Petpet Talk: The Daycare
Petpets don’t make much sense when you talk to them, do they? But you may be surprised to know that whether they bark, meow, buzz, gargle, or chirp, they do communicate—as well as you and me!
Arnold the Angelpuss whimpered as his owner dropped him off at a crowded room. An old Chia sat at the corner, reading an issue of The Neopian Times frustratingly as petpets whined and yelped around her.
Karl glanced at him apologetically. “Mumble blah blah blah sorry,” he said. “Blah blah mumble mumble neoschool!” He waved goodbye and left.
Confused, Arnold slowly crept around the room. Colorful toy blocks and plushies were scattered everywhere, but few petpets were playing with them. Fascinated by the many petpets, some he’d never even seen before, he accidentally bumped into a Mazzew.
“Careful,” the Mazzew laughed. She held up a paw. “My name’s Stacy. My owner works at Pizzaroo Wednesdays, so I’m stuck here every week.”
“I’m Arnold,” Arnold introduced himself. “What—what is this place?”
“Ms. Finkle’s Sunshine Daycare for Petpets,” Stacy replied, rolling her purple eyes. “I know,” she snickered. “Sunshine Daycare. Ha! There she is now, yelling at those Doglefoxes.”
They turned around to look at the Chia, who was angrily scolding two shadow Doglefoxes. The Doglefoxes cowered on the wooden floor, afraid to move.
“Blah blah blah NO BATTLES, blah blah!” Ms. Finkle was saying sternly. “Blah blah blah blah OUT!”
“What is she blabbing about?” Arnold wondered.
Stacy shrugged, looking bored. “Let’s go see what Chucky is up to,” she suggested.
Arnold followed Stacy over to a pile of colorful blocks. A Polarchuck, a Mallard, and a Drugal were playing peacefully, building large buildings with the blocks.
“Chucky, Mallory, Kristy—meet Arnold,” Stacy introduced.
“Hey,” the petpets replied, busy focused on their blocks.
Suddenly a snooty voice behind them sneered, “Well. Well. Well. Who’s the new guy?”
Arnold turned around to find a Harris. Behind the Harris were two Snicklebeasts. They smirked at Arnold.
“Well, can’t you talk?” the Harris demanded.
“Get lost, Henry,” Stacy snapped. To Arnold she said, “Don’t mind Henry. He just thinks he’s so much better than the rest of us because his owner’s a billionaire.”
Behind them, Mallory the Mallard spoke up. “If you’re so superior, why aren’t you at your million-neopoint neohome with your butlers and servants? I’m sure you’re bound to have some, right?”
Henry scowled. “Paul Henry James III doesn’t have time for measly things like that. He’s too busy attending fancy balls and dinners.” He sighed dramatically. “Unfortunately, that leaves me home alone most of the time. It’s very depressing.”
Arnold bent over and picked up a broken heart pendant. “What is this?” he wondered.
Stacy gasped. “Why—that must belong to Princess Jerald Feingold!”
Everyone suddenly crowded around Arnold curiously. “Ooh, you’ve broken the princess’s necklace, pal,” a Fireball said.
“Looks like you’re in big doo-doo,” a Meowclops laughed.
Stacy led Arnold out of the crowd. “Don’t worry, she won’t be too mad,” she whispered, urging him to the other side of the room.
“What are you talking—who’s Princess Jerald—what is this thing?” Arnold was bewildered. His first day at daycare and already he was in some kind of trouble.
Stacy nervously pushed him toward a group of petpets playing tea party. “Just show her,” she whispered. “Tell her you found it like that. Do not say you broke it, understand?”
“I didn’t break it,” Arnold said indignantly. He glanced behind him—half the room was staring at him. “Look,” he said nervously, “just who is this Princess Jerald Golden—whatever?”
Stacy shoved him again. “Hurry!” she hissed.
Sighing, Arnold walked bravely toward the petpets dressed in various skirts and dress up clothes. “Are—are any of you Princess Jerald?” he asked a bit timidly.
The petpets—mostly Snowbunnies—turned and glared at him. “Who wants to know?” a pink Snowbunny said snootily.
“Uh.” Arnold held up the broken pendant. “I found this over there, and they said it belonged to one of you. Someone named Princess something.”
A Halloween Snowbunny gasped. “That’s hers!” she exclaimed, pointing to a small white Snowbunny on the opposite side of the tea table.
“Oh.” Arnold meekly held out the heart pendant. “It was broken when I found it. Sorry.”
The Snowbunny snatched it scornfully, not saying thank you or anything at all. The Snowbunnies murmured among each other, glancing at Arnold distastefully, and then continued with their tea party. Nobody spoke to him—it was as if he’d disappeared.
Perplexed, Arnold walked away. Stacy quickly hurried up to him and said, “That wasn’t so bad, was it? It could’ve gone a lot worse. You were lucky!”
“Those Snowbunnies are so... snobby,” Arnold finished. He usually didn’t say unkind things about anyone, but in the course of only five minutes, everything had changed.
“Don’t mind them,” Stacy replied. “They’re just one of those cliquey petpets. Come on, wanna see something exciting?”
She led Arnold over to a gang of Feepits. They smiled at him and waved their furry little paws excitedly.
“Hey,” Arnold said, his spirits rising. “What’s up—”
A sudden yowl came from Ms. Finkle. All the petpets silenced at turned toward her.
The old Chia was standing on her rocking chair, screaming as if Sloth had entered. She pointed frantically at the ground, where three Meepits were walking—each with its head invisible.
Arnold was alarmed. Stacy, however, just groaned. “Oh, not those guys again. Hey, Mark! Moe! Millicent!” she shouted.
The Meepits turned toward her, although Arnold wasn’t sure how they could have heard her or anything what with their heads gone.
“Put down the stupid invisible helmet!” Stacy called. She rolled her eyes and turned to Arnold. “Their owner was dim-witted enough to buy them each this invisible helmet thing that made your head disappear once you wear it.”
The Chia was frantic. “Blah blah no blab blab!” she cried. “Blab blab blah blah! BLAH BLAH TIME OUT!”
From what Arnold could understand, those Meepits were about to get a time-out. Stacy confirmed this.
Laughing hysterically, the Meepits took off the helmets—though they were still invisible from view—and chased each other to the time-out corner. Arnold shook his head.
“I’ve heard about those critters,” he told Stacy. “Aren’t they supposed to be extremely troublesome?”
“Not as troublesome as the Snorkles,” Stacy said. “This daycare already had five Snorkles wander off. Those pink snout-nosed creatures must be lost in their own little world half the time. Speaking of which, I have to go attend a Mazzews of Neopia meeting over there,” she said, pointing to a pack of various colored Mazzews. “Bye!”
For the rest of the day, Arnold played blocks with Chucky, Mallory, and Kristy. He waited impatiently for his owner to arrive and pick him up.
Around two o’clock, he was getting hungry. “Hey, Chucky, where do we go if we’re hungry?” he asked.
Chucky gazed at him. “Didn’t your owner pack a snack for you when he or she dropped you off?”
Arnold shook his head slowly. “Uh... I don’t think so.”
Chucky looked awed. “Wow—you must be starving, then! Here, have some of my ice cream.” He pulled out a bag from behind the blocks and unzipped it. Handing a partially melted vanilla ice cream cone to Arnold, he advised, “Eat it quick, before old Finkle notices.”
Arnold stared queasily at the droopy ice cream. “Uh... that’s okay. Are there any dry snacks? You know, like cookies?”
“I have a jelly hot dog,” Mallory offered.
“No thanks.” Arnold reminded himself to inform Karl to pack him a snack next time.
Ms. Finkle stood up and clapped her hands annoyingly. “Blah blah, blah blah blah nap blah!” she yelled.
“What?” Arnold glanced at Chucky questionably.
“She said something about ‘time’,” Chucky said. “Is it time to go home?”
Kristy the Drugal laughed. “It’s nap time, duh.”
“What?” Arnold crossed his arms. “I don’t want to take a nap! I’m not tired, are you?”
“No one is,” Chucky answered, yawning. “But nap time is the best part of the day. You know why?”
“That’s when the Meepits do their amazing trick of the day!” Chucky snickered. “Watch and see!”
After all the petpets lay down on the floor to rest, Arnold peeked over at Ms. Finkle. To his surprise, she was now wearing an armor suit and carrying a giant metal shield.
Kristy explained, “Yesterday the Meepits bombed her with berries and piles of dung.”
“Yuck!” Arnold closed his eyes disgustedly. “How can they be so... you know? Vile?”
Before Kristy could answer, Ms. Finkle screeched. Her entire armor and shield were soaked purple. The Meepits—the same ones who were wearing the invisible helmet earlier—roared with laughter.
“Are you kidding me?” a small Warf said incredulously, inching over beside Kristy and Arnold. “What’d they use this time?”
“Some kind of slushie, I heard,” Mallory offered.
“Isn’t Ms. Finkle mad?” Arnold inquired.
“Yes, but she doesn’t care. The prank could have been a lot worse.” Kristy laughed mirthlessly. “I only wish it were those snobby Snowbunnies who got pranked on.”
“Hey, you never know,” Chucky stated sleepily. He yawned again and zoned out.
An hour later, as every neopet came to pick up their beloved (and not so beloved) petpet, Ms. Finkle bent over to pat Arnold while Karl spoke with her.
“Blah blah blah blah,” Ms. Finkle said, smiling pleasantly. “Blah blah blah good Angelpuss.”
Karl grinned down at Arnold. “Blah blah blah, Arnold? Blah blah blah good Angelpuss!” he said proudly, leaning down to carry him in his arms.
Arnold meowed pleasantly. He looked around the messy daycare. Watching his new friends get picked up by their owners, he felt a warm feeling inside. He couldn’t wait to come back to Ms. Finkle’s Sunshine Daycare for Petpets.
“Bombs away!” a group of voices squeaked.
Splat. A large tomato drooped off Arnold’s white fur. He sighed. Now if only something was done about those Meepits...