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Pet Spotlight

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- Today's Pet Spotlight -

Pet Name: Lukashen
Owner: indietoast
Breed: Elephante

About Lukashen:

This is my pet, Lukashen *holds up picture proudly* I'd like to nominate him for site spotlight. As you can see he's an elephante, but not just any old ordinary elephante, no! He is Neopia's only patchwork elephante.

How did he get to be so special? I hear you cry, well it all started when he was first sorted into the adoption centre at pet central with all his brothers and sisters. There were blue elephantes green elephantes and no shortage of yellow and red either, a very colourful bunch they made. But then, there was Lukashen who was by all accounts a rather dull shade of grey.

"I don't think Neopians will be very forthcoming in adopting that little guy" I overheard the adoption Uni say to Dr Death. That's what first inspired my curiosity as I peered into his crate on that chilly spring morning. This was my first neopets so I wasn't entirely sure what to expect but there in the crate sat a rather drab looking elephante, his only redeeming feature the sincere blue eyes which peered back at me.

"I'll take him." I said. I've always been drawn to the runt of the litter and at this point in time that was exactly what Lukashen appeared to be. The Uni looked at me curiously, "You're sure?" she asked "We have them in red you know."
"I know," I nodded, "But I've made up my mind."
She smiled at me curiously and wrapped the sleepy Lukashen in a blanket placing him in a cardboard carrying box.

I didn't mind that he was different, we got a few curious looks from passers by in the market place but that was fine. In fact we lived quite happily until Lukashen was old enough to enroll at the swashbuckling academy. That's when it started - the taunting.

"You can't play with us because you're not a proper colour!" they told him spitefully.
"Lukashen if you stand against the corridor wall you'll disappear." They teased.
Lukashen didn't fend off their remarks, instead he gradually grew to accept that grey was not a nice thing to be.

"Couldn't you paint me?" he asked solemnly.
"I'm afraid not Luka," I confessed "We just can't afford it right now, besides I like you just the way you are." I reassured giving him a little squeeze.
"I don't." He admitted and slunk off to his room. My heart sank.

Then quite out of the blue on Thursday afternoon at the academy, the class was just settling on the mat after some rather rowdy drama work when the teacher announced that they were going to have a world history lesson. "But not about this world!" The teacher announced. "A lesson about the world your owners live in, a world called earth."

The teacher described the animals of earth and the class, including Lukashen, were surprised to find that some of them bore resemblance to the pets in Neopia. Lupes and Gelerts were rather like "Dogs" Aishas and Wockies were similar to "Cats" she told them and the elephantes on earth were called "Elephants".

Lukashen was interested to here about the "Elephants" and so despite his usually timid nature he piped up and asked the teacher to tell them a little more.

"Well," said the teacher, "Elephants do not have wings and their tails are longer and thinner than your own, but they tend to be a grey colour, a little like yourself!"
Lukashen was delighted and puffed up proudly. The other class members were visibly impressed.
"Wow!" they said. "Lukashen you're like an earth elephant! No wonder your owner likes you so much."

At playtime all the other pets wanted to play at being earth-animals with Lukashen in the star role, they wished they had never made fun of his amazing grey coat. In fact Lukashen was the most popular pet in the playground, but that didn't bother him.
"Having friends is nice," he confessed to Piartho, a starry shoyru who once ignored him with the rest. "But nothing about me has changed, so to be honest I don't see why you want to be friends with me now if I wasn't good enough to be friends with before."

His honesty caught the group of pets who had gathered around him by surprise.
"It wasn't that you weren't good enough," A yellow chia piped up at last, "You were just so different, we didn't know how to be your friend."
"Well," Lukashen added looking a little hurt, "I was always the same on the inside. I still like the same things you do, like chocolate and peanuts and Meerca chase and pretty coloured paint brushes, not that my owner could ever afford one of those but that's besides the point."
A solemn silence fell over the group as they realised he was right, it didn't matter what he looked like, he was still a neopets and a fun friend to have too.

It was Piartho who broke the silence.
"Lukashen we're sorry we treat you that way. It was very wrong of us, but I think I have an idea of how we could make it up to you! Meet us at the rainbow pool after school tonight and you'll see!"

For the rest of the afternoon Lukashen's classmates giggled and winked to one another and Lukashen couldn't imagine what it was they were planning only this time he didn't feel that it was something bad. He had enjoyed their friendship and he didn't have the heart to hold their teasing against them, it wasn't their fault they didn't understand why he was different.

That night after school he rushed to the rainbow pool where he'd been told to meet the others, a few of them were gathered already around the fountain faerie. Piartho was there, as he approached Lukashen could see him hold something up to the water faerie and begin an animated explanation. Then he watched astonished as Piartho and the other pets used what he could now make out to be a faerie eraser to erase some of their pretty colourings. Piartho erased a star from just under his wing, a blue lupe erased one of his front paws and by the time they had finished each of the pets had a small white patch somewhere on their previously colourful coats.

Lukashen approached the fountain.
"Hello." The water faerie spoke as though she has been expecting him. "You must be Lukashen. Lukashen nodded to in awe to speak, the faerie held the eraser over his head.
"Your friends what to show you how truly sorry they are." She told him in her tinkling voice, "This is their gift to you."
With that a magical coloured light surrounded him while the other pets shielded their eyes. When the light faded Lukashen looked down at his coat to find that he was painted, and not just any old colour but ALL of them! A little patch of each given by his friends! He hugged them all and thanked them excitedly.

So Lukashen is still different, there are no other patchwork elephantes and there may never be, but now he knows that his differences are appreciated, accepted and loved and he has experienced the true gift of friendship.

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