On the Hunt
Art by luna4400
Author's note: This is dedicated to my friend puppy_girl252
Zoey was a thirteen-year-old red Xweetok that lived in the beautiful and peaceful outskirts of Altador. She was very fond of Altador because of the beautiful green fields and many trees that covered the place.
“Zoey! Are you coming with me or staying here?” Zoey’s older sister Sapphire the blue Lupe asked. Sapphire was going to Faerieland to buy books and some furniture for her room.
“No thank you,” Zoey replied. She sat at the kitchen table, counting out her neopoints she had saved over the years. Zoey really wanted to buy two things: a petpet for herself, and a speckled paintbrush to paint herself. However, Zoey only had seventy thousand neopoints, and decided to buy herself a petpet.
“Okay then.” Sapphire smiled. “Jimmy and Freddy are in their room playing cheat if you need them. Bye!”
“Bye.” Zoey smiled. She watched her sister walk out the door. “Man, what petpet should I get?” Zoey asked herself. She wanted a petpet that was kind and sweet, but playful as well. A petpet she could hug and squeeze, then turn around and wrestle if she wanted to.
Zoey walked upstairs to her little brothers’ room. Jimmy the yellow JubJub and Freddy the green Kiko were sitting down on their beanbag chairs playing Cheat as Sapphire said. “Hey, sis,” Jimmy greeted her.
“Hey,” Zoey greeted him back.
Zoey stood at their doorway for a few moments before Freddy asked, “Can we help you?”
“Actually, you can,” Zoey answered. “I want to go out and buy myself a petpet. Which one should I buy?”
“Buy an Ona, they’re cute,” Jimmy answered.
“What are Onas like?” Zoey asked.
“I don’t know, I don’t own one, but the description for them says they just want to be cuddled,” Freddy answered.
“Is that it?” Zoey asked.
“Why, sis? What kind of a petpet are you looking for?” Jimmy questioned.
“Oh... I don’t know,” Zoey answered.
“Well, my suggestion to you is that you look around Neopia for a petpet that suits you,” Freddy told his sister. “Now let us get back to our card game, please.”
“Alright, well, I’ll be out for a while, but I’ll be back before dinner.” Zoey sighed, leaving.
As she left, she heard Freddy shout, “Ha! I knew you didn’t have two queens! Cheater!”
Bounding down the stairs and literally flying out the front door, Zoey started a fast run through the tall green grass fields of Altador.
After thoughtlessly running through the grassy fields, Zoey finally stopped and stood still panting. “Man, I need water,” Zoey panted. She looked around and didn’t know where she was exactly. She must’ve run somewhere she had never been. “Maybe there is a creek nearby,” Zoey told herself.
She searched around for ten minutes, and finally found a small clean creek. After taking a nice long drink, Zoey sat up and soaked up the nice warm sunshine bounding down on her back. “If I had a petpet, I wouldn’t talk to myself so much,” Zoey said. “Man, I’m doing it right now!”
“And just what do you think you’re doing at my creek?” a voice asked.
Zoey turned around to see a Doglefox sitting on a pile of rocks across the creek. One brow was raised, and a fang stuck out from his mouth. Zoey completely ignored his angry expression and squealed, “Hey there, cutie!”
The Doglefox growled and put himself into a fighting position. “I asked you a question,” he hissed. “What are you doing at my creek?”
Zoey’s smile disappeared when she saw the Doglefox become defensive. “Um...” she answered, “I was running and then I got lost, so I took a drink out of your creek.”
“Well, now that you’ve had your drink, you can leave,” the Doglefox ordered, sitting back down on the rocks.
“My name is Zoey.” Zoey smiled.
“I never asked for an introduction,” the Doglefox replied rudely. He saw that Zoey was a red Xweetok, and he huffed, “Red.”
“My name is not Red. It’s Zoey. What is yours?”
“None of your business Red,” the Doglefox answered, completely dismissing the first part of what Zoey just said.
“Hey, do you have an owner?” Zoey asked.
“Maybe, maybe not. Why would you like to know?” the Doglefox retorted.
Even though this Doglefox was completely rude, Zoey couldn’t help but want to keep him. He was so cute with his orange fur and beady black eyes. “Well, I was thinking maybe you’d like to be my petpet.”
The Doglefox raised his brow. “Me? You want me as your petpet?”
“Yeah. I hope we can be friends as well. See, I’ve always wanted-.”
“Yeah, yeah, that’s great,” the Doglefox interrupted. He began to slink along the edge of the creek, his tail swishing back and forth. “You may have me,” the Doglefox began, “if you can catch me.”
Zoey blinked in confusion. “What?” she asked.
“You heard me,” the Doglefox answered. “You may have me as your pet but first you have to catch me. You must hunt me, and prove yourself worthy to me for me to be in your possession.”
“Oh, you have got to be kidding me,” Zoey replied. “I should just go buy a petpet.”
“Should you?” the Doglefox asked. He tilted his head to the side, and purposely made his tail fluffier and more irresistible. “I mean look at me, I’m a one of a kind beauty,” the Doglefox smiled, “as well as free.”
That Zoey couldn’t argue with. She could catch this Doglefox and use her points to buy a speckled paintbrush. Plus, she really wanted that Doglefox as a friend and a petpet. “Okay,” Zoey sighed, “I’ll play your little game.”
“It is not a game,” the Doglefox objected. “It’s a hunt, as well as a test of your skill.”
“So I have to find you, but will it be here in this field?”
“Yes, you have to try and find me here in Altador.”
“What are the boundary lines?”
Zoey put her paws on her hips stubbornly. “Yes, boundary lines. I’m not going to chase you all over Altador. So how about you can’t leave this giant field?”
The Doglefox growled slightly. “Fine,” he agreed reluctantly. And with a final swish of his tail, the Doglefox winked and said, “Good luck, Red.” Then wham! He was nowhere to be seen!
So far fifteen minutes had passed in the hunt, and Zoey couldn’t find the Doglefox anyway. There were a lot of areas to search in; the field was three acres long, and was mainly covered in tall meadow grass. However, Zoey was a Xweetok and she was naturally born with great hearing, knowledge on how to sneak, and tracking skills.
Zoey carefully stepped through the tall battlefield grass. Her eyes scanned her surroundings, carefully searching for the orange of the Doglefox. Finally she spotted her prey and crouched down low.
The Doglefox was on a low tree branch, sitting there obliviously. Zoey crouched down further down, then pounced for her prey! “A plushie?” Zoey asked herself. The Doglefox was a mere plushie, a decoy. Before Zoey could plan her next move, she heard a snap noise.
“Hey, what gives?” Zoey demanded. She was suddenly hanging upside down by a rope that was camouflaged to look like grass!
“Looks like you need to be more careful, Red.” The real Doglefox snickered mischievously.
“You’re a cheater!” Zoey exclaimed.
“Me? A cheater? No, you’re just gullible. You’ll certainly have to try harder,” the Doglefox chuckled, running off.
With a stressed (and annoyed) sigh, Zoey used her claws to cut the rope, falling down on her back. “Ow,” Zoey mumbled, getting up again. “It looks like I’m going to have to play smarter...”
Zoey was once again on the prowl, and carefully sneaked through the grass. After twenty more tiring minutes of prowling, she saw the Doglefox at the very edge of the fields. “He’s almost crossed the boundary line,” Zoey growled to herself.
Luckily, Zoey had the element of surprise on the Doglefox, because his back was to her. She was now only a few feet away from him, and slowly inching closer. Her heart felt like it was beating ten times faster than usual, and she thought it was beating so loud the Doglefox could hear. She moved her left foot and made a wrong step-
Her foot snapped a twig, and the Doglefox heard her, turning around to see her. “Ah!” he shrieked, dashing off!
“No way you’re running! You’re mine!” Zoey cried, running after him! The two bounded past the field’s boundary lines, and headed into the forest.
Zoey was only five feet behind the Doglefox, and was catching him quick! “You’re certainly a fast runner, Red,” the Doglefox said while still running.
“That I am,” Zoey replied. Now she was four feet behind him.
“Well, let’s see if you’re a good- climber!” Suddenly the Doglefox leaped into a tree, and then started running across the many branches!
“Oh, I’ll show you!” Zoey exclaimed. Immediately she jumped up the tree, and started following him. Unfortunately for her, her weight was more than the Doglefox’s, so she couldn’t go across the branches as fast.
Now the Doglefox was nearly a tree ahead of her! Zoey vigilantly but hastily stepped through the branches, carefully not stepping on a weak branch.
The chase in the trees proceeded, until Zoey found a vine. Grabbing onto the vine with her front paws, Zoey swung herself towards the unsuspecting Doglefox! “You’re mine!” Zoey shouted as she flew through the air! She let go of the tree vine and landed right next to the running Doglefox!
Ironically, Zoey didn’t think about her weight landing full force on the tree branch the Doglefox was on. He happened to be on a branch that could only support his weight. So when she landed next to him, the branch they were on snapped and they fell on the grass with a thump!
“Yes! You’re mine! You’re all mine!” Zoey laughed, her paws holding on to the Doglefox’s tail!
“Shush!” the Doglefox hushed. “Be quiet!” He pointed to a cave nestled up on a small hill, with a sleeping dark faerie inside. Zoey and the Doglefox must’ve run to where Scale the dark faerie lived. She was only ten or twelve feet away from the two, and was sound asleep.
Scale was one of the few dark faeries that resided in the forests and fields of Altador. Zoey and the Doglefox both knew that she was not a kind faerie (like most dark faeries), and would do something horrible to them if they woke her up.
Still holding on to the Doglefox’s tail, Zoey carefully stood up; the only noise made was the crunching of the green grass. The Doglefox nestled on Zoey’s shoulder, and she carefully stepped away from Scale.
Step by step, she got further and further away. While stepping, Zoey didn’t see a huge pointy pebble in the grass. So when she stepped on it, she gave out a small but loud, “Ah!”
And that was all it took to wake Scale up. The dark faerie rose up and yelled, “You two dare wake me from my slumber? You shall pay for that! I’ll turn you two into pumpkins!”
“Pumpkins are so overrated,” the Doglefox replied. Then he and Zoey shot off running, faster than before!
“I’ll get you!” Scale roared, flying after them!
“What do we do?” the Doglefox asked Zoey, while they were being chased.
“How should I know?” Zoey retorted. But an idea suddenly popped into her head, and Zoey grinned. “Keep running towards your creek!”
Scale was still chasing after Zoey and the Doglefox, when suddenly she didn’t see them anymore. “Where are you hiding, cowards?” Scale snarled. “Come out, come out wherever you are.” Scale looked around but didn’t find the Xweetok and Doglefox. With an irritated scream she flew off.
Rapidly the Doglefox and Zoey poked their heads up out of the water. They hid in the creek, knowing Scale wouldn’t think to look there. Zoey tiredly lay on the grass and watched the skies; it would be dinnertime soon.
“You know, Red, I like you.” The Doglefox smiled. He curled up on Zoey’s chest. “You may have me as your petpet.”
“Really?” Zoey asked excitedly. The Doglefox nodded. “Hooray!” Zoey cheered. She took a long hard look at the Doglefox. “I suppose I should name you.”
“That would be nice.”
“Hmm. What should I name you?” Zoey asked herself. “Well, I should name you Difficult! But that’s not good.”
“How about Chase?” the Doglefox suggested.
“Chase. I like that name.” Zoey smiled. “Your new name is Chase.”
The sun began to set, and Zoey and Chase made their way to their home.