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Petpet Name: Zevran
Pet Name: Mabari
Breed: Woodland Juma
For almost my whole life, I have been different than most other Lupes and Neopets. I was born on the 13th November, Y11, which seems so long ago now, but I still remember my siblings started treating me differently on the day I splashed around in a strange, smelly gray puddle as a young pup. As a Lupe, it is normal to want to roll around in smelly things. But it was not just any smelly thing!
I found out later that a potion had fallen from Kauvara's most recent Pteri-rushed shipment to her magic shop and broken on the ground of the Haunted Woods-- what I had played in was a spilled Lupe Transmogrification Potion. I remember the way it stuck to my fur like warm slime and wouldn't rub off. It changed me forever and I became a Mutant. Luckily, I was alone for only one day before I met Zevran, or at least, before I barely noticed he was there. He doesn't talk much which is why I am narrating now, but he is the most supportive creature I have ever known.
It wasn't that my siblings slowly decided to abandon me. The moment I came back from playing, they were all disgusted by me. My teeth were bigger and could not fit in my mouth, my claws were sharp and pointed into weapons, and even my skin and fur were different. Even my drool was green. My siblings were afraid of all the strange-looking mutations across my body and they thought they might become Mutants too. Even though I showed them evidence in every Neopedia article I could find that there was no way my condition could cause any illness in Neopia, from Achy Head to Watery Eyes, they thought they were going to catch my mutations. I ended up being abandoned in the Pound that day and even there I was put into quarantine away from everyone else. Little did I know, Zevran saw what happened and followed me all the way there, from the Haunted Woods to Neopia Central, without a sound. For a few reasons, including his personality, he is very sneaky and blends well into almost any environment. As we traveled through different lands to the Pound, I wished I could have explored them. I strained my neck to see but could only catch glimpses of the world around me. I thought I was alone and howled in my sadness-- but Zevran was listening and he became determined to help me live my dream of exploring Neopian landmarks.
In the Pound I was so bored and lonely. Not even the neighbor across the hall would look me in the eye. I didn't blame them-- I could barely look into my new red, scary eyes in my own reflection. I used my huge claws and new strength to scratch Roodoku puzzles into the concrete for hours at a time.
Having nothing better to do, I went to sleep to pass time and found that my unfinished puzzle had been solved when I woke up. I looked around and saw no one else was stirring. I was still in my cell all by myself. There was a little window to the outside high up on the wall and I heard a strange chuckling sound coming from a brown flower pot on the window sil. It was some kind of smelly lavender bush, something I thought they put in the Pound to keep me calm. I remember the scent following me during the whole trip to the Pound. They must really be afraid of Mutants to try to keep us calm so much, I thought. I saw a little glint of yellow in the shape of eyes on the flower pot... this weird bushy plant was laughing and looking at me.
At this point I just assumed that the potion did more than alter my physical appearance. I was losing it. I read in the Neopian Times about how heartless Dr. Sloth was. He was the villain responsible for Mutant technology. Not all Mutants are bad or evil, but it seems like the transformation sometimes leads to making bad choices that hurt other Neopets. Was that happening to me? Was I starting to see the world differently now-- a world where inanimate objects were the only thing to pay attention to me?
Every time I glanced back up at the window, it seemed like the entire flower pot would shift or tilt in a different direction. At one point, it was even knocked down on its side, but it was upright when I looked again. I began to think that maybe a ghost had followed me from the Haunted Woods. I tried not to pay attention to it and went back to sleep whenever I could. I always felt like I was being watched.
I slept for days at a time. It was very quiet, except for that loud chattering flower pot sometimes, as no one came to the Pound to adopt hideous Mutants like me. I did my best to ignore the world around me. Sleeping was better than being awake, because at least then I couldn't feel lonely. I woke up one morning to a hard tap on the tip of my nose, and groggily opened my eyes to see nothing at all but new puzzles and challenges scratched into the ground. The bothersome haunted flower pot on the window made a "flrrrrrr" sound.
I decided that I must be haunted. That is just my luck. At least it seemed like it was a playful ghost. We were even able to start a Cellblock game by using pebbles that mysteriously showed up in my cell overnight. Having nothing better to do, I completed every puzzle that I woke up to. It made me look forward to waking up every morning. I'm not one to toot my own horn, but all those puzzles made me really smart. Each morning after that would start with the mysterious tap on my nose, except for the night that Zevran finally introduced himself.
I woke up to another tap, expecting to see more puzzles, but instead I saw this strange half-plant half-Juma that looked an awful lot like the lavender bush that used to be in the window. Then it all started making sense. In his little crooked, half-smiling mouth was a key and on his face was a mischievous look. His pointed ears bent backwards as he stared at me, trying to guess what I would do next. He wagged his tail, which I thought this entire time was just a decorative bush, and dropped the key at my feet. He ran around in silent circles and squeezed his body through the bars of my cell. Stepping in and out of the cell slowly, he laughed at me. Non-verbally he was telling me exactly what he wanted me to do, or at least what he had planned for me. He had been plotting my escape this whole time. I realized that I did not adopt him, but he adopted me that day.
I took the key without hesitation and opened my cell with a soft click. Zevran showed me exactly how to escape without being noticed, despite my huge body and threatening appearance. Through a series of tunnels, we were able to leave without any fuss. Together, we became 'stuck' in the Pound in the sense that Neopians could visit the Pound, but we were never to be found when they looked in my cell. Technically, we were still there by records. But in reality, we explored Neopia without an owner to guide us, train us, or tell us what to do. I never would have been brave enough to do it without his constant tugging on my fur to keep moving and his clever way of "borrowing" things. When we were threatened by challengers or evil-doers, my Mutant appearance seemed to scare them off, while Zevran's optimism kept us moving forward.
It wasn't until stories about our adventures had reached my current owner Etiki that an inquiry was placed to adopt me and the Pound realized I wasn't there. Months went by that I was missing and Dr. Death, the owner of the Pound, was extremely grumpy about it. Etiki took it upon herself to hunt me down after he gave up finding me. In her studies of mutations, she heard a rumor about a wandering Mutant Lupe freely exploring Neopia and not letting their Mutant status hold them back. Like Dr. Sloth, she was a scientist. For that reason, I didn't want her to ever find me.
Zevran and I managed to get by and evade capture, even with 0 Neopoints. In desperation, I found a Rotten Omelette at the Money Tree and slurped it up without pause. Zevran gave me a horrified look. I don't know how old he really is, or even where he came from originally, but he was wise enough to know what would come next. A few days later, I came down with Ugga-Ugga and I could barely move, let alone continue exploring.
This is when Zevran saved me again. When I got very sick, he went out and found Etiki, who was still looking for us, and led her to where I was. He did it so quickly that he must have known exactly where she was at all times. Zevran's judgment of character seemed pretty good-- he helped me despite my appearance, after all-- so I followed his lead yet again. Etiki was not just a scientist, but also a healer. She gave me some Sporkle Syrup and a pat on the head and I was feeling better in no time. I decided maybe not all scientists were like Dr. Sloth.
Sometimes I feel like I am Zevan's Petpet, since I mostly follow him around and he takes care of me, but that is something I will never complain about. This sassy little flower pot has helped me find my forever home as Etiki's Champion Lupe and helped me learn how to be proud of who I am.
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