Now You See Me, Now You Don't: Part Six
Finally Marigold and Kipper fell down below the Money Tree
in Neopia Central, utterly exhausted. "Would you like a free something?" the kindly
tree asked with a smile on his face. "You two look ravenous. I am sure, if you
are quick enough, you could manage to grab one of these omelettes that are being
donated by the dozens."
Marigold nodded. "Yes, I am hungry, and I'm sure
my brother would be, too. I'm tired as well. We've been in hard situations lately
and hard times. Have you seen our owner, Belinda, pass by here? I think she
was headed to the furniture store," Marigold said as Kipper went off to snatch
some food or other valuable items.
"No, I'm sorry. I might have seen your owner,
but I see so many pass by here every single day I can't tell one owner from
the next. I can hardly tell owner for pet!" The Money Tree sighed. "I'm sorry,"
he said again. "Why don't you go help your brother get some more things to eat
for the both of you? I'm busy and I have other customers to wait on." As Marigold
trotted off to the growing and shrinking pile of items, he called: "Don't be
Marigold saw some nice looking food. She suspected
it to be a gourmet food and Belinda would love her to get it. Marigold reached
out for the food piece but quickly a Kougra ran up, shoved her out of the way,
and took the food that Marigold had seen first. "Hey!" she cried. But the Kougra
"It's the life of poverty," Kipper explained.
For his youth, he was sure wise. "Everyone here is fighting for what they each
want - and only one person can get the item, even if ten are trying." He shook
his head sadly. "I want to help these pets and their owners so much. They seem
like they can't afford food. I feel bad taking things - we can afford it better
than the others can."
"I know," Marigold said sadly. But she perked
up a little. "Have you gotten anything of interest?" she asked, walking closer
to her brother. "I'm starved like I haven't eaten in twenty days!" she declared.
"Yeah, I've gotten things," he said slowly. "Not
all things of interest, though. I've only gotten two food items..." He held
up one odd looking Meridell fruit and one plain omelette. "The other things
are rotten boots and stuff. But you can have one of these foods - take one,"
he said generously.
"Thanks!" Marigold exclaimed, taking the fruit.
It looked so weird, but she felt adventurous. "Mmm," she said as she savored
her first bite. "It's actually good! I thought it would taste strange, just
the way it looks. Well, proves me wrong! Don't judge a book by its cover." Marigold
Kipper nodded and bit into the omelette. "I'm
still hungry. Help me find some more items. Also, be on the lookout for furniture.
If we got some I bet Belinda would appreciate it. Especially since she'll have
to pay for the two doors Mr. Picky broke down and our hole in the wall." Kipper
sighed. "We had such a nice neohome. Why ever is Mr. Picky so miserable?" he
wondered to himself.
Marigold wasn't listening. She was eagerly browsing
through the piles of thrown out items. If she saw one she liked, she knew to
be fast. Very fast. Everything came and went so quickly. Little pets would come
with armfuls and bundles of old items and toss them in a pile. A second later
other pets would snatch all of the things up. One pet's junk is another pet's
At last Marigold saw some tasty looking something.
She didn't care about the junky foods - she wanted something real, something
satisfying. She reached out for the cherry Moehog cookie. And she got it! She
held in her hooves, realizing that this was real - she was actually holding
it! Free food! Plus, this one would be good. It was flavored especially for
Marigold stuffed the thing in her pocket and
was scanning the rest of the "junk" carefully, wanting more and more. She felt
so greedy, even though the tree had warned her not to be. Oh well. It felt good.
Besides, Kipper shared his findings with her. She had to get something to share
with him. When she saw the yummy chicken and gammon she yanked it up before
anyone else could. Hey, she actually had a knack for this!
Kipper strolled over. "Got anything good?" he
asked. "I haven't been having much luck. I found a furniture piece, though,"
he said happily. "It's a toilet." He laughed. "A cloud toilet. This was the
most expensive thing I've found yet!"
"Ooh, goodie. More expensive than what I've found.
I bet Belinda hasn't bought a toilet yet, or at least I hope not. Maybe she
has. But we'll definitely have more than one bathroom so your toilet will go
to use." Marigold smiled. "I found two things." She held out her treats. "Pick
the one you like." Kipper picked the chicken and gammon so she ate the cookie.
"I'm all filled up now. Hmm, I wonder where Mr. Picky went to."
"Who cares?" Kipper asked. "I'm fine without
him, aren't you? The question is when Belinda is going to get back. Maybe we've
missed her and she's walked on by. Perhaps she's already back at the neohome
and she discovered the hole. I think we'd better get on back. She'd be disappointed
if we weren't there when she arrived."
Marigold and Kipper walked back to their neohome
with half-full bellies, a toilet, and some rotten old boots. Kipper opened the
door and dropped the toilet on the floor. They could rearrange it later. He
left the boots in the yard. He didn't expect Belinda to want them. The neohome
was so quiet that they were both sure it wasn't occupied, except for themselves.
"I guess Belinda isn't back yet," Marigold said
slowly. "Why don't we go in the bathroom and watch the construction workers
build the living room? We could watch easily through the hole in the wall without
being in the way."
As they went into the bathroom they noticed the
door was replaced and the hole mended. They also realized the front door had
been secure when they came back as well. Ooh, those Eyrie construction workers
sure were kind! They never had to go and do that. But they did. How helpful!
But that did mean they couldn't watch the room being built since the hole in
the wall was fixed. But that was a good thing. It didn't matter.
Then there was a soft knock on the front door.
Kipper ran to answer it, for the knocking type didn't sound like the way Mr.
Picky would knock. It was Belinda. Her arms were full of big bags of things.
"Hello!" Kipper said eagerly. "Do you need help?" he glanced past her and saw
many more pieces of furniture out in their yard. "I'll go get some other things
to bring in," he said.
"I didn't get a toilet," Belinda said sadly once
everything was brought in. "It's awful. I guess we'll have to make do and not-"
Marigold interrupted. "Splendid!" she exclaimed.
"Then Kipper's toilet won't go to waste!" When Belinda gave her a weird look
she said: "Oh, it's a long story. Mr. Picky broke in and it was horrifying but
we escaped. We ran to the Money Tree. We got some food to eat and Kipper found
a toilet. That was to make a long story short." She giggled. "Let's rearrange
the living room furniture."
"I got the sofa you wanted, Marigold," Belinda
said. "First, let's put the toilet in the bathroom. I got a cloud sink and a
bath tub. I hope you two are alright, anyway. I am going to report Mr. Picky
to the Neopets Team. This is awful... Oh yes, I got a present for the both of
you." Belinda smiled and held up two wrapped boxes.
"Oh, thanks!" Marigold said, taking her box and
shaking it. A few big things rattled inside. "Oh, and about the cloud sink,
that's perfect... Because Kipper got a cloud toilet." Marigold chuckled as she
ripped the paper off of her gift. She lifted the lid to the box. Inside were
three new books she hadn't read yet. "Oh, thank you!" she exclaimed sincerely.
"I'll get to reading these right away. I can't wait to become smarter. You remembered
how much I loved books and how I wanted to be the most intelligent pet." Marigold
Kipper tore open his own box and lifted the lid.
Inside were some very cool, boyish shirts that he had been wanting. "Oh, this
is fabulous! Thanks!" Kipper cried, holding the first shirt up to himself. It
should fit perfectly. He had three shirts in all: Nightsteed T-shirt, Balthazar
T-shirt, and an I Love Captain Scarblade Shirt.
"Everything turned out nicely after all," Belinda
said with a smile. "And once I report Mr. Picky, he'll be doomed and we'll be
in peace for eternity." She chuckled. "Oh, look at this," she said seriously,
picking up a note that was in the corner of their floor. "A note!"
It read: Dear Miss Belinda, Miss Marigold,
and Mister Kipper. I am genuinely sorry for all of the trouble I have caused
your family. I was under the control of Doctor Frank Sloth who told me to do
all of those evil deeds! I had to, and I had to be mean about it. Or he would
be done with me! But he has been overruled... For now... And I am very sorry.
Would you please forgive me? If it would be easier to forgive me this way, I
have left a funding of one million neopoints to help rebuild your neohome and
refund for your losses. Thank you. With love, Mister Picky. P.S.: You can call
"Do you believe him?" Marigold asked suspiciously.
"I doubt his story."
"Yes," Belinda said. "Besides, who cares? One
million neopoints as an apology is more than we'll ever need! I haven't spent
even over 200,000 on our old neohome. We're going to be living the rich Neopian
life, my children!" Belinda exclaimed, pulling her kids into a hug.
Author's Note: Much thanks to the editor of the Neopian Times, Droplet,
for accepting my story! =D You're amazing. Also, thanks to my new guild, Notre
Amitie, and all of the members. You guys are ALSO amazing!