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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 23rd day of Collecting, Yr 19
The Neopian Times Week 97 > Articles > Caring For Your Human: The Basics

Caring For Your Human: The Basics

by tdyans

NEOPIA CENTRAL - Neopia is a wonderfully diverse world filled with many different strange and interesting species, perhaps the strangest and most interesting of which is the human. Since their first mysterious appearance in our world a few years ago, humans have multiplied like Snowbunnies, and seem to have made themselves a permanent presence in Neopia. You will probably notice that humans often refer to themselves as “owners,” a word which, roughly translated from the human language, means “pet". Yes, odd (and stubborn, and silly, and messy) as they are, humans can make wonderful animal companions — as long as their Neopets know how to properly care for them. That is why we, the Neopian Committee on the Proper Care of Humans (NCPCH), have composed this helpful guide to teach you the basics of choosing, raising, and caring for your human.

Getting a Human

By now, humans have become such a fixture in Neopia that the moment a Neopet is born, he or she receives one. When it is introduced to you, your human will assign you a name that it can identify you with in the future. These names can be quite annoying, especially when they are something like Killerfangblade, Cutelilneo42, or the ever-popular alsdfj23498324980, (which has a variety of spellings in the human language.) However, you must remember that humans are not quite as advanced as we Neopets and need these names in order to label and understand the world around them; they would become quite easily confused without them, as one cloud Tonu looks like any other to them, as strange as that may seem. You’ll get used to it, after a while.

When you receive your human at birth, the Neopian government works hard to find a human who will be a good match for you. For instance, if you are very contradictory, they might give you a human who also “when meeting friends would Attack if they are Weaker.” Or if you are grammatically-challenged, perhaps a human who “would Very Friendly” might be right up your alley.

Unfortunately, despite all efforts, the system is not perfect, and things don’t always work out. You may find that your human does not make a very good pet — it doesn’t spend much time with you, won’t play any games, won’t bring you any food or toys. On the other hand, you may have a very good human, but alas, all things eventually come to an end, and pets are no exception. Sometimes you will find that your human, however much you may love it, would be better off if you released it back into the wild, (also known as “Earth” or “the real world” in the human language), to frolic with other humans. In these cases, you can get rid of your human, and find a new one, by going to the Neopian Pound. When you get there, just go inside and leave your human outside. After a while, your human will get the hint and wander off—either to find a new owner who will perhaps enjoy its annoying company more or to a life of freedom in the wild.

Inside the Pound, the ever-friendly Dr. Death will lead you to a “cage,” or viewing room, where you will wait until you find a new human. Don’t worry — no matter your species, color, or the name that your former human called you by, you are unlikely to have to wait longer than a couple of hours. There are always humans looking for new owners. From time to time, a new human will be paraded down the hallway, past the viewing rooms. Remember, humans are picky creatures and must be attracted to you if they are to make good pets. You can’t just grab one and expect it to like you; essentially, the human has to pick you. So, if you see a human that you like, try to catch its eye by smiling and looking friendly… or by looking sad and pathetic — different strategies work for different humans. If you get the human to stop and walk up to your viewing room to get a closer look at you, you’ve won its trust. It’s yours, take it home.

Entertaining Your Human

Now that you have your human — whether it is the one given to you at your birth or one that you have adopted from the Pound — you need to begin caring for it. The most important aspect of a human’s care is entertainment. You must entertain your human in order to keep it happy and healthy. For this purpose, the Neopian government has provided many free games to keep your human busy for hours at a time. A few of these games require your participation, but for the most part, your human can play them all on its own and give you some needed relaxation time.

Of course, you still need to supervise your human to some extent and step in at times with some gentle direction. Although they don’t always know it, humans need variety in order to keep their little minds in peak condition. For this reason, the Neopian government has imposed a limit of three plays per day per human for many of the games. As for the games that don’t have such limits, your human will still sometimes overdo it. When this happens, simply block it from playing any more and suggest that it try some other games. You might also mention that you’re bored of the game — some humans, while quite self-destructive, are very empathetic toward their owners and will happily stop playing if they think they’re doing it for your good rather than their own. Others will still get angry and put up a fight, but be firm and stand your ground. Eventually your human will give in and move on to another game.

In addition to benefiting your human’s physical and mental health (and keeping it somewhat out of your fur for a while), games can help to boost its self-esteem. If your human is very good at a certain game, it might even be able to win a trophy. And one of the things that almost all humans have in common is that they like shiny things, so a human with a trophy is a happy human. Even if your human isn’t quite good enough at anything to earn a trophy (don’t worry, that doesn’t make it a bad human), it can still earn Neopoints for itself by playing games, which brings us to the next section….

Neopoints and Your Human

Again, humans like shiny things, and these shiny gold coins provide them with just that, although you will rarely actually see a Neopoint, because humans have a tendency to stash them away like Usuls with acorns. The Neopian National Bank was created as a safe place for humans to squirrel away their shiny collection—and greatly reduced the number of hollowed out trees and large holes in the ground that various Neopets were complaining about. Also, when you hear your human talk about Neopoints, you will often hear it refer to them as NP. Humans like to shorten things. In order to encourage humans to continue to exercise themselves daily, most games have been programmed to give out these NP as a reward based on how well the human scores.

As worthless and silly as they may seem to us, humans often live for these NP and will do anything to get more of them. Most humans find that games are the most reliable (and the most enjoyable) method, but they have several other ways of increasing the amount of NP that they have. They will often come home to you at night mumbling gibberish about things like “Stock Market” and “Spotlights” and “Shops.” To date, these things are still largely a mystery to us, and perhaps that is for the best. In any case, you needn’t worry about it. Your humans will manage their Neopoints on their own just fine, or at least, most of them will. Some obstinate humans will refuse to play any games and will instead spend their time looking for a secret way to make NP quickly or begging fellow humans for scraps—all of which will only result in their further unhappiness. If your human cannot be trained out of these bad habits, we suggest a trip to the Pound.

Humans will also trade their Neopoints with each other for various items. Even if you can wrap your mind around the human fascination with NP, you may find yourself baffled by the humans’ system of value. Some will give millions of their precious NP for a giant bag of dung! You’re better off not trying to understand that — even Neopia’s most renowned scientists remain in the dark when it comes to many of the workings of the primitive human mind. However, if you can train your human correctly, you will find that their constant use of their NP to acquire items can be used to your advantage….

Training Your Human

Most, (although certainly not all), humans are eager to please their owners, so they can be easily trained to use their Neopoints to acquire food, toys, books, grooming items, and other things and to bring them to you. Of course, we Neopets are certainly capable of acquiring and fetching such things on our own, but this will give your human a sense of purpose, (not to mention allow you to sit back and relax while it does your every bidding.)

The first step in training your human to bring you things is conveying to it what you need. Sometimes, especially when your pet is still young and getting used to you, you can simply pop up and demand that your pet give you a Faerie or bring you a lemon swirly negg. Older pets, however, tend to become more stubborn about taking such orders. Rather than appealing to your authority, which humans will often defy, try pulling on their heartstrings and you’ll have your human eating out of your hand (or vice versa, actually) in no time. If you want your human to fetch some food for you, simply make yourself appear to be satiated, fine, or even not hungry. This will be enough to galvanize most humans to scamper off to find you some lunch, although some humans are a little less observant and will not notice your need for food until you look hungry or even starving. Just keep working on them, even if you have to resort to looking as if you’re dying—most humans will not realize that you cannot die—and eventually you will get the message across. Similarly, if you want your human to bring you a toy or grooming item, make yourself appear to be something less than delighted. Eventually your human will sense your lack of delightedness and scramble to please you.

Once your human has brought you the item of your desire, use that item and then let your pet know that you are pleased with its behavior. You can do so by smiling and saying a simple, familiar phrase that even a human will be able to understand as praise. For instance, if your human has just brought you food, you can say, “Thanks for that, I was really hungry,” or “Wow, a 1/3 Carrot and Pea Omelette, I was starving!!” (try to resist sounding sarcastic or adding “And I still am!!!”— at least they tried), or “*Burp*”. Alternately, if your human fails and brings you a food that you hate or a broken toy or any other undesirable item, gently reproach it by frowning, growling, and saying something like, “Yuck! I’m not eating one of those!” “Yuck! Get that away from me!” (“Yuck” has been found to be a very effective negative word), or “Those are SO boring..!” Hopefully, your human will learn its lesson and not repeat the mistake, but unfortunately, humans don’t have the best memories, so you will need plenty of patience.

Now that we’ve gone over how to go about getting your human to feed you, you may be wondering how to feed your human. Well, no need to worry. Four out of five Neopian scientists agree that humans, like petpets, do not need food to survive. How else would they be able to resist nibbling on the juicy Blumaroo steaks and scrumptious wriggling grubs that they fetch for us? As for the fifth scientist, he’s suspicious because his human always seems to bring him half-eaten jellies and omelettes, but this is most likely just an anomaly.

Well, now you should have the basic essentials for raising a healthy, well-adjusted, and useful pet human. Be sure to keep an eye out for future guides from the NCPCH, and in the mean time, here’s to happy humans!

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