sound I
heard was coming from the two metal shovels that the Lenny was holding.
Ripper growled deep in his throat as I approached
"Good afternoon," she said in her pleasant voice.
I wanted to run and completely forget about the
mail that was supposed to be delivered to her today. But I couldn't. If it wasn't
delivered, I would probably get fired. Cautiously, I took a step towards her,
just as Ripper took a step towards me.
I drew in a deep breath, my red hooves shaking
and handed the green Lenny the mail. It barely touched her wingtips, but she
was able to snatch it up. I grinned to myself, totally content and walked out
of the yard.
I looked back at Ripper, who was now lying down
by the chain. That went better than I expected… I thought triumphantly.
But all of the sudden-
"Ouch!" I heard a crunch under my hoof. I looked
down and massaged my hoof where I have stepped on something. I picked up the
object that was now broken in two. It was a brown Puppyblew bone. From the corner
of the house came a growling sound.
I slowly turned to look over at Ripper. His sharp
little teeth were bared.
"Wait, wait fella, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to-"
"Arf, arf, arf, arf, arf!"
Ripper shot towards me and I darted down the
sidewalk. The Puppyblew was gaining on me. Ixis aren't the best runners, but
I was moving pretty fast. Behind me, I heard the Lenny's shouts for Ripper to
As I entered an area with lots of big trees,
I desperately tried to watch where I was going, while keeping an eye on Ripper's
distance. I slowed to a jog, completely out of breath and felt Ripper nip at
"Ahh!" I yelled as the two of us shot through
a clearing. I could see our brown fence some twenty feet ahead. I sprinted towards
the fence, totally exhausted and leapt. I landed towards the top of it and felt
a stinging sensation in my leg. I swung both of my legs over and landed on the
grass. The pain in my left leg was even worse now, from the fall.
I heard Ripper yapping away at the fence, but
there was no way he could get inside. Not really caring if the Lenny was coming
to fetch him, I limped into the house.
Shortly afterwards, Davie helped me wrap my leg.
He said it was probably just a sprain, but I wouldn't be able to go back to
work for a week. The Kacheek said not to worry, because he talked to my boss
at the Neopia Central Post Office and they were able to replace me with a Meerca
for the rest of the week.
I leaned back on the sofa, my leg propped up
on some pillows. It looked a little swollen because of the white bandages, and
the pain wasn't so bad. Davie brought me a glass of water and I thanked him.
"Look at it this way," he said, "at least you'll
be taking a week off from being a Mail-Ixi."
This made me smile: for a whole week no more
Penelope forgetting my name, hyperactive Gelerts or extremely fast Puppyblews
on my tail. I could spend a total of seven days relaxing on the couch without
having to be a Mail-Ixi. It certainly was a good thing!
The first three days were, perhaps, the best
day's I've had since I started being a Mail-Ixi. I read some of my favorite
Ixi books and played cards with Davie. Time passed by slowly, from dawn, breakfast,
lunch, dinner and night. I thought it was nice that I didn't have to run down
to the post office and pick up the mail every morning, or walk around in the
heat to deliver it.
On the sixth day, Davie and I were talking. He
"If you would have showed up at the Bori's door
a few days ago, I wonder what she would have called you."
I couldn't help but laugh, "I don't know. Probably
Patrick… or Pedro or something." We both laughed. I continued, "And she'd probably
spend an hour telling me about what she saw in Neopia Central this morning,
or how her aunt Gertrude is back from Mystery Island."
There was a pause when I took a sip of water.
I leaned back a little further on the Kau Print sofa and said, "I bet the spotted
Gelert was surprised when he saw a Meerca coming to deliver the mail. I would've
given anything to see the look on his face."
Davie laughed, "Well, he's always excited to
see you. He looks up to you… like I do."
"I guess," I said, and my tone changed immediately,
"but he can be so annoying. Like that Puppyblew." I chuckled, remembering him
chasing me down the street and into my own backyard. "Dumb petpet…" I chuckled
again, finding the situation funny.
"Your leg looks better," said Davie, who had
unwrapped it the previous night. Concern filled his eyes, "How's it feeling?"
"Pretty good," I said, standing up to test it.
It felt almost back to normal.
"Maybe you can go back to work tomorrow?"
"Don't rush me," I answered quickly, "we'll see…"
The next day dawned bright and early. I decided
to get out of the house and stretch my legs. I ended up walking to the Post
Office and picking up my bag of mail for the day.
I returned home and set the bag on the counter.
My light blue shirt was hanging in my closet waiting for me. My small hat was
in its usual spot. I put it on and looked at myself in the mirror. A very handsome
and happy red Ixi looked back.
I smiled to myself and left the house.
A few minutes later, I faced the long strip of
Wishing Well Drive, with its sixty-seven houses gleaming in the sun and waiting
for me. They all had the same cutesy appearance, freshly trimmed lawns and sweet-smelling
I sighed and adjusted the full bag on my shoulder.
"It's good to be back."
There was a little skip to my walk today as I
headed up towards Penelope's yellow house. I pulled out her mail and knocked
on the door. There was a short pause until it opened.
"Why, Patrick," she said cheerily, "it's good
to have you back! I missed you. Don't get me wrong, that little Meerca came
and did well, but it just wasn't the same."
I nodded and handed her the envelopes, expecting
some tedious story about random stuff.
"Thank you," Penelope took the mail. "Well, I
guess I'll just let you go today, I'm sure you want to say hello to many others."
I nodded numbly, not believing that she'd let me leave without hearing a story.
But she did. I walked away and she called after me, "Take care, Pedro!"
I could only grin. "See you tomorrow!"
Author's Note: Thanks a million for reading. As always, feedback and comments
are appreciated! ~Playmobil_is_my_life