Banny sat, dejected, on the cold concrete floor of her cell.
There was an inviting looking pile of hay in the corner, but it smelt funny and
itched her crimson fur.
Banny274_2004 was abandoned, embarrassed and
alone. She was embarrassed because of the condition that had resulted in her
confused owner discarding her like a rotten omelette. Wallowing in self-pity,
she curled into a tight ball. She considered staying like that forever.
"Hello!" a young girl suddenly cried, pressing
her chubby face against the steel bars of Banny's cage. "What's your name, Wocky?"
Hope getting the better of her, the eager pet
opened her mouth in reply, but as predicted, all that came out was the accursed,
"Ugga ugga ugga." Banny's face fell, and she heaved a sigh that came out as
Frightened, the girl ran away. Her light footsteps
echoed in the empty hall of the Adoption Centre.
"What's wrong with me…?" Banny questioned herself
in a whisper, but of course it came out as "Ugga, ugga."
The change in her vocabulary had happened so
suddenly. One morning she woke up, fresh and ready for a new day of negg picking.
Banny had lived on a large farm with many other pets, each adopted for an extra
set of paws. Many paws make light work, her avaricious owner had said many times.
Negg picking was tedious work, all day she plucked neggs from low bushes in
the blazing sun, occasionally stepping in a pile of dung or something equally
unpleasant. Then when it got dark she would help box them up to send to the
Negg Faerie. The young Wocky knew no other life, and she had food and shelter,
even if it all came without love. She had been content, despite her living situation.
Though sometimes she wished for more.
Among the pets living on the farm, Banny was
quite famous for her voice. Maybe this is why it was so distressing for her
to lose her words. It was what had set her apart from her siblings. She sung
to herself all day whilst sorting pink neggs from purple neggs, and her voice
could soar as high as a white Weewoo. But her owner hadn't known that when she
threw Banny in the Pound (not literally of course).
Well, it was all over now and she knew she shouldn't
dwell on it. Blinking tears from her eyes that had no right to be there, Banny
considered her options. She could break out of this Pound somehow, and return
to her owner, though the prospect of her owner's cold eyes didn't fill Banny's
heart with enthusiasm. Or, she could wait patiently here, in the Pound, and
hope for a kind soul to come and adopt her. Then they would both figure out
what on Neopia was happening to the Wocky. She decided on the latter.
A boy in a banana-yellow shirt walked over to
her cage, and she started to explain her situation. "Ugga ugga ugga ugg-"
She received a strange look and fell silent.
Though as he walked away, she vowed to never stop trying. She couldn't live
here forever. Banny had so much more for the world! It was always her dream
to be a star, to sing to a crazed crowd of fans at the Concert Hall in Tyrannia
that she had heard so much about. To stay in this depressing "Adoption Centre"
forever, well, she'd rather be almost anywhere else.
It wasn't long, however, before another prospective
owner came along. It was a teenage girl, walking confidently as if she knew
her way around the Pound like an expert. She was escorting a beautiful, strong
looking orange Eyrie to a nearby cell to be locked up ready for adoption by
somebody else. Dr Death closed his cage and turned to the ex-owner.
"I'm looking for another new pet," the girl,
dressed cap-a-pie in black announced, after giving a reassuring smile to the
Eyrie that was already being studied by another girl.
"Already?" Dr Death inquired, raising a suspicious
bushy eyebrow. "We sure see you in here a lot Heidi."
"Yes. Uhh, I want one, not too young, with umm,
weak stats, and numbers in their name. And a basic colour, like always," she
said thoughtfully. It was a strange choice, but Banny was too excited to ponder
about that. She fit the girl's categories perfectly! Maybe this was her ticket
out of here. Maybe this was her one shot at a home!
"This one is named Banny274_2004," Dr Death said
with a tone of boredom, gesturing to Banny's cage. "She has a 'condition', but
I'm sure you're just itching to solve it. Being the heroic owner you are."
The girl was oblivious to the Techo's sarcasm,
or maybe she had learnt to ignore it. After all, the two did seem to be fairly
well acquainted. She walked over to Banny's cell. "Hi Banny," she said, curling
a black-fingernailed hand around a bar of the cage.
"Ugga ugga," Banny said, then stopped, a confused
expression on her face. Why did this keep happening? She'd start speaking, and
this nonsense would come tumbling out.
"Condition. I see what you mean," Heidi mused,
though she was smiling. "Alright, I'll take her."
Banny was lead to the reception desk so Heidi could sign adoption papers. A
girl was adopting the Eyrie, previously owned by Banny's new owner.
"Bye Kirl568," Heidi exclaimed, and he flashed
her a giant smile and gave Banny a thumbs up. Banny couldn't help hiding her
"Now, sign here," Dr Death instructed, thrusting
papers under the Banny's nose. She signed with a red paw and left in the arms
of her owner.
"See you in a week," Dr Death said sinisterly,
but Banny chose to ignore it. Her brain couldn't process that statement right
then, she had too much to think about. She was going home! Finally, she had
an actual home, and not a barn that she shared with two dozen other pets. 224637
Market Street, Neopia Central. In her mind she practiced writing that address
with a flourish on backs of envelopes.
"Come meet the family!" Heidi said, pushing open
the wooden door. Standing in a line as if on cue were three well presented Neopets.
They looked as if they had been through introductions such as this many times
"Hi, I'm Ixifungirl_2003, and this is Cresha,"
a loud yellow Poogle with a Poppit on her shoulder said, grinning and holding
out a sunny coloured paw to be shaken. Banny wondered why she was a Poogle when
her name was Ixifun, but she kept it to herself.
"My name is Flueriel," a pretty blue Gelert said
quietly. The red Wocky had to strain her ears to hear her, but she didn't get
the impression that the pet was shy. Just reserved, maybe.
"Regorey," an Eyrie stated, staring at her sharply.
He didn't hold out his red wing in greeting, but neither did he leave the room.
Several of his feathers were missing, and he looked as if he was recovering
from something drastic. He appeared to have a permanent sneer on his beak.
"You don't say much. What's your name?" Ixifun
asked Banny, after a long silence.
Banny's face fell. She was afraid to open her
mouth, but she didn't want to appear rude in front of her new family. "Ugga
"Oh, what a pretty name!" Ixifun exclaimed. Regorey
"Banny, why don't you come into the kitchen with
me?" Heidi said, narrowing her eyes at her Eyrie then turning to her new Wocky.
"I have to talk to you."
In the kitchen she heated up a clear jug of something
blue. "Drink this, it's Sporkle syrup." She thrust the jug at Banny. "It cures
Ugga-Ugga," she added as an explanation.
"Ugg," Banny said gratefully, drinking the thick
bubbling liquid without hesitation. It tasted meaty, but soothed her worn throat.
She was as surprised as Heidi to notice her voice
was back to normal.
"You've got a very pretty voice! Now, before
you get too happy, I have to tell you something," Heidi said, biting her dark
lip. Banny was quietened at the serious expression on her face.
"What?" her voice had never sounded so sweet
to her own ears.
"I have to tell you that you will be returning
to the Pound."
"W-what?" Banny asked in bewilderment, screwing
up her face to try and understand. "Why are you sending me back to the Pound?
I've barely been here five minutes."
"Not immediately," Heidi said hastily, brushing
back a lock of black hair. "But I will eventually, and I thought it was fair
that I tell you that."
To be continued…
NOTE: This is the first part of my two part series, Banny’s Story. I hope
to write stories about the majority of pets that I adopt from the Pound and
train in my semi-secret account, and this is the first. Banny274_2004 was adopted
with Ugga-Ugga, as a red Wocky, however I made up her past. Once this issue
is out, I will put her up for adoption. Be warned that you might get some attention
from readers if you do ;)