Zombies: Bitter or Blissful?
I shall likely never forget my last zombie encounter... as unlikely as it was, I doubt anyone would ever forget it. It had been a mild fall afternoon, as I tromped home through the Haunted Woods after enjoying a day at the Haunted Fairgrounds; I took a shadowy short-cut through the thick, knotted trunks of the forest. I peered closely through the gloom as I made my way, and my eyes happened to catch on a small gray paw that was wrapping itself softly around a particularly ancient tree. Curious, I moved closer, noting with shock the strange color, and rather long scars that traced up the arm. To my surprise, a small Usul slithered out from behind the tree- but it was strangely unlike any I had ever seen...
Its large, murky white eyes were blank, and it was obvious that the usual vanity that surrounded Usuls was absent, for its faded blue vest and dark red ribbon placed upon its head were worn and tattered and not at all appealing. Its entire body was laced with scars, and even though the eyes were blank, I could read them easily. They were vengeful, unforgiving and pitiless. I turned and ran.
In fact, I didn’t stop running until I arrived home, out of breath, and quite frightened. I have always been under the impression that zombie pets were like any other of their species, simply painted differently. For you see, a dear friend of mind lives in harmony with her own zombie Peophin, and truly, I have not seen a happier bond between owner and neopet. My own pets and I cannot claim a bond that is nearly as close. This fooled me into believing that all zombie pets are quite happy and cheerful. I’m not usually one to admit to being wrong, but now I shall say so. I was dead wrong.
The first zombie pets were not discovered in Neopia until a little while ago, and then, and even now, little is known about them. As I caught my breath, I pondered...
1. Where exactly did zombie pets come from?
2. Are they... content being zombies?
3. How long have they existed without Neopians knowing?
There were many other questions I had to ask, but the only zombie pet that was willing to answer wished only to answer the first three of my questions, and also wished to remain anonymous. His replies were cryptic, and now that I reflect upon them, not very useful in my quest to understand his species.
1. Where exactly did YOU come from?
2. Some are, and some aren’t.
3. Who knows? Neopians aren’t exactly very observant...
It seems, perhaps, that zombie pets are one of the darker mysteries of Neopia, and wish to remain so, for the answers that the zombie pet gave me were elusive, and he seemed uncomfortable, if not downright hostile when I questioned him further.
As I contemplated the zombie attack from earlier, it occurred to me later that many Neopians and innocent pets could be in danger should they run into a vengeful zombie, as the difference between bitter and blissful is not exactly... well... obvious. I created this simple scenario and some possible solutions to help keep you, or your pets protected. Ahem; A zombie is headed straight for you and your Neopets! What do you do?!
2. If your neopet happens to be a zombie as well, urge it to communicate peacefully with its fellow zombie.
3. If your Neopet is NOT a zombie, then RUN FASTER!!
4. If, to your advantage, you have gained the loyalty of a couple of Meepits, ask them kindly to defend you against this charging zombie.
5. Befriend Boochi, and bring him along with you everywhere, and if, this scenario were to occur, have him zap the angry zombie into a cute, adorable baby pet. Then take the baby pet home.
6. Confuse it with the latest Lenny Conundrum and then run some more!
7. Quick! Report it to TNT!
8. Read up on zombies in either the Zombie Handbook or Zombie Legends.
9. Offer the angry zombie pet an “Usuki Zombie” as a playmate and hope it would prefer to dismember that, rather than you.
10. Offer it something meaty! Zombie Flotsams in particular enjoy meat.
Of course, you can never be sure that a zombie truly wishes to do you harm, but it is better to be safe than sorry, in the occurrence of a zombie attack. I have researched the elusive zombie pet extensively in my travels, and although there is the occasional wild zombie, most really do exist in a peaceful harmony with their owners. Should you ever happen upon an innocent zombie, with an owner, or not, it is most advisable to treat it kindly, as you would any pet. While running into a rogue zombie would be as rare as finding a white weewoo, remember that a happy zombie can change to an irate zombie in less time than it takes to fling a spoonful of yogurt at it. Although I wouldn’t recommend trying that either.
After all, look around you! There are many more Neopians living happily with one or more zombie pets, and with the emergence of the latest zombie Kikos and Ixi, it is sure that they will grow to be just as popular and as well loved as other pets; perhaps even more so.
Perhaps these zombie pets have hidden for years, finally yearning for the love of an owner, to emerge into Neopia. We as Neopians do not want to scare them away before we can truly understand the fascinating history and world behind these types of pets. Beneath the exterior shell, there are creatures who just want to be understood and loved. Should we make an attempt to understand them, who knows what secrets they might divulge, what lands we might find?
And in the end, it is my sincerest wish for Neopians and Zombie pets to live in harmony together.