Mutants Have Feelings Too
Imagine having three eyes or abnormally large teeth or even your brain on the outside like Albert here. How would it feel to be so different visually but the same inside? Would you feel outcast or alone? This is how many Mutant pets in Neopia today feel and finally they have decided to speak out against the horrific discrimination they suffer just because of their looks. Today I will be talking to Albert, the Mutant Kacheek many of you might know from the Mutant Graveyard of Doom.
Katie: Hello Albert, how are you feeling today?
Albert looks around like a trapped Cybunny, eyes large and frightened, hands shaking like leaves.
Albert: I’m good, thanks. It’s just... strange to be here. I mean, to be treated like a normal neopet instead of people pretending I don’t exist or gawping at me like I’ve got three heads or something. I guess I’m not used to being spoken to anymore, it’s just... easier this way. It has been ever since I was changed.
Katie: Could you describe to me how you were changed, and what it felt like? It might help everyone understand what you feel a bit better instead of just seeing the surface.
Albert: I was in the Haunted Woods, trying to see if plants would grow without light (like you do). Gardening was and still is my passion, and I lingered too long. Back then in the days when I was naive young and spotted, I didn’t realise what a terrible place it was. The Esophagor cursed me when I wasn’t looking. It was hot and then cold and then felt like I was being moulded. Even after it had finished, I didn’t realise what had happened until I caught sight of myself, months later, finding the Esophagor food, in a stagnant pond. You could never know what it feels like to realise you are a monster on the outside in such a brutal fashion. I felt disgusting and terrible in equal amounts – I had feared Mutant pets until that moment; I had judged by sight.
Katie: That must have been very difficult for you and now you’ve obviously decided that this is the time to change the way people view Mutant pets; could you tell me why you think now is the time to act?
Albert: There are a few reasons. Firstly, as Mutant Day is this week and the time when Mutant-awareness is most high, it will be the optimum time to change preconceived opinions of us. Also, I feel that the misconceptions that Mutants are evil and mean are growing throughout the community; older Neopets are passing incorrect information to younger Neopets. As a result we are being shunned more and more. I can’t go out anymore to get some carrots without making a Baby cry just by looking at it. Another reason is that I know many Mutant Neopets that have been upset by others; there have been many name callings born of ignorance and now it really needs to stop before it gets any worse.
Katie: Are there any incidents that you think are particularly significant? I know this must be difficult for you to talk about.
A long silence.
Albert: Neopians run away from me in the street. Sometimes they scream. I feel as if I’m not worthy of living sometimes though I am often told by my owner that I am her only love. She’s all that keeps me sane. Even in the Neopedia I am described as being “ugly, hideous, disgusting, repulsive, grotesque
unpleasing to the eye” and when I catch sight of myself in the mirror I know it must be true. I am not soft and fluffy like my ‘normal’ Kacheek ex-friends. I don’t have sparkling eyes or a little pink nose... but why does that mean I don’t have feelings? I just want to be a normal Neopian who is accepted socially and I know that feeling is what a lot of others are feeling too. I don’t even have any friends anymore; after I got changed my old friends just started ignoring me. I guess they didn’t want to be seen with me afterwards and I can’t find any friends in Mutants because they are so distrusting because of the way they have been treated... I still like to do the same things, though; I’m still the same person! Gardening is one of my favourite things to do. It’s sad that if I did eventually open gardening shops in Neopia, no one would go in because of an irrational fear. If anything, my skills as a gardener have grown since I was changed; I no longer have anything else to do with my life.
Katie: Instead of feeling left out, you could think of yourself as unique? You are very special amongst so many others that are the same, you must be proud to be different!
Albert: I’m proud that I don’t judge people by their appearances all the time like the rest of Neopia, but... it is hard to be proud of yourself when all the time you feel left out. I do like the idea of being unique, though.
Katie: Exactly. You could even think that as you are unique maybe all the other Neopets are jealous of you and that is why they are being so horrible to you. Though that does not condone their behaviour toward Mutants at all.
Albert: Thank you, for just listening to our side of the story; it means so much to me!
Katie: No problem, it is just what any decent person should do. Are there any last things you would like to tell Neopia to conclude our interview, Albert?
Albert: I’d like you all to just listen before you judge, simple as that.
Katie: Thank you, Albert, for taking the time to talk to me today. I hope you have given all our readers something to think about!
I hope all of you reading this will seriously contemplate changing your attitudes towards pets that are slightly different to others in whatever way. Have a very happy Mutant Day! :D