The Pound Uncovered: Transfer Troubles
Hmm, what's this? This week's issue of the Neopian Times seems to have a strange lump in it. Oh well. You turn to the page featuring The Pound Uncovered: Transfer Troubles and find the source of the mysterious lump. An envelope has been stuck to the inside of your newspaper! The nerve! You are in such a rage you don't notice the print above the envelope, which reads...
Good day, and welcome to another issue of The Pound Uncovered. Today we thought we'd start off with one of our reader questions, sent in by a surprisingly large amount of Neopians: "What is a transfer pet?"
Well, we're glad you asked! A "transfer pet", a term coined by our pain in the neck WONDERFUL Editor-in-Chief, Miss Watchmote, refers to any pet that tends to be transferred from one owner to another frequently for whatever reason; they may give out avatars or simply be very sought after. Sometimes pets are adopted - or even created - specifically for the purpose of trading for another pet.
Today, we present to you, dear readers, an exclusive look into the transfer holdings of the Pound! Our very special reporter agreed with me that it would be best if you could hear their report in its original form.
Hrmp. Well, you've hassled the newspaper seller enough. You suppose the envelope may have come with the paper. Well, only one way to find out.
What in Fyora's name? A tape? Who uses tapes anymore? Haven't they heard of np3 (Neopets Postestranetalgreifer 3)? Conveniently, you happen to have your tape deck right next to you. There is approximately five seconds of static before a voice crackles from the deck.
"Ahem-hem-hem. Dis ish shpeshul weportar Cowawi weporting! Hewwo cite-taye-shuns of Neopia! I am a baby wupe, and for your instruation, I will be-"
The voice cuts off, followed by a series of irregular thumps. It sounds almost like – a baby Lupe chasing after a butterfly? What put that idea into your head? You listen on. A particularly heavy thump is followed by mutters, then the voice returns.
"Ahem, as I was saying – today I will be instigating the dwead'd Pound, and filtwate the twansfer awea. My "human" – I did'd the finger quotetishan thingies by the way 'cause you can' see me – is twansfahing me wight now. He'sh coming out to get me."
Murmurs and the thumps of the human's feet softly flow from your tape deck. There is a conversation, but you can't make out what is being said. A door slams, the volume causing you to jump into the air. A passerby looks at you with a strange expression, but you don't notice. The Lupe is speaking again, but softer than before.
"I have awived! I have to be vewy, vewy qwiet now. It'sh weee-wwy bwight. Just wooking awound, evewyone'sh happy and well fed. They've got toys, but I think they bewong to the pets. I'm going to go tawk to one of them.
The new voice is refined: a royal, or perhaps faerie, pet.
"What's your name?"
"My name is Ashyd."
"And you awr a woyal Aisha, wight?"
"That is correct."
A pause. The room is busy. All sorts of pets are speaking, most of them in happy, light voices.
"Wow! I luff youwr woom! It'sh vewy pwetty!"
"Thank you. I have amassed a large collection of items over my time here."
"How many times have you been twansfer'd?"
"I lost count of that number a long time ago. But some of us get transferred many times within a month. I have made friends with a lovely Draik – he is often transferred several times a week."
"And the people at the pound let you keep youw stuff here?"
"It is often easier than moving our belongings back and forth every week. However, there are some-"
A dramatic pause, as if she were looking pointedly at another pet.
"- who enjoy the privilege simply because they cannot exist without their pieces of tut."
"Now wait just one minute!" A new voice, this one angry. "Just because I'm careful after what happened does not mean I can't live without my things!"
"I beg to differ."
Another dramatic pause. What is it with these fancy-shmancy pets and their dramatic pauses?
"I got rejected for a transfer, and my owner wasn't there when I came home."
"You mean they was on howidays?"
"No, I mean they had left Neopia. There was a note saying the electricity had been deactivated and everything!"
"Wow. So what happen'd to you?"
The room seems to fall silent during this particularly long dramatic pause. No, really, they can stop doing that now. In fact, you tell them so, even if they can't hear you through your tape deck. A pair of strangers walking by stare. Once again, you don't notice. The voice speaks.
" – I can't remember."
The noise of the room ramps up again as the Aisha (presumably) makes an exceptionally lady-like and elegant snort of derision.
"I am sure that is exactly how the events transpired."
"No, really! I just randomly black out! Next thing I remember is waking up in here, although apparently I'd been through a few owners by then."
"I beg your pardon?"
"Whoops, hehe, I mean 'interesting'. I think."
There are giggles all round as the two neopets coo over the baby Lupe and his mispronunciations. Such cute little mispronunciations. A tinkly sort of bell rings.
"Thank Fyora! It has been almost an hour since morning tea! I am famished!"
Some of the conversation is muffled as the voices of many pets rise even more, soon followed by the scraping of many chair legs against the floor. Faintly, you can hear the proper voice of the Aisha.
"It is not the caliber of food I am accustomed to, but the one thousand neopoint transfer fee keeps us fed well five times a day."
"Six if you get up in the middle of the night for a snack."
"How terribly uncouth of you to demand food at a late hour."
"Well, at least when I do eat I don't stuff my face like a Skeith!"
"And what do you mean by that?"
Once again, the volume rises to a level that makes hearing distinct voices impossible. The piercing shrieks of whistles that rise up, perhaps in some vain attempt to control the situation, are soon dwarfed by the sheer noise. You turn down the volume control. There, much better. Why are those people staring at you?
"But what about the pets that are abandon'd? Don' they only get fed once evewy six months or something?"
"Well, what do you expect us to do? There is no access point to the abandoned pets area from the transfer rooms. Any food that we do not eat is donated to the Money Tree – would you deprive those hungry, poor pets of food just so those who have the luxury of a free 'roof over their heads' – as the common saying goes, I believe – can also have the luxury of eating?"
"I suppose not."
"Colali? Your new owner is here!"
A friendly voice this time, calling the Lupe back into his owner's arms. Or so you would imagine. For the final time, he speaks, very quietly.
"So thewe you have it! That is what it'sh like in the transfer howd of the Pound. This is Cowawi, signing off!"
The tape stops spinning its little wheels. You sniffle a little. You're going to miss that adorable Lupe and his cute mispronunciations. You are feeling so emotional that you leave your copy of the Neopian Times behind, and you never get to read the passage just below the envelope...
And with that, we bid all you good citizens of Neopia a good day. If you have any questions you would like answered about the pound, please contact our PR manager Kaanana and your question may be answered next time!
A spotted Kougra sits alone in Neopia Central, his back to the large oak desk that takes up most of the small, grey room. He - or is it a she? - opens the blinds slightly to allow some sunlight to filter through. The Kougra watches the citizens of Neopia going about their daily business. They - the citizens, that is - have no idea what's coming...
Thanks to little_puffin_kurt for the reader question. Got a question? Send in those neomails! :)