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Petpet Name: Firemane
Pet Name: Fernpaw631
“Fernpaw, you have GOT to take Lionmane outside more! Play with him, let him explore... something! Something other than making him sit in your room all day. He's a petpet for goodness sake. They need things to do to keep them happy.”
I stared at the conversation before me with hope in my eyes, hardly daring to feel the excitement that was rising within me. It was true – ever since my first day as her petpet, Fernpaw631 had kept me indoors. I knew that she did this out of love, as this was the safest place for me in the house. I even had my own rainbow bed in the room. But even though I knew I should be grateful for the safety and warmth, all I ever wanted to do was explore. I wanted to go have magnificent adventures in the vast wilds of Neopia! Or at least accompany Fernpaw to Neopia Central once or twice.
“Tallgelert! How many times do I have to tell you? Lionmane is made of CARDBOARD! It is not safe for him to play around like other petpets. He is much more delicate. Can you imagine what would happen to him if he fell in a puddle? Or got carried away by a breeze? No, no. It's much safer here. Besides, he's happy, aren't you Lionmane?” The green Xweetok turned to coo these last words towards me, and I blinked in reply.
I guess I was. But there was still a part of me that longed to feel the wind in my face, and to test my abilities against this danger that Fernpaw was always going on about. There seemed to be no chance of that, however.
“Yeah, he's not a real petpet, Tallgelert. He can't slither around or leap onto trees like your Coatl can.” This was Moondance1315, the green lupe. She was nice and funloving most of the time, but had a blunt streak in her that could really hurt. Not a real petpet? Of course I'm a real petpet, I thought. Coatl, being a Quetzal, might be able to do more than me, but that doesn't make her any more of a real petpet than I am!
“Nuri was a Christmas Pile of Soot, Moondance,” Tallgelert pointed out. “How does that qualify as a real petpet if Lionmane doesn't?”
“You can buy and trade Piles of Soot,” she replied. “Lionmane was one of the Freebie gifts.”
She was right about where I came from. I clearly remember the first day I was introduced to the neopets. Moondance and Fernpaw were the only ones at the time – o0Luki_Puppy0o and Tallgelert were adopted from the pound later. The two new neopets opened the box that we were in, spying the 2,000 neopoints and the blue ixi plushie first. Then, when their owner silverstorm300 asked if they wanted a petpet, Moondance took one look at me and the flimsy Frogler at my side and shook her head. Fernpaw, however, glanced at me with a look of compassion and pity.
She picked me up and cradled me, saying, “I'll call you Firemane.” I thought that Firemane was a proud, confident name, worthy of the most daring petpet. But upon hearing the conversation that was going on about me, I wasn't feeling too confident.
It wasn't until a few weeks later, when Fernpaw came home from a conversation with another neopet, that things began to change.
“Hey, Tallgelert,” she said thoughtfully one day. “I just heard about a new activity where petpets go into these caves or something and bring out items! Do you know anything about it? Would you ever send Coatl there?”
Tallgelert put down a book he was reading. “Yes, I have heard of it! It's called 'Grave Danger'. The petpets go down into these catacombs where neopets can't go, because they aren't affected by all the curses that plague the place-”
“Curses?!” Fernpaw exclaimed, cutting Tallgelert off. “That sounds dreadful!”
“They aren't affected by them, Fernpaw. It's just curses on neopets. But it sounds really interesting, and the other neopets I've talked to say their petpets love it. Gives them a sense of adventure. We could really use the items, too. But I can't send Coatl, because I don't want her to get too scuffed up now that she's painted blue.” Tallgelert looked thoughtful for a moment, then his face lit up. “You should send Lionmane! He wasn't an expensive petpet anyway, and I'm sure he's bored out of his cardboard sitting in your room all day. He'd get a chance to bring back some pretty cool items too!”
Again, my heart leapt in hope. Was this it? A chance for me to prove myself? But Fernpaw shook her head decisively, done listening to her adopted brother. She picked me up, carrying me back to her room and placing me on the rainbow bed before heading back out the door. I watched her retreating figure, then sighed. My eyes roved over the scattered art supplies on her floor, and a sudden idea struck me. I'd have to take it into my own paws and show her how much I wanted this adventure!
When she arrived back in her room later that day, I could see the surprise written on her face. I'd worked really hard all day, in hopes that my creation would encourage her to give me a chance at those adventures. Set up on the bed were a variety of books: Adventures in Space, Plushie Adventures, Slugawoo Adventures, and such titles. In the center was what I had been working on the hardest: a small drawing of me, standing bravely in front of the catacombs of Grave Danger. (Granted, I looked a bit like a blob of orange jelly, but she got the picture...it's hard to use art supplies when your paws are made of cardboard!).
She stared at the display, her green eyes widening. As she struggled for words, I made a quiet squeak, looking at her with pleading eyes. She blinked, then said softly, “You really do want to give this a try, don't you?” I chirped happily in reply, and she sighed. Then she picked me up and a smile spread across her face.
“That's fine with me! As long as you are careful.”
Now that you've heard the tale of how I became an adventurer, I believe it's time to update you on my whereabouts: Chased a Skidget past a sewer, a dragon, and a mob of Meepits. Survived.
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