The Old Switcheroo
“Mama, please listen to me! I don’t want to be a Uni anymore!”
Lealonde trotted across the floor after Cocoa, her owner. The candy-pink Baby Uni was trying to protest something Cocoa thought was almost pointless. She turned to face Lealonde, pushing back her blonde hair while doing so.
“Now, Lealonde, you know how much it was for a Baby Paint Brush. Do you remember the time when all you wanted to be was a Uni?”
“Too bad!” the baby spat. “I want to be a different Neopet!”
“Well, I’m not about to fork over millions of Neopoints for something you’re going to regret later. Figure something out!” And with that, Cocoa marched out of the room, hoping Lealonde would leave her alone.
She did. In fact, Lealonde trotted right out the door. Her plan was to be a different Neopet.
Courtflappy the Hissi was only inches from where Lealonde was lying.
The Ghost was slithering about, looking for a tasty fruit that would satisfy his hunger. In Neopia Central, fruit trees of all kinds were abundant. Whether it be apple, pear, or banana-Neopia Central had it all. That’s when Court noticed the baby Uni behind him.
“Hey, Lealonde... what are you up to?” the Hissi asked, instantly recognizing the pet.
“I’m a Hissi now,” said Lealonde, wriggling through the dirt to imitate slithering.
“There’s more to being a Hissi than slithering about, you know.”
At this point the Uni made a noise that was supposedly a hiss.
“We don’t just hiss, either.” Court turned around chuckling to himself. He faced Lealonde now. “Hissies have a lot of unique traits, like scales.” He flashed a ghostly wing before continuing, “Hissies are way different than a lot of Neopets. Like our eating habits? Well, first we-”
“Don’t want to hear about it!” cried Lealonde. “Goodbye!”
The Uni hastily galloped away, not wanting to hear what Court was about to say. Maybe she didn’t want to be a Hissi. But already she knew of another Neopet whose life might be simpler. A yellow Kougra was sitting not three feet away from her outside the plushie store.
“Hey, hurry up in there!” the Kougra called into the door.
“Just a few more minutes, Ramby!” a voice called from inside.
Lealonde ran right up to the Kougra and sat down right beside him. She imitated the Kougra’s poise, making sure her back was straight, her ears pointed and tail curved. Ramby, the Kougra, looked over at the Uni.
“What, in Fyora’s name, are you doing?” he asked.
“I’m being a Kougra,” the Uni said. “My name’s Lealonde. What’s yours?”
“Uh... Rambushken, but you can call me Ramby.” He frowned at Lealonde, then asked, “Why do you want to be a Kougra?”
“Let’s just say my owner’s cheap,” stated Lealonde.
“Then why are you wearing such an expensive coat of the colour you are?”
“Uh...” Lealonde was stumped.
Ramby laughed, almost insultingly. “You might want to consider what you’re saying for a moment...”
Just then, a red Shoyru burst through the doors of the plushie shop. In his paws were several bulging shopping bags.
“Time to go,” said the Shoyru.
“Alright.” Ramby addressed Lealonde, “Nice meeting you. Try being a Kougra somewhere else.”
As he and the Shoyru walked away, Lealonde thought, I’m not going to be a Kougra any longer; I have a better idea.
“Will you please stop following me?”
Lealonde was now stepping in the footprints of her older sister, Ava.
The purple Xweetok turned around, a sharp glare in her eyes. “I’m going to my friend’s house,” said Ava with a growl, “and the only one she invited was me. I do not recall her inviting you.”
“I’m a Xweetok, though. Xweetoks need to get used to social outings.” Lealonde was not only following Ava, but also copying her gait--even the occasional tail swish.
“You’re a Uni. Uni have big clunky hooves and pointy horns instead of nice paws and pleasant tufts of fur.”
Lealonde was slightly taken back but didn’t let it stop her. “But I do have nice paws and plea-sent hair!” She stumbled on the word ‘pleasant’.
“Well, one thing’s for sure: you’re no Xweetok.” And with a disgusted flick of the tail, Ava was gone down the cobblestone road. Slightly dumbfounded, Lealonde trotted down the trail, the opposite was in which Ava had gone. Instead, she muttered to herself, “You’re right, Ava. I’m not a Xweetok, I’m...”
Lealonde was soaring through the air, her little wings flapping furiously. Her front legs were spread out, like wings, and her back legs were tucked into her chest. It was a gangly position for a Uni, but Lealonde was determined to be a Pteri.
“You want to be a Pteri?” Raven repeated. The blue Pteri was flying right beside Lealonde, puzzled.
“Yeah, you heard me,” said Lealonde, and ear-to-ear grin spread across her face.
“Oh my... uh, just WHY you want to be a Pteri? There’s nothing special about us,” said Raven.
“Because being a Uni is boring now,” said Lealonde.
“Let me tell you a little something...” Raven shifted in mid-air uneasily, then turned and explained:
“My sister, Jay, was a Flotsam before. Did you know that? Then she wanted to be a Uni. Fancy, I know, since Uni and Flotsams have almost nothing in common. But then... then she really DID get turned into a Uni. Sometimes I even hear her saying how she wishes she was a Flotsam still sometimes.”
“Oh,” Lealonde’s feet dropped forward, and she was flying like a normal Uni. “Sometimes I still wish I was a Blumaroo again.”
“A Blumaroo.” Lealonde sighed. “Before I was a Uni, I was a Blumaroo. It was a nice life, not having to worry about anything and hop around all day... it was just... great.”
“I see,” Raven said. “I’d love to relate to you, but I’ve been a Pteri all my life.” He thought for a moment, then said, “If you want anyone to talk to, talk to Jay. She will probably understand your situation.”
“I... I think it’s okay,” said Lealonde. “I know exactly what you mean.”
“Good,” Raven scoffed. “Then could you stop following me?”
Slowly but surely, Lealonde soared in a downwards spiral to the ground, leaving the Pteri flying high above her head. (“Finally, some quiet time!” is what Raven had said.) She thought about what he had said and what Cocoa said. She said she wasn’t going to pay several Neopoints for something that she was going to regret later. Lealonde knew, no matter how much she denied it, that her owner was right. And again, what about Jay? The poor thing was forced to do something she didn’t want to do!
Lealonde’s excitement was ruined. But now she was certain of what Neopet she truly wanted to be now.
The next day, Lealonde bounded through her home, happy as ever. She ignored the looks of questioning all around her. All she wanted to do was tell Cocoa her exciting news.
“Mama!” Lealonde called down a hall. “Look at me!”
“What is it this time?” Cocoa peered out from behind the door at the end of the hall, the door leading to her room. “Lealonde, it’s 6:00 in the mor-uh, why are you bouncing on your tail?”
“Oh, Mama. I’ve finally figured out what Neopet I want to be: I’m a Blumaroo!”
Note: I’d like to thank my good friend Cocoa for allowing me to use Lealonde and AvaGirl101 in the story (just a note-this is the second half of an affiliation!), and thanks to Tye for letting me use Rambushken and ZinnyZinny891 (the red Shoyru). I’d also like to thank all you NT readers out there! You all rock!