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Petpet Name: Whistle
Pet Name: larkseed
Pacha the Tyrannian petpets shopkeeper is one Neopian citizen whose trials and adventures we do not tend to focus on here in Neopia. That is distinctly unfair because, you see, she goes through the real-life equivalent of Volcano Run in order to get those petpets to us. Only Pacha can’t fly. Imagine!
When she is not at her store selling her wares, Pacha the Tyrannian petpets shopkeeper is actively hunting for petpets in the furthest, most remote wilds of the Tyrannian jungles.
By and large, her favourite Tyrannian petpets to find are the Rocks. The reason is obvious: to find them, all you have to do is stub your toe and look down and voila! There is a Rock!
The curious Gathows and Gruslens aren’t hard to find either – all you need is something that smells strongly of fish (a half-melted Chocolate Coated Fish Pop works fine) and they are all over you. The Scados and Searexes are mostly found in a shallow swampy pool that borders the jungle, and easily plucked out. Donksaurs, Stegos and Ackos tend to move in little herds amidst the massive roots of the ancient trees of Tyrannia, and once you’ve spotted one, you’ve spotted a dozen – enough for Pacha to stock her shop for weeks.
And then there is the Skree.
The Skree isn’t a petpet we see often here in Neopia. I will describe it for you: it looks a little like an Airax in that it is also a small Tyrannian bird-like petpet, and it looks a little like the most beautiful exotic flower you can imagine with its resplendent plumage and delicate feathers. But look closely and see its sharp beak and its curved talons and you will quickly realize that this petpet ain’t no delicate flower or sweet little Airax. It is a Skree, and it is among the most feral and the most ferocious of all petpets and among the most rare and expensive of all Tyrannian ones.
Also, unfortunately for Pacha, it is one of the most difficult to catch. Skrees are fiercely independent and they never move in herds (or, I suppose, flocks) like the Stegos, and they are never in the same place twice, like the Searex and the Scado.
But Pacha would never let a little thing that get in the way of her making a profit, so she catches the Skrees. Not often, but often enough that her Skree-selling allows her to take luxury cruises at Mystery Island and renovate her shop with plush Weewoo-down furniture in the meantime.
Pacha's exact Skree-capturing method remains a secret. Generally it is suspected she uses some bait-and-switch technique involving a lot of screeching, a Worms and Dirt Sundae and a Blue Sticky Hand.
Now. Have you ever considered the petpet descriptions that you find accompanying each petpet? With the Noil described as “a fluffy, bouncy companion” and the Angelpuss described as a “sweet adorable little kitty”? Well. You will note with interest that those descriptions are written by the petpet shopkeepers themselves, as they are the most intimately acquainted with all of the petpet types and their various characteristics.
Naturally, Pacha the Tyrannian petpets shopkeeper wrote the description for Skrees. It goes as follows:
“A fierce, wild Petpet that takes a lot of time and patience to tame.”
This description is, in all respects, an understatement.
Skrees are not only fierce, they are savage. You should see a hungry Skree viciously attacking 1/4 of a piece of a Bacon and Broccoli Omelette. Actually, you shouldn’t, because you will be subject to the most horrifying nightmares following that, even worse than that nightmare involving Sloth force-feeding asparagus to innocent Usuls.
Skrees are not only wild, they are tempestuous. A storm in a teacup. A minute hurricane with wings and stubby clawed feet and a really, really loud squawk. (Not quite thunderous because it’s so squeaky, but when you hear it without relief for more than twenty-four hours, you become quite eager to have Sloth force-feed you asparagus instead, insofar as that is at all possible.)
“A lot of time and patience” means “a Tyrannian age and the patience of the Wheel of Monotony spinner.”
We can’t blame Pacha for false advertising, though: she’s got to sell her petpets and her description is, we must agree, closer to the truth than a lot of petpet descriptions. Such as the ever-misleading Rock description, “it’s a pet rock.” You should see what THOSE get up to when their owners aren’t around. If you have ever mysteriously had socks “disappear” in the wash, and you have a Rock, look no further.
And how exactly do I know all of this about Skrees, you may ask? Well. My name is Larkseed, and I am the recent owner of a Skree.
As a Lenny, when my owner presented me with this squawking angry flurry of feathers, I did what all good Lennies do: I ran to the bookstore and purchased every petpet-care book I could find. And then I travelled (screeching Skree in tow) to Pacha to learn as much as I could, straight from the Elephante’s mouth, as it were.
And you know what? Most of it is true. My little Skree – who I have named Whistle – is as wild and as fierce a petpet as you could hope for.
But what Pacha didn’t tell me, and what the books didn’t tell me, is that when the day is through – when Whistle has screeched out the ears of everyone in our neighbourhood, and she has viciously attacked every morsel of omelette she can get her claws on – there is a softness and a peace to her that really makes it all worth it.
Whistle is perched on my head as I write this. Her talons, sharp enough to slice open a Rock Fruit, are retracted. Her sharp beak, strong enough to crack stale Tonu Hard Candy, is currently occupied in plucking at a wayward feather on my head. And she is not screeching (thank Coltzan!).
I like my Skree. She was a challenge to tame (it took me about two Tyrannian ages). But in the end it was worth it. My Whistle has attitude by the bucketload and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Now, what we REALLY need is a Skree Day.
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