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Petpet Name: Char
Pet Name: SwagDarling
Hi, everybody! My name is Char, and I'm a Spardel. It might be hard to believe, but when I first met my owner, he didn't like me at all! In fact, he actually told his daddy to bring me back to the store. This is the story of how I changed my owner's mind and became his best little friend...
My first memory ever is being brought to the Petpet Store in Neopia Central. I was just a baby then, even tinier than I am now! I was the only Spardel in the store at the time, so I was in a cage all by myself. It didn't seem fair -- everywhere I looked, the other Petpets in the store seemed to be having fun! There was a cage full of Buzzers zipping around each other, a tank with Nurannas swimming in a group together, and out in the middle of the store, there was a big playpen where a bunch of little Kadaoties were running around, batting a ball of yarn. Boy, did I wish that there were other Spardels to play with! I would even have been happy to be in the playpen with all the Kadoaties. I shoved my paws through the space between the cage bars and barked, hoping that someone would notice me.
That's when a green Kacheek walked into the store. The shopkeeper greeted her warmly and asked what she was looking for.
"I want a Petpet that can do tricks!" the Kacheek said, looking around the store at the wide selection.
"Well, have a look here!" the shopkeeper said, reaching over to my cage and unlocking the door. I was pulled out and handed over to the Kacheek, who cradled me in her arms. "We just got this little Spardel in today. Why don't you play with him for a minute and see if he's what you want?"
"Okay!" the Kacheek said happily. She knelt on the floor and set me down in front of her. I looked up at her, wagging my tail and panting excitedly. She held up her hand, displaying a Petpet treat held in between her fingertips. I barked happily.
"Roll over!" the Kacheek said. "Come on, roll over!"
Roll over? I had absolutely no idea what she meant. No idea at all! Roll over? Roll over what? I sat down and cocked my head to one side in confusion.
"Okay, forget that," the Kacheek said, looking impatient. "Speak! Speak!"
What did that mean? Speak like a Neopet would? I couldn't do that, I could only bark. I stared up at her. Why wasn't she just giving me the treat? Why wasn't she taking me home? Didn't she want me to be her Petpet?
"Ugh! You were just barking so much a minute ago, and now when I tell you to speak, you're completely silent!" The Kacheek stood and scooped me up off the ground. She marched over to the shopkeeper and handed me back, saying scornfully, "This is definitely not the Petpet for me. It can't even understand simple commands!"
"Well, Spardels aren't the most intelligent Petpets out there," the shopkeeper said. "But with time and patience, they can learn tricks just like any other Petpet can. And you know what they say: what a Spardel lacks in intelligence, it more than makes up for in love."
"Yeah, whatever," the Kacheek said, and with that, she walked out of the store, leaving me behind.
"Oh well," the shopkeeper sighed, and popped me right back into my cage.
This time, I didn't run to stick my paws out and bark. I wasn't feeling playful at all anymore. Instead, I felt like the worst Petpet in the world! Why hadn't I understood what tricks she wanted me to do? I wished I were smarter. If I were smarter, I would have had a home by then! I curled up in a little ball near the back of my cage and closed my eyes, shaking slightly. The floor of the cage was hard and no good for sleeping on. I was afraid I was going to be stuck there forever.
The next day, I was still curled into a little ball when the shopkeeper came in to open up the store for the day. She gave me fresh water and poured food into the bowl in my cage, but I wasn't interested. I was still feeling sad because of what had happened the day before. I decided I was going to keep my back to the door of my cage so I wouldn't have to watch other, better Petpets getting new homes all day.
Just then, I heard the door to the shop swing open.
"Welcome!" the shopkeeper said warmly. "How can I help you, sir? Is there any Petpet in particular that you're looking for today?"
"Actually, I was hoping you could help me figure that out!" the new customer said. "I'm looking for a Petpet for my son. Something to be a good little friend to him."
"Oh, I have just the Petpet for you!" the shopkeeper exclaimed. I curled up even smaller. The shopkeeper was probably going to give that customer one of the little Kadoaties.
Then, to my surprise, I heard the door of my cage being opened! I whipped around, wagging my tail. The shopkeeper picked me up and handed me right over to the customer, who was a blue Aisha wearing a fancy-looking suit. The Aisha held me up and looked at me.
"This thing is adorable! My son will love him!" he declared. "I'll take him."
In a moment's time, the Aisha had paid for me and was carrying me out of the pet store. My tail was wagging a mile a minute. I couldn't believe that I had actually spent the whole night thinking I didn't have a chance at getting a home, and now here I was, all bought and paid for... and the best part was still yet to come! I may not have been able to understand how to do tricks, but I did understand what the Aisha meant when he said he was buying me for his son. That meant that my real owner was waiting to meet me at my new home.
Before I knew it, the Aisha was carrying me through the door of a big Faerieland mansion. I looked around in awe at my new home. Everything was so shiny and pretty. It was such a big and airy house, with a huge staircase leading up to the higher floors. I couldn't wait to meet my owner and then start exploring.
"Swainton!" the Aisha called, still holding me in his arms. "Daddy's brought home a present for you!"
In the next second, a skinny young faerie Aisha had run down the wide staircase. He was a boy, but he had long hair and a pink headband on. He was smiling brightly.
"Oh, thank you, Daddy! What is it? What did you get me? I hope it's that pink jacket I've had my eye on for, like, days now!" The faerie Aisha came to a halt when he saw me. The smile vanished right off his face. "A Petpet?!?" he shrieked. "Ew, get it away from me! You know I hate Petpets, Daddy! They're dirty and they get fur all over everything and they totally stink! Ugh!" He turned his back on me, flipping his hair over his shoulder.
"Now, now, Swainton--" his father began.
"And nobody calls me Swainton anymore," the faerie Aisha said, interrupting. "Everyone calls me by my nickname, Swag. Got it? Now take that nasty little thing away and get me the pink jacket!" The faerie Aisha marched back up the stairs.
My heart was pounding. Did this mean I was going to get taken right back to the Petpet store? I would rather have been a stray Petpet than get taken back and left in that cage again.
"Well, little guy," the older Aisha said, putting me down on the polished tile floor. "It's up to you. Go see if you can change his mind. I bet you can." He gave me a nice pat on the head and then walked away. I watched him go, and then quickly turned around and began scrambling up the staircase. It was hard because I was so small and I had to almost climb each stair, but I was determined! I was a Spardel on a mission. I had to win over my new owner, Swainton... or Swag... or whatever he was called. I just had to!
After making my way up the stairs, I quickly found my new owner's room. I didn't have much that I could do. I already knew I couldn't impress him by doing tricks. I would just have to try and be as cute as possible. With that goal in mind, I trotted into the room and let out a soft little bark.
Swag was lying on his bed reading a fashion magazine when I came in. As soon as he heard my bark, he looked at me and screamed, "Ew, get out of my room! You're going to get your nasty fur all over my carpet!" He threw the magazine at me.
I yelped and ran away to hide beneath a nearby set of dresser drawers. This was going to be way harder than I thought! I couldn't give up, though, so I crawled out from underneath the drawer. Swag had gotten off of his bed and was rummaging through the drawer of his bedside table. He took out a box filled to the brim with hair accessories and started carrying it across the room to a vanity table with a big mirror. As he walked, a sparkly blue barrette fell out of the box and landed on the floor. I quickly ran over, picked it up in my mouth, and followed him over to the vanity. When he sat down and looked around for the blue barrette he'd dropped, he saw me sitting there with it in my mouth, wagging my tail.
"Ugh, you're getting your icky dog drool all over my barrette!" Swag exclaimed, reaching down and snatching it out of my mouth. He held it with the tips of his fingers and dropped it onto the vanity table. He then turned and gave me another look. "That was pretty cute," he said. "But Daddy still definitely has to take you back. You and me just aren't gonna work out. I so don't do Petpets." With that, he turned to face the vanity mirror and started brushing his hair.
I had to do something else cute, and fast. I looked around the room and spotted a fancy pink handbag sitting on the floor a few feet away from me. I darted over to it and, somewhat awkwardly, climbed into it. It was absolutely packed with stuff: sunglasses, makeup, a wallet, some old concert tickets, and a bunch of loose Neopoints. Still, I managed to fit myself in there and look out over the top of the bag, letting my front paws dangle out. I let out a little yip.
Swag slammed the brush down. "Ugh, be quiet, you dumb Spardel!" he said, annoyed. "I don't care how cute you can be, I'm going downstairs right now and making Daddy take you back--" his voice trailed off as he turned around and saw me sitting in his bag.
"Ew, get out of my bag! Don't you know how expensi--" Swag began to yell at me, but I just yipped again and let one of my ears flop to the side, and made my eyes extra-big. He stopped and suddenly squealed, "Oh my goodness! Look at you!" He sat down on the floor and beamed at me. "You're adorable, and you just climbed right in there all by yourself! I bet you'd look even cuter if I was carrying you around like that!" Swag reached down, picked up the bag, and slung the straps over his shoulders. He walked over to the vanity mirror to have a look.
"Look at us!" he declared, smiling. "Your blue fur is the perfect pop of colour to complement my outfit! Together we are perfectly super-stylish. You know what? I take back what I said before. Besides, the housekeeper can totally do the gross parts of taking care of you." Swag put the bag down on the vanity table and started rummaging around in the box of hair accessories. He pulled out a pink bow and tied it around my neck.
"There! That'll do until I can buy a real collar for you. Now all you need is a name. I'm thinking Char. What do you think?"
I barked loudly and wagged my tail as hard as I could!
"I knew you'd agree! It's crazy that I didn't want you! We're gonna be best friends from now on, Char, you adorable little idiotface! Now come with me, let's show Daddy how well we're getting along!" He grabbed the bag and carried me downstairs.
"Daddy!" he called. The older Aisha came out of a nearby room.
"Yes, son?" he said curiously.
"Look at this!" Swag said, turning around to show off how he was carrying me. "I named him Char. Isn't he the perfect little fashion accessory? He's more than that, too. He's going to be my newest little best friend."
"I knew you'd learn to love him," the older Aisha said and smiled at us. "I knew you could do it, Char," he said, and gave me a wink.
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