A Muddy Escapade
Orod1 sat panting delightedly in a field of flowers. The sunshine smiled gently on her, the wind ruffled her fur, and she could smell a mud puddle beckoning. Eyes closed, the baby Lupe followed her nose to the edge of the puddle. After she dipped a toe in, the Lupe paused. The mud puddle offered many possibilities, all of which seemed enormously appealing. She pondered for a few brief moments. She could attempt a bellyflop and see how far the mud would fly, she could “go swimming,” or she could make mud pies.
After a quick survey of the surroundings, and a mental estimation of how deep the puddle was, Orod jumped from a convenient rock into the mud puddle with a satisfying splash. She then rolled around in the shallower parts. It was a Lupe puppy’s version of heaven. By the time she was done, Orod looked more like a giant sludgy than a Neopet.
With a delighted smile, even though she knew she would likely receive a bath, the baby trotted back towards home. She felt very much at one with nature.
Orod’s hopes of a subtle, quiet entrance into her family’s garden were squashed by her plushie Doglefox. Fang seemed exceptionally determined to alert the neighborhood, and anyone else in a five mile radius, that her beloved Lupe owner was home.
Much to Orod’s chagrin, her mother, Mckinleybooksfan, knew Fang’s bark signified that the baby was home. The human was waiting intently at the door when Orod headed towards the house.
Both Orod and Mckinleybooksfan winced as they saw each other.
“Not again!” Mckinleybooksfan groaned. It was the third time this week her Lupe needed a bath. “Well, Orod,” she continued, “I assume you know what time it is.”
Orod stared dolefully up at her mom. “Yup,” she replied. Then, with an exaggerated change of expression she continued, “It’s time for me to run away!” With a mischievous laugh, the puppy spun around and started running in the general direction of their garden with her Doglefox running delightedly at her heals.
With a half-hearted groan and a chuckle, the human started to chase after them. Although she would never admit it, Mckinleybooksfan actually rather enjoyed playing this unusual version of hide-and-go-seek with her baby pet.
“Where can I hide this time, Fang?” Orod asked her Doglefox, not really expecting an answer. That was when she spotted it. “It” was a giant flowerpot with nothing in it. Perfect, she thought to herself. She was almost halfway in before she reconsidered. That’s where Mom will look for me first.
Pausing for half a moment to think, Orod decided on a plan. It was perfect. She would flip the pot upside down to make it look like she was hiding there, and find a different place to conceal herself. Quickly Orod started to overturn the pot.
Mckinleybooksfan paused for a bit to catch her breath. That Lupe could run so fast for her size! While resting against the wall, she heard what sounded like her Peophin had accidentally launched her bed from her third-story room again. As Aear was visiting her cousins today, however, Mckinleybooksfan knew Orod must have caused this noise. Quite bemused, and a tad worried, Mckinleybooksfan started to jog again. What did that Lupe do?
“Oops.” Orod stared at what she’d just done. Fortunately, the flowerpot was still in one piece. However, it had let out such a cacophonous crash that Orod knew her mother would be there imminently to see what had happened. Realizing that she had significantly less time than previously planned, Orod started jogging again. There, just to the left of her current position, was an open door into the bamboo “Christmas Floor.” Surely she would be able to find someplace to hide in there.
Mckinleybooksfan took one look at the garden and burst out laughing. Apparently her youngster had attempted to hide in her new flower pot, and the pot had instead fallen over and bounced on her stone tiles. Or maybe not... she thought. The Flower Pot was easily two to three times as large as the Lupe, so it would have required a good deal of effort on Orod’s part to even intentionally flip it over. That clever little pup, trying to throw me off track!
Still somewhat shocked by her pet’s ambitious tipping project, the human returned the pot to its fully upright position. Much to her relief, there wasn’t even a scratch in the paint.
Orod had found an excellent place of concealment. Inside the “Christmas Floor” was a collection of Advent Calendar items. Among them was a Rocking Ogrin. Perfect. The toy was close enough to the wall that she could hide beside the Ogrin, between one of its legs and the wall, without being obvious. What she hadn’t counted on were her muddy paw prints, even more distinct since her excursion through the damp garden. As she mostly relied on her sense of smell and her hearing, it rarely occurred to her that other beings used their eyes to track their “prey.”
After Mckinleybooksfan finished straightening the pot, she looked around for more signs of her Lupe. Upon spotting paw prints in the mud leading to the “Christmas Floor” of her house, Mckinleybooksfan let out another incredulous chuckle. That Lupe was so oblivious on occasion!
Orod grew concerned when she heard her mom enter. She knew, however, that it would be better to stay in one place rather than to run. After all, there was always the slim possibility that her mom would overlook her hiding place. If she ran, she would definitely be caught. Besides, her legs were getting sore.
When Mckinleybooksfan entered, however, she closed and locked the door, pretended to not spot the muddy paw prints on the bamboo floor, and “scanned” the room for her pet. In reality, she knew where her Lupe puppy was hiding, but also knew that Orod would start running again as soon as she knew her hiding place had been discovered. Mckinleybooksfan really didn’t want to run more just now.
When Orod heard her Mom “go out” the other door, and close it, she heaved a sigh of relief. She therefore jumped with a yelp, quite startled, when her Mom grabbed her from over the side of the Ogrin and whispered “Boo!” directly in her ear.
After emitting a high-pitched yelp, Orod half glared at Fang for not giving her a proper warning. She then promptly turned around and gave her mother a mischievous lick on the nose, while quite deliberately getting mud on Mckinleybooksfan’s white shirt.
Mckinleybooksfan just laughed and brought Orod through the house, into the tub.
In her bath, Orod delighted in periodically shaking herself and spraying her mother with shampoo. Her mother would then laugh good-naturedly and quickly try to shield herself from the flying soap.
“Stop that!” she said while trying to defend her glasses one time.
“But Mom, you’re the one who’s getting me wet!” the baby promptly replied. “This way I dry faster!”
“But why do you need to be dry, if you’re just going to get wet again?”
“You could always end my bath early!” They both laughed at that.
“Nice try. Now come over so I can get some conditioner in your tail.” And that ended that conversation.
Finally, the bath was over.
“There, that wasn’t so bad, now, was it?” Mother asked Orod.
“I am not going to answer such an infuriating question,” the baby replied with fake haughtiness.
Mckinleybooksfan sighed resignedly and scratched the puppy’s no-longer-muddy ears. “Well, try to stay cleaner, then,” she answered, leaving the room.
As soon as her mom closed the door, Orod smiled. She loved getting a bath almost as much as she loved running and hiding from one. The Lupe turned to her bed and flopped down with a contented sigh. Already she was plotting her next mud puddle excursion.
Author’s Note: Thanks again to Parmadur (my sister) and my mom for their wonderful editing & feedback! Yes, this is (very loosely) based on true stories of my dog... Any and all Neomail is definitely welcome. :)