A Short Conversation
So there are plenty of pets that have the same story to tell as me. It, sadly, isn’t an uncommon story, since the pound is nearly always full. While it is the same story, though, it isn’t an identical story, because everyone has their own feelings, their own way of looking at things. So I thought I’d try my hand at writing, something I never was any good at.
I want to make it clear now that I’ve never been in the pound. My owner, lee_angel23, created me and I was her very first pet. At first I was a Lupe, and had grand designs to be a Darigan one, or maybe a faerie. When the lab map was finally achieved, however, the promises of greater strength were just too hard for me to resist. I love training, love the feel of victory in the Battledome, even the feel of knowing I did my best even if I did lose. To make a long story short, I wasn’t a Lupe for long, although there were some interesting periods where I was an interesting pet. I was a robot Jetsam for a while, believe it or not! I took a long break in that form, and during that time my brother, Ashana, became a cloud Chomby, and then he flatly refused to go to the lab ray anymore. So I went again, and my Jetsam form disappeared, replaced by a red Bruce.
Now don’t get me wrong, there isn’t anything wrong with the species. I just didn’t want to be one, and I couldn’t wait to get out of that form... until I became a Darigan Bruce. Somehow, it just felt right. I didn’t want to go again, and since my sister, the scientist of our family, was eager for the chance, she goes now. I digress though.
So even though Lee didn’t have any more room for a pet, Sno taking up the last spot in our family, I often found myself walking alongside her through the pound, as she tried her best to keep the moods of the pets there up. Eventually I got up the nerve, so much harder to do in a place like that than in the Battledome, to move away from her side, tightly clutching the necklace that said I wasn’t a pound pet. I didn’t want to accidentally be adopted! During our days speaking with the pets there, I’ve come across many different stories, but there is one I remember clearly.
I tended to stay away from the more easily frightened pets, since I understood that my painted form could scare some of them. Who wouldn’t be scared of a big spiky collar, a savage beak like mine? I couldn’t stay away when I heard the whimpering of a small yellow Aisha, though, cringing against the side of his cage as a cruel Gelert frightened him. I never will understand why some pets are like that.
“Hey there.” I tried to make my voice soft, but it still sounded scratchy and rough, and I think I frightened him before he even looked at me. I had managed to quiet the Gelert, though, and the red pet had retreated to the other side of his cage and was sitting quietly. Sometimes my color could be useful, not just something I’d desired since I was created.
Of course, the Aisha looked at me eventually, and predictably he was scared speechless - almost. “What do you want?” He cringed against the back of the cage, ear stalks drooping around him and quivering like the rest of his body. I felt sad for him, so scared and trapped in the pound with it being shut down. He needed someone caring to take him home and keep him from shaking like that, but it wouldn’t happen for a long time.
I sat down slowly, trying to appear as harmless as I could. That isn’t easy when you train for the Battledome, but I guess I had some success because he seemed to be a little bit curious beneath his fright. “I’m not going to hurt you. What’s your name? I’m Wolfy.”
The unexpected name actually stopped him from shaking and he giggled a little bit, stuffing his paws over his mouth in surprise at the sound that had escaped him. “But you aren’t a Lupe! Or a Gelert!” His eyes were wide, now with complete curiosity instead of fear. Had I not had a beak, I think I would have smiled. As if realizing he hadn’t said what his name was, he hurried to add, “I’m Janeleb.”
“I used to be a Lupe. Then I went to the lab ray, and this is how I ended up, making a long story short.” I winked at him, adding, “Bet you were expecting a name like Shade, or maybe Fierce.” Believe it or not, a lot of pets, and owners, seemed to expect that whenever Lee mentioned she had a Darigan Bruce, or I met someone for the first time.
“Oh. That makes sense... and yeah, I guess I was.” He beamed up at me, a smile that reminded me of Sno’s on her first day at home. I was a snot Meerca at that time, and you can bet the house was a bit... unsavory. It did give for some great fun in chasing Ashana, although it was quite annoying to have Peo (who was still a Peophin at the time) poking and prodding me whenever she could to try and find out why there was so much snot.
Needless to say, I wasn’t the most desirable pet in the house when the little green Cybunny appeared in the front room in Lee’s arms. She noticed it too, since she avoided me and instantly attached herself to Ashana, who was still a red Aisha.
He flashed me a triumphant smile before actually doing the right thing and rescuing the shy little pet, whisking her away into the outside world and therefore far away from Peo and her poking sticks, who might have been tempted to examine her new sister.
I was playing Neoquest a while later, a set that belonged only to me, especially since I had covered the entire thing in snot, when I heard a surprised ‘eep’ from behind me and looked over my shoulder to see Sno. She’d stumbled into the living room, long after she should have been in bed, in the search of the kitchen, and a glass of water.
I was the only one up, so I did the right thing. I abandoned my snotty game and led her to the kitchen, pointing to the cabinet that held the glasses, and watching as she drank her water. When she finished she put it in the sink and then... she smiled at me. It was a long time before I was over my surprise. (In this color, I hadn’t been smiled at by anyone except Lee, or Peo when she made a new, if pointless, discovery.)
I decided to share the story with the Aisha, and by the time I was done, he was on his back, his stomach, all over the cage, laughing. There were even tears running down his cheeks, and my beak gaped half-open in what had become my smile since I became a Bruce. “That’s funny! You were a snot color?” Without waiting for an answer, he kept talking, his laughter subsiding. “That reminds me of Ajinny.”
Curiosity piqued, I inquired further, wondering who this “Ajinny” was, and what the story could be that he would use it as a scoring board on what was funny or not.
“Ajinny is my brother; he’s my twin, actually. We were created at the same time, nearly - he’s a few seconds older. He was adopted before the pound went down, though, ‘cause Izzie, our old owner, painted him mutant.” The mention of Izzie made his ears wilt, but he went on with the story quickly, and I could see him trying to hold back laughter. “Anyways, when he was still yellow we went to Meridell. There was this field, and you could go pick your own berries - do you know? - and so we went there. I was finding all of these really cool berries, and when our time ran out and we met back up and compared berries, guess what Ajinny had!” He was grinning as widely as his face was able to grin by now, and so I did what I had been told to do. I guessed.
“Berries?” Obviously it wasn’t the answer, since that wouldn’t have made for a very good story, but that only made Janeleb happier.
“Nope! DUNG! He didn’t even know he had picked it! It was funny, and we had to hurry up and find a place for him to wash his hands. We were laughing so hard we fell into the stream!” He fell into another fit of rolling laughter, and this time I joined him in making noise, although I didn’t roll on the floor.
Well, even if I did you can’t prove it.
In the middle of our laughing, Lee came up. “It’s time to go, Wolfy.”
She waited while I said good-bye to Janeleb, promising him I’d come and talk to him again soon, and then we were on our way. Every time we go to the pound, I stop to talk with him, and I think he’s gotten more courage. That, or my friendship with him keeps the Gelert in the cage next to him from bullying him, since I haven’t caught him doing so since the first time I set my eyes on Janeleb.
Yes, I hope he gets a good home when the pound reopens, which I hope is soon.
First story published if it makes it! Constructive criticism much appreciated!