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Pet Name: Shabu_Bloom
I suppose I'd better tell you the story of how Shabu came to be. I'd try and get him to tell you himself but he's always been a very shy creature, easily scared by strangers, you see.
Shabu was born as a very shy, very ordinary yellow Blumaroo with big black eyes and floppy ears. As soon as I saw him I knew he should come home with me; there was a beautiful innocence in the way he would hop around on his big tail and trip over his own feet. I knew that I could make him feel at home and Bridget (who was herself a red Xweetok at the time) had been complaining for a while that she felt lonely. I thought a new brother would cheer her up, especially since Bridget has always been very quiet and secretive. When the two of them met they instantly got on (I think because neither of them likes to talk too much) and Shabu became a most prized brother and loved pet and the second official member of the Bloom family.
I was less ambitious back then. I was content to muddle along, making sure the family was well fed and not worrying about the new paint brush craze that was sweeping Neopia. Then one day, Shabu and I were walking through Tyrannia hoping to catch a concert when we saw a pet cross the road in front of us. This pet was large, with a long sleek neck. Spiky plates adorned its back and it had the cutest, sweetest face. I felt Shabu squeeze my hand as it walked by, and we both stood and stared mouths ajar at the wonder creature as it wandered down the opposite side of the street.
“What was that?” squeaked Shabu.
“That,” I replied, with a smile on my face “was a Chomby.”
I had always admired Chombies; I thought they were adorable creatures but that they would be completely unattainable for me and my little family. Our bank balance was always less than overflowing. But the excitement in little Shabu’s eyes had been unmistakeable; he’d never been so animate before! I wasn’t surprised when he had asked me:
“Keller, can I be a Chomby?”
I didn’t know what to say to him. I’d hate to let him down, so I told him I’d try my best to make it happen for him and left it at that.
I began to scrimp and save and research the best way to go about the change. I always thought a morphing potion would be completely unachievable and I had heard rumours about a secret laboratory where a pet may be changed somehow into another species. I found a piece of an ancient map and slowly began to piece together the mystery of this secret laboratory.
As time grew on, Shabu became more withdrawn. He was losing hope that this great change would ever happen. It broke my heart to see him so sad; he deserved all this extra effort if it would make him happy again. I worked harder and saved more and more points.
That first trip to the lab was a memorable one. The little boat we had hired to take us to the island had swayed and rocked to the swell of the ocean so much that both Shabu and I felt very sick indeed! He had stood so bravely underneath the big ray gun, trying not to show me how much he was shaking. I was so afraid that the ray might hurt him that I almost snatched him from underneath it. But suddenly a huge burst of light flickered around him and for a moment I lost sight of him.... Could it be that he would change into a Chomby on his first time? Think how happy he would be! Soon the smoke cleared and he stepped out towards me. He looked exactly the same.
“How do you feel?” I asked.
“A little weaker,” he replied. I carried him home that day.
We continued like this for several months. Sometimes he would leave the island feeling stronger and more energised; often he would feel drained and weak. Occasionally he would leave in a new colour or even species... but never as a Chomby.
“It will happen soon,” he croaked at me one day as I carried him back to the boat.
“I hope so,” I thought to myself.
*“Wake up, Shabu,” I whispered, “I have a surprise for you.”
He opened his eyes groggily; it was rather early in the morning, but I was so excited that I had to wake him now.
“You’ve been given a gift, Shabu. Hold out your flipper.” (He had recently been turned into a Tuskaninny.)
He held out his flipper obligingly and I placed a delicate glass bottle into it.
“What is it?” he asked, studying the flask. His sleepy eyes had begun to focus and I saw, to my delight, his face transform from a sleepy expression into a huge sparkling smile.
“A Chomby morphing potion!”
“That’s right!” I said and hugged him close.
He’s always been his happiest as a Chomby. His quiet reserved nature is still part of him, it makes him who he is, but since the change he has had a calmness that I’d never seen in him before. He’s lost his nervous energy and permanent on-edge expression. He will always be a quiet, simple creature, but I can tell that he feels more comfortable now in his own skin.
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