The Quiggle Who Wanted a Home
One evening, UnaRae was reclining on the swing chair on the front porch of her Neohome in the gloomy Haunted Woods. The bare trees in the front yard looked a bit ragged, thought the perky young Koi, as she spread out a yellow fin and gazed at it critically. Her brothers were inside, roughhousing as always, and Luann, their owner, had gone to Mystery Island to spend some time with their cousins, which was reasonable.
Una had been left in charge, like always. Luann was the best owner in Neopia, Una thought drowsily, as she patted the cushions under her tummy, and yawned lazily. She sat bolt upright, however, when a certain sound reached her ears, if the two small pits behind her eyes, near her head flukes, could be counted as ears. It was a rustling noise, coming from a bush on the left. Una stood up cautiously, and just as cautiously, went over toward the source of the noise.
"Hallo? Who's there?" called the Koi, feeling slightly spooked, despite having called the Haunted Woods her home for several years, already. She pushed back the branches with a trembling fin, then jumped back in surprise when she saw the pair of bulging eyes staring right at her.
"AHHHHH! MONSTER!" shrieked Una, her heart in her mouth as she landed with a thud on the turf. The creature came out of the bushes, and Una relaxed as she realised that the "monster" was in reality a young Quiggle, who looked equally frightened. The Quiggle, a female, looked rather thin, was covered in dirt, and seemed rather young, to boot, but she held out a hand to the Koi, who took it and accepted help in regaining her standing.
"Oh dear, I'm so sorry I scared you," the Quiggle exclaimed, her eyes full of terror, "but I'm not here to hurt anyone. Really, I'm not! Only, do you have any food in the house to spare? I'm really hungry! I've not eaten in a long time and I'm desperately hungry!" The Quiggle sniffled and wiped away a tear. Una looked at her, and was sorry for her. She nodded and went into her Neohome, then returned moments later with a can of Musho Mushy Peas and a piece of flat bread. The Quiggle smiled, thanked Una, and then attacked the food.
"Where are you from?" Una asked, once the last crumb had disappeared. Her companion sat down on the steps and burst into tears, and Una looked at her in mute sympathy. The Quiggle wept for a few minutes, then she finally calmed down a bit, got quiet, and looked at Una with wide, frightened eyes.
"I ran away from the pound," the Quiggle explained, accepting a tissue from the Koi who sat next to her. "I had been taken there and left in the hopes I would find a better owner. I was scared to be there, so one night I snuck out and came here. I hid in that bush, and I've been there for a couple days. I don't want to go back to the pound. I want to have a home and be a happy Quiggle, like I used to be before the pound."
Una clucked her tongue, then stood up and led the Quiggle inside. Her brothers, who were all in the sitting room, stood up upon seeing the stranger with their sister, who poured out the story and wiped her eyes after she finished. Zadar tugged at an ear, after all was said and done, as he always did when he was deep in thought. Ccaenine said nothing, but his beady black eyes were reassuring to Lombrezz. Weeto also remained silent, yet he, too, seemed to offer comfort to the lonely Quiggle. After all, every pet deserved to have a home.
At that moment, the front door opened, and Luann came into the sitting room. She halted in confusion when she noticed the Quiggle sitting next to Una on the sofa, and Una took that moment to explain everything as it had happened. Luann frowned, and pressed her lips into a thin line, but not one word did she say before Una was finished. Then, she approached the Quiggle, who stood up and faced the human girl on wobbling knees.
"Well, that's quite a story," Luann remarked, staring at the Quiggle with some interest. "No doubt that I believe it. Una knows honesty, and so do I. What's your name, by the way?"
"Lombrezz," the Quiggle supplied, wringing her hands as she spoke, but maintaining eye contact. "It's not the best name in Neopia, but it's mine, nevertheless."
"Well, Lombrezz, surely you must know there are already four pets living in this Neohome. I'm not particularly interested in adopting another pet, and a Quiggle is certainly not the sort of pet I'd adopt, if I was going to adopt another pet to begin with. However, you may remain here for the night as a guest. We'll decide what's to be done in the morning."
Una stared at her owner, then stood up and took Lombrezz to her room. Lombrezz looked at everything in Una's room, but she didn't touch anything. Then, Una opened up her closet. The Quiggle's eyes lit up after seeing all the pretty dresses hanging in rows. Inspired, Una pulled out several dresses, and handed them to Lombrezz.
"Here, try these on. You're a nice Quiggle, Lombrezz, and I think these dresses would look nice on you. Go on, try them on!" Lombrezz obeyed, and tried on the dresses. Una clapped her fins, and Lombrezz giggled, then curtsied after trying on each dress. Their laughter brought Luann to the room, and seeing the plump Quiggle in those pretty dresses, looking very different, gave her a change of heart.
The next morning, Luann called Lombrezz to her after breakfast, which had been pleasant, despite some obvious tension in the air. It was plain to be seen that Luann had done some serious thinking. She paced about the room for a moment, then sat down across from the Quiggle, a serious expression in her eyes.
"Lombrezz, perhaps you can stay with us, after all. Not here, but with my little group who live in Meridell. I remembered there's room for one more over there, and you'll be welcome to visit us here whenever you wish, too. If you're interested, I'll take you to Meridell in a while."
Lombrezz smiled, her eyes shining with happiness, and so it was settled. After a brief stop at the pound to pay a necessary fee, once Luann pointed out that honesty was a wise policy, Lombrezz found herself settled into her new home in Meridell with a brother and two sisters, plus a closet full of pretty clothes to wear, besides!
How it all turned out goes this way: Lombrezz continues to reside in Meridell, coming by to visit Una often, and join her for picnics, tea parties, and other delights, in between completing her daily chores on the farm, of course. She now has a petpet Karren, called Marion, and is happy as can be with her awesome owner, and her amazing new family. Una, too, is satisfied with the outcome, and visits her cousin often, and good times are enjoyed by all.
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