Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 96,497,777 Issue: 189 | 6th day of Hunting, Y7
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A Second Chance


by sapphire101993

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The sun was shining proudly down onto Neopia Central, casting a long shadow from any figure that happened to be out and about. My owner Samantha was tending to normal groceries while Hicha and I were running around, playing. We were all in our youth; children. The green Shoyru I was, I'd always have an advantage in games like tag over my sister Hicha, a red Aisha, because I could fly. Currently, we were just playing good ol' chase, now that I was banned from taking flight in our games. Shouting playfully, I dodged an elderly Elephante as she passed through the streets, mumbling to herself. Hicha scrambled after me hurriedly.

      Samantha called over to us that instant as Hicha reached out to tag me.

      "Guys! Let's go check the Money Tree!" she yelled, as she was quite a distance away. I slid to a halt, Hicha hot on my heels.

      "Game's over," I teased, grinning playfully. "But tell you what. First one to get to the Money Tree wins."

      She nodded, sprinting off. I followed her, giggling joyously. She ended up reaching there first, but I calmly padded to a halt ahead of time. Both of us stopped near Samantha, grinning from ear to ear. The wind blew noiselessly, skimming the grass underneath the Tree. Finally entering the "border" of the Money Tree, all three of us wandered to the crowded roots, nosing around for something of value.

      Quickly, I grabbed an adorable plushie Kau plushie, directing my gaze onward. Five items a person. It was the rule.

     That's when it happened. I tripped over a cardboard box lying on the side of the tree, almost invisible in the mounds of clutter. Muttering curses to myself and rubbing the bump on the back or my head, resulting from the fall, I checked to see what in Coltzan's name I'd stumbled over.

     What met my gaze was something that would change my life forever. Five or so Kougra cubs barely past birth lay there, mewing pitifully. They were heart-warming to see, so young that their eyes hadn't even opened yet; just lying there, abandoned. Getting up of the ground, I reached out, gently lifting the box. It wasn't very heavy at all, probably only a few pounds.

     There was a note attached to the padded box. 'But' I thought with common sense, 'These cubs need to get to safety. I almost trampled them!'

     Samantha was just picking up a bag of Neopoints, labeled "200" when I rushed over to her.

     "Sam!" I blurted out. It was my nickname for her, ever since I had learned to talk.

     "Hm? What is it, Adri? What's that?"

     "K-Kougra cubs!" I exclaimed attentively, prodding her with the box. "They were under the Tree!"

     "Huh? Oh gosh, are they alright? Isn't that illegal?" Samantha was full of questions, alarm, and shock.

     "Never mind about that, they're gonna get trampled if we don't do something!"

     It was amazing how things changed within a matter of minutes. Leaving her groceries, Sam, Hicha, and I began to rush to our Neohome. It was the closest place to go, and in a few minutes we were there.

     Setting them down on the dining table, each of us checked their pulse and condition. Since Sam was a doctor in Neopia, we knew a few basic things and could handle checking the cubs. All of them were fine, except for the smallest of them all. The red cub was breathing heavily, and his pulse was slow.

     The runt, I thought. He looked the weakest, shuddering every couple of breaths. My throat tightened. We had to do something! Biting my lower lip until it bled, I quickly spoke up.

     "That one needs help, Sam!" I gasped in alarm, pointing to it. She sighed, shaking her head.

     "Adri, he's not going to make it…" Oh, how softly and regretfully she stated it!

     "But we have to at least try! Don't you have your medical supplies?"

     "No, they're at the lab. Adri, wait!"

     Normally, I obeyed my owner when she told me to do something. But not this time. I ignored her, gently snatching the runt and dashing out the door as fast as my legs would carry me. He had to survive! Barely aware that my lip trickled a small bit of blood, tears streaked down my face. Taking flight, I shot through the air like a bullet, faster that I'd ever flown before.

     After what seemed like forever (though it was probably only a few seconds, with my speed and all), I reached the Neopian Hospital. Bursting through the doors, I sprinted to the counter where a Gelert was filing her papers.

     "Help! Emergency!" I cried in alarm as I got to the table. The Gelert halted, leaping up.

     "What's wrong? Oh Coltzan!" I tried to ignore the many pairs of eyes as their confused gaze prickled on me.

     Quickly a nurse from the back who was sitting on one of the waiting room seats stood up, making sure to grab me as we ran through the halls. Eventually, we halted at one room, dashing in.

     "Doctor! We have an emergency!" she stuttered as I held the runt in my grasp. The male Gelert that, presumably the doctor, was in the room turned to us worriedly furrowing his brow. Setting the patient down with care, I watched as he went through his bag and pulled out some injections. Filling a needle with an orange fluid, making sure he measured exactly, he pinpointed one of the Kougra's veins. Forcing the liquid in as carefully as he could inside the frail body, he sighed, wiping some sweat off of his forehead.

     Finally, after a few more shots, the doctor stopped, panting. After he waited a few moments for the injections to take affect, he finally checked the runt's pulse and breathing.

     "He's going to live," the doctor said reassuringly exhausted. "It's good you got him here just at the right time. If you'd only been a few moments late, he wouldn't be here."

     Weak in the knees, I fell to the ground with a moan of relief. Samantha had been wrong. The runt had lived.

     "What is your name, young one?" he asked with an inquiring gaze.

     "Adrial, sir," I answered politely, using my full title.

     "Oh that's right! Your mother works here, doesn't she?"

     I nodded in reply, only half listening. I'd saved a life today.

     Months went by. Samantha, Hicha, and I each named the Kougras, and we loved each one. However, of course, I was most attached to Chance, the life I had saved that day. We took care of them all for a long time, and Chance grew tremendously. He also was quite a bit stronger, supportive, and much wiser than the others. Finally, a depressing day came.

     The month of Celebrating was near, and there was a carnival scheduled to come to Neopia Central in a few days. There was an adoption cause in it looking for young pets to be donated so they could find them homes. All five of the cubs were old enough to go there; this was the perfect chance to find them a loving home. I knew deep down that I'd miss them all with my heart, but there was an even larger concern. Chance. The Chance who greeted me every day after school, telling of what adventures he had while we were gone. The Chance who reassured me when it seemed like all was doomed. I cried in sorrow inside my room. Chance didn't understand why. He'd purr and nuzzle next to me, trying to cheer me up. My mind was in anguish as I realized these would be my last moments of him. No more running in the sun at the park. No more shopping. It was all over.

     I typed a description myself about Chance to go along with him when he would leave me forever:

     Name: Chance

     Personality: Kind, loyal. He's extremely wise and friendly, aiding you in times of need. Would make any loving family member.

     I printed it out, showing Sam. "Here's the description for the parade," I muttered sadly, stalking back to my room. The carnival was tomorrow. I hugged Chance close, which made him smile with contentment.

     That night, neither Chance nor I slept. Instead, we each shared stories the whole time, of wonders untold and secrets revealed. We both giggled all night, and the sound of him almost made me forget that he would be gone tomorrow.

     The day had come before we knew it. Sam offered to take me to the carnival with her as she scooped up Chance. I just couldn't.

     "Goodbye, Chance," I whispered into his ear, kissing him one his soft, pink nose. He seemed confused, shooting me a questioning glance. I began to cry. Again. "Goodbye," I mouthed this time.

     Perhaps I was simply being selfish. Perhaps he would find a better home.

     It was late at night, and I hadn't stopped crying. Exhaustion overwhelmed me, but I kept my silent vigil. After a while, I heard Sam open the door and enter the house, but didn't truly care. It didn't matter anymore.

     That is, until Hipcha and Samantha wandered into my room. Sam was holding a bundle, but my eyes were too blurred and clogged by tears I had shed to recognize what it was.

     "Adri." She stated it so soothingly and calmly I almost gagged. But she was still speaking.

     "I brought you an early holiday present from the carnival, Adri. I think you might like him."

     I looked up at her when she said "him". Who? Then I saw it.

     A red Kougra stared back at my bleached eyes, whom I had shed so many tears for.

     "Chance!" I exclaimed.

     The fuzzball scrambled out of Sam's hands, leaping on to me and covering my face with licks.

     "Chance… Oh, Chance…"

The End

 
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