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Getting Back to Basics


by horserider12302

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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 to pack.

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 teach him.

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 build with.

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 some coffee.”

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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