Gilbert the Poogle: Part Five
Gilbert held the thick wad of Neopoints in his paw as he
stood in front of the Trading Post faerie. Feeling anxious and apprehensive about
it, he gripped the Neopoints tightly, as if afraid it would be somehow be stolen
or snatched from him, while he inquired the trades selling the cheapest of Scorchio
For the potion was too expensive and valuable
to be sold over the counter in ordinary shops.
Before long, he was standing numbly in front
of a shelf which housed countless potions of different colours, shapes and sizes,
in the shop owned by a Neopian. One single potion stood out for Gilbert. The
fiery red colour looked all too familiar to him-the wonderful round tummy, the
red, orange, and golden yellow hues which shaded the body of the bottle, all
seemed to be compelling him to purchase it. Gilbert could even imagine the spiked
tail that swished to and fro, the charming wings which helped him soar above
the plains of Tyrannia, and his dependable breath of fire which frightened many
a Battledome challenger out of their wits.
But there was a queer tinge of uneasiness amidst
all the familiarity.
"What are you waiting for, Gilbert?" Ruby asked,
puzzled with his tarrying. "Grab it quickly, or someone else might make an offer
for it instead of you."
The Poogle's paw reached forward-and stopped.
Something was holding him back. It was a strong feeling of propriety. He had
been thinking about and anticipating this time since the day he turned into
a Poogle. As a matter of fact, even Gilbert himself was bewildered by his hesitation.
Yet, he knew clearly what was bothering him. Throbbing in his head was the question
of whether it was appropriate, whether it was really meant to be, whether it
was proper, for him to change again, and whether he really wanted to. Perhaps
it was fate that caused the change, and perhaps this was what he was meant to
be for the rest of his life.
After all he had gradually grown to love being
Being a Poogle had all its benefits Gilbert
never got to realise when he was still a Scorchio. Though he could not fly,
he was the constant draw of attention from passer-bys as they gasped at how
handsome he was. As a Poogle, he was not able to breathe fire, like when he
was a Scorchio. But being able to surprise attackers (who thought he was a mere
weakling) with his big, strong, menacing teeth more than made up for the fire
breath, and more importantly that gave him a strange sense of satisfaction.
Moreover, it was his Poogle self that prompted a fellow yellow Poogle to aid
him at the Money Tree, which caused his meeting with Shalia, and in turn Little
Timmy who turned out to be her grand-nephew-and it all led up to this day.
If I hadn't been a Poogle I wouldn't even be
standing here, gripping these precious Neopoints in my paws, Gilbert thought.
Or I wouldn't even have wanted to come here in the first place if I hadn't turned
into a Poogle, for I would still be a Scorchio. What an irony!
It just didn't seem right that he should return
to his original self. After all, he reasoned, he might feel weird as a Scorchio
once again, now that he has been a Poogle for such a long time.
Perhaps the Neopoints in his hands could be
used for better purposes.
So Gilbert decided to act fast, before he, or
anyone else, could change his mind.
"Ruby," he said suddenly, startling the fire
faerie who still hovered behind him patiently, waiting for him to make his purchase.
"I remember that you said you always wanted to be reunited with you other faerie
friends. I know how I can help you now." Running out of the store, Gilbert pulled
up at the Shop Wizard once again. Ruby, following him, was completely stunned
by his actions.
"Gilbert! What are you doing? Your morphing
"Give me all the shops selling bottled faeries!"
The blue Poogle shouted so loud that the little Jubjub in the inimitable blue
cape and hat was mightily taken aback. Never had he witnessed such enthusiasm
and impatience in searching for a shop.
With the new list of shops etched firmly in
his head, Gilbert rushed to the separate stores to purchase bottles of faerie
hastily, as if not even thinking about what he was doing. All these his fire
faerie friend looked on with much disbelief.
By the time he was done with the shopping, he
already had a small bagful of glass bottles. Lugging the heavy canvas bag, he
arrived home to Ruby's anger.
"What were you doing just now? I don't believe
how silly you were! I thought your greatest dream was to become a fire Scorchio
"This happened." Gilbert picked up one bottled
faerie from inside the bag, and, in a swift movement, uncorked it to release
the little faerie. After the blessing procedure, he carried on to ask Ruby if
the she recognised the new faerie as one of her long-lost friends or family.
"You did this…all for me?" Ruby stared at her
Poogle friend, wide-eyed with bewilderment, gratefully touched by his actions,
and expressing her thanks from the bottom of her heart. "Why…oh, thank you,
"I know it's a reckless thing to do, and it
may not even work, but as long as it gave you some hope or reuniting with your
family and friends, would all that matter? Besides, you were so supportive and
helpful these few weeks, and went all out to aid me, so by right I should do
something to help you too. And not to forget all that special faerie abilities
I'm getting. Hey, since I have so many I might as well share some with my friends!
I can even see what they think of my new permanent species by the way."
Ruby's grin vanished as she thought of something
else which was important.
"But what about being a Scorchio? Wasn't that
what you wanted all this while, what you earned all those Neopoints for, working
like you never did, playing in the game room, snatching items from the Money
Tree? And it all boiled down to…this. Don't you think it is such a waste?"
"Nah. I decided not to change over after all.
I had grown so accustomed to being a Poogle that I don't think I can be a Scorchio
and stand on two legs anymore. Maybe my destiny is fated this way, because another
transformation just didn't feel right. Besides, being a Poogle actually has
its perks! When I was a Fire Scorchio, Neopian were more than petrified of me-everyone
kept their distance. I used to think that that was respect in its best form,
but now I kind of like the way how Neopians come up to me and cuddle me like
a soft toy. It is totally different from what I used to experience, but still…maybe
I've grown out of the 'Fear me!' phase."
Just then Penny came out to the living room,
with Ben following behind her. The both of them had overheard what he had just
"You decided to stay being a Poogle?" Penny
inquired, quite surprised.
"Cool! Even though I can't actually be
a Poogle, it'll be pretty neat to have a Poogle for a brother, don't you think?"
Ben squealed enthusiastically. He was obviously exhilarated with the fact that
the Poogle was here to stay, permanently, in the house. Gilbert, trying to smile,
said as he showed his teeth of malice, "I may be cuddly, but watch out for my
Frightened, Ben hid behind Penny, his eyes brimming
with tears from the fright he got. He never knew Poogles could be this fierce-looking.
Penny, being the doting owner whom she was towards
Ben, turned to look disapprovingly at Gilbert.
"Gilbert, stop it right now." Penny said sternly.
Her tone of voice allowed no delay in halting his scare, and the Poogle started
grinning good-naturedly, even sweetly at his little brother.
"Aww, you're such a baby. Don't cry…I'll let
you have the honour of being the first Neopet whom I piggyback, alright?" It
was such an extraordinary offer from the brother who used to mock him, that
the Chia refused to believe he did not have a hidden motive or a secret agenda
for being so nice to him. But soon, after much probing and reassurance from
Ruby and Penny that Gilbert was not trying to harm him (or Penny would know
what to do), Ben decided to give their siblinghood a try. In the rare moment
of brotherly love, Ben stretched out his playful arms and hoisted himself onto
Gilbert's secure blue back.
"Hey, I just thought of this," Gilbert said
as he strolled around the house with the pleased baby Chia on his back. "Gilbert
the Poogle actually sounds pretty good!"