Enter the Snowflake's lair... Circulation: 90,555,321 Issue: 168 | 2nd day of Celebrating, Y6
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The Pilfering Petpet

by ladyarienwen


I could feel the cold seeping into the marrow of my bones as I pulled back the bedclothes and sat up. I'm not a morning person by any means but especially not on winter mornings. I swung my feet over the edge of the bed and into my fuzzy blue slippers. Well, at least one of my fuzzy blue slippers. The other seemed to have gone missing. I had a pretty good idea where it had gone, too. Foofoo. My faerie ixi, Wixalin, seemed to think it was cute when her mischievous little Snowbunny made off with various household objects. She refused to discipline him in any way. In fact, she practically encouraged him!

      Muttering to myself, I hobbled down the hall with one warm foot to her bedroom. The light from the hall fell in a line across her satin swathed bed. Sure enough, curled up at her hooves was Foofoo. He was wrapped snuggly around a fuzzy blue object…my other slipper. I crept in as quietly as I could so as not to wake Wixalin. She gets cranky if she is not allowed to sleep late. I gently pried my slipper from the grasp of the pilfering petpet and slid my foot into it. At least it was already warm. Now, I could head downstairs to make breakfast.

      As I reached the bottom of the staircase I glanced out the long, narrow windows framing the front door. The lawn was a blanket of white sparkling like millions of sugar crystals. As much as I dislike snow, I had to admit it was beautiful. A closer look at the windows showed a delicate latticework of frost as if a thousand tiny faeries had spent all night carving each swirl by hand. It was a perfect morning for cinnamon rolls and hot cocoa. I knew my pets would be awake soon and needing a good tummy-filling meal before heading out to play in the snow.

      Just as I was pulling the pan of cinnamon rolls out of the oven, my pets began to appear. First came Lydian, my cloud Gelert. She was always the first one out of bed in the mornings. Being a Gelert, she was full of energy and ready for adventure most of the time. She bounded up to me joyfully and gave me a quick kiss on the cheek.

      "Did you see the snow?" she asked. "Isn't it wonderful! I can hardly wait to get out there and roll in it. Speaking of rolls, I smelled that cinnamon all the way upstairs!" Another perk of being a Gelert was her keen sense of smell. She went to the cupboard to begin setting the places for everyone at the table. As she did, my spotted Aisha, Wyllowmere, wandered sleepily into the kitchen.

      "You were up late reading again, weren't you?" I questioned her affectionately. Of all my pets, she was the most like me. Neither one of us could keep our hands, or paws, off of any book in the house. And we had quite a few. A whole library, in fact. Wyllow and I would spend hours curled up together pouring over various tomes. She gave me a sheepish grin and snuggled warmly with me for a moment before helping her sister set the table. I turned to the stove to stir the cocoa. Suddenly, there came a shriek from upstairs followed by a pounding of hooves on the stairs.

      "Call the Defenders! I've been robbed!" cried Wixalin as she dashed into the room in a whirlwind. She clung desperately to my leg and looked up at me imploringly. "Well, what are you waiting for? Call them!"

      "What do you mean you've been robbed?" I asked her patiently. She tended to be a bit overdramatic at times.

      "Someone has stolen my earth faerie plushie!" she answered urgently. " It was on my pillow when I went to sleep last night and now it's GONE! You have to report it to the Defenders!"

      I sighed. I was fairly certain she had not been robbed but, rather, had fallen victim to her own precious petpet's worst habit. I glanced over her shoulder and saw Foofoo sitting unconcernedly in the doorway scratching his left ear. While it's difficult for a Snowbunny to look guilty, he managed to do so when he caught my gaze.

      "Why don't we hold off on calling the Defenders for awhile," I told her. "Let's have some breakfast and then we'll all look around the house for it. I have the feeling it's around here somewhere." She started to protest but then realized there were warm cinnamon rolls sitting on the table. They were one of her favorite breakfast dishes, but the scent of hot cocoa in the air confirmed her decision.

      "Oh, all right," she conceded. "Let's have breakfast."

      They all took their places at the table as I poured them each a mug of hot cocoa. I took a bag of mini marshmallows from the pantry and added a handful to each mug. They all smiled appreciatively from behind their rolls as they ate. We chatted about our plans for the day. They all wanted to play outside, of course. I couldn't really blame them. It was the first real snow of the season in Neopia Central. The rest of breakfast was uneventful and after the dishes were cleared we returned to the mystery of the missing faerie plushie. All, that is, except Foofoo. He was most likely off collecting more items for his secret stash.

      We decided to separate in order to cover more ground in less time. Lydian and Wyllowmere took the upstairs while Wixalin and I took the ground floor. We looked under chairs and sofas. We looked on top of shelves and inside chimneys. I actually did most of the looking for our team since Wixi refused to get the least bit dirty even if it WAS her toy. As we entered the ballroom we came across Foofoo nibbling happily on a clockwork Wocky. I had an idea. If I could convince her that her angelic Snowbunny was the culprit perhaps she would realize he needed guidance. He'd always left her things alone until now. Perhaps this was a blessing in disguise.

      "You know, Wixi, a lot of things seem to go missing when Foofoo's around," I whispered. She thought for a minute and then her eyes narrowed. Ah, yes. I could practically see her mind working. She understood. She turned slowly to face the petpet that was as spoiled as she was.

      "Foofoo! How could you?" she growled. Foofoo peered up at her and blinked. "You'd better show me where you hid my plushie or else!" I wasn't sure I wanted to know what she meant by "else" and apparently neither did Foofoo. His ears drooped and he was trembling slightly as he began to hop toward the hall. We followed him into the library. He hopped to the farthest corner and disappeared behind the shelves between a copy of "King Hagan" and "Cybunny Down". When his fluffy little tail reappeared a few seconds later backing out Wixalin leaned forward. Sure enough, he had her earth faerie plushie between his teeth. She squealed with delight and snatched it up.

      "Shame on you, Foofoo!" she scolded. For a moment I actually thought I'd gotten through to her. Was she really going to teach him to behave after all this time? "You funny bunny! You're so cute." No. She would not punish him. I should have known. Foofoo snuggled against her front legs and nuzzled her apologetically with his tiny pink nose. I sighed. It was hopeless. Things were just going to keep disappearing around here.

      "You'd better run upstairs and tell your siblings they can stop searching," I instructed her. She nodded and trotted off with her petpet following after. While I hoped she had learned a lesson from this, I knew better than to get my hopes up. I helped them all get bundled up to go outside and play in the snow. As they dashed excitedly out the back door into the gnome garden I thought I might put on my warm clothes and join them for a while. If I could just find my other mitten…

The End

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