Poogle Number Six
Also by inhinyero
It was a bright and beautiful day, which was normal in Faerieland, the realm and home to the numerous faeries inhabiting Neopia. Because maybe of some sort of magic, every building here rests on a cloud, which is very weird since you would have thought the cloud should have collapsed due to the tremendous weight. But, such is the power of the faeries. There are many areas in Faerieland that should be on every Neopian's “must-see list” such as the Hidden Tower, the Rainbow Fountain and the Employment Agency. There’s also the Wheel of Excitement and the Healing Springs which cater to bored or sick neopets. Of course, we mustn’t forget about the Poogle Races. Not Turdle Races, but Poogle.
A long time ago, there was actually a Poogle 6. He ran alongside Moogi and the other famous Poogle Racers, and also had regular races with them. Unfortunately, his odds were a little too low, he was too slow to win, and really not suited for racing. His wobbly knees gave out even before he reached the finish line, and so, he almost always gave up in the middle of the race. Advertised as the worst Poogle Racer ever in the history of Neopia, this purple Poogle had no one's hopes placed on him. Still, he was happy since being a racer is something that an ordinary Poogle wouldn’t be able to achieve normally. Even though he was the worst, he was still content. This little Poogle’s name is Alstaf.
One day, he lost another race which was expected of him. But this one race was his last, since he was kicked out of the stadium on that same day.
“What? You’re kicking me out of this stadium? But aren’t I the sixth fastest racer in Neopia?” the purple Poogle pleaded. “The sixth, okay? Isn’t that worth something at least?”
“That was yesterday; now you’re just the seventh, and so we need to kick you out,” said the ruthless manager. “Unfortunately, you’ve never won a race and that makes us lose a lot of money. So we need to change you. No other option, I guess...”
“That is... unacceptable!” the young Poogle cried as tears slid down his cheeks.
With great haste, the Poogle ran as fast as he could to escape the nightmare he just heard. His pride was smashed and squished like a petpetpet blasted with Pest-B-Gone. The then racer was now just an ordinary Poogle.
After a few weeks, he joined the 200 meter Peanut Dash, thinking that his legs were still in their best condition. Making fancy flips and difficult jumps took many years of training, and a racer was built for speed, not for artistic jumping. He had a lot of trouble catching the peanut from the air, because he always got distracted by the logs that were blocking his way. His eyesight also failed him since he couldn’t even see the dark and bold shadow of the peanut. Alas, peanut catching wasn’t meant for this little Poogle.
Sad and despairing, Alstaf went back to Faerieland, hoping that somehow his old vigor would come back and he would reclaim his spot as the sixth best racer or better. He slowly trudged through the soft clouds, wishing that Fyora bestow good luck upon him. He now stood before the stadium he once called home.
“Hello? Is anyone here?” called out Alstaf. He wondered why the stadium was deserted since this wasn’t a normal sight. He then remembered that today was Jhudora’s holiday, so everyone was out to do her quests which just gave out rubbish. “Illusen’s is so much better,” he mumbled.
To his surprise, someone came out and instantly recognized him. It was Moogi, just the best and number one Poogle Racer in all eternity. Moogi won almost every race, obtained each and every record in Neopia, and was obviously, adored by many.
“Hey! Aren’t you Alstaf? Why are you back here? It’s nice to see you again!”
“Uhm... yes, I’m Alstaf. I was just wondering if I could come back and be a racer again. I miss the old times, you know?”
“Oh... is that so? I’m sorry but there’s only five of us now. And it seems that there won’t be any changes soon,” the yellow Poogle mumbled.
Hearing these words shattered Alstaf’s hopes. He would never ever be a racer again. The words of Moogi played again and again in his head like a broken record. It was hard to accept that this was the end. He walked for days thinking of a solution to his problem. He sought the help of the Brain Tree, hoping that his immense intelligence would be able to solve this crisis. He went to many other smart individuals, but his search for a solution was a failure. His sunny disposition in life changed into a gloomy outlook. Once optimistic, the Poogle now hated everything and anything.
Finneus once saw this troubled Poogle, and felt very sorry for him. He was one of those fools that bet their neopoints on him when Alstaf was still a racer. He approached the Poogle to offer him some help or assistance.
“You’re Alstaf Poogle, right? If I’m not mistaken...” the smart Lenny said.
“Uhhhh, yeah. Why? Are you going to mock me? Everyone does that, so why don’t you?”
“Oh! No, I’m here to help you. Won’t you love some help? Come and I’ll escort you to my library.”
Unwillingly, he went to the Lenny’s massive library, and was astonished to see rows and rows of books, stacked neatly on shelves. There were even classics, like “Kiko’s Darkside”, and even rare and retired books. Even newly released books were there, alongside the old ones. He noticed how well-kept the books were. They were dusted every day, piled neatly, and placed on their respective bookshelves. He saw how lovingly the Lenny took care of his books, and Alstaf admired him for that. One book that caught his attention was a book entitled “Poogle Poetry” and was intrigued by it. He read it from cover to cover and soon memorized it by heart. He loved this book so much that he ventured to other books about poetry. He then knew his calling – a poet.
He created many masterpieces, many poems about different topics. Some were about love, adventure, faeries, and many others. His creativity poured like an open faucet, which helped him create many more poems. He became happy from writing poems, content with the noise made by his quill as it scratched the paper. His happiness was unlike the adrenaline rush he felt when he ran; it was the joy that he was able to showcase his talents to everyone.
His works became well-known and were accepted well, and soon after, he was asked to become the judge of the Neopian Poetry Contest. Of course, Alstaf accepted the offer with no hesitation. Getting to work with the things you love is one of the best things life has to offer on a Poogle. While some of his friends teamed up with Elephantes to catch peanuts and ran many laps in the race track, he busied himself with his work. He dreamed that somehow, many Neopians would follow his lead and become poets themselves, and based on the entries submitted to him, he knew that this vision will soon be true. And this is how Poogle Number Six, struggled and survived, and later on became one of the best poets in Neopia.