Getting Back to Basics
Neopia is a wonderful place, full of shops, cozy neohomes, and friendly pets.
But we often take for granted our pampered lifestyle, and forget those pets that
live without any of the modern conveniences.
I was cleaning up after my three Lupes one day when I spotted a magazine one
of them had been reading. It was titled Pets of Neopia, and showed pictures
of majestic Lupes and Gelerts hunting in packs, howling at the moon, and basically
looking regal and rugged. I wondered how these pets survived with just enough
to eat when my pets could barely go on for a day without their Red Long Hair
Brushes. I thought it over and came to a conclusion: Why couldn’t we survive
like wild pets do? It couldn’t be that hard.
That was the beginning of why I will never, ever, go outside my neohome again.
I told my Lupes about the idea, and they gave me the reaction I had been expecting:
they looked at me like I had taken too many cups of Juppie Java this morning.
Nevertheless, after much coaxing (all right, pleading), they got up and went
I then spent two hours telling them what to pack (pillow, toothbrush) and
what not to pack (Entertainment Center, bathtub). After we were all packed with
our only provisions being canned fish, bread, and some coffee, we headed out
to the wildest place I could think of: the Haunted Woods.
Now, the Haunted Woods aren’t that scary once you’re actually in there. Pets
talk about how the forest is teeming with ghosts and ghouls, and from the Neopedia
stories it sounds like Count Von Roo will spring up behind you if you so much
as sneeze. Let me tell you, when we first got there we only saw a mutant Weewoo.
Sure, it tried to eat one of my Lupes, but it could have been worse, right?
We unpacked our belongings, and, like a fearless Lupe pack leader, I immediately
ordered Erebor to go out for firewood. He looked at me and said, “Get it yourself,
I’m not your servant.” So, I, the fearless Lupe pack leader, went to get firewood.
After collecting firewood and brandishing it like a sword every time I heard
a scary noise (this is Survival Tactic #53), I returned to the campsite and
we all began to work on the fire, using whatever supplies we brought with us,
which were zero.
We learned two things from this: One, none of us can start a fire, no matter
how hard we try, and two, Erebor knows several words that I certainly didn’t
So on that cold, dark, and terrifying night, without any tent(my bright idea)
or campfire, we huddled together under a tree, listening to the symphony of
hoots, howls, and suspicious maniacal laughs and not even daring to close our
eyes. Honestly, the only way I survived that night was by drinking the coffee
we had brought with us.
The next morning, feeling more perky than before, I got up at dawn and woke
my other Lupe, Reynos_Legolas, to go hunting for breakfast. He responded, “Ewww,
we’re going to catch something hairy and slimy and then eat it?” Of course,
it sounded much less appetizing the way he said it, but the stabbing hunger
pains were kind of hard to ignore.
We crept silently through the trees, looking for something, anything, to eat.
Then, with our keen eyes(or sheer luck), we finally spotted it.
A Batterfly was perched atop a withered old stump, right in front of us. It
calmly preened itself, which should have been our first warning that it knew
what we were up to and could escape. Still, this never occurred to us, and we
tiptoed closer to it, almost to the point where we could reach out and touch
it, when Reynos, Mr. Stealth himself, tripped, landing with a crash that pets
in Faerieland could have heard. The Batterfly quickly flew off, with Reynos
and I in pursuit.
I surged ahead of my Lupe, almost feeling the victory within my grasp. What
an accomplishment it would be to know that I had caught something with my bare
hands! However, as I envisioned myself standing in front of the entire Neopian
community explaining what a struggle it had been to catch such a wild beast,
I noticed that the Batterfly had disappeared. I rounded a corner, hoping to
catch the little guy off guard, and crashed into Reynos.
With Weewoos dancing in front of our eyes, we raced onward , knowing that
our prey was right up ahead. We crashed through the forest looking for it, getting
scraped, bruised and generally looking like something a Elephante had run over.
You know, it’s amazing how easily you can get lost. Reynos and I hadn’t even
run an hour when we realized that either the trees were following us or we were
going in circles. Now, for all you aspiring woodsmen out there, there is a very
simple solution to this problem. Act like you know where you’re going, and when
someone notices that you are wearing a path into the ground, say, “Don’t you
think I know where I’m going? Just follow me!” Then walk forward very confidently,
even if you are so lost you need arrows to guide you. I did this, and successfully
walked Reynos and I into a field of angry Meepits.
(Note: the next scene has been edited out because of disturbing elements involving
Meepits, dandelions, and a coffee can. We now return you to the original article.)
Soon after, tired from running for our lives and covered in Meepit scratches,
we returned to the campsite, where we had a delicious breakfast of tuna, bread,
and coffee. Yum yum.
About an hour later, once again feeling hyper from the coffee, I wanted to
build a shelter that would protect us from the unforgiving elements. My Lupes
seemed to like this idea, which encouraged me to go find materials we could
We found sticks, old logs, and leaves, which we would use as the walls and
roof. Inside we could stay warm and dry from anything that was thrown at us.
Unfortunately, none of us knew how to build a house, so we just stuck the sticks
together with mud.
Surprisingly, it held! We congratulated each other on a job well done, settled
comfortably inside, and began to think up a description for the Neohome Spotlight.
Mud can be strong for holding a hut in calm weather. However, it doesn’t stand
up so well against hurricane force winds, and believe me, having a house fall
on you is a terrifying experience. Thunder and lightning crashing above isn’t
lots of fun either.
Now, if you’re ever in a scary situation like this, just do what I did. I
closed my eyes tightly, so the storm could not see me. I also grabbed my Lupe
around the neck and screamed, “We’re all DOOMED!” Note: If you don’t have a
Lupe, any big pet works just as well.
After the winds died down, we pulled ourselves from the rubble and began to
look for the remaining supplies. Well, at least that’s what my Lupes did. I
rocked back and forth on the ground and drank some more coffee.
At this point, after being frozen, blown about by a hurricane, and chased
by angry meepits, I decided we would go home. Of course, you can’t admit in
front of everyone that you would love to lock yourself in your neohome and never
so much as set a toe outside again, now can you? No, what you have to do is
look as if a minor mishap has occurred and you’ll have to leave earlier than
expected. No sobbing on the ground saying, “We HAVE to go! I can’t TAKE it!”
No, instead, say something subtle like: “Well, we’re running out of supplies,
and I had planned for us to stay a week, but it didn’t work out that way, so
my plans will have to be cut short...” If you babble on like this, your pets
will hopefully get the picture. When I made this announcement, my Lupes looked
at me with tears of joy in their eyes. And maybe looks of revenge.
So ended our enlightening and painful trip into the wild. The only thing we
took back with us were memories, Meepit bites, and an empty coffee can. Not
quite the wonderful experience I had been hoping for.
I guess some pets and people weren’t meant to live like the wild Neopets (good
guess, huh?). In fact, I think that those pictures of wild pets were fake, and
those conniving authors hired conniving pet models to create those pictures
just to see if insane pets and their owners would actually go out into the wilderness.
I bet, even now, that those “wild” Lupes were watching us through the trees,
in their Electric Radiator heated neohomes, laughing at us and saying, “Ha ha,
look at that foolish owner and her Lupes, trying to survive out here! I can’t
believe they took those pictures seriously! That’s so funny, now let’s go have
Author’s Note: I’m always open for questions/comments so if you want to
neomail me, don’t be shy!
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|Never Wish to Fly: Part Four|
Even though Glia had decided not to turn back
upon the sight of the house, she was now having second thoughts, seeing it up
close. The wood was pitch black, almost blending in with the many surrounding
trees, smelling somewhat rotten, and splintering at the mere touch...