Now You See Me, Now You Don't: Part Four
Marigold sighed as she was placed into a cage at the pound.
Kipper was locked into a small cage below her. He also sighed. This must be the
ending. That was what was running through both of their minds.
"This isn't right, Kipper," Marigold said, sounding
furious and determined. "Why did you make a distress call? And why you would
be that dumb?" She kicked the side of her cage. "I feel like a kadoatie in this
thing! It's absolutely horrid and it's all your fault." Hot tears fell down
her face. "You ruined my life."
"Your life just started," Kipper muttered. "I
thought it was the right thing to be doing at the time. I'm sorry I didn't tell
you before I did it, because I knew it would affect your future, too. I thought
it would save us both, but I guess it didn't." He sighed. "I never thought Belinda
would change like that. What did you do to make her change her whole personality?"
"I don't remember! It was some weird speech I
said or something. I don't remember what I said, though!" Marigold groaned.
"What are we going to do? Yeah, you really should have told me. It would have
affected your future, yes, but it could make mine better or ruin mine.
But even if it made my future better, you should have told me. It would have
affected me and I might have wanted-"
"Marigold, just shut your mouth!" Kipper whined.
"I'm sorry, okay? Let's just both be quiet and think, okay?" he entreated. "We'll
think of a way out of this. We can complain. We can do something." And at that
Kipper shut his mouth, and Marigold didn't say anything else.
Then the same Grarrl, Mr. Picky, came in. "Oh,
Mr. Picky, sir, are you here to say we can go back to where we live? To our
neohome with Belinda?" Marigold begged. "She never did anything to us!" That
was kind of a lie, but oh well. "I want to go home. You're supposed to be a
rescuer. You ruined me." Marigold began to cry.
"No, you can't go home. We don't have proof that
you're not just saying that," Mr. Picky grouched. "And we need our proof. Miss
Belinda there could have just ordered you to say that to me if I came."
"She didn't! She did not even know you were coming!
I didn't even know," Marigold sobbed. "Please," she cried. "I am hungry and
lonely - like I always am..." Marigold gasped and realized her mistake. "When
I am not around my sweet mother Belinda," she added quickly.
Mr. Picky raised his eyebrows but did not say
anything more about Belinda. "You two are lucky. Pets don't often get fed in
the pound... But I have a small snack for you both." He put on a forced smile
and held an apple through each of their cages. "You are both lucky," he repeated.
"You are now safe, and you get fed. Someone will adopt you any day now. I must
be going..." His smile faded as he strolled off.
"No one will adopt us," Kipper said. "We're Moehogs.
Isn't that obvious to him? No one likes Moehogs. Everyone adores those Acaras
and Xweetoks. They even like the vain Unis that wear too much make-up. But not
us Moehogs. We're not good enough for anyone." Kipper sighed.
"You're just trying to put a damper on all of
this!" Marigold fussed. "Stop it, please, just stop it! You don't have to be
so negative. It's already bad enough. Besides, I don't want to be adopted. I
just want to get of here in one piece and go back to the neohome we should be
"It's getting dark," a voice in the cage beside
Marigold said. "Let me introduce myself. You both seem to be having a hard time
coping so I guess I can be friendly and tell you my story. Since you both can't
see me, my name is Paprika and I'm a Xweetok... Little boy, I think you are
wrong." Paprika sighed. "You think Xweetoks are adopted right away? I've been
here for two months - and no one has adopted me! It's so frustrating. It's because
I'm ill. I'm here, feeling miserable, with no cures or medicine. But I still
go on." Paprika was trying to sound hopeful.
"Well, I'm Marigold," Marigold said, "and above
me is my little brother Kipper. We were unfairly taken away from our caring
owner because she was said to treat us badly... I mean, she used to, but it's
better now, and I love her so much. I hated being taken away! And, why did you
say it's getting dark?" Marigold inquired.
"They don't have lights," Paprika explained.
"So when it gets dark, it gets dark, and there's nothing we can do about. When
it gets dark, we're all expected to go to sleep. I'd know," she said as sweetly
as she could.
"Oh, great," Kipper muttered. "I don't like the
dark. When I go to sleep at my neohome I always have this little light on..."
"No, no, that's okay," Paprika said quickly.
"No one falls asleep on their first day anyway. Some don't even fall asleep
but only once a week. Or less. Or maybe a little more. But no one falls asleep
the first day when they're at the pound. It's simply too stressful."
"Thanks for cheering him up," Marigold murmured.
"I'm going to go to sleep now. I feel so tired and sore all over. You wouldn't
believe the day I've had... I'll explain to you tomorrow, I suppose. Good night."
Marigold lay down in her cage and she was soon snoring herself to sleep.
"You're welcome," Paprika said in her bubbly
voice. "Good night!" she said.
"How can you be so cheerful at times like this?"
Kipper wondered. "Do you get used to it, I guess? Well, I'm going to sleep as
well," he said before Paprika could even respond.
The next morning Marigold was first to awake
as she was first to sleep. She defied Paprika's laws: it was her first night,
and she actually slept. Kipper had fallen asleep, too, but it took him many
hours. So he would probably still be snoozing for many hours more.
"Paprika?" Marigold asked, feeling lonely. "Are
you there? I need someone to talk to," Marigold begged. She tried to peer into
Paprika's cage but she couldn't see. "Are you awake?" Marigold called.
Mr. Picky walked into the room. "Oh, you're up,"
he said. "Thought I'd pay a visit to you. What are you yelling about?" he asked.
"Where's Paprika? She was in the cage beside
me last night. She said she'd been in there for two months. Is she still there?"
"No," Mr. Picky said, sounding annoyed. "She
could have been adopted late. But I know you two will be adopted today. It's
a Wednesday. Wednesdays are busy days for the pound. Lots of people come in
today, you know. So that means you'll most likely get a nice place to call neohome."
"I already have a nice place to call neohome,"
Marigold said coldly. "It's called the neohome I used to reside in... The one
Belinda is in right now," Marigold said.
"Here," Mr. Picky growled, stuffing another apple
through her cage bars. He stuffed one through Kipper's cage, too. "Tell him
he has it so he can eat it when he wakes up," Mr. Picky said. "I must be going.
I have a lot more little pets like you and your brother to rescue, you know..."
"Don't make any mistakes," Marigold warned him,
frowning. But he didn't reply with a smart remark, he simply walked off. "Silly,"
she muttered to herself.
About an hour later, the pound still wasn't having
its "busy Wednesday", and the rush hour should start soon, if Mr. Picky was
being honest. But right then, Marigold's head snapped up as she saw a familiar
face rush into the pound.
"Marigold!" the familiar face called to her,
running up to her cage. The familiar face stuck its arms through and ran its
hands over her. "I'm so happy to see you!" It was Belinda.
"Are you allowed here after they think how mean
you are?" Marigold asked. "Kipper's above me. He's asleep," she said, reading
Belinda glanced up. "I don't know," she said
with a grim smile. "I want you back, though. Is Mr. Picky here? He'd know, and
he'd never sell you two to me. But if someone else is here they might not know
yet and they may just let me have the both of you..."
"Well, go take me and try to adopt me," Marigold
"I'll be back." Belinda rushed away, but she
was soon back with a Nimmo with a big ring of keys. "I'd like this Moehog right
here," Belinda said, tilting her head towards Marigold.
"Oh," the Nimmo said with a frown. He scratched
his chin. "There was something special I was supposed to remember about this
one... Oh well. I guess I'll just let you have her. But since I have a secret
about her, I'll have to charge you extra... Even if I don't remember what the
secret is." The Nimmo smirked.
"I'll pay you a lot extra if you do something
for me," Belinda said. She winked. "If Mr. Picky asked who adopted this Moehog
right here you don't tell him it was me, okay?" Belinda hoped she didn't sound
too suspicious. "Tell him it was someone named Lou Anne, right?" she asked.
"Why?" the Nimmo asked, trying to find the key
on his large ring of keys.
"I am annoyed a lot," Belinda lied. "I just wish
to remain anonymous."
And with that the Nimmo unlocked the cage door.
To be continued...