The Turkey Day Adventure
Mac looked with impatient eyes to his owner, Lucy. The silly Acara had forgotten to put food in his bowl again. With an irritated chirp, the gobbler began to peck at one of her shoestrings.
“Not now, Mac! Can’t you see how close I am to finishing this poem? If you want to play outside so badly, go get Riki to let you out.”
Mac muttered under his breath. Riki the Ruki was not popular with his petpets. His own poor altachuck could most commonly be found hiding under the sofa, cowering away from such adventures as visiting Turmaculus and the dark Symol Hole. Just two days before, his deaver had mysteriously disappeared due to a certain mad kookith scientist.
Lucy ran a distracted paw through her short green fur. She took no notice of Mac as he waddled from the room, shaking his tail in agitation.
A small black nose poked its way out onto the rug in front of the sofa. With a nervous sniff, Pal the altachuck scurried across the floor. He had nearly reached his destination, the Basic Litter Tray in the corner, when Riki came bursting into the room.
“There you are, Pal! Wait until you see the neat new toy I got for you!” He tossed a blechy squeeze toy high into the air. It landed with a squeal on the carpet, teeth bared menacingly at Pal. The poor terrified altachuck fled to the safety of the sofa, screeching at this unexpected attack.
“I should have known better than to get an altachuck. Maybe the petpet lab ray will turn him into something more fun, like a gruslen. Maybe Mac wants to play with it. How about it, Mac? You want the squeaker toy?”
Mac glared back at Riki. What he wanted was lunch. He was a gobbler, not a puppyblew. If Riki had any sense, he would have brought home something interesting, like some corn to peck at.
Though he knew Riki was about as likely to understand him as the fire toaster sitting on the kitchen counter, Mac hopped into the kitchen and began to attack his food dish. Riki followed more slowly, and ran to stop the crazy antics of his sister’s petpet.
“What are you doing? These dishes aren’t cheap, you know. It took me three jobs at the Faerieland employment agency to pay for that! If you can’t behave, you can just go outside and get rid of some of that energy.”
Riki snatched Mac away, carrying him out into the wide backyard. He earned himself many a peck and scratch along the way.
“I’m not the only one who chose my petpet poorly. Stay there until you can act nice or I’ll put you up for sale.”
Mac wandered around the yard, pecking up a few worms which had come to the surface after a recent rain cloud had passed over. They were not nearly enough to satisfy his appetite, but they were better than nothing.
When he reached the fence which kept him and Pal from bothering the neighbors, he followed it to the corner. Unknown to Lucy and her brother, a small corner had rusted away behind a set of bushes they had planted. The gap was much too small for anyone but a petpet to fit through. Mac had to wiggle around the gap carefully to avoid losing his feathers. On the other side of the fence, the marketplace of Neopia stretched out before him. The gobbler looked in wonder on the giant hamburger-shaped food shop of Neopia Central. He ran forward, greedily snatching up a sesame seed, and began to feast.
* * * * *
“Turkey Dinner is sold out.”
“Aww, but I really wanted a Turkey Dinner!”
“My shop restocks every few minutes; please try back later.”
Spike walked away from the food shopkeeper with a scowl on his face. Thanksgiving was just a week away, and the blue Skeith had been watching the Food Shop for days, just waiting for his chance to buy his own Turkey Dinner for that wonderful holiday. Just as he was about to make his purchase a pushy faerie Ogrin had shoved him aside and snatched away the item he had so long wanted. Too impatient to wait for another restock, he left the Food Shop with a frown.
He could see the crowd gathered off to the side of the shop. Curious, he waded into the midst of them to see the oddest sight he had beheld in a long time. A gobbler was making short work of one of the giant sesame seeds which made up the roof decoration of the Food Shop.
“Who owns this petpet!?” A very angry Chia shopkeeper had emerged to see his shop being very slowly eaten. He advanced on the gobbler, a large mixing spoon in hand.
“Wait! He’s my petpet. Naughty little guy is always getting into trouble. Here, I’ll pay you for what he ate, just let me take him home.” If Spike couldn’t have his Turkey Dinner, at least he would not eat omelettes this Thanksgiving.
“I want at least 1,000 Neopoints to repair the damage your petpet has done.”
Spike handed over the points with no argument. Haggling with this shopkeeper simply wasn’t worth it.
He grabbed Mac, tucking the struggling gobbler beneath his arm. “You’ll be even tastier after all you’ve just eaten, my lovely snack.” Mac squawked as loudly as he could. The shoppers around them did turn to look, but to them this was just an example of a poorly trained petpet and his ignorant owner.
Spike shared his Neohome with a Jetsam named Rett. When he saw what Spike carried under his arm, his lips pulled back in a snarl. “You said you’d get us some Turkey Dinners for Thanksgiving. Does that thing look like a Turkey Dinner to you?”
“It’s the next best thing, friend. Turkey Dinners are ridiculously priced. I got this fine petpet for nothing.” He went on to tell all that had happened at the Food Shop.
“Well, since you can’t even manage to restock two simple meals for us, you can prepare our Thanksgiving dinner.”
The week passed quickly, with Spike traveling Neopia to find a cookbook and all the ingredients he would need. Rett kept an eye on Mac, being careful not to let him leave the front door. Mac was fed well, and given a mouldy petpet bed to sleep on. Even his forgetful owner had been kinder than these two. The gobbler wanted more than anything to go home.
The night before Thanksgiving came. Mac fluttered about the house, understanding all too well what the giant pot with all the good smelling items was for. Spike signaled Rett to help him corner the helpless petpet, and Mac had nowhere left to run. He hopped forward, giving Spike a mighty peck on the nose. The Skeith stumbled back with a roar, clutching the giant red bump on his nose. Rett tried to grab hold of the gobbler, lashing out with his teeth to ensure the cunning petpet would not get away. Unfortunately, he also knocked over the Von Roo Clock which had stood beside the window. A crash and the clinking of breaking glass was all Mac needed to hear. The lucky gobbler was out the window in a flash, and running.
Mac did not know how to find his way home. He did not even know how to find his way back to the food shop. Afraid of running into any more hungry Skeiths or Jetsams, he was careful to avoid the main shop roads. He wandered along a grassy path as the sun rose on Thanksgiving day. Hunger once again chased him, but he had no idea where to look for food. Alone and sad, he sat on a wooden stump and began to gobble at the top of his voice.
A startled sound came from the distance. His own dear Lucy bolted around the corner, having heard her petpet’s cries. “Mac! Oh, Mac. I thought I had lost you forever. Come here Mac. I’ve got a wonderful Thanksgiving feast waiting for you at home.”
Mac was welcomed home with a giant stack of corn. The gobbler happily began to tear into the feast, ignoring his surroundings until he heard a growl from across the room. It appeared the shy Pal had been turned into a Robot Doglefox. Even as a bolder petpet, Pal found himself to be no match for a hungry gobbler with a stack of corn at stake.
As for Spike and Rett, they did get a sort of Thanksgiving dinner. Much to their irritation, Turkey and Cranberry still could not entirely hide the taste of omelette.