Stand behind yer sheriff Circulation: 128,277,782 Issue: 261 | 13th day of Collecting, Y8
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Petpet Problems


by nybanonpu

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It was a cloudy, rainy day. I was minding the shop- dusting the shelves, fixing the signs, arranging the items, and adjusting the prices. Zixryo sat in the corner with our only copy of "Blumaroo Picture Book" on his lap. Zeno, his Snarhook, slept peacefully next to him. Outside, under the awning, Floofpeek and her Poppit, Chip, played with wooden building blocks.

     I sighed. It had been a hard day in the store. Dealing with customers just wasn't one of my strengths, I guess. I sighed again, then looked around. The windowpanes sparkled with cleanliness, and there was a general atmosphere of peacefulness in the shop, now that all of the customers had left. I liked it better that way, without the customers. It made me feel less stressed.

     I went to clean the windows some more. I don't know why I like doing that so much. All I know is that it gives me a sort of pleasant sensation inside. I looked through the window and the dark clouds spitting rain on the ground. A Gelert ran across the street, drenched with rain. An old issue of the Neopian Times was plastered to the sidewalk, soaking up the water.

     Suddenly, there was a flash of lighting. It lit up the sky with brilliant streaks of silver. I rushed outside, picked up Floofpeek, Chip and the blocks, and bolted back in again. Such a feat would be impossible for me on any regular day, but I had been preparing for this all day long. The moment I woke up and saw the gray sky I knew what was in store... and I was scared.

     I rushed to put Chip in his cage, and as I did this- me being the lucky person I am- it happened. I heard the low sound of thunder in the distance. "Oh, no," I thought. "Here we go again." I sat on the floor, still hugging Chip, hoping he hadn't felt it or heard it...

     But he had. That was evident. He started to shake, his eyes bulging. Floofpeek and Zixryo, being the smart pets they were, rushed out of the room as quickly as possible. "NO, you're NOT leaving," I shouted at Floofpeek. But it was too late. The lucky girl had escaped just in time, and slammed the door.

     Chip wrenched himself out of my grasp, then bounced across the room, twirling and hopping and spinning in circles. He ricocheted off the walls and flipped on the ceiling. He had heard the thunder, all right, and it didn't take a genius to realize that he was scared to death. I curled up on the floor with my hands over my head, preparing for what I knew was coming next.

     Left to myself for a while with my head under my hands, I could finally feel anger and desperation welling up inside of me. I knew that after Chip was done "being scared" I would probably have nothing able to be sold in my shop. Shame crept up from my stomach and spread onto my face as I remembered what he had done during a thunderstorm a long time ago...

     We were visiting mystify8888's Neohome. It was her second day living in it and she was very proud of her new furnishings and rooms. Suddenly, out the window we saw a flash of lightning, and then the thunder came, booming and echoing all over the room. Then we watched as Chip began to shake... I stopped myself from thinking about this. Even so, I felt the rosebuds blooming on my cheeks. We had left her Neohome in ruins, the shelves broken, the items strewn across the floor. Zixryo and Poofyoofyoofy didn't talk for weeks.

     Finally, back in the present, I listened from the crashing overhead to stop. When it did, I willed myself to look up. I was in shock. My body went rigid, my limbs were still and I began to shiver. How could this happen? Did the silly little Poppit ever stop to THINK about how much effort it took me to earn enough Neopoints to buy all of the items I was selling? Did he have any idea how LONG it took me to clean and rearrange all the shelves? Well, did he?

     I guess he did not. "No use sitting here doing nothing," I thought. I dragged myself up from the floor and started to clean up the shop. I picked up the broken mirror shield, the ripped yellow Chia plushie, and the broken gumball machine. I put everything on the proper shelves, screwed the light bulb on the ceiling back in, and was about to rewrite the price tags when-

     "Oh, no! Mommy!"

     I rushed in to the other room. Zeno was chewing on the "Blumaroo Picture Book". I rolled my eyes. "Well, Zixryo. What did I tell you a few days ago? Petpets will chew books if you leave them lying around."

     "But I didn't!" he wailed. "I was holding it, and Zeno just jumped up and-" We looked towards Zeno. He was evidently enjoying the book. He chewed page five slowly and carefully. A sudden thought dawned on me.

     "Zixryo? Did you forget to FEED Zeno? Because that might be why he's eating your book. I really hope that's not the case, because if it is... " I shook my head at him. He swallowed, then nodded sheepishly. Of course he forgot to feed Zeno. Zixryo isn't the most responsible of Blumaroos; it would be a mistake for me to expect any more of him. I decided to go on with my speech. "Since that is the case, maybe I should send him away. I know you want a Baby Blu... " That got him.

     "No!" he said. "I love Zeno. I promise to take care of him better. And it's not ALL my fault that he's bad sometimes. He's little. And he needs to get more sleep at night. That's what the Petpet vet said at his last check-up, remember? He told you to buy him a petpet bed."

     That got me. "Maybe the petpet vet can afford those kinds of things. I, however, cannot. Zeno will be fine sleeping on blankets. End of story."

     I stomped into the front room of the store. I was in a foul mood. I picked up my tool kit and began to work on the window. For some reason, I felt bad about not being able to afford even a petpet bed. I hammered harder, and I felt better for a while. Then I started to think again. It wasn't fair to my pets that we didn't have a Neohome to live in. It wasn't fair that we didn't even have one Brightvale stained glass window. "But," I thought as I hammered even harder, "what's really not fair is that I am the one the cleans up after the petpets!" Then, just as I was about to finish fixing the window-

     "Mommy, Mommy! Quick! Oh, no!"

     I rushed into the other room again, not wanted to look. My first sensation was an odd smell. When I looked around, I could see what had happened. I was not pleased. I did the first thing that came to mind- something I'd been longing to do all day. I screamed.

     "Aaauuugh! Zixryo! How many times have I told you to at least TRY to train that Snarhook of yours! It's not bad enough that I have to deal with a psychedelic Poppit, is it? IS IT? Clean up Zeno's mess right away! Do you hear me? Neither of you are leaving this room 'til it's done!" Floofpeek looked up at me with big pleading eyes, holding her nose. "All right," I said, giving in. "You can help me clean up the mess your Poppit made."

     I led Floofpeek into the front room of the store. "See?" I said to her. "Look what your Poppit did. Aren't you-" I froze. Chip was nowhere to be seen, and the door was wide open.

     "Oh, no," moaned Floofpeek.

     "Don't worry; we'll find Chip somewhere," I said, genuinely hoping I was wrong (at least for the time being).

     But I was right. We found Chip in the Petpet Supply Shop in Neopia Central. When we came in, the Chomby at the desk laughed and told us that Chip had been sitting in the white petpet bathtub enjoying himself for the past half-hour. Relieved that I had found him, and that Floofpeek had stopped bawling, I bought the bathtub. The extravagances have to come sometime, don't they?

     Now, whenever it starts to thunderstorm, I get Chip into the bathtub as quickly as possible. There are no more "destructive dances", as we call them, and no more finding Chip in Neopia Central in the Petpet Supply Shop. Chip loves his home and his family, and I'm happy to report that our petpet problems are almost over- we just have to housetrain Zeno.

The End

 
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