Sanity is forbidden Circulation: 99,276,740 Issue: 197 | 1st day of Swimming, Y7
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Pfish Neopians


by aigroegdede

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"So, you think you might actually get one?" Giselle asked me as we walked along Rainbow Lane. "That's so exciting! You deserve it, you know. You've wanted it for so long."

     I grinned happily at the red Uni. Giselle was always so encouraging and optimistic - that was why she was my best friend.

     "I think so," I said, in reply to her question. "My parents are acting as if they're planning a big surprise. And I actually saw them go into the Petpet Shop! Plus, my dad keeps throwing out all these silly, obvious hints."

     "That's so cool!" said Giselle happily. "You're getting a Doglefox. I hope it will get along with Justine." She reached into her bag and patted the Mazzew. "I'm sure it will. Any friend of mine is a friend of Justine's."

     As we stopped at Giselle's house, I could see my reflection, that of a blue Aisha. I frowned at the way my ears turned up; I had never liked those ears. But I was in too good a mood to think about that. After all those months of waiting, I might actually be getting a Doglefox! The first time I mentioned it, my parents had come up with all sorts of reasons why I couldn't have one; we had no room, they were too much trouble, my siblings would all want one if I got one. But all that time in the debating team at school had paid off: I might be getting one for my birthday tomorrow!

     "I'm so happy for you," said Giselle, smiling. "Promise me you'll tell me as soon as you see it."

     "Of course!" I said. I waved goodbye to her, and continued up Rainbow Lane, thinking about the past few months.

     ***

     "Is there anything you want for your birthday?" asked my mum. "You're growing up so fast; I can't think what's suitable for your age."

     I grinned at her. "I've been thinking..." I began, "and looking in the shops - what I really, really want is a Doglefox."

     My mum looked startled. "Nicola, you remember what we said when your brother wanted a Petpet?"

     "I know, I know," I replied pleadingly. "But I'd take care of it myself and I'm sure the yard would be big enough..."

     "It wouldn't be fair on Jason, either," my mum reminded me. "Nicola, we really don't have enough room. I'm sure you could look after it, but a Doglefox would cost a lot of money, too..."

     "I could pay for half!" I interrupted, but she wasn't listening.

     "What about a Pfish?" she asked. "They're not much trouble, and if your brother wants one, we could even have two."

     I sighed. "They're no fun. Please, Mum? Giselle has a Mazzew, and her house isn't much bigger than ours, and I'd share my Doglefox with Jason."

     "Absolutely not," said my mum, and that was that.

          

     A month before my birthday, I brought the subject up again.

     "You know, Mum," I began, "Doglefoxes are really cheap now..."

     "Please don't bring up the subject," she said firmly. "You won't be getting a Doglefox."

     "Or a Mazzew?" I asked, thinking of Giselle's.

     "Anything that's more trouble than a Pfish, you won't be getting," she said. "Nicola, can't you understand that a Doglefox is out of the question? We aren't Doglefox Neopians; we are Pfish Neopians."

     "Meaning?" I inquired.

     "Meaning that some people just aren't suited to Doglefoxes, or Mazzews or the like, and some people are. We are Pfish Neopians, which means we have Pfish."

     "I have no idea what you're talking about," I said.

     "We couldn't cope with a Doglefox in the house. Your father and I don't like Doglefoxes or Mazzews, or other Petpets that can be quite energetic."

     "Won't you please consider it?" I begged.

     My mum sighed. "Will you stop pestering me if I do?"

     "Maybe," I said, determined to not give up yet. "I really do want a Petpet."

     "I'll talk to your father tonight. But don't get your hopes up."

          However, I had no intention of obeying her. After our conversation, I had such high hopes that I could almost feel my new Doglefox sitting on my lap. "What should I call it?" I wondered. Giselle's Mazzew was called Justine, and my cousin's Buzzer was called Honeybee. My cousin didn't have much imagination.

     There were so many things to consider. Boy or girl? Would it be honey-coloured, like the one next-door, or dark chocolate brown? I had only ever seen the ones that were honey-coloured, but Giselle said she thought that some were chocolate brown. What would I call it? Where would it live? Would it sleep in my room? Should I save up for some kind of Petpet bed? Giselle's Mazzew had the Deluxe Canopy Petpet Bed, a birthday present from her uncle.

     Imagining my new Doglefox was so much fun, I thought I might be almost sorry when I actually got it. I quickly changed my mind - getting the real thing would be better than any imagination!

     ***

     I opened the front door of our house and stepped inside. My brother was busy tormenting my sister ("Look, there's a Cooty on you! And there's another one! You've got the plague!") and - my heart gave a leap - my mother was busy reading, 'The Ultimate Petpet Guide'. She quickly closed it when she saw me.

     "Hi, Nicola," she said smiling. "Jason, leave your sister alone. Looking forward to your special day tomorrow?"

     "Definitely," I said happily. I could almost see my new Doglefox already.

     "I hope you like your main present," said my mum. "I think you'll be pleasantly surprised."

     I smiled at her. 'Pleasant' was an understatement, and it would hardly be a surprise, since I knew I was getting it. Wait until Giselle heard!

     "I'm sure I will be," I lied. I couldn't help grinning widely.

     "It's here!" announced my dad as he walked through the door. He stopped as soon as he saw me. "I mean - the, er, groceries are here. Yes, that's what's in this box."

     "Funny, how the groceries are in a box," I teased. "One would think you were carrying something alive."

     "Come to think of it, I thought the leeks looked particularly suspicious," he said considerately. "Perhaps I'll have some assistance from my wife?"

     My parents got up and left the room, whilst I was laughing at the bewildered expressions on my siblings' faces.

     ***

     I woke up the next morning feeling ecstatic. The day had come! My Doglefox had come at last!I ran down the stairs in my pajamas. Everyone was up and crowded around the same 'grocery' box.

     "Why does she get one and I don't?" demanded my siblings, but my mother shushed them. She turned to me and smiled. "Here's the birthday Aisha! Come and open this box... and look at your new friend."

     I went up to the box where my Doglefox was. Knowing that I must make this moment last, slowly I opened it to see...

     A rather bored-looking Pfish staring up at me.

     "I know how much you wanted a Petpet," said my mother, beaming. "So, we thought we would get you a Pfish. Yes, Nicola, I know you had your heart set on a Doglefox, but it's better to have a Pfish than no Petpet at all, don't you think?"

     I gazed listlessly down onto what should have been my Doglefox.

     "You - you don't like it?" asked my mother, anxiously. I looked up into her nervous face, and suddenly realised; she had tried so hard to make me happy, it was only fair I did the same for her.

     "Of course I do!" I exclaimed. "I never thought I would actually get a Petpet at all! And I'd rather a Pfish that you gave me then a Doglefox I bought myself."

     "That's all right, then," said my mother, relieved. "I was so afraid you wouldn't like it."

     "We bought the nicest Pfish there was," said my father, winking. "Better than a Doglefox, any day."

     "Of course," I agreed, reaching into the tank and touching the scales of my brand-new Pfish. I decided to name him Doggles... so I could imagine...

     Giselle, and everyone else at school, couldn't understand how I could be so happy with just a Pfish. But I knew that a Doglefox in the house would be difficult for my parents, and a Pfish was no trouble at all. My siblings didn't like Pfish, so I didn't have to share it with them. But most importantly, my parents were happy, and even if I wanted a Doglefox, the want wouldn't have lasted long. After all, my parents are Pfish Neopians, and it's only natural, being their flesh and blood, that I should be one too.

The End

 
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