What would you do?
Three baby lupes were walking through Neopia Central, each carrying an ice cream cone from the marketplace shops. As they walked they argued.
“Not everything is about books Des!” cried the one balancing his stuffed moehog in one paw and his ice cream in the other.
“Nherf is right,” spoke up another wearing a Judge Hog costume, “its about adventure, daring sword fights, and saving the innocent!” He brandished his ice cream as if it were a sword and took a big bite.
“But I don’t like talking to people or going places, that’s all fine for you guys, but I want to go home and curl up in the library and read. Besides, we told Mashi we would be right back after we got our ice creams, and this is the first time he has let us out without supervision since we nearly destroyed Torlon’s ship,” said the third pup who was walking very carefully behind his brothers making sure to lick his ice cream cone evenly all around, and being doubly sure not to let any of it spill onto his tuxedo.
“Can’t we stay here just for a little bit and watch all the people, Des?” asked Nherf who was taking a lick of his ice cream before hastily hiking his plushie back up into his paws.
“I want to go to the Defenders HQ” said Kai excitedly, “Who knows! There might be a mission that they need our help with!”
“No!” Des said exasperatedly. “No, no, NO! Every time we get to go out on our own you two get us into trouble and we aren’t allowed to go anywhere without someone with us. And then I have to wait even longer to get any new books because everyone is always so busy. No!”
“Couldn’t we just look for a minute, Des? We do have to walk by it to get home anyway.” said Nherf. He was used to trying to mediate between the strong personalities of his two brothers.
“Fine.” grumbled Des, “but just for a minute, okay?”
“Yes!” shouted Kai as he shoved the last of his ice cream in his mouth and ran past his brothers towards the Defenders HQ.
That is when it happened. As Kai bumped into Nherf on his way past, he disrupted the delicate balance between ice cream and plushie. The two collided together in the air and fell to the ground with the sound of a wet ‘thwap’. Nherf’s eyes filled up with tears as he picked up Sir Hogginton and tried to brush the ice cream and dirt off of him.
“Oh Nherf,” said Des quietly, “it’ll be okay. We’ll take him home and Mashi will be able to wash him up in no time, you’ll see.”
Nherf sniffed and took a few deep breaths. “Okay,” he said dejectedly.
Just then a yellow wocky paused as he walked down the path, and said to Nherf, "You look like you could use some luck!" He handed him a lottery ticket and said "I hope you win!" before he quickly disappeared into the crowd.
The three headed back towards home, with Des still licking his ice cream, Kai bouncing along with ice cream smeared all around his mouth as he apologized to Nherf, and Nherf now carrying a bedraggled plushie, and a lottery ticket.
The next morning...
*poke* *pause* *poke* *pause* *poke* “Mashi” a voice called, “Mashi are you awake?” Mashi, the ghost kougra, opened one bleary eye to see the nose of a baby lupe far to close to be the first thing he saw. “Oh! You are awake!” Nherf said excitedly. “Mashi! Can we go see if my lottery ticket won anything?”
“Coffee,” mumbled Mashi sitting up to stretch.
“So, can we go?” Nherf asked putting on his best puppy dog eyes look and wagging his tail, waiting.
“Coffee,” was the only response he got.
“Coffee?” called a voice from the kitchen. “I can get Mashi coffee!” Mashi closed his eyes as the clash and bang of dishes and pots fell and crashed, and took a deep breath. Moments later Kai appeared in the doorway clutching a cup of marshmallow roast coffee in his paws; a faint trail of smoke and smell of singed fur following behind him.
Mashi took a sip of his coffee and looked at the three pups. They had done reasonably well yesterday, he considered, and its not like the lottery booth was that far away. He took another sip and said, “You can go,” with that the three of them were out the door. Mashi was not confident that they had heard the second half of his sentence; “but be good!”
As the pups walked through Neopia Central Des and Kai talked about where they might be able to go on their own now that they were un-grounded. Nherf was rather quiet following behind them. He was carrying a freshly cleaned Sir Hogginton who looked no worse for the adventure he had yesterday. He was also thinking about what he might do if he were to win the lottery. Des, he knew, would want to buy books, and Kai would probably want to get some toys. But what did Nherf want? He had everything he needed didn’t he? He had Sir Hogginton after all, and two brothers who made sure he never had a dull day, and Mashi to take care of them all. What more did a pup really need? A sharp whistle sounded through the air and Nherf looked up. He had walked right past his brothers and the lottery booth. He walked up to the counter and handed his ticket to the teller. She looked up the numbers as he waited. “You are one of two winners, matching five numbers today! Congratulations! You win 312, 004 neopoints.” With that she handed over a bag of neopoints.
The pups walked outside and sat under a tree near the the booth, silent. “Well that is unexpected,” said Des eventually. This seemed to jumpstart Kai and Nherf as well. “What are we going to with all these neopoints?” Kai said excitedly. I think we should all get some new toys.
“If we are going to get anything, we should get some books for the library,” Des said.
“I don’t know,” said Nherf, “ I think it should be something special. I mean its not like we really need anything, so it should be something special we wouldn’t normally be able to do.” He looked around and walked over to a lenny sitting near by.
“Excuse me, if you don’t mind me asking, but what would you do if you won a bunch of neopoints from the lottery?”
The lenny looked at him and said bluntly “Stay somewhere without ‘roaches, and eat something other than ‘roaches.”
“Ummm... thanks,” Nherf said. That was not quite the answer he was looking for. He saw a xweetok nearby and decided to try again. “Excuse me, but what would you do if you won a bunch of neopoints from the lottery?”
“I would buy a petpet for my best friend” the xweetok responded. “She has been wanting a kadoatie as long as I can remember.”
“Thank you!” said Nherf. She had given him an idea.
A few hours later the pups all arrived home. Mashi was waiting for them at the door. “I thought you were just going to check your lottery ticket, not galavant around all afternoon.” He spoke sharply, but Nherf knew it was just because he was worried.
“We had to make a stop on the way home, and it took a little while longer than I had hoped,” Nherf replied, “besides, I can guarantee that Kai won’t wake you up destroying the kitchen to make you coffee tomorrow morning.” With that he pulled out a bottomless cup of coffee and handed it to Mashi. The happiness on Mashi’s face confirmed for Nherf that there was no better way to have spent those lottery winnings, especially because he had some extra to buy himself an ice cream too.