The Piece of Cardboard Named Hiccups
I have four pets: Yen the red Zafara, Ella the green Uni, Torissla the blue Kyrii, and DF the yellow Aisha. Yen happens to be a little spoiled. She doesn’t act it, and she doesn’t know that she is, but she’s used to getting things first. Even though she is my third pet, she’s first in line to be painted. I have to admit that she is my favorite pet.
On the day in question I had taken a break from the NP earning and was searching up the prices for things I might like to buy on the shop wizard. The snowbunny was 90,000 neopoints, way out of my petpet range. I went to the shop anyway.
They had quite a few petpets so I looked around. Then I saw it: the barbat. It was cute, fluffy, and had vampire teeth. How could you get better than that? Earlier that day I had seen a name that I knew was perfect for DF’s future petpet, Michiru. And here was the perfect recipient of the name. I quickly earned 4,700 NP and bought the adorable thing.
When I got home, I presented DF with Michiru. DF has a chronic fear of petpets due to an anubis that attempted to put curses on him. However, the barbat did not have a mean bone in her body. She made sweet noises, she did sweet things, she even said DF’s full name with in the first few minutes of their meeting (his full name is Draggon Fyre by the way). DF loved her.
It was then that I noticed Yen. Her expression was a mixture of sadness and confusion. It was then that I realized that she had never been second to get anything. Ella and Torissla are older and a bit more mature than Yen (even though Torissla doesn’t act it). They were used to taking care of themselves. Yen was thirteen and old enough to not be greedy, but Yen is a bit... well she’s a bit eccentric and naïve.
I knew I had to content her somehow. That was when I remembered those weird little origami petpets that came with the newbie pack. I quickly went and grabbed a ditsy out of my Safety Deposit Box, and this is where our story starts...
“Um... what is that?” Yen asked.
“A ditsy,” I said as I held the miniscule little thing in the palm of my hand. “It’s a petpet. Just a temporary one until I can get you a real one.”
“Hey, I want a temporary petpet,” Torissla said as she drank her orange juice. I glared at her.
“But... Grey, it’s made of cardboard,” she said.
“Well, that’s the point actually. It will be easy to take care of,” I mumbled.
“Why don’t you just get her a pet rock,” Torissla said jokingly.
“Because Rocks cost 350k.” I was on the verge of kicking something. “Yen, why don’t you just give it a chance? It won’t be for too long. I’ll have enough money for your paint brush in a few months and then I can start looking for a real petpet.”
“Fine...” she said unhappily.
Yen took the petpet out of my hands and looked at it. She took it into her room and tried to talk to it.
“Do you have a name?”
The ditsy stared back at her with its big googly eyes.
“Can you even hear me?”
The ditsy blinked but did nothing else.
“Can you do anything?”
The ditsy hiccupped.
Yen blinked. “How does a piece of cardboard hiccup?”
The ditsy hiccupped again.
“Right then, I’ll call you Hiccups since it’s the only thing you can do,” Yen said angrily.
The week that followed went a little better than I had thought. Yen took Hiccups on walks every afternoon. She took it to a play-date with her best friend’s zomutt. She even tried to teach it to do something other than hiccup. She had no success, but I thought it was a good sign that she was trying.
The next week Yen had decided that Hiccups was a girl. It seemed to have a fondness for pink ribbons at least. I’m not really sure how to tell the difference between a girl piece of cardboard and a boy piece of cardboard, but again, I was glad that Yen seemed to have an interest in the petpet.
Eager to make sure that Yen and the ditsy could spend more time together, I scheduled another play-date with the zomutt. This time I invited DF as well. DF and Michiru had been getting along well. She slept on the clothes rack in his closet and they seemed to spend most of the day together. I was ecstatic at my luck.
Apper the mutant Ixi and her zomutt arrived and I sent them all into the living room.
“Zoey has been acting sort of weird lately. Personally I think it’s because I lost my favorite Twisted Roses CD. I think she misses going asleep to their songs,” Apper said as she twisted one of her extremely long braids around her finger.
DF gaped at her. “How on earth do you get to sleep with that playing?”
“Twisted Roses is my lullaby,” Apper said dramatically.
“Right...” DF said, “Well Michiru’s been doing fine. I taught her how to say DF a few days ago. I was getting really annoyed at hearing ‘Draggon Fyre’ all day long, even if she is really cute when she says it.” He scratched Michiru’s chin and she started licking his fingers.
Yen just blushed. She had absolutely no stories to tell them about Hiccups. It still did not do anything but hiccup and sit in her pile of pink bows. Hiccups had to be the stupidest petpet on the planet.
“So I’ve finally learned how to put Zoey’s fondness for biting things to use. I taught her to bite Ina whenever she sees her. It’s hilarious. Ina gets all upset and then Zoey makes those cute little puppy dog eyes and Ina has to use all of her will power not to cuddle the thing.”
“I don’t see how anyone could not want to cuddle with Michiru. She’s so sweet. Just look at the little pink hearts on her cheeks.”
“And this coming from the from the guy who despises petpets?” Apper sneered, “I’m surprised at you, DF...”
Yen watched the petpets playing together and tried to ignore the conversation. Michiru was play-fighting with Zoey and as always, Hiccups was just watching them with her big googly eyes.
“You’re such an embarrassment, Hiccups,” Yen whispered. Apper and DF did not hear her. “Why don’t you just run away or something. Then everyone will feel sorry for me and I can get a better petpet. You’re only temporary anyway.”
Then Hiccups did something it had never done before. It turned around and stared right into Yen’s eyes. Yen realized that it had understood her.
“That’s right, you’re just temporary. Once I get a better petpet, you are going right back into the SDB,” Yen whispered angrily.
“Grey, have you seen Hiccups?” Yen asked me a few days later at breakfast. “She wasn’t inside my dresser with her bows this morning.”
“You’re keeping her in the dresser!” I gasped. “You can’t keep a petpet in a dresser!”
“It’s made of cardboard,” Yen said. “Ella keeps her paper dolls in her dresser.”
Ella spit out her apple juice and Torissla stared at her.
“You play with paper dolls?” Torissla laughed. Ella blushed.
I sighed. “No, I haven’t seen Hiccups...”
“Maybe it’s having a tea party with Ella’s paper dolls,” joked Torissla.
Yen cut Ella off (on what I’m sure would have been a very entertaining excuse). “Guys, I think it might have run away.” She was horrified.
“Yen... Hiccups is made of cardboard,” I said. “I don’t think it can run away.”
“But I told it to! I told her to run away!” Yen was crying now.
Even Torissla looked concerned. “Hey, sis, calm down. If you really think it ran away, then I’ll help you look.”
“Yes, so will I.” I glared at Ella.
“I’m meeting a friend...” she said timidly.
“Whatever,” I said, “We’ll look around the house and if we don’t find it we can look around the neighborhood.”
Yen nodded, her teary face in her hands.
We looked in every inch of space in the house. Hiccups wasn’t under any of the chairs, she wasn’t in any of the drawers, and she wasn’t even in Ella’s pink filled room, basking in the pink ribbon and lace.
Yen was getting desperate, and we put up fliers all over town. How far could a Ditsy have gotten? By the end of the week, I was starting to think that it could get pretty far. Yen was inconsolable and was sure that it was all her fault if something had happened to Hiccups. She was actually getting sick and I had to confine her to her bed.
“Grey, I’m seriously worried about Yen,” Torissla said to me, “Couldn’t you just make another Ditsy?”
I shook my head. “Those cardboard petpets have some kind of faerie magic put on them that makes them come to life. I don’t think Queen Fyora would deem us worthy of her help.”
“Too bad we can’t get some puppyblew with Hiccups's scent to track it down.”
This is one of those times when the only word that comes to mind is “head-desk”, a term I have become fairly familiar with on the neoboards. My own side account pet, I ask you? How big of an idiot am I?
Don’t answer that.
I sent Apper a neomail asking her if Zoey could find Hiccups. Obviously she could, no surprise there. The surprise was where Zoey found Hiccups.
“She was on Mystery Island?” I gaped at Apper, who was holding Hiccups in her hand.
“At the Trading Post, yeah. Apparently she was trying to sell herself.”
I took Hiccups from Apper and ran to Yen’s room. “Look who we found?”
Yen sat bolt upright. She gasped and took Hiccups out of my hands.
“I’m so sorry, Hiccups! I didn’t mean what I said! I’d never want you to run away! Never! If you ever left again, I’d be miserable! I love you, Hiccups!”
She had said it. She loved the weird little googly-eyed piece of yellow cardboard. I couldn’t believe it.
Hiccups is still a temporary petpet. A real fluffy friend for Yen is in the future, but I have no doubt that Hiccups will not be going back to the SDB when that happens. No, I think she might stay in the top drawer of Yen’s dresser along with a large pile of pink ribbons.