Second Chance Sanctuary: Another Chance
The yellow Uni lay on her back, her creamy wings spread
out like an eagle's over the soft grass. Next to the Uni, Amy laid on her back
too. The pair gazed at the almost surreal blue sky with its cottony clouds.
The Uni sighed; she loved to just stare at the
sky and lose herself, to just become totally carefree. She did this a lot with
Amy. Amy was the best owner ever. Seriously.
"Amy, why did you never take me back to the
pound like all of the other pets you help?" The Uni turned her head slightly
to look at her owner.
Amy was slim and tall with glossy black hair
and azure colored eyes. To Aleena, Amy looked like a goddess, and she was almost
one too. Amy took abused and abandoned pets from the pound and made them happy
again, so they would have a better chance of being adopted. But somehow, Aleena
was still with her.
Amy smiled, "I remember going to the pound that
day, and taking one look at you. I almost cried. The adoption agent told me
your story. Chained to a stake like some sort of monster with no food or water,
being abused. My heart cracked…" Amy paused as they both remembered.
Aleena's old owner had just thought of her as
a thing, some toy to kick and yell at and to starve and to tie up like she wasn't
a living being. She didn't even have a name.
"I knew it was you who would come home with
me, and you did. I think we both remember how long it took to gain your trust."
Aleena shifted her gaze back to the sky and Amy continued.
"Then came the day to take you back to the pound,
but I couldn't bear it, so I told you the pound was too crowded and I postponed
the event by saying just that for a few more weeks." Amy laughed a little at
the memory; she almost never lied.
"And then after a while, you just stopped lying
to me, but you never quite said I was going to be staying with you forever."
Aleena looked anxiously at Amy, just to make sure she would be staying with
Amy smiled and Aleena returned the smile. "I
wasn't sure for a while. I couldn't see myself having a permanent pet, but I
couldn't imagine someone else caring for you."
"But you never had that problem before." Aleena
looked concerned. Why was she so special?
As if Amy could read Aleena's thoughts, she
replied, "I didn't think anyone but me could understand how fragile you are,
and I didn't want you to be hurt again, so you're here to stay."
Aleena smiled and continued to gaze silently
at the beautiful sky. Amy had given her a second chance at life; Aleena was
content with that.
Aleena trotted along the deserted street, heading
towards home as the sun set over Neopia. Amy was still at their shop, but Aleena
always came home early to make dinner for the two of them. She flared her nostrils
and took in the scent of early spring. Flowers, fresh cut grass, and dinner
cooking mingled together. Aleena smiled and kept on trotting.
As Aleena passed a bunch of overgrown shrubs,
something white out of the corner of her eye caught her attention. She stopped
and peered into the dark, bushy foliage. A dirty, ragged looking, skinny, timid
Ukali huddled under the leaves. Aleena gasped; surely a petpet this rare and
expensive would not be carelessly left outside!
"What are you doing in there?" Aleena murmured
softly to the Ukali as she tried to coax it out of its hiding spot. The white
winged petpet cringed away from Aleena's hoof, its eyes shining bright with
Aleena looked around at her surroundings. Her
neohome was less than a block away, and nobody was outside. Aleena stood thinking
for just a second more before looking back at the terrified Ukali.
"I'll be right back, please don't go anywhere!"
Aleena exclaimed as she broke into a trot down the street.
When she reached her neohome, she unlocked the
bright blue door with the brassy doorknob and the winged shaped-knocker. Aleena
went into the kitchen and looked around. She opened the white refrigerator and
shifted food around until she found a piece of plain omelette. She grabbed the
omelette and ran into the laundry room for a towel.
Omelette and towel in hand, Aleena trotted quickly
back down the street to the overgrown shrubs. She bent down to the Ukali's level
and held out a piece of the omelette. The Ukali shrunk away at first, but the
smell of food was just too much for the starving petpet. The Ukali inched forward
cautiously and took a tiny bite of the omelette. Aleena didn't even breathe
as the petpet took another bigger bite.
The starving Ukali finished the omelette in
a few mouthfuls. This time, it didn't cringe or shrink back as Aleena moved
her hoof. Aleena laid the towel on the ground and reached into the shrub. She
grabbed the Ukali before it could run away and wrapped it up into the warm towel.
Aleena took the towel-wrapped Ukali and headed home.
The sun had set now as Aleena brought the Ukali
into the neohome. She took it into the bathroom and set it in the bathtub.
"I'm going to put you into here so you can't
go hide somewhere," she whispered gently as she unwrapped the Ukali.
The Ukali's snowy white fur was plastered with
mud and a few red scratches. You could literally count the poor petpet's bones.
Its huge brown eyes looked fearfully up at Aleena. Aleena smiled softly at the
miserable creature to comfort it before heading back into the kitchen to get
Down in the kitchen, Aleena grabbed a yellow
plate and warmed up some more omelette and a bit of leftover grackle stuffed
turkey. After the food was warm, she went back into the bathroom and set the
plate down in the bathtub.
The Ukali was hesitant at first, but hunger
overcame it. It cleaned the plate free of food in a matter of minutes. Aleena
took the plate over to the sink and filled it with a little warmed water from
the faucet. The Ukali lapped the water up, filling its skinny body with warmth.
"I wonder who your owner is. You must belong
to someone, rare petpets like you just don't wander around in your condition…"Aleena
trailed off thoughtfully.
"Aleena, I'm home!" Amy called from downstairs.
Aleena gasped; she had completely forgotten
about making dinner! She turned to the little Ukali and wrapped it back up in
the towel. She took both the Ukali and the plate into her arms and headed back
"Um…Amy…I-uh…um…found something…"Aleena entered
the kitchen awkwardly, partly due to her full arms and partly due to her nervousness.
What was Amy going to say? Aleena had never had a petpet, let alone asked for
one. It's not that Amy didn't like petpets; she just never brought the subject
"Oh my!" Amy gasped as Aleena showed her the
tattered Ukali. "Who would abandon such a sweet little thing?" Amy scooped up
the Ukali and held it gingerly in her loving arms.
"Maybe it got lost?" Aleena set the towel and
plate down on the cherry wood kitchen table.
"That's one idea, but I don't know. Usually
when someone loses a petpet, they hang up posters all over. I haven't seen any
posters lately." Amy looked thoughtful as she sat down, still holding the Ukali
as it slid into a deep sleep.
Aleena smiled at the cute petpet. "I haven't
seen any posters either. What are we going to do?" Aleena was hesitant to ask
the question. What if Amy said they couldn't keep it?
Amy thought for a moment. "We'll put up posters
saying that we found a petpet and to neomail us describing the petpet. That
way, we can make sure we have the right owner, not just someone who wants a
free way to make some extra neopoints." Amy always made sure to cut out any
loopholes in just about everything she did.
"What will we do with it until we can find its
owner?" Aleena again hesitated to ask the question. She really didn't want to
have to give up the sweet little Ukali.
"Well, it's pretty obvious," Amy began.
"It is?" Amy laughed gently at the quizzical
look on Aleena's face.
"We'll keep it and make it better, but after
two weeks, I think we might just have a new petpet." Amy and Aleena smiled widely
at each other. Just two weeks. Two weeks.
Two weeks came and went with many neomails from
people who actually lost a petpet and opportunists alike. Aleena was laying
on her belly on the lavender living room carpet, rubbing the wiggling Ukali's
belly. The Ukali looked so much different from just two weeks ago. Its coat
and wings were once again snowy white and its body had filled out to cover the
bones. The Ukali's brown eyes were no longer full of fear, but they held happiness
"Well, that's the last of our posters." Amy
threw some tattered white signs with black letters into the garbage can.
Aleena pushed herself up into a sitting position.
"What are we going to name him?" She had been pondering the question a lot lately.
Amy looked thoughtfully at the Ukali for a moment,
who was now gnawing on a squeaky toy. "How about Blizzard?"
Aleena looked at Amy and both of them laughed.
The Ukali looked up at the two of them excitedly. They both laughed harder.
"Blizzard is a little too common, how about Razen?"
"That's more original…ok!" Amy bent down and
hugged Aleena and Razen.
Word seemed to travel fast that Amy and Aleena
had helped an abandoned petpet. Soon petpets were carelessly being dumped off
at their neohome. Aleena was getting worried that Amy would get angry soon.
"This is getting to be ridiculous!" Amy said
as she carried in a bedraggled Warf from outside.
"What are we going to do?" Aleena stared at
Amy worriedly. Was Amy going to blame Aleena for all this trouble just because
she had helped Razen?
"I don't know," Amy answered, clearly exasperated.
It was costing her a lot of neopoints to take care of all these petpets. They
had 15 to care for now.
Aleena thought about their situation a lot over
the next few days. She had to come up with a solution soon. Amy really wanted
to foster another pet; she had mentioned it to Aleena only briefly, but Aleena
knew how much she wanted to. A new foster pet meant more neopoints were needed
and Aleena couldn't help Amy too much at the shop anymore because of all the
Oh, what to do! Aleena flopped down on her bed,
almost in tears. What if Amy decided to sell ALL of the petpets, even Razen?
Aleena loved all of the petpets, but Razen held a special place in her heart.
Suddenly a light bulb clicked on inside of Aleena's
mind. She sat bolt upright and thought for a few more minutes before galloping
down the steps two at a time. She bolted into the kitchen and almost crashed
into Amy, who was washing dishes.
"Whoa! Where's the fire?" Amy giggled.
Aleena sucked in a big breath and began, not
wanting to stop, "I have an idea about what we can do with all of these drop
off petpets. We could open an adoption center and care for the petpets until
they are well enough to be adopted. We could charge 1,000 neopoints, or something
like that to pay for the cost of food, and we could build another room just
for the petpets." Aleena looked at Amy both anxiously and hesitantly.
Amy mulled the idea over for a minute. "There's
just one problem…"
Aleena's hopes plummeted through the floor.
"What are we going to call our little adoption
center?" Aleena looked up and smiled back at Amy.
"How about Second Chance Sanctuary?"
"Sounds great, I'll go call the building company
now." Amy smiled wider, and Aleena grinned back, knowing that Amy truly was
the most caring owner a pet could wish for.