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If...


by violinoutoftune

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Dear Tibby,

      If I was not myself--simple me--but something else, something more interesting; not just a passive blob of yellow in the crowd, but someone important, like a leader: who would I be? Would I be a rich Neopian? Would I be the epitome of affluence? Would I be famous so that when other pets see me walking down the streets of Neopia Central they stop and stare in awe, and say, "Hey, isn't that Teddy? My, doesn't he look glamorous! I hear he's just oozing in Neopoints but he donates half of what he makes to the Money Tree. See, he made it big in the Neopian Stock Market and then turned to philanthropy, at least that's what I heard. He's really a role model for us all, and so nice too!"? And I would smile at everyone and be their hero. They would look up to me. I would be important, if I was something else other than simple me.

      I wouldn't even have to be one of the rich elite of Neopia Central. Just consider the other possibilities. If I was King Skarl, symbol of Meridellian pride and eighteen meals a day, everyone would come to cheer me up since my job is so tough. And I could yell and shout and throw them out of my court and get away with it all, because I was king. But while King Skarl has power and a fat tummy, he lacks the charisma and physique of someone like Jeran, Meridell's most glorious knight and a true hero. Now if I was him, no enemy would be so fierce that my bravery and sword could not defeat. If parades were held in my honour, I would smile at everyone and be their hero. They would look up to me. I would be important, if I was something else and not a timid, insecure coward.

      But if I was a brawny captain of a ship on the high seas, maybe even a pirate, though I wouldn't have to be a pirate, I would be brave then. I would have to be with those sea pets as my only company above the vast depths of the open water. When those under me misbehaved--planned a mutiny perhaps--I would be the one to bend them back into obedience so as to continue on the journey. We would sail everywhere: to Krawk Island, and Mystery Island, and Shenkuu, and the Lost Desert, if one can sail to a desert. In the midst of the sea our ship would encounter violent squalls far away from any port. Through the whip of the wind and the slash of the downpour, I would lead everyone to cooperate and steer our ship towards the safety of land. It would be difficult, but we would persevere through all. The sailing adventures of my crew and my ship would become the stories in the books young Neopians have read to them at bedtime, and then their dreams would be inspired by my reality, if my reality was that of a sea captain.

      But what if I was a spelunker? Do you know what that is, Tibby? I read about it in a book once. It's someone who explores caves, like Hannah the Usul. If I was a spelunker, I'd go to the Ice Caves below the snowy surface of Mountain. I'd search for treasure and secrets in those frozen, ancient chambers, and discover a hidden city, previously lost to the rest of Neopia and now abandoned. While returning to the surface after a successful day of exploring, a cave-in would block my passage with layers of snowy ice and boulders so large that I would be unable to move them to get out. I would wander the cold catacombs of the caves for another passageway to the surface but would be unable to find one and end up lost and alone, trapped inside a maze of ice. For days I would contemplate my awful fate while trying to escape it, and eventually begin to actually accept it. But then when my strength would have almost given out, you, Tibby, would dig through the rubble and pull me to safety. The story would be on the front of the Neopian Times the very next day, but only if I had been a spelunker closed up in an icy cave with no way to get out instead of just a silly pet with an untamed imagination, sitting in my warm Neohome with no likelihood of being closed up in it by boulders and ice.

      Yet if I had been a spelunker, after my cave days were over I'd take my exploration farther then ever before: to the cliffs of the other side of Neopia--no, to the moon above Neopia itself, Kreludor. I'd become a master over its brutal terrain of craters and crevices, all the while looking back at my beloved home planet and forward to the stars beyond. Maybe one afternoon I'd be descending a deep, dark crater's edge on the far side of the moon. My steady footing would abruptly fail me and I would be falling down into the dark nadir of the crater. But then you, Tibby, would be right there to catch my fall. The next day, news of our adventures and your rescue would make us both heroes, and all the talk in the station on Kreludor and at Virtupets would be of Teddy and Tibby--the greatest adventurers in Neopia and the universe! That's how it would be, Tibby, if I was not so afraid of heights and empty, open space.

      If I had my choice, though, I think I'd do something not as dangerous as climbing cliffs and exploring caves. I'd be a musician in the Neopian Philharmonic. We'd play five concerts a week to sold-out audiences at the Tyrannian Concert Hall. When I would play my clarinet solo everyone present would be on the edge of their chairs, marveling at the melodious music emanating through the entire auditorium. At the end of the piece there would be a standing ovation. My face would beam under the bright lights, and I would become the hero of some young pet who soon asks his owner for a brand new clarinet so that he too can grow up to become a great musician: all of this if I could keep in time, and if I could actually play the clarinet without sounding like an Elephante's trunk blasting away a horde of bothersome Buzzers.

      However, I wouldn't need a sold-out crowd or a standing ovation if I were, say, a private detective. No, then I'd just solve the seemingly unsolvable mysteries of the average Neopian, and receive their kind, but small commendations for my help. That would be enough--for I'd take pride in my excellent investigative abilities, my brilliant deductive reasoning, and my passion for helping my fellow Neopians in need. Yes, I'd feel needed then. I'd be important to someone if I was a detective and if I was something more spectacular than myself.

      But as it is, I'm just a boring yellow Tuskaninny sitting here in my ordinary Wooden Chair, writing you this letter upon my basic Wooden Desk. But if I was something--anything--else, I'd be AMAZING.

     Your dear friend,

     Teddy (something amazing!)

     P.S. -- Tibby, just one more thought. After thinking again about what I would be if I could be something different, I'm thinking now that you probably wouldn't like me if I was somebody else. I doubt that even I would like myself if...

      Well, I shall be content by being nobody else but me.

      -Teddy

The End

 
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