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- Today's Petpet Spotlight -

Petpet Name: Minus
Owner: journeys
Pet Name: mbunnie101
Breed: Lizark

About Minus:
It's tough being a Lizark. Nobody wants to be your friend because you look so scary. I should know -- I've traveled all over Neopia and everyone always treats me the same. They either run away in terror or try to chase me away. There was once a time when I almost gave up on making friends and nearly became the scary monster that Neopia already thought that I was. That was the day I met M.

The day started out just like all the others: I woke up, ate breakfast, and got chased out of town.

"And don't you come back here ever again, you creepy little thing!" a rather irate Wocky yelled after me, shaking his fist in the air. The other townsfolk echoed his sentiment with a hearty "Yeah!"

I usually just travel to the next town after getting chased away, but today was a little different. I was starting to run out of places to go. Last month, they canceled the Poogle Races in Faerieland when they caught me napping in the food for the contestants. Last week, I was awoken by Coltzan's ghost, who very politely asked me to leave because I was scaring away visitors. Could you believe that? Neopians found ME scarier than a ghost! A GHOST?!? Then, just this morning, an angry mob chased me out of Neovia. They really need to get that mob thing under control... it's been years since that thing with that one Krawk.

Anyway, I spent the morning making a list of places I could stay. Hmm, I hear Meridell is beautiful this time of year... or maybe Altador. The Altador Cup is bound to attract all sorts of fans; I'm sure they wouldn't notice a little Lizard sneaking about... and think of all the FOOD! The slushies alone would keep me fed for ages!

My delightful slushie-related daydream came to an abrupt and rather painful end when I felt my tail being crushed by what felt like a thousand Destruct-O-Match boulders! I jumped up and cried out in pain, startling my rather rude living alarm clock.

After cradling my poor tail and examining it for any lasting ouchies, I found that it had been stepped on. My mind was blinded by rage at the moment! I had been ridiculed and chased one too many times now! It was time for me to stand up for myself! If Neopia thought I was scary, well, it was time that I showed them just how scary I could be!

I was ready to give that tail stomping so-and-so a piece of my mind when I looked up to see just who I was dealing with. It was a massive Darigan Bori! His eyes glowed red and his pointed teeth looked like daggers. I felt my anger drain away, along with my bravado, as that massive beast approached me.

Whimpering, I cowered in a tiny ball, hoping that he would just pass me by. He didn't, though; instead that Bori uttered a low questioning growl. "Mmmmmmmmmm?" With that, he reached out one clawed paw and picked me up off of the ground. I expected his claws to be rough, but he was surprisingly gentle as he placed me on the pathway and wrapped my tail with bandages.

"Mmmmmmmmmm..." He uttered another growl as he rummaged through the bag that he was carrying and took out a succulent Twirly Fruit. "Mmmm mmmmm mmmmmmmmm," he murmured as he handed me the fruit and turned to leave.

As I watched him lumber down the road, a strange feeling welled up inside me. It wasn't until much later that I learned that this feeling was called gratitude. That frightening Bori had showed me more kindness in the short time I was with him than all of Neopia had shown me in my entire lifetime. Sitting down at the side of the road, I savored the Twirly Fruit he had given me. I then noticed that he had dropped a tomato. Hurriedly, I gobbled down the rest of my fruit and scooped up the tomato. It was my lucky day! I wouldn't have to worry about food at all!

I opened my mouth to stuff that entire tomato in and eat it in one gulp, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. Some annoying little voice buzzed in the back of my mind. It said "return it" over and over again. It was also later that I learned that was my conscience! Who knew? Finally realizing that the annoying little voice wasn't going to let me eat in peace, I stood up, tucked the tomato under my arm, and traveled down the way the Darigan Bori had gone.

Luckily for me, that lumbering Bori didn't move too fast and I was able to easily catch up to him. Just as I was about to tug on his tail, he disappeared into one of the buildings. I looked up and found myself standing in front of the Soup Kitchen. This is where I hesitated. It was one thing to approach that Bori, but it was another thing entirely to just waltz into the Soup Kitchen... what if someone saw me? What if I got chased away again? I shivered at the thought of the angry faces and the harsh words that awaited me, but still that annoying voice wouldn’t let up! "Return it," the voice said over and over. I knew I'd never get any peace if I didn't give that tomato up, so I decided to sneak in and place the tomato on the table and leave.

When you are a Lizark, you become a master of stealth! Silently, I crept into the Soup Kitchen and placed the tomato on the nearby table. That's when I heard a voice:

"Ah! M! You're right on time... did you get the ingredients? The 'pets will be here soon," the Soup Faerie called while approaching the Bori, hugging him before taking the bag from him and running to her giant soup cauldron.

"Mmmmmmmm," M growled as he turned and began lining up several bowls, preparing for the opening of the Soup Kitchen.

"Oh, so you saw a little Petpet on the side of the road, huh? You should have brought him with you! We're going to need all the help we can get," the Soup Faerie stated as she stirred her boiling pot. The delicious scent of the soup floated through the air as if it had a life of its own! When it hit my nose, my tummy had an answer, and that answer betrayed my hiding spot!

GROWWWLLLL!!! GRUMBLE, GURGLE!!! My tummy sounded out louder than a trumpeting Elephante and there was nothing I could do about it. So much for being a master of stealth!

Hearing the loud rumbles, M and the Soup Faerie stopped what they were doing and looked around. That's when they spotted me -- I knew the jig was up! I was going to be chased out of the Soup Kitchen, just like I've always been chased out of every other place I've ever visited. I braced myself for the screams and the cruel words.

Instead, I was met with that same gentle claw. M had placed his claw on my head and handed me a bowl full of delicious soup.

"So, this is your new Petpet friend, huh?” the Soup Faerie asked, beaming at M. "I can see why you like him... he reminds me of a little Bori I once knew," she said and winked at me. "The fact remains, however, that only workers are allowed here right now; he'll have to help out if he wants to stick around!" Her tone became stern as she handed me a Petpet-sized apron and sat a stack of empty bowls beside me. Hurriedly, I gobbled down my soup and began setting bowls alongside M.

Soon afterward, hungry 'pets from all over Neopia lined up outside of the Soup Kitchen. As the line grew longer, so did my worries. What if they didn't like me? Or worse, what if they ran away at the sight of someone like me working here? These thoughts made my eyes sting and my chest tighten. I felt as if I was going to cry at any moment, but then that same gentle claw touched my head. When I looked up, M was staring down at me. His face was the same frightening face I had seen when we first met. He had the same piercing red eyes and the same sharp, dagger-like teeth, but instead of feeling fear, I felt at ease. I knew that, whatever was about to happen, M would not desert me and he wouldn't let anyone else treat me mean. For the first time in my life, I felt like someone actually cared about me.

"Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm," M growled softly and handed me a bowl of soup while he took his own and headed for the front door to open the Soup Kitchen.

I expected the other Neopets to gasp in fright, or at least stand back, when they saw M, but to my surprise they clamored around him and showered him with kind words and warm welcomes.

"Ahh, M! It's good to see you're still helping the Soup Faerie!" one elderly Ogrin said and he ambled up to receive his bowl of steaming Starberry soup.

"I want Negg Soup, Mr. M!" a tiny baby Wocky requested as she looked up at M with big green eyes.

Nobody seemed to have noticed me hiding behind M with my still-warm bowl of soup. I thought about creeping back into the kitchen and maybe trying to find another way to help M and the Soup Faerie. I was great at stirring -- maybe she'd let me stir the soup!

As I turned to slip back inside, M's tail wrapped itself around me and brought me and my bowl of soup to the front where everyone could see me. That's when I froze; this was the end for me! I'd be chased away like I always was! And here I thought I had finally found a place where I'd like to stay.

I closed my eyes and braced myself for the inevitable, but for the third time that day, I was surprisingly met with kindness. The tiny baby Wocky bounced up to me and said, "Is dat soup for me?" It was amazing! She was not afraid of me at all -- in fact, she gave my head a little pat after receiving her soup. How could this be? I wondered in amazement.

"It's because these 'pets can see beyond what is on the surface." The Soup Faerie's voice sounded from behind M and me.

"Small one, you are not the only one who has had others look at you with with fear and disdain. The world is full of those who cannot look past our appearances and are unable to see who we really are. It is our job as Neopians to show them just how beautiful we all are and how wonderful things can be when we work together." The Soup Faerie smiled at me as she lifted me into her arms.

"Once there was a fearsome Bori with a very scary face. He was shunned by everyone he met and, eventually, he began to believe that he was the monster that everyone thought he was. In truth, he possessed the most gentle of hearts. Over the years, I have watched him touch the hearts of many 'pets and teach them not to judge him by his frightening face, but by the kindness of his deeds. While he has shown his true self to many 'pets, I can't help but feel that he is a little lonely. I think he is looking for a kindred spirit..." The Soup Faerie’s words trailed off as she looked at M handing out bowls of soup to the happy 'pets that surrounded him. She then smiled down at me and asked, "Will you be his kindred spirit?"

I looked over at M, then hopped out of the Soup Faerie’s arms and ran toward M. I leapt up and perched myself right on top of his head and began helping give out soup. Since then, M and I have always been together... and being a Lizark hasn't been so tough.

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