The Kad Who Cried Woof
Siyana looked at herself in front of the mirror. Her soft yellow fur glistened in the sunlight coming from the window and made her eyes sparkle. Of course, all kadoaties were beautiful in their own way, but she had it all. Looks, personality, pretty much the whole package. But she knew that nothing and no one was perfect. She opened her mouth, “woof.”
Siyana sighed. Of all the things that had to be wrong with her, it had to be not being able to say “mew”.
Once upon a time, in a land far away lived the most prettiest kadoatie but the only thing she could not do was mew, she thought sadly.
The door creaked open. Siyana’s owner, Tess looked at her curiously. “What are you doing?”
“Nothing,” she replied. Tess was honestly the kindest, most sweetest petpet owner in all of Neopian history. She found Siyana wondering around Neopia Central and decided to take her into the family. Of course, Tess noticed Siyana’s little flaw, but welcomed her with open arms.
“Well, anyway, I was planning to go for a walk around the neighbourhood. Want to come?” Tess asked.
Siyana looked away from the mirror. “Sure.”
It was the perfect day for a walk. Sunny with a couple of clouds floating around. Turning the corner was another pet and his kadoatie. Siyana wasn’t in the mood for mingling but she could at least say hi.
“Hello, Tess! Nice day today,” Jared, the petpet owner said.
“Hi, Jared. And yes, it is.” Tess stared down at Siyana. “Say hi,” she whispered.
“Woof?” Jared laughed. “Doesn’t she mean mew?”
“Yeah, Siyana here has a little problem with mewing.”
Jared’s kadoatie looked at Siyana like she was crazy. Siyana looked at the ground. She already knew what was probably going through the kadoatie’s mind. Something like “how could a kadoatie not be able to mew?” or “what a disgrace” or even worse, a never ending laugh.
Siyana eyes began to water. Hold back the tears, save them for later, she thought.
She forced herself to smile. It was a really sad, fake smile but it was all she could muster up. “I guess there’s just something wrong with my brain.”
“Well anyway, we should get going,” Tess said. “It was nice seeing you, Jared.”
“You too. Goodbye.”
Siyana stared at the green glow of the digital clock. Twelve fifty-seven.
She sighed. Siyana had been crying nonstop for the past hour and now she felt like there were no more tears left for her to cry. Her little incident with Jared and his kadoatie had left her depressed. For an outsider, it may not seem like such a huge deal. Having a woof instead of a mew may even seem pretty cool, but living it her whole entire life made her hate it.
Siyana looked back on her past. Everyone making fun of her and talking behind her back. Sure, she could probably live through that, but there was more. The worst part was that the look on Tess’ face. The embarrassment that came when people laughed at her kadoatie. Siyana shut her eyes. She couldn’t take it anymore. And from that she decided that she would change. No matter what it took she would do it.
Siyana came up with the perfect plan. She had heard of a witch named Sophie that could maybe solve her problem with her magic.
One slight problem, the kadoatie thought. She lives in the Haunted Woods.
Siyana wasn’t scared too easily, but the Haunted Woods were a little beyond terrifying.
Oh well, too bad, don’t be such a scaredy kad, she thought to herself.
Siyana jumped off the bed and headed for the window. Suddenly something occurred to her. What if she never returned? What if something bad happened to her? What if she would be lost forever?
Siyana already felt homesick No, no, she shook her head. She would be fine. She just hoped Tess would be too.
The sky was dark, but the stars made a clear path from Neopia Central to the Haunted Woods. Siyana had everything she needed for her journey: a backpack with food and water, plus an extra small sweater Tess knitted for her in case it got cold. Just thinking of Tess made her want to stop and head back home like a good little girl.
It was night time and she was alone. Siyana could tell she was close to the Haunted Woods because of the change of trees. Instead of the bushy green trees in Neopia Central, they slowly deformed into the grey lifeless ones. She thought she even saw faces in some of the trees. Siyana shivered. She never wanted to be alone willingly, but she had to remind herself why she was here. She looked around. At the end of the dark path, something caught her eye. Large shades of orange and brown stood less than two meters away from where the small kadoatie was standing.
The Brain Tree, she thought, astonished. Siyana looked up to the tall, enormous tree for what felt like more than a minute.
"Is it not considered rude to stare?" he asked.
"Oh, umm, sorry..."
"Is something wrong, little one?"
"Woof..." Siyana nodded.
The Brain Tree looked confused but then returned to his blank stare. "Well then, what's the problem? I can't help you if you don't say anything."
"I'm looking for a witch named Sophie. Do you know where I can find her?" Siyana asked, walking closer to the gigantic tree.
"Of course I know where she is. But I will not help you until you help me. You see, I collect information and so if you give me an answer, then I will give you yours."
Siyana hesitated. “Deal,” she said.
There was no way she was backing out now.
“Barry Nimmo, Barry Nimmo, Barry Nimmo,” Siyana chanted out loud, trying to remember the name of the pet that the Brain Tree gave her. She had to figure when and where this pet had died. She put on her knitted sweater and took out a snack. Siyana had no idea what time it was but there was a sudden chill in the air that made her stomach twist.
It must be getting late, she decided.
That’s when Siyana saw it. Stapled to a wall was a sign.
The shocked kadoatie read the paper out loud. “Missing, Siyana the yellow kadoatie, if found reward will be offered.” The sign contained a picture of Siyana with the information needed to contact Tess.
Siyana was frozen. She never even considered what would actually happen once she left. The waterworks started without warning.
Tess must be worried sick. She choked at the thought.
Siyana suddenly felt woozy. Maybe it was later than she thought. Her eyelids felt heavy and heavier and then everything went black. She could have sworn she heard a laugh...
Siyana strangely felt comfortable. It was warm and the smell of spices filled the air. Siyana yawned. She must have fallen asleep on a bush in the forest or something. Her eyes fluttered open.
Why is there a blanket on me? wondered Siyana.
Siyana looked around. She was in a dimly lit room made of wooden planks with cobwebs in the corners. The sound of someone humming sounded in her ears. Siyana eyes flashed to the opposite side of the room. There she was--the witch herself perched on a stool in front of a cauldron. Sophie looked up from the book she was reading.
“Well, good morning, sleepy head!” She smiled. “I thought you would be asleep forever.”
Siyana’s jaw dropped.
“Oh, how rude of me, although I’m sure you already know who I am, I never got to introduce myself.” Sophie jumped up and walked towards the small kadoatie. “I’m Sophie and you must be Siyana. I hear you’ve been looking for me.”
“Uhh... yes, I’m Siyana. Nice to meet you.” She hesitated. “How did you know I was looking for you?”
The witch shrugged. “I overheard you and the Brain Tree talking. I would have interrupted, but that would have been rude, so I just waited for you to find my home,” she explained. “After a couple hours, I saw you in the forest again but alone, going the opposite direction of my house. I was going to tell you, but I thought you would freak out on me if I just came out of nowhere and so I cast a spell on you so you would fall asleep. And then voila! Here you are now!” Sophie said, out of breath.
“Oh,” was all Siyana could say.
“So, what do you need me for?”
“My woof,” she said, looking at the ground.
“Your woof? You mean you can’t mew?” she asked, raising her eyebrows.
The kadoatie nodded. “I’ll do anything.”
Sophie looked at the pleading kadoatie, deciding.
“I’ll just give you one of my potions.” She nodded, her face turned to her shelf full of bottles. “Now, let’s see... Ah! Here we go.”
Sophie shook her head. “There’s a catch, though. Once you drink it, you’ll never be able to get your woof back,” Sophie warned.
“I’m fine with that.”
Sophie poured out the potion into a small bowl and set it down in front of Siyana. “Don’t do something you’re going to regret. Although this is your choice.”
Siyana looked down at the bowl. The reflection of herself caught her attention. Yesterday morning flashed back in her head. If she was pretty, had great personality, to sum it up the whole entire package, then why was it such a big deal to have a bark?
The answer came to her. There was no answer. She was already perfect exactly the way she was.
“I’m perfect by not being perfect,” Siyana muttered.
“Pardon me?” Sophie asked.
“I’m perfect by not being perfect!” she exclaimed, jumping up and down.
Sophie laughed. “Of course you are. Everyone is.”
“I will never let you out of my sight ever again,” Tess said, hugging Siyana in an embrace so tight she could barely breathe.
“I’m sorry,” Siyana apologized. She looked at her owner. Her eyes looked relieved but tired.
Tess kissed Siyana’s forehead. “I’m just glad you’re okay.”
Siyana sighed. And they all lived happily ever after, she thought.