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Petpet Name: Serval
Pet Name: Hatther
It was a fairly cool day in Neopia Central. I, Orthido, the refined starry Gelert, was perusing the newest Neopian Times as usual when suddenly...
"BRO! BRO! BROOOO!!!"
I looked up, only to be met with a glossy page spread pushed up to my nose so that I could only see pictures of... Desert Petpets?
"What's this now, Hatther?" I inquired, pushing the catalog from Peopatra's Petpets away.
"Come on, bro!" the speckled Peophin said with a bounce, holding her magazine out to me again and jabbing at a picture in the corner. "Take a look at this!"
I sighed. What was my little sister up to now? I obliged and looked at where she was pointing to. It was a picture of a sleek black critter slinking among the sands.
"A Seti," I answered. "And? What about a Seti?"
"DUH!" Hatther snorted indignantly, crossing her arms. "What else? I want one!"
There it was. I sighed again, this time rolling my eyes for good measure. I love my little sister and all, but she can be so unreasonable sometimes.
"That's nice and all, Hatther," I said. "There's just a problem, though... don't you already have a Petpet?"
"Wha? Who?" She shook her mane confusedly. I pointed to the table next to me where Chirps the Albat had been roosting. Chirps was now looking up at his owner with sad eyes.
"Oh, that one?" Hatther harrumphed as if she'd never known the poor creature was there in the first place. "He can go to my friend, Kynn. She's been wanting a Petpet, like, forever anyways."
Chirps and I exchanged glances, then the tiny Albat let out a quiet whistle, resigned to his fate. Perhaps he would actually be better off with a new owner, after all.
"Fine," I muttered, then added in a serious tone. "I have to warn you, though -- if you get bored with this new Petpet again, then I won't get you another one anymore. You won't tire of the Seti, will you?"
"Nope! I promise!" the Peophin piped, putting her arms behind and trying to look angelic as she could. I knew better.
"Well, since the boss..." I started (referring to our "owner" who always seemed to be out, leaving me in charge all the time) "...has left us a good enough sum of money, I'll go out and get a Seti now. You behave, okay?"
Hatther nodded vigorously, but I could see that mischievous smirk of hers. I chuckled, shaking my head, and ruffled her mane as I made my way out.
The sun was high up in the clear blue sky but the air around me had progressively grown chillier. I wrapped my green Asparagus Scarf around my nose tighter and tucked my paws into my jeans as I headed for the nearest store in the marketplace. The Shop Wizard had told me there was a small shop not too far away that was selling a Seti at a very cheap price. I couldn’t resist a bargain like that, especially knowing that my sister MIGHT get bored with it eventually if it was to happen.
I soon reached my destination and went inside, the bell jingling as I opened the door. An island Kacheek looked up from his counter and beamed. "How can I help you today?" he asked.
"Hello," I greeted him. "I was told to come here; I understand you have a Seti for sale?"
The big smile on his face faded quickly. "Ohhhh... you don't want that one, trust me. Wouldn't you prefer a lovely Swabby?" He quickly pushed me toward a cage where a mop-looking creature sat. "It's so cuddly and cute, plus you'll never have to worry about messes in your home ever again!"
I made a face at the expensive price tag that was tied to its cage. "No, thank you... I came here for a Seti and I aim to get one. Otherwise, my sister will never let me hear the end of it."
"A-Are you sure? Couldn't I interest you in ah... a Barlow? They're very loyal pets," the shop owner said, persisting. He glanced nervously at the row of cages further down. I would not be swayed so I brushed him aside and looked at the container that had him so nervous.
There was the Seti, who looked up at me with its silver eyes and then yawned and curled up. It seemed pretty harmless. I had no idea why the shopkeeper was so on edge about it.
"Pfft, it looks fine to me." I raised an eyebrow at the Kacheek. "I don't know what your problem is, but I'm taking it off your hands whether you like it or not... after all, you DID put it up for sale, didn't you?" I said, adding the last bit with a half-smile.
The shop owner muttered about "regrets and curses" under his breath, so I just shrugged and then picked the Seti out of its cage, tucking it under my sweater where it could be warm. It purred when I did so. Aww! How could such a cute thing have that silly Kacheek so scared stiff?
I dropped the owed Neopoints in the Shop Till and made my way back home.
"I'm home!" I called out as I stepped into the pleasantly warm hall of our Neohome. I pulled off my scarf and hung it up while the Seti poked its head out of my sweater collar. Zekebug, my little Lupe brother, came running in. Neither Hatther nor Marttaha immediately showed up, but the latter was understandable as the Hissi preferred to keep to herself.
"What's that?" Zeke asked curiously, eying the new critter.
"It's a Seti. Hatther asked me to get her one," I responded, looking around. "Where is that silly Peophin now?"
At that word, my sister bounded into the room, rather out of breath and her mane a mess. "Bro! Bro! I'm here! Did you get the Seti like I asked?"
I shook my head at the disheveled look of hers. "Did you go and get into another fight again?"
She huffed, avoiding eye contact. "What does that matter? Show me the Seti now!"
"All right, all right..." I pulled out the little black creature and laid it down on the carpet. It looked around in wonder at its new home. It then began to groom itself.
"Daw!" Zeke cooed.
"I know, right?" Hatther grinned broadly, as if it had been her who'd gone and gotten it in the first place.
"Well, it needs a name," I said, crossing my arms.
"I know a good one!" Hatther almost shouted. "I read about it in the boss's book once -- this animal that has long legs and likes to stride through the grass, almost like a Seti! Let's call him Serval!"
"Hey... that's not bad at all!" I said approvingly, if slightly surprised by her brilliant idea for the name. She wasn't exactly the sharpest in the crayon box, you know.
"Well, what do you think?" she asked, smiling as she looked down at the Seti.
Serval, the newly named Petpet, paused its preening and looked up at her, staring intensely for a while. Then it came in an ear-splitting shriek.
"A CURSE ON YOU!"
In unison we all gaped at him with jaws dropped. Hatther was the first to recover from the shock.
"Wha... WHAT? I... wha..." she stammered, on the verge of a blowing a gasket.
"Well..." I blinked, now in understanding. "That's why it was so cheap!"
Zeke chuckled. "I like him. He sure is funny!"
"BRO!" Hatther whined and I knew what was about to come. "I don't--"
"AH AH!" I stopped her, waggling my finger. "Do you not remember what we discussed this morning?"
She glared at me, open-mouthed, then shut it with an angry suck of air, letting out a big snort. She looked down at the Seti, who was watching us all innocently. Hah, "innocently."
It then began to whine -- a very ghastly noise.
"WHAT now?" Hatther asked exasperatedly.
I looked at Serval and noticed he was miming grabbing his throat and gasping. "I think he’s thirsty. You should get him something to drink."
My sister scowled. "He can do without it!"
That made the Seti eye her reproachfully, which, to my surprise, actually made her look very sorry.
"Okay, okay! I'll get him water. Are you happy now? Just as long he doesn’t curse me again."
She stormed into the kitchen and returned with a dish brimming with water. Hatther slammed it down on the floor, making it spill a bit. Serval gratefully drank it up.
"Well?" my sister said, smiling slightly. "You like it, right? You aren't gonna curse me again, now, are you?”
Once again the Seti looked up at us, tilting his head. Then...
"A CURSE ON YOU!"
This time, though, Zeke and I howled with laughter while Hatther could only stare with her mouth agape. She then stormed away in a fury. I eventually caught my breath, panting, then smiled, petting Serval.
"You know, I think things might just get more interesting around here with you..."
The Seti chittered happily, then galloped after his owner, who was no doubt probably burying her face in a pillow in her bedroom out of shame.
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