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The New Family Member


by animalnutz1993

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"Come on, girl! Roll over!" I wagged my tail and obeyed. My beloved Glitter shrieked with laughter and rubbed my tummy with her paw. Ah, this is the life. Rolling around in the front yard with your Neopet, letting her fuss over you, feed you, paint you a fancy color, love you…what more could a Faerie Doglefox ask for?

     "Glitter!" I heard her owner call. "Come on, I have a special place to take you!"

     "Okay!" said Glitter excitedly. "Can Loretta come?"

     The teenager nodded, making her dark red curls bounce. "Just make sure you get her leash on right," she said.

     "Okay, Tess," replied the Faerie Gelert. Hmph! As if I actually WOULD run off when my beloved Glitter was already so happy! But I allowed the light blue leash to be clipped around my collar.

     "So where are we going?" Glitter asked Tess as I sniffed around. We were walking to Neopia Central, and I could already hear the Kadoaties at the Kadoatery crying. Oh, what fun it would be to chase them…

     "You'll see," said Tess, her green eyes twinkling. We arrived at a building with a couple of forlorn-looking Neopets pacing around the gated area. We went inside and I saw a Pink Uni sitting at a desk, filing her hooves, looking bored. She looked up when we opened the door and smacked her gum.

     "Uh, excuse me," said Tess. "We're the family that reserved Milo."

     "Oh, yes!" the Uni brightened. "You're right on time. Milo's been dying to meet you ever since he said he was going to a new home! Follow me." She led us to a door.

     "Tess, who's Milo?" Glitter muttered to her owner.

     "You'll see," repeated Tess. The Uni came back, holding the paw of a Baby Gelert. "Milo," she said to him. "This is your family." The tiny Gelert's eyes widened and smiled a shy smile.

     "Glitter," said Tess. "Meet your little brother."

     "Really?" Glitter squealed. "Oh, Loretta, now we can have twice as much fun!"

     If Glitter was happy, I was happy. So I welcomed the newcomer with a lick on his cheek. He giggled and petted my fur and scratched the place where my wings and my back met. Oh, YEAH. I felt myself slacken.

     "I see Loretta likes him," laughed Tess. I didn't see what was so funny, though. "That's Loretta," Glitter said to him. Milo said happily, "'Retta." Well, it's a start!

      ~*~

     Soon Milo started to grow on the family. The way he fell over batting at the sleeve of Tess's red sweatshirt she always wore around her waist was quite a crowd pleaser. Tess offered to get him a petpet, but he said he'd rather play with "Gitter" and "'Retta." I don't know how, but somehow he got into my petpet house when lightning cracked the sky. The whole fleecy thing would shake when thunder rumbled.

     Then one Saturday, I followed Glitter and Milo out into the front yard. We romped around playing in the sunshine. I trotted off a distance and grabbed my favorite ball. I bounced back over and dropped the ball at Glitter's feet. But Glitter was playing tickle torture with Milo. I never really excelled at that game. It feels good when you scratch my tummy.

     So I lay down in the grass and watched them, feeling slightly forlorn. Then we played hide and seek. I happily hid behind a tree. But Glitter found Milo first and stopped there. They chased each other around the yard, not realizing that I was forgotten. So I trotted out of my hiding place and joined in. But they didn't wait for me. They were having great fun and didn't seem to notice the annoyed Faerie Doglefox trailing behind them.

     Then Tess called us in for dinner. Once seated, Milo began this long-winded story about this funny thing a Yurble in his class did with glue. I walked over to my food bowl and saw that it was empty.

     I scratched at Glitter's table leg. She ignored me, snorting with laughter. So I sat there and waited. And waited. And just for a change of pace, I waited some more. But not until after everyone was finished did they notice me. I was starting to have second thoughts about Milo.

      ~*~

     After a few more weeks of this neglect, we went to Mystery Island. Glitter had snagged her wing on a Pirate Neopet's hook at Krawk Island the other day, so we took her here to cheer her up. I wouldn't have come if Tess had remembered at the last minute, "Oh, Glitter! Are you gonna bring Loretta?" and I felt my heart drop to my stomach when Glitter said, "Oh, I suppose so."

     We were walking along the river that ran through the Island Market. I walked behind them, feeling worthless and an imposter in this perfect family. I was hurt by Glitter's carelessness and jealous of the way my beloved Neopet preferred her little brother to me.

     Across the river, which was swollen from yesterday's rain, there was a shop that sold knick-knacks. Milo's eyes lit up when he saw it and said, "Ooh! Mommy! Gitter! Let's go in dat store next!" He started to run across the rickety bridge to get to the shop, when oh! The bridge collapsed and Milo was sent plunging into the raging river.

     "Milo!" Glitter cried. Tess and Glitter dashed to the edge. "Can you reach him?" asked Tess.

     "No!" exclaimed Glitter. "And I can't fly with one good wing!" Milo spluttered and gasped, "Mommy! Gitter! 'Retta! Get me out!"

     "We will, sweetie, just hang on," gasped Tess, her dark red curls straying over her face in her panic. I looked at Milo and thought of all the ignorance, of the neglect, of not being loved… and then I had an older image. I saw Milo scratching my favorite spot at the Neopian Pound before greeting Glitter and Tess. I saw him stealthily feeding me table scraps from under the table.

     If Glitter and Tess were going to ignore me, that was their problem. But the only one who didn't was Milo. I alighted and tried to hover over him, but it wasn't easy. He was moving too fast in the speeding current. I lowered as far as I dared, and managed to grab the fluffy light-blond baby fur in my teeth. Gently I tried with all my might to lift him up, just like I saw Lupes do with their pups. Woo! Either I need to work out more or this kid needs to lighten up on the doughnuts!

     Trying with all my might to stay in the air, I hurled myself and Milo across the raging water and back to shore. Once on safe dry ground, I released him and took a few steps back, panting up a storm.

     Glitter and Tess dashed for Milo, but Milo pushed past them and threw his arms around me. He whispered into my ear, "You saved me, 'Retta."

     "Oh, Loretta, you DID save him!" Glitter cried, hugging me, too. I tried to lick all of their faces at once. Tess bought me a Petpet Pipe Maze and I was back in the family again. But to that day, I never let Milo out of my sight.

The End

 
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