Stand behind yer sheriff Circulation: 144,089,195 Issue: 303 | 3rd day of Hiding, Y9
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Gone Booktastic!

by sharonvt


Hi, there! Now, I'm just a normal little yellow Kacheek. There's no Beauty Contest Trophies or Battledome Trophies on my pet page. But I do have something rather special about me...

     It all began the very day my owner received her newbie pack. You all know the type. The one with the Mashed Potatoes, cardboard petpets, and Wooden Blocking shield. Oh yeah. And the book Mystery of the Kougra Paw. Since I was her only pet at the time, she read it to me. It was an awesome story filled with adventure and humor. And little did I know that it was the beginning of a craving to read.

     A few days later, my owner took me to Kreludor. I had never seen such a wonderful place! I sampled the food and explored for many hours. I then stumbled upon their book shop. I stared wildly at all the awesome books. Then I carefully selected my first Booktastic book: Back in Peaceful Times.

     I was addicted. Every day for two hours I would take the few Neopoints we had and buy another book. They all were so interesting! Some days I would stay in the book shop until it closed. It was great fun, occasionally buying a Kreludan Star Cookie and munching on it as I read. But my passion turned from fun to competition in a matter of seconds.

     I trotted down to the book shop with my stash of Kreluberries, ready to dive into another book. The store manager Bernard looked up from his work and spoke to me. All the other times I had been reading here he had been silent. But today was different.

     "Hey, kid. You like these books, do you?"

     I nodded.

     "Yeah. I've figured that. You know that you can win a trophy for reading' these?"

     He lifted up a golden badge. I shook my head.

     "You should go for it, kid. Hey, what's your name?"


     And from that point on, my goal no longer was simply to learn about Kreludor. My goal was to GET THAT TROPHY!

     The next few years went by. My owner earned a few more NP, so we weren't really poor anymore. I read each day, forcing myself to read. It was no longer for fun. This was serious. I watched as my number of Booktastic Books slowly got higher and higher... 23... 24... 25. The day I reached my 41st book however, it all began to change.

     I was flopped down on the bed of my Neohome, reading as usual. I finished my last page of Zero Gravity and Loving It and watched it disappear. I walked over to my book shelf and noticed that I was out of books. “Mom!” I yelled. “I’m out of books! Could we go to Kreludor?”

     My owner stepped into my room. “Sundrop, all your book reading is costing us a fortune. I’m trying to get you and your siblings painted, but your books cost most of our Neopoints. You’re going to have to stop.”

     My heart sank. “Mom, I really want that trophy.” I said.

     “I understand, Sundrop, but we’re too poor to continue.” She left the room. I covered my face with my paws and began to cry.

     The next day I woke up early. I walked into the kitchen, where my owner had my favorite Swirled Pancakes out and ready. She was pouring some Orange Juice into cups. “Mom,” I began. “When do we go to Kreludor today?”

     She looked at me. “Sundrop, you know we aren’t. Remember our talk last night?” And the truth sank back into me. Suddenly the pancakes didn’t taste as good.

     “Want to visit Mystery Island, Sundrop?” my red Kougra brother Clipper asked me. “Want to play plushies? Want to sneak into the Haunted Woods? Want to explore Terror Mountain?”

     “No, Clipper,” I replied.

     He frowned. “Why not? You used to love exploring. And its been forever since we’ve played plushies!”

     “Not now, Clipper.” I said. I was feeling thoroughly depressed.

     He glared at me. “You never play with me anymore! You’re so caught up in those dumb Booktastic books! Who cares if you get that trophy? You’re mean!” He slammed the door to his room in my face.

     I trudged down to my bedroom, extremely sad and bored. Why couldn’t we buy Booktastic books? We still had enough Neopoints, right? My owner came into my room again.

     “Still upset?”

     I nodded.

     “Those Booktastic books were getting more and more rare. I’m sorry, Sundrop, we can’t afford those. But there are some other books that aren’t Booktastic that you could read. Maybe you could buy some of those. Try to set a new goal for yourself. Tomorrow we can go to Neopia Central and buy some of those. They are less expensive, and they’re just as good. Think about it.”

     My stomach lifted. She was right; I could set a new goal for myself. I felt much better.

     “Hey, Clipper! Want to go to exploring?”

     He beamed. “Really? Sure!”

     So I forgot about books for a day and spent it frolicking with my brother.

     The next day I went to Neopia Central’s Book Shop. I took a nice look around. A Starry Kiko was looking at a tall rack of books labeled “Books about Xweetoks - Zafaras”. He smiled at me. “I haven’t seen you around here much.”

     “Are you the owner?” I asked

     “No.” He chuckled. “I just come here a lot. Do you like to read?”

     “Yeah,” I replied. Then I told him about my Booktastic Book addiction and how I needed to quit because of our Neopoint shortage.

     “That’s too bad,” he said “But I know another goal for you.”

     “Really?” I asked, not believing my ears. “What!?”

     “Get an intelligence level of Ultimate Genius. It’s the highest you can get. I am an Ultimate Genius. I’ve almost read every book in this place.”

     “How?’ I asked.

     “Read any type of book. Your intelligence level goes up.”


     So I had made a new goal for myself: to be an Ultimate Genius.

     I read cheap books each day, watching my intelligence creep along. Finally, one day I reached the point of master genius (96). I went down to Brightvale with Turtle, my sister, and spun the Wheel of Knowledge.

     “Come on, come on, no... no... no... yes!”

     I had landed on a book. I received my book, “Learned Royalty”, and read. I was so excited that I could barely comprehend what I was reading. The words were like swirls on the page. I had to read one phrase four times before I could understand it. I was just so excited! I finally read the last word and watched the book disappear. I checked my intelligence level. I was shaking with excitement. It read ULTIMATE GENIUS (97). My goal was complete! This was better than my birthday, or getting my Petpet, or Christmas. I had accomplished my goal.

     Now I don’t have a shiny Booktastic Book Award on my page, but I do have something to be proud of. I accomplished my goal. I’m a genius! I still like the Booktastic Books better, though. Maybe, just maybe, I might win that trophy... but not right now. Now, I’m just focused on enjoying life with Clipper, Turtle, and my awesome owner.

The End

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