The Wocky and the Moehog
Renliah trotted around Neopia Central with her head held high. There was no way perfection such as herself could be just thrown aside, into the pound. Not again. Renliah would not accept it. I'm perfect, she told herself, I'll find a new owner soon enough; they'll be drawn to my glossy blue fur like Buzzers are drawn to honey. And thus it was settled that she would find a new owner herself, or they would find her.
The young Wocky examined each individual Neopian as they rushed past. She was seeking someone who looked like good owner material. Renliah spotted a rich-looking girl, with three proud Cybunnies hopping along next to her. Brilliant, Renliah thought, maybe if she adopted me, which she is certain to, she would morph me into a beautiful Cybunny just like her other pets. Renliah caught up with the rich human.
"Hi," she said, swishing her fluffy tail and grinning her toothy pearlesque smile. She wanted to come across as charming as possible.
"Hello," the human said blankly, pausing in her steps and briefly glancing down at Renliah.
"Would you adopt me? I couldn't help noticing how much I would fit in with you and your pets," the arrogant Wocky said as softly as possible, ignoring the Cybunnies, who were giggling. Their sweet little tufted paws were held up to their cutesy faces so that their owner wouldn't notice. Renliah glared at them, a mixture of malice and envy rising inside her.
"LOL, no way, you n00b," came the blunt reply from the Neopian who began to walk away towards the bank, her pets treading carefully behind her, muttering inaudible things to each other and randomly bursting into laughter.
"Good! I was only joking anyway! I'm glad!" Renliah shouted after them. She waited until they were out of sight, then she collapsed on her hind legs miserably, trying to hold back her tears of disappointment.
Suddenly, a green Moehog came tumbling into her site, landing clumsily on his tummy, nubbly legs stretched out around him. He regained balance on his hooves, before stumbling over again. Renliah began to laugh uncontrollably, swiping a single tear from her big brown eyes.
A brief expression of annoyance passed over the Moehog's blushing face. He climbed into an upright position again, slowly this time, carefully. Renliah ran to his side.
"Are you alright? I apologise, it's just that, you're so silly!" she giggled, brushing a chunk of mud off the Moehog's arm.
"Don't worry about it, I'm fine." He spoke fast, in an unrelaxed fashion. He was obviously still greatly embarrassed. "I noticed you were sad; I came to say hi."
"Well... hi. My name's Renliah," the Wocky said cautiously.
"I'm Choddus. Why are you sad, Renliah?"
Renliah attempted to hide a laugh at the Moehog's name, then she returned to her tough, emotionless side. "I'm homeless, that's all."
"Oh, and that human didn't want to adopt you?"
"N-no?! She just... well. I didn't want to go with her."
Choddus appeared surprised; he believed her lie. He nodded slowly.
"Where's your owner then, Choddus?"
"Don't have one." Choddus took a slow step towards a pebble and kicked it. Then he fell over again. This time he smiled shyly when Renliah exploded into hysterics. He stood up again, concentration spread over his face as he balanced on his legs. "So why are you not in the pound?"
"Perfection doesn't belong in the pound."
"So I'm perfection, am I?"
"NO. You're far from it," Renliah said with spite, before quickly adding (as to not hurt the sensitive Moehog's feelings), "but you seem nice."
Content with Renliah's answer, the Moehog nodded again. Choddus did not know where all that confidence in the last minute came from, it was just that Renliah had a welcoming personality, though mildly spiteful she was. An awkward silence fell for a while.
"I want to go to the pound," Choddus said quietly, and he turned around and began to walk away, eyes fixed towards the muddy ground, which was dangerously slippery.
"Fine by me," Renliah's answer came, and she strutted away in the opposite direction, no idea where she was going.
- - -
Choddus, by the time he reached the door to the pound, was covered in a thick coat of mud. He had stumbled over many times. Maybe that was fortunate, as he appeared needy and vulnerable. Surely he'd be adopted in no time. He approached the Techo at the counter, who eyed him up and down, anything but sympathy or care dwelling in his cold eyes.
"I have no owner. I'd like to-"
"NO, YOU WOULDN'T!"
What? Choddus turned towards the door, and there Renliah stood boldly with a brave expression. As she realised she was being stared at by many, she lowered her eyes to the ground, frowning and blushing.
Choddus approached her. "Why are you here?"
"Perfection doesn't belong in the pound," came Renliah's muffled reply. "You don't belong here. True that you're a clumsy dork, but I'm sure you're great really."
There was an awkward pause, then Renliah continued:
"I mean, who needs the pound? It's a cruel place of... freakish judgement. I very much doubt anyone would adopt you."
Choddus was hurt, but then he decided that perhaps this was just Renliah's personality. He laughed nervously, and followed Renliah as she trotted out of the pound, like a hero.
"Say thanks then. I prevented you from hypnotic choices!" she joked.
"Now, we're gunna find you an owner."
"You, umm. Deserve it. You're nice." Renliah struggled for something mean yet convincing to say, and grimaced as the soft side of her personality took over.
Toughening up again, Renliah skipped towards the Neopia Central Wishing Well, Choddus skuttling along behind her, occasionally accidentally treading on her heels which annoyed Renliah greatly, resulting in harsh words escaping her mouth.
"Now, stand over there. Look sad and vulnerable," Renliah commanded, pointing towards the Wishing Well. She laughed cruelly at the Moehog's attempt at acting out a sad expression. "That will do, I guess."
Renliah continuously caught attention from Neopians, and told them how Choddus needed a home because he was a 'helpless vulnerable dork,' as she put it. All most people did was call her a 'n00b' and walk away. Renliah was on the verge of giving up on Choddus, who she blamed for all her errors, until...
"Hi, I'm Renliah, and that's Choddus, a homeless, helpless, clumsy friend of mine!"
Renliah was speaking to a Neopian who didn't look very rich at all, but perhaps appeared in need of a nice Moehog companion.
"Oh," the human said, "he's very cute."
"Yes, he is!" Renliah felt she had finally hit the mark. "This charming weirdo could be yours, right now!"
The Neopian kneeled down in front of Choddus, who lay on his stomach, having somehow tripped over yet again.
"Hello, Choddus," the human said, "I'm lovebug__. Call me Lovebug."
Renliah stood back and watched as the two quickly bonded, Lovebug helped Choddus onto his feet carefully. She felt a hint of jealousy as she heard Lovebug say, "Would you like it if I adopted you?"
Choddus nodded. Lovebug began to walk away with Choddus by her side. She smiled a wide, friendly grin at Renliah and mimed 'thanks.' Choddus looked distraught when he realised that Renliah was being left behind.
Renliah, though jealous, felt proud of herself. Her pride turned to confusion when Choddus and Lovebug turned and came back towards her. Choddus was skipping, his face was a painting of pure glee. Lovebug kneeled in front of Renliah just like she had done to Choddus, smiling and inviting. She was that kind of Neopian that Renliah really wanted to hug, or be hugged by.
"Renliah," she said, "I had no idea you were homeless as well. I hope you didn't think I would just leave you here. Choddus tells me you are friends."
There was a pause in which time Renliah and Choddus exchanged happy glances.
"Would you like me to adopt you, Renliah?"
The young Wocky nodded hastily, and they all set off together, to go home.
Yup, Renliah thought, drawn to perfection like Buzzers to honey!
Renliah's brief charitable attitude had brought the two new-found friends a happy ending. Which just goes to show, a moment of generosity could lead to a lifetime of joy.