How a Clompkin found his patch
It’s difficult being a Clompkin in a field of pumpkins sometimes.
It’s not that Jack hates living and working in a pumpkin patch – far from it in fact. It’s undeniable however, that life would be a whole lot easier if he did not blend into the surroundings of his workplace so much.
It’s bad enough that some of the other petpets at the pumpkin patch find it hard to differentiate him from the actual pumpkins that they were meant to pick. And that’s not even as bad as the traumatic experience that occurs every Halloween at the pumpkin patch. Jack still shudders at the memory of all those baby neopets and petpets grabbing at him, mistakenly thinking that he is a pumpkin.
Sometimes Jack isn’t sure that winning games of hide and seek is worth the hassle of constantly being mistaken for a pumpkin.
It’s not like he even looks that much like a pumpkin anyway! Sure his head is orange and shaped like a pumpkin but he is much better looking. Not to mention that he has legs and a face and is very capable of moving on his own thank you very much. Jack does not see the resemblance at all.
“Oh woe the life of a Clompkin who works in a pumpkin patch - what a terrible life it can be,” Jack sighed as he leaned against a cart.
“What’s the matter Jack?”
Jack looked up to see Dimitris, or Tris as he told everyone to call him, the owner of the pumpkin patch, towering over him.
Tris had an actual pumpkin as his head that, combined with his almost unnaturally lanky build, was quite a sight to behold. No one knew whether he was born with a pumpkin as his head or if it was a mask that he simply did not (or perhaps could not) remove or if it was truly the result of a wayward curse from breaking up a witch fight as Tris sometimes told others. Tris wasn’t much help though – he tells neopians a different story each time he is asked about his head. Tris quite likes being thought of as being eccentric and mysterious.
“Ah nothing boss. Just wondering when people will stop mistaking me for a pumpkin I guess.”
“Hmm, can’t say I have any experience with that issue.”
‘Of course not,’ Jack thought. Despite having an actual pumpkin head, Tris was much too tall to ever be mistaken as a pumpkin. A scarecrow perhaps, but never a pumpkin – not that Tris ever stayed still long enough for someone to actually mistake him as a scarecrow.
“I can see why that might be an issue though – what with you working in a pumpkin patch and all.” Tris pondered as he lowered himself to sit with Jack.
“Exactly! I’m sick of being grabbed by pets who mistake me for a pumpkin!”
“Well if it is because of how you look, why don’t we just change that?”
“What do you mean, boss?”
“Well let’s see here. I have a pumpkin head but no one ever thinks I’m a pumpkin because I’m much taller than any pumpkins here. You on the other hand are often mistaken for a pumpkin because you’re about the same height as some of the bigger pumpkins we have here, right?”
Jack nodded, not quite sure where Tris was going with this.
“Why don’t we just make you taller then?”
“Boss, how on neopia am I going to be as tall as you? I’m much too old for a growth spurt!”
Tris threw his head back and laughed at Jack’s outburst.
“Boy, you don’t got to be as tall as me. I’m thinking just an inch or two taller. We will get you some shoes with a taller heel – boots perhaps. That should do the trick.”
Excited for a solution to his problem, Jack skipped off to the Unis Clothing Shop to buy some new shoes. He couldn’t believe that there was such a simple solution to his problem!
Sadly, as they soon learnt, it did not work.
Shoe insoles did not provide Jack with enough height to do the trick and while the boots gave him the necessary height, they didn’t grant him the necessary grace to walk, much less work, in them. Jack persisted but he simply could not get the hang of them at all. Clompkins are pretty clumsy to begin with and Jack was definitely one of the clumsiest Clompkins around.
No one else at the pumpkin patch knew why exactly Jack had suddenly changed his wardrobe or why he insisted on wearing those boots that he could barely walk in them but they had to admit, it was somewhat funny to see Jack randomly topple over in them throughout the day.
‘Surely he’ll give up soon,’ they thought as they watched him stumble his way through the day.
And gave up he eventually did.
After falling over again and adding yet another bruise to his already battered body, Jack made a small cry of frustration and tore off the abominable boots.
“Alright, so maybe those boots weren’t the best idea,” Tris drawled, leaning against the fence as he watched Jack toss the boots to the ground.
“You think, boss? Have you seen how many bruises I have?” Jack exclaimed as he rubbed at his bruised knees.
“Aye, I think we’ve all seen them what with your tumbling about this week. But just because that idea didn’t work doesn’t mean we can’t fix your issue. It just means we need to come up with something better is all. Hmm… what about a hat?”
“I’ll need a hat practically half my height for it to stand out enough. I’ll look ridiculous – even more ridiculous than I did this week anyway.”
“You’re right, that won’t do at all. How about a wig? A brightly coloured one should do the trick.”
Jack shuddered at the image of him wearing a bright blue wig that popped to mind.
‘No, definitely not,’ he thought.
“It’s okay, boss. I’ll simply have to live with it. If I hate it that much I can always find another job I guess,” Jack murmured, voice breaking slightly at the thought of leaving the pumpkin patch he had come to consider his home.
“Well that won’t do at all. I can’t have you leaving me over this. Surely you’re not the first Clompkin who’s had this issue. How did the others deal with it?”
“There aren’t a lot of us out there working in a pumpkin patch, boss. And those who do, well they don’t normally look like this I guess.”
“What do you mean, Jack?”
“The other Clompkins aren’t orange and green like me.”
“That’s it Jack!” Tris grabbed the little Clompkin excitedly and pulled him up. “We can paint you so that you don’t blend in with the pumpkins as much anymore! We’ll go down to the Petpet Puddle right now and see if there’s a colour that you like that we can paint you. And if not, we’ll design something.”
With that, the pair dashed off to Petpet Puddle to resolve Jack’s issue.
It’s difficult being a Clompkin in a field of pumpkins sometimes, but not this time and not this Clompkin anymore.