"Doctor, my Neopet is ill."
"Well, what has he come down with? We have Fluff
Be Gone for Fuzzitus, Magic Goop for Achy Head, and Onion Balm for-"
"No, Doctor, he doesn't have any of the…usual
diseases," I explained patiently to the green Gelert in the white uniform. This
whole thing was getting rather embarrassing.
"Well, what is wrong with him, then?" He laughed
back. "I assure you that whatever he has, we can cure it."
Somehow I wasn't so sure.
Tree_Dirt, my Ixi, had been…ill…for quite some
time, now. I had tried everything from the Healing Faerie to random potions,
but nothing had worked. You see, like I said, Dirt didn't have anything like
I had ever seen before. He didn't have a runny nose (that would be nice), sore
spots or red rashes (I would be grateful), not one hiccough, sneeze, grumble,
or bloated body part (even those would be preferable to what he had caught).
No, my cheerful little brown Ixi was in top form, best he had ever felt before
in his life, in fact. Fit as a fiddle, more chipper than a Cheerlub, and happier
than Sloth on Grundo Day.
But. He. Couldn't. Stop. RHYMING!
And I'm not joking either! Everything that came
out of his mouth got turned into a poem! He couldn't say anything without rhyming!
It was horrible!
I tried getting him to say things like 'Orange'
and 'Gecko' and 'Sparklebarf' but he just couldn't say them! He made a gagging
sound in his throat when he tried, and then just started rhyming again!
Quite frankly, it's annoying.
As I explained my dilemma to the doctor, a slow
smile crept on his face. That little snot. Then he started laughing. And he
couldn't stop. When I left, storming out in a rage, he was still laughing.
How dare he laugh?! This was serious! My pet
has been cursed by some evil, dark force of power and his very life was at risk!
Okay, well, maybe it was just my sanity that
was threatened by this catastrophe, but you get the picture.
Flopping down on the couch in my Neohome (which
was a mistake, since it was made out of cardboard), I promptly flattened it
and ended up sitting on the cardboard floor instead. Sighing, I laid back and
closed my eyes, hoping I could open them again and this would all be a dream.
"I'm glad to see your back,
From your trip into town.
Tell me, why is it you look so sad?
And what has got you down?"
So much for that. Opening my eyes, I found Dirt's
pointed little snout sniffing my face questioningly. His dainty hooves made
soft thudding sounds on the floor as he backed away, looking concerned.
"It's a long story," I replied shortly, sitting
up and rubbing my face. "Has Leaf gotten back from school yet?"
"Leaf has been up in his room,
And if you think to try it,
I wouldn't go and wake him now,
It has been sweetly quiet."
Hahaha. Always the comedian. But it was true,
my green Yurble, Tree_Leaf, was a constant chatterbox. Don't mistake me, I love
the little guy, but when three males are put together in one house, one can
get annoyed very quickly. But a girl would be worse. I try to stay away from
As I had mentioned, every piece of furniture
in my Neohome is made of cardboard. We like to conserve the trees, you see.
As you might have guessed, I am an environmentalist fanatic. As in, tree-hugging,
grass-loving, mental freak of nature.
Gotta love those trees, man.
As you can see, my household is far from normal.
We eat no meat (save the animals), we have cardboard walls and furniture (save
the Trees), and we absolutely have NO Hot Lime Jelly (you really don't want
to know, trust me).
"What do you want for dinner?" I asked, pulling
myself up and heading toward the kitchen.
"I can and will eat anything,
That you choose to provide.
You make such good food everyday,
Its not easy to decide," the brown Ixi said cheerfully.
"You shameless flatterer," I retorted lazily,
dragging out a Roast Chestnut Sandwich from the 'fridge. Like I said, no meats
allowed. Dirt ate silently, balanced delicately on a cardboard chair at a cardboard
table. Just then, Leaf walked in, scratching his furry green tummy (maybe a
little too much of a tummy, I decided) and sat down at a chair, yawning.
"How was your nap?" I asked him, getting out
a plateful of Plain Omelette.
"Nap-like," he said sleepily, combing his wayward
mane fur with his claws.
Wow. I have the most intelligent Neopets. I am
so blessed. Of course, I shouldn't be talking. Look where they get it from.
We ate without talking, which was unusual. I
had too much on my mind, Dirt most likely was trying to keep from talking (for
obvious reasons), and Leaf most likely didn't want to say anything to provoke
Dirt to talk (for more obvious reasons), which was wise, I think.
Later that night, I was tucking Dirt into bed
(no, we do NOT have cardboard sheets, they are cotton) when he asked me if I
had found out anything at the doctor's office. Which is, he said:
"If I may, I should inquire,
Since my need is ever dire,
Did you find a cure at all?
This rhyming is driving me up the wall!"
"Your not the only one," I told him, ruffling
his chocolate colored fur between his stubby horns. "The only thing that the
doctor proved was that laughter isn't actually a cure for everything. It seems
to be a disease," I growled, rolling my eyes.
Dirt chuckled and snuggled into his covers.
"I love you, Dirt, good night," I said, getting
up and heading for the door.
"When you leave, turn out the light,
I love you, you're the best, goodnight!"
I cringed at the two-liner and shut the door.
The next day after breakfast, I took Dirt and
Leaf to the Haunted Woods. We only go because we like to see all the Trees.
Oh, and I wanted to spin the Wheel of Misfortune. I handed the mutated Sloth
Faerie Plushie to Leaf, who loved it instantly (he has a thing for ugly plushies),
and we went on our way.
Slipping behind the Haunted House into the woods,
we trooped onward, not really going any particular direction. Leaf stuck close
to me, as he was prone to do when intimidated, and placidly gazed at the Trees.
Dirt trotted beside him, his calm brown eyes enjoying the scenery.
I guess we looked kind of odd, our little trio,
but it gets hard to notice odd things when you live in the house we do. Like
I said, we live very…unique lives. I was beginning to wonder if that wasn't
so good for us, remembering the time we visited the Snowager and he was finally
asleep. Leaf, the silly Yurble that he is, bounded right up to the dozing, massive
ice worm and started petting it on the nose, shouting 'Rise and shine, sleepy
Needless to say, the Snowager wasn't very pleased.
And, needless to say, neither was I.
I smiled fondly at the memory, almost walking
right into a Tree because I wasn't paying attention. But, hey, I was broke.
You can't expect me to pay attention with no Neopoints, now can you? I wonder
if attention takes IOUs?
"I think it would be wiser,
For you to watch your pace.
Try not to trip or fumble,
It's not like we're in a race!"
Trust Dirt to notice. Then, struck with sudden
inspiration, I replied with my own annoyingly precise ditty.
"If you do not be quiet,
Not a whisper or a peep,
I'll be sure to get you back,
'Cause I know where you sleep!"
And thus began a verbal, and rather poetic, banter.
Leaf groaned, knowing neither of us would back down until we rhymed each other
to death. You see, I am an avid poet, and rhyming is what I do best. But oh,
if only I hadn't challenged him…
"I think you need some manners,
Better now than later,
When dealing with an Ixi,
That's obviously greater!" he said.
And so I answered, still walking:
"If an Ixi is so grand,
Then please tell me this:
How is it that he has no brain,
Between those horns of his?"
Ears flattening against his head, Dirt replied:
"I wouldn't speak so smartly
If I were you, my friend,
'Cause these horns I have right here,
Will help you meet your end!"
Chuckling, I spoke airily, to further enlarge
"If you had the chance to stab me,
Which I seriously doubt,
Your fat would weigh you down so much,
How would you get about?"
Dirt stopped walking abruptly and spun around
to face me, livid with rage. He looked so funny I had to try hard to control
"How dare you sir! How rude!
To speak to me like that!
I'm as quick as lighting, see,
And I most certainly am not fat!"
His indignation was hilarious. Stuffing my hands
in my pockets sheepishly, I looked down to hide my smile and said:
"If to take a weight test,
You would obviously fail,
'Cause those who cannot make the grade,
Are the ones who break the scale!"
Leaf burst out laughing, and it was hard for
me to contain myself. Dirt was a picture. His little teeth ground together so
loud I could hear it over Leaf's laughter. His nose was scrunched up in a 'fierce'
"I AM NOT FAT!" he bellowed suddenly, stamping
"Oh, yes you are, you-" I froze, suddenly. So
did Leaf. We all stared at Dirt, as the look of anger slowly fled from his furry
complexion to be replaced with wonder.
"I'm not rhyming anymore," he said softly, a
slow smile spread across his face. Then he jumped up high in the air and clicked
his heels together joyously.
"I'm not rhyming! I'm not rhyming!" Dirt grabbed
Leaf and spun the startled Yurble around, laughing uproariously. Leaf joined
in, confused, but happy for his older brother. They giggled and spun like little
girls. I half expected them to start making daisy chains.
I grinned and watched them. Finally! Dirt had
stopped rhyming, and all it took was to get him mad! All that trouble for one
Noticing that it was getting dark, I decided
that it was time to home. I turned around and called over my shoulder at them.
"You guys better hurry up,
It's getting dark, you see.
I'll leave you here for the monsters,
If you don't come with me!"
Dirt and Leaf stopped abruptly in their playing.
The looked at me curiously. Not knowing why, I said:
"Come on now, and don't hold up!
To home we all must go,
I wouldn't want to miss dinner,
I'm starving here, you know!"
Dirt and Leaf scrambled after me, and we all
walked side by side again. Dirt and Leaf kept looking up at me, strange expressions
on their faces.
"What is it that you find to odd
And keep staring like that at me?
I don't know what you're looking for,
Is there something you can see?" I asked them.
"Um…" Dirt started. "Are you doing that on purpose?"
"Doing what on purpose?
I'd like you to say
What's bothering you so much that
You glance at me that way?"
Dirt cleared his throat nervously. Leaf nodded
at him, a grim air about his face. Then Dirt spoke.
-The Master of Trees,