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Observations of the Wild Tigermouse

by resurrectedwarrior


Stepping over the threshold, I behold my native habitat: my cluttered, messy Neohome. Old books, papers, folders, and yesterday’s lunch are strewn on and around the coffee table, and scattered about are various toys and stuffed animals my Neopets have yet to put away. I am quite familiar with this territory. I have explored it many times, searching for elusive pencils that constantly evade my grasp and gathering samples for scientific experiments from the stuff growing in my refrigerator. Having lived here for about three years, I am the foremost expert on the natural environment in my Neohome.

I enter, plodding through the hallway and flopping onto my blue sofa. I close my eyes in blissful comfort, enjoying the splendid squishiness of the cushions.

Without warning, I hear a sound, scritch, scratch, scritch, scratch! My eyes open just in time to see a red blur flash across my living room floor. My eyes follow the flash ~ straight into the wall. Puzzled, I sit up. Have I been visited by Chet Flash? Are my Neopets playing with their Battledome items inside the house again? Soon, I find a rational explanation. At the bottom of the wall, shaped like a tent, is a small crevice. I sit up immediately and grab my notebook and a glowing pen. Something strange is happening, and I plan to record it.

Walking over and lying flat on the floor, I carefully, quietly peer into the hole. It’s too dark. Placing my glowing pen beside the hole, I can just barely make out an old Tombola T-shirt, shredded to pieces and piled in a mound with a depression in the middle. I realize it’s some sort of nest, but it’s empty. Poking my pen in further, I see several other items; a few plastic knives, a pack of matches, several Sloth manuals on how to take over Neopia . . . how did those get in there? There are also several food items: a hunk of cheese, old pizza, even older steak, and a piece of my homemade lasagna. This guy’s been busy.

Obviously, something’s living in my wall, but it’s not there right now. It must have scampered off when I put my glowing pen beside the hole. I bring the pen out and set it beside the crack once again and stretch out, preparing to wait until the creature returns so I can catch a glimpse of it.

Within seconds, however, my mission is interrupted by screams coming from the kitchen. I stand and enter, finding my Darigan Moehog trying to shake off something round and red. After a moment he succeeds, and sends the small thing flying across the kitchen. As soon as it lands, lying still for a fraction of a moment, I can see that it’s some kind of rodent, bright red with four dark, blue-black stripes running across its back. It has a thick, long tail ~ almost as long as its body ~ and two large, pointed ears. It stands for a moment on its two-toed feet, drawing its large ears almost straight up. Its two, three-fingered paws are outstretched with “thumbs up signs” and has a wide, thin smile stretching over the width of its head. Then it begins to make the oddest sound, “Eee, eee, ee, eee, eeeee!” I realize it’s laughing ~ or rather, snickering. I can now see its whole body is twitching, as if it is experiencing an uncontrollable eagerness . . . the creature bears an altogether devilish appearance.

Half a second later, it springs upon my Moehog, pulling his ears painfully. My Moehog tries to smack him off once again, but the creature merely scampers down his back and begins nibbling at his tail. This enrages my Moehog. He flicks his tail about without success, and the rodent crawls up his back and onto his head. Amazingly, amidst all the Moehog’s shaking, the creature manages to position himself over my Moehog’s eyes. My Moehog practically screams with aggravation, wagging his head wildly, trying to fling the creature off. Finally, finding himself without success, my Moehog resorts to slamming his head down on the table in a desperate attempt to finally rid himself of the rodent. However, as I should have guessed, the creature moves with a flash to the table and my Moehog really smacks his head. In response to the look of fury on my Moehog’s eyes, the creature begins to snicker and laugh once again, taunting my poor Moehog to the point of enraged madness.

It is now that I realize what this creature is. It’s a Tigermouse, usually kept as a petpet. Its wild counterparts usually make their homes in the walls of peaceful Neohomes. I immediately recall the description of Tigermice in my field manual, “Tigermice like taunting Neopets, pulling ears, and biting tails – so beware!” I am struck with the accuracy of that description ~ that’s exactly what the Tigermouse is doing!

However, just as this thought passes through my mind, the Tigermouse begins doing something that wasn’t in the description. It begins scampering about the table, stuffing its face with pieces of chocolate and cheese. My Moehog tries to bring his tusks down upon the Tigermouse, but the only thing he succeeds in doing is smashing plates and destroying glasses. The Tigermouse is amazingly agile for having such a broad, round frame!

Suddenly a new element is thrown into the mix. My small Baby Lupe enters the kitchen from the back door. The Tigermouse stops suddenly, his chocolate-covered mouth stretching to new lengths. He leaps off the table just in time to avoid another blow from my Moehog and begins attacking my Lupe, but in a new, strange way. He begins to . . . to tickle her! My Lupe begins to cry out for help amidst high-pitched giggles and joyful screams. My Moehog and I stand in silence, wholly perplexed at this strange turn of events. Is this some sort of strange defense tactic used in the petpet kingdom to incapacitate their enemies? But then, why perform this ritual upon one who had never made an offensive gesture? I simply can’t understand this mystery.

My Moehog is the first to come to his senses and help the little Lupe. He bounds over, swatting at the Tigermouse with his tail. The mouse, snickering once again, hops up his tail with a flash and stops at the very top of his head. He pulls a single, blue hair from my Moehogs head, laughs loudly, and dashes out of the kitchen, down the hall, and into his hole. I can hear him snickering and munching on his already-stolen snacks. Apparently, he thinks his exploit was victorious.

In many ways, the Tigermouse was victorious. My dishes are in shambles, and my kitchen is a mess. My Moehog is still enraged, despite the present absence of the rodent, and has a big bruise extending across his forehead in addition to numerous bite marks. The only person who seems happy at this moment is my Baby Lupe, since nothing harmful happened to her.

It’s strange where nature will meet you. One could travel a thousand miles and find it, or one could simply sit in his or her Neohome and still find it. True, having wildlife within the walls of one’s Neohome can be more than a bit unnerving and perhaps frustrating. Nevertheless, one must still wonder at the adaptive qualities of the Tigermouse.

Oh, and by the way, I’m calling the petpet catcher.

”Observations of the Wild Tigermouse” is based upon and dedicated to my older brother when he’s bored . . . may my mom ever save me from his insanity! *is scared*

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