Zannik slowly walked over to the Money Tree and placed a small package of goodies
and a sack of Neopoints at the base of the trunk. There was a tear in his eye as he went back to his owner.
"It's okay, Zannik, sharing is a good thing." Zannik wiped the water from his eyes and replied, "But I could
have used that to get a Golden Paintbrush... and I would have been the talk of the town." Zannik, clearly upset,
pushed away from his owner. His owner sighed and said, "Your donation is going to make another pet very happy!"
"Bah!" Zannik yelled as he continued to march ahead, sulking like a baby...
Author :Neopets Staff|
Date : 5th March
...Zannik had always been obsessed with his looks, and many people called him vain and greedy. Not that he was
a bad Neopet or anything, he was very friendly and outgoing, but he just thought of himself a little higher than most.
"You're already a very good looking Kougra, not that it matters..." Aubrey, his owner, pleaded with him. Aubrey
hated to see Zannik, or anyone else, upset. "Oh really? Don't you realize that yellow is so last season?"
"But yellow is so close to gold!! And besides, what's in or out doesn't matter, what matters is that you're
satisfied with yourself." "Well, I'm not satisfied! All of those Neopoints, gone to some other person who's
probably gonna do the same thing I did!" "Now you know there are Faeries who keep rich and selfish people away
from the Money Tree. Oh! I know! Speaking of Faeries, if you really want a Golden Paintbrush that badly, you can
get a job at the Faerie Employment Agency! Here, hold onto this. It's a blue job coupon, use it wisely." With
that she handed Zannik the coupon and continued walking on toward home. Zannik ws stunned, and to stay the least,
a bit offended. "She wants me to work!? Why of all the nerve..."
Date : 5th March
...Zannik chased after Aubrey as fast as his striped legs could carry him. "You can't be serious!" he yelled.
"I HATE work! If I do more work than I need to, I'll probably work and work and work and work until I shrivel
up into an exhausted skeleton!" "Don't get your knickers in a knot, Zannik," Aubrey replied. "Remember, good
things don't always come free! Think about how expensive that studded collar you love so much was! Remember
when you had to go without food for a week because we didn't have any money to buy food? That must have been
awful for you! You nearly were all skin and bones, but then the soup kitchen opened and you were overjoyed
to get something to eat in such a long time!" "Yeah, yeah," Zannik moaned. "I'll do it, but I won't like it!"
"Good!" said Aubrey...
Date : 6th March
...Zannik muttered as he walked down to the employment agency, furious that he would be spending a month's
of playtime working his tail off. As he stepped up to the door, he calmed himself down before entering.
Zannik walked up to the counter. Before he could reach it, the Faerie at the desk said, "Welcome to the Neopian
Employment Agency, how may I help you?" Zannik slammed the blue job coupon down on the desk. The Faerie opened
it, read it, and said politely, "Go down the hall, second door to your right." Zannik walked down the hall
furiously, stomping his paws loudly. When he got to the right door, he took a deep breath, and went in.
"WHAT!?!?!?!?!??!" he screamed as he walked in the room, causing everyone in the room to stare at him.
Horrified, he saw his new job...cooking???? The manager walked up to him and said, "Are you a new employee?"
"Yes," mumbled Zannik. The manager said, "Right this way please," and he led Zannik over to the front of
the restaurant. "You are going to be our new cashier." Zannik moaned and as the next customer walked up, he
let out a short groan and said, "Was everything all right with your meal, sir...
Date : 6th March
..."Actually no. There was Grundo in the chicken! I demand to see your manager." Zannik trailed along the
corridor to the manager's office. "In here, madam," Zannik said. He paused outside the door and heard
the customer's irate voice come floating through the woodwork. "And such scruffy employees!" Scruffy!?!?
Zannik prided himself on his appearance and Aubrey knew this and always spent extra time grooming him.
He stomped moodily back to the till. First he had to work, then he was told he was scruffy! This was
not the best of days. Zannik was so down, he snapped at the next customer, without realizing it was
Aubrey. "Hi," she said friendly. "I wanted to see how you liked your new job." "It's OK. Bah!" he said.
Aubrey left to find him a toy to make him feel better. He somehow Zannik dragged himself through the
day and went to collect his pay check at the end of the day. "70 measly NP!" he cried in outrage.
"All this grief for 70 NP!" He wanted to spend his purchase on some clothes or some cosmetics, but Aubrey
would want this money for food. He hesitated - should he give the money to Aubrey or keep some of it
Date : 7th March
...He decided that if he ever wanted that Golden Paintbrush, he would have to save up a little for himself.
He did feel bad, but at least he didn't take all of it! The next day at work he was running the till as usual,
until the manager yelled, "Hey you! Scruffy! We need you to run the burger fryer. Git over here." Zannik let
out a loud groan and the manager eyed him as he walked over. "Yes sir." The fryer reeked of grease and cheese
and onions. How did he let Aubrey talk him into this job thing anyway? All day he made the burgers for all of
the customers. After ten hours of work the manager told him he could go home. "Finally!" When he did get home,
Aubrey was waiting for him with her hands behind her back. She smiled, "How was your day?" And he just looked
at her with a blank expression. "That bad huh? Well, I bought you a little something to take your mind off of it."
She pulled out a cute Aisha plushie, his favorite. He smiled and took it. "Do you wanna play?" she asked. But
Zannik was too mad and tired from working, "Not right now if you please." He walked into his room and sat down.
He took out the extra NP that he had saved for himself and looked at it. "What was I thinking?" He got up
to give Aubrey the rest of his NPs to her when he heard her talking to someone else. It was her friend Eliza.
Zannik stopped at the end of the hallway and listened. "I am so proud of Zannik; he went to the Employment
Agency and got a job...and he gave me all the NPs to spend for food after he worked so hard! He is the most
honest and loving pet in all of Neopia!" she exclaimed to her friend. "I wish I had a pet like you," her friend
said with jealousy. Zannik stood in the hallway, feeling pretty bad about himself...
Date : 7th March
...Zannik went to his job the next morning, still feeling guilty about Aubrey's high praise. To make
matters worse, he was assigned from the manager to wash dishes all day. Zannik grumbled as he picked
up a plate and began scrubbing. As he scrubbed, Aubrey's voice echoed through his mind and it forced
him to work harder than before. It must've brought Zannik good luck or something because later on, the
manager came to the kitchen for him and told him to be the cashier again instead of washing dishes.
Zannik secretly felt thankful as he took place behind the counter. As Zannik was just accepting some
NP from a customer, something golden caught his eye. Zannik turned around and he gasped when he saw a
Golden Paintbrush. He left the counter and picked up the Golden Paintbrush. A red ribbon was tied around
it and it had a tag that said "To Zannik" but no clue who it was from. It also had a note that said, "Use
this well." Zannik almost jumped in joy, but then remembered his job as a cashier for the day. He put
the Golden Paintbrush next to him and then spent the rest of the day serving customers well. On the way
home, Zannik recalled Aubrey's praises to Eliza again when he saw the Money Tree coming up. Zannik
hesitated and looked at the Golden Paintbrush in his hand. Whoever had given it to him had told him
to use it well...
Date : 8th March
...Zannik knew he should use his Golden Paintbrush well but he wanted to have some fun in his life.
So he then decided that the trunk of the Money Tree would look way better gold. He remembered a few
lessons from art school he and painted away. Of course the Money Tree did not like this much and as
Zannik thought about what he did he figured it was safer to lay off the Golden Paintbrush for a while.
Well, that while didn't last very long...soon he had coloured the whole city gold, nobody was pleased...
Date : 8th March
..."Zannik?" Aubrey cried in dismay, "What on earth have you done? The Faeries surely will not like this
and neither will any of the other citizens of Neopia!" Zannik sheepishly lowered his head and muttered,
"But I thought that the city would be much prettier if it was a lovely gold color!" "I told you to only
use it for good!" "I'm sorry," Zannik murmured and snuggled close to his owner. She gently nudged him
aside. "First of all, Zannik, we have to fix this mess! But how? Whatever shall we do?" Meanwhile, back
at the Money Tree, the Tree had become sick from the paint and was no longer giving out donations to the
poor and needy of Neopia. The pets of these poor owners were suffering, and they crowded the Soup Kitchen
in desperation. It was a crisis and Zannik could only look on in guilt. "What should I do now?" He asked
Aubrey desperately. "We are wealthy, and we can spare some Neopoints for the poor. It is the right thing
to do, because we are at fault." "Will you give me the money, Aubrey? Please???" "No, no!" Aubrey said,
shaking her head emphatically. "I don't mean to sound hardhearted, but you must work and use your own money
to donate." Zannik was dumfounded. Now he'd have to work all the more to pay off his debt! He never would
get it done! It all seemed impossible...
Date : 9th March
...The next day Zannik went back to work and he noticed that the restaurant was also painted gold. "Oh no! Now
my boss is going to get rid of me and I'll have no money to try and save the Money Tree!" thought Zannik before
he went inside. He peered through the window and saw all the furniture was gold. The boss ran to him and shouted,
"Is it true that you painted the whole town gold?" Zannik hesitated and answered a very quiet, "Yes." His boss
smiled a long time without saying something. Finally Zannik couldn't stand it anymore and asked, "Am I fired now?"
"You fired? What kind of a stupid question is that? Of course you're not fired! I'm going to name the restaurant
after you!" "But the Money Tree is dying and there's a crisis," Zannik shouted. "Don't worry they'll fix it.
Some tree experts are busy investigating if they can heal the Tree and still keep that wonderful shiny gold.
By the way, you don't have to work today or any other day from now on. You're famous." "Wow, thanks," Zannik quietly
said as he went outside with a sad look on his face. All the citizens of Neopia were in front of the restaurant
and Zannik wanted to run away when he saw them. They ran after him and picked him up, carrying him on their shoulders
all the way to the town hall where the Faerie Queen gave him a key to the city. Then there was a huge party and
everybody was celebrating. But Zannik was depressed, thinking of the sick Money tree...
Date : 9th March
...Then, after an hour at the party, Zannik made a decision. He was going to rescue the Money Tree himself!
Zannik snuck out of the party and bounded toward the Money Tree. The tree experts scowled at him. "They obviously
need my help," Zannik thought aloud. Then, Zannik slowly proceeded toward the Money Tree. The closer he got,
the more of an urge he had to cry. When Zannik touched the Money Tree, the urge to cry was so immense that
Zannik sobbed over the Money Tree for an hour! The tree experts just stared, thinking, "What a weird kid."
While Zannik as crying, every salty drop of tear from Zannik was a spoonful of Medicine for the Money Tree.
When the Tree had had enough, and it was better, Zannik kept on crying so, the Tree grew bigger and healthier
than any tree in all of Neopia! Then the Tree exploded with presents, such as: 100,000,000 Neopoints, food
of the sort, and Paintbrushes galore! When Zannik stopped crying, expecting to see a Money Tree with brown
leaves, he saw a huge Money Tree! During the party, everyone had noticed that Zannik was gone and started
looking for him. When Audrey the Money Tree growing bigger, and bigger, she knew Zannik was there. Audrey
called everyone to come to the Money Tree to get their free gifts! Zannik ended up with another Golden
Paintbrush, and Audrey picked up 100,000,000 Neopoints. "We'll use this wisely," Audrey said with a wink.
Date : 9th March