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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 15th day of Collecting, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 61 > Articles > Every Stamp Tells a Story

Every Stamp Tells a Story

by pikatribble

NEOPIAN POST OFFICE KIOSK - Hello and welcome to all fellow philatelists (for those who don't know, that means stamp collectors). You know, stamp albums have been introduced to Neopia for over a month now, yet there have been almost no articles about them. In fact, a search of The Neopian Times turned up only a single article - Neopian Stamps - Are they Good for Anything? By scooby361989 in which the answer to the question in the title seemed to be not right now, but maybe someday. I, however, do think that Neopian Stamps are good for something... collecting! But don't think of it has just collecting tiny scraps of paper with glue on the back, or as something to put into an album and forget about. No! Every stamp, from the most common to the rarest holographic one, tells a story.

In what I hope may become a semi-regular series, I hope to share with you the tales behind these stamps…the Neopets, places, and events they commemorate. Hopefully, stories will help further your appreciation of this collectibles, and help you to understand the joys of stamp collecting.

We begin today with this stamp:

This is the fairly common Mystery Island Kougra Stamp, but there is nothing common about the Kougra whose picture is on it. Though the name of the stamps claims it only to be a cute little Kougra, this is, in fact, one of Neopia's greatest undercover agents... Awley.

Most of Awley's adventures remain classified, however, with Awley's recent retirement, the events surrounding some of his cases have been made available to the Neopian Public. The picture on the stamp was taken just before his first (and one of his most famous) cases... the Case of the Golden Juppies.

Until recently, the only version of the events that took place prior to the capture of the infamous Juppie Smuggler, Mulvinn the Wocky, was that detailed in the Neopedia, which depicted Awley as Mulvinn's partner in crime. However, nothing could be further from the truth...

Awley had been hired by the Mystery Island Council of Excruciating Remorse to attempt to find the hideout of Mulvinn the Wocky, who was one of the most notorious golden juppie smugglers of that day. It was his first real case, and he had been deep undercover for a few months, working on minor smuggling jobs to build up his reputation as a rookie smuggler, when Mulvinn approached him. Mulvinn was looking for a partner for a really big job, and though reluctant, agreed to take Awley into the smuggle with him. However, Awley, though interested in catching Mulvinn, also needed to find out where in Neopia Central Mulvinn was storing his smuggled Juppies, before the fruits were sold to the black market. This storehouse, it was felt, would provide more than enough evidence to put Mulvinn in jail permanently. Realising that Mulvinn would never reveal such a location to an inexperienced unknown like Awley, a setup was needed to gain Mulvinn's trust.

Now, according to the Neopedia, what happened that day was inexperienced rookie smuggler Awley panicked as a Mystery Island Customs Officer inspected their cabin, shooting the officer with his trusty sparkshooter, but only after the officer called out an alarm. In fact, the inspecting officer and all the others who responded to the alarm had been made aware of Awley's mission, and were all wearing special armour beneath their black uniforms, which helped diminish the sparkshooter's impact. However, as Mulvinn and Awley worked to fight their way out of the surrounding officers with their harvest of ill-gotten Juppies, each officer played their part perfectly, freezing as they were hit with blasts from the sparkshooters of Mulvinn and Awley, even though they could move within a few seconds. One of the Pango officers raised his rainbow gun, taking direct aim at Mulvinn, and pulled the trigger just as Awley leapt forward and pushed Mulvinn to the ground, the blast of rainbow flashes catching Awley's hindquarters. Mulvinn was impressed by his rookie partners actions to save him, and firing a couple quick rounds from his sparkshooter to disable the other guards, he and a sore but not severely injured Awley quickly gathered up the contraband Juppies and ran for the coast. Waiting tied to a rickety dock was a makeshift raft, constructed of 200 toy sailboats lashed together. The pair loaded up the raft and jumped on, setting sail for Neopian Central.

The ruse with the customs officers worked, and upon reaching Neopian Central, Mulvinn took Awley to his storehouse to recover. The entrance to the storehouse was hidden down an unimpressive alley in the marketplace. Mulvinn pressed a couple of bricks on a plain looking wall, and a door in the bricks slid open. The room inside glittered with light... filled floor to ceiling with smuggled golden juppies. As they walked inside, Awley pressed a secret button built-in to his sparkshooter, which activated a tracking device. Within moments, the sound of sirens could be heard racing towards the hidden warehouse. At the screaming sirens, Mulvinn whirled around... to find Awley's sparkshooter aimed squarely at his head. Awley smirked…"The name's Kougra…Awley Kougra and your juppie smuggling days are over, Mulvinn."

Mulvinn was taken away and locked up for life, and the stolen juppies were returned to the inhabitants of Mystery Island. The Council, deeply grateful to Awley, awarded him 30 golden juppies, as well as offering him his choice of any property on the island on which to live. Awley went on to solve many other cases, until he finally retired earlier this year. For his own safety, he choose a place deep within the Mystery Island jungle to set up his retirement home, changing his name and painting himself so his identity would remain unknown by any criminals who might be seeking revenge. Rumours say he has started farming his own fruit, careful to not plant too many golden juppies so as not to deplete the soil of nutrients. So, who knows? Maybe the next time you bite into that Elppa, perhaps it was farmed by Awley himself…and that blue Kougra who looked at you suspiciously in the Island marketplace might be a world famous super spy.

So as you can see, once you know the story behind the stamp, they are not merely boring scraps of sticky paper. Each stamp can help you to discover a new adventure, once you know what inspired it. Until next time, I wish you happy stamp collecting!

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