The Song of the Pound
Cold, dark, ominous. The place I was forced to call home.
Three... four.... something years ago I was abandoned.
Of course, it’s hard to remember. All I can feel is a sense of sadness and betrayal. No other emotion ever runs up in my mind.
I've already given up my hope, just like many others.
The pound is filled with the cries and screams of other pets. Screams of utter betrayal, cries of loss of hope, cries of misery. The Pound is an evil place to live.
I lay down on the floor, bored, but mostly emotionless.
My hands were running wildly all over my body, around my wings, tail, scratching my Neopox I’d caught in here. I swear I was scratching so hard my scales would come off.
My mind was completely blank, as usual. I was tensed up, but it was hard to relax with Neopox. I closed my eyes, and shut out the screams around me.
I couldn't remember the face of my owner. The name, my siblings. All I could remember was the horror I felt being left here, but like I said, I'd long since given up hope.
My best friend was a red JubJub, Freddy. Well, his name was 9f_14_9999_, but of course, that’s pretty hard to pronounce. A green Acara, 9jjosie__, or Josie, was in here along with me and Freddy. My name is Hilo, the blue Scorchio. 9hi9lo___000pet is, of course, my full name, but I guess none of that matters right now.
I looked up to Freddy, his face in his feet, bored like me. Or maybe he was struggling to hold back the pain.
Then suddenly the crying stopped.
For no reason specifically, the crying stopped. For one golden moment, no one screamed. No one whimpered. No sound entered the pound. Probably they’d given up hope, or cried themselves to sleep. Either way, there was silence.
Then I noticed one lone sound.
Dripping. Some kind of liquid on the ceiling in my cell. Drip. Drip. Drip.
My mind flashed back. The dripping, it was making something... a beat. That was the word. A beat. Then I remembered a long time ago, when I still had an owner. The screams of the crowd, the amp turned up. The yells of the lead singer. The... beat.... Of a drum. A name... Sticks N Stones. A concert I went to. I remembered how much I loved the sound. Music, Filling the air. I remember how much I cheered for them, for the Sticks N Stones. My... sister, a red Chia, smiling at me. Something rose up in my mind, some emotion I hadn't felt in a while. Hope. A sense of family. And one more word rose in my mind.... music.
My mind snapped back to reality. The mysterious liquid was still dripping. Drip. Drip. Drip. And the pound was still, just for the second, silent.
Then I realized my chance. I quickly got to my feet. Then my foot started moving. Tapping in rhythm to the beat. Tap. Tap. Tap. And then my hands went together in between the beats to clap, making a better rhythm. Tap, clap. Tap, clap. Tap. clap. Josie caught what I was doing. She tapped her foot too. Taptap clap. Taptap clap. Taptap clap. A Skeith in another cell caught on, too. He beat his belly, making a sloshing sound from the Skeith Juice Cocktail he just ate. Slosh, slosh. Slosh, slosh.
Freddy found a key ring, one of his last possessions. He smiled to me, and beat it against the metal bars. Slosh, pingping! Slosh, pingping! Taptap clap. Slosh, pingping!
Another neopet shook an unidentified object to make a maraca sound.
Slosh, pingping! Slosh pingping! Shakeashakeashakeashakea slosh pingping!
By now, you couldn't even hear the dripping. Another neopet joined in, then another. Suddenly the whole pound was filled with wonderful sounds. Music.... something none of us had heard in a long time.
Then I moved my feet. They were tapping to the beat. My arms were swinging around as I ran around the room. Josie joined in, then Freddy. I held hands with Josie and swung around in a dance. Freddy hopped around the room. We swung around, and other pets peeked at our cell. They joined in, if they weren't already playing music. For the first time ever, the pound was filled with joy, happiness, and the tiniest sliver of hope as our hearts sang out to the world.
Sloshy pingping! Shakea rattarattarattaratta ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! HHHHHHSHHHHH Sloshy pingping!
Then I heard a voice. Then another. They were shouting words to the beat of the music. They were singing. And they all sounded fantastic.
We all started singing, dancing, playing music. We were all just a little bit closer to each other, just a little bit closer to the world.
We were all joyous of the sounds coming from the pound. Almost like a big, musical family. At the thought of the word family, I remembered my sister. Her laugh, the way she’d high-five too hard, her love of candy and baked food. I sat down in despair, knowing I’d never see her again.
Then Josie turned to me. “What’s wrong?” she asked, smiling.
A family. The pound was my family now. Josie was my sister. Freddy was my brother. I realized I didn’t need some red Chia I hardly remembered. We were all a family now. We were brothers and sisters. We had gone through the same things, and now we were really close.
Finally, emotions rushed through my head. The first emotions I had felt in years. Joy, despair over my sister, happiness, warmth, a feeling of protection as me, Josie, and Freddy leaped along the room, dancing our hearts out.
I’m not sure I’ll ever feel like that again. As of now, Freddy, Josie, and I are still in the same cell, comforting each other. I can’t say we’re alone in our cells, like I would have said before. No, we weren’t alone, we had each other. No matter how much our stomachs rumbled each day, we had each other, and a family and friendship is all we need. All we have, and all we need.
Remembering my sister gave me sadness, sure, but it also helped me realize how much I treasured having Freddy and Josie in my life.
The Song of the Pound has taught us all something. We are one, no matter how much we starve each day, and wait in here for someone who might not ever come. We are one. We are a family, supporting each other for the rest of our lives. We are united. We are all together. All for one, and one for all.
Each day, some heartless owner sends their pet here, and they cry their heart out. Each day, some pet is overflowing with emotions after being adopted and finding a home. Each day we wait. But I’m glad of the Song of the Pound. It gave me something, something most pets in here don’t have. Something most pets don’t realize they have. Something most pets don’t appreciate. They don’t realize how special this one, tiny, small thing that they are lucky to have really is. Something I will treasure forever.