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My name is Chirrkt. I am a Lenny. And, like most Lennies, from a very young age I came to realise that Lennies are almost universally despised by the other inhabitants of Neopia, pets and owners alike.
"Can't her owner even afford a morphing potion?" uppity Unis would sniff as I walked by, looking at me as though my very presence offended them, polluted the area. That I wasn't painted only made it worse. But Skrengi, my owner, insisted that, if it was only to gain the semi-approval of wealthy Lenny-haters, being painted was unnecessary.
Several Beauty Contest trophies did little to raise my self-esteem. After all, they were species trophies; I was only competing against other, equally ugly (or so I thought) Lennies like myself.
Gradually, though, as I was in the Beauty Contest more and more, I came to realise something that I had known for a long time but hadn't really got through. Other Lennies. There were other Lennies, Lennies with owners like mine who loved them. And some of them would be downtrodden like me, despite the best efforts of their loving owners. But some of them, I was sure, would be standing tall (not a difficult task for a Lenny, really, what with our long legs), proud to be a Lenny! This notion was quite alien to me, but the point was further hammered home when I was out in Neopia with Skrengi. Another owner came up to us and said something along the lines of: "Ha, ha, you have a Lenny. They are such stupid pets, they're ugly and skinny and weak; why don't you get a decent pet instead?" And Skrengi told them that she didn't care what they thought; everybody has different opinions and she personally was proud to own a Lenny, because there were so few of us. Not proud like someone who owns a Krawk, proud because they're lucky enough to afford it. Proud because she was one of the few people who could see the beauty of Lennies and appreciate them for what they were.
She was proud of me. I shouldn't be so unappreciative, I thought! I should be just as proud as my owner that I was a Lenny. The next time popular Shoyrus sneered at me, I would hold my head up high! I would tell them that popularity isn't everything, that what's on the inside counts more than the outside! Well, maybe not lecture so boldly. I wasn't that confident yet. But I stopped letting snide comments get to me so badly, and was much happier for it.
It was when my younger brother Skwikk, a Lenny like me, came along that I got thinking again. There were a lot of other Lennies out there, that much I knew from the Beauty Contest. So what if we started to get together? We could have a group of Lennies, where all Lennies could feel safe, wanted and appreciated. And so, after much whining and poking (it's the only way to get anything out of her, I swear!), Skrengi let me found The Marshland Flock, a guild for Lennies. Of course, as I had expected, it wasn't very successful at first. For a long time there was only one other Lenny around, and she left shortly afterwards. Somehow, though, between now and then, it grew.
These days, I know a lot of other great Lennies (to name them all would probably take up almost as much space as this spotlight!) and I spend most of my time with them, rather than habing to put up with pets and owners who put me down because I'm a Lenny.
Like I should have said to the people who teased me when I was younger: Lennies are beautiful, and if you can't see that you don't have to insult the people who can.
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