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Pet Name: Meiau
Meiau was born a Green Nimmo, and she liked it well enough – the long hoppy legs, she mused, were pretty cool. Nimmos can jump higher than any other Neopet – and she had enjoyed proving it time and again by jumping over her (very tall) Draik siblings. They were typically un-amused by her jumpy antics, but it was okay – it gave her enough giggles for the three of them. Oh yes – being a Nimmo was just fine.
But being a Nimmo made Mei itch like a bad case of Itchy Scratchies. Figuratively speaking, of course – she’d never actually had the Itchy Scratchies, which was probably all for the best.
No, it made her itch under her skin, in the way only something that isn’t quite right can. Yes, being a Nimmo was fine – but she was sure, somehow, someway, that she was meant to be something else.
“Maybe,” she told her sister Lyrithia, a glorious golden Draik, “I am meant to be a Draik, like you. What’s it like?”
“It’s amazing, Mei – there’s nothing better than soaring through the skies! It’s like... the sweetest freedom ever when the wind is gliding beneath your wings and the landscape rushes beneath you,” Thia gushed.
“No, I’ve swum before – flying is so much better! Here, let me show you,” Lyrithia said, reaching for her sister. With Meiau firmly in hand, the Draik rushed for the skies – causing the young Nimmo to promptly get airsick.
A short while later, after a brisk swim in a nearby river to cool – and clean - off, Meiau playfully flicked water at her sister. “Well,” she said, laughing, “I think that rules out Eyrie and Pteri, too!”
Thia only rolled her eyes, significantly less amused than her enthusiastic sister.
Mei spent the next month talking to as many different Neopets as she could, certain if she could just find the right species, the mental itch would go away.
“But what is like to be so large?” she asked a Grarrl.
“But how do you eat when you only have feet?” she asked a JubJub.
“Doesn’t it frighten you to be painted like food?” she asked a Tomato Chia.
“Do you ever get tired of bouncing?” she asked a Blumaroo.
And truthfully, they were all bewildered by her questions. They all seemed happy as they were, and they all asked the same question.
“But don’t you like being who you are?”
And she did, but though she couldn’t explain it to them, being a Nimmo didn’t feel right. It felt more like a fun interlude than anything else.
“Almost every species,” Meiau responded, shaking her head, “But not all. I couldn’t find any Kikos.”
“Well, they’re all in the water, probably,” her sister said, snorting. “But Kiko? Mei, they don’t even have legs! ”
The young Nimmo couldn’t explain it to her sister, but there was, she thought, something beautiful about Kikos. They were supposed to be the most elegant swimmers – more elegant than even Peophins.
“I’m going on a trip!” she finally said, startling her sister.
Thia sighed. “Kiko Lake?” she asked.
Sighing again, the Draik hugged her sibling. “C’mon, I’ll help you pack.”
The trip to Kiko Lake wasn’t as hard as Meiau had thought it would be – a little tedious, but fairly pleasant. But the tedium was worth it; the lake was beautiful. As Kikos bobbed gracefully on the surface of the water, Meiau found herself silent – an unusual state for the young Nimmo. There was an odd ache in her chest that she couldn’t place, but for the moment, she set it aside and dove into the water to chat with the residents.
Kikos, she found, were very pleasant Neopets. As they dove beneath the surface and floated serenely on the waters, not a single one told Meiau her questions were silly or strange.
“But how to do you live without legs?” she asked.
A sprightly Island Kiko laughed at her. “Legs? Kikos are designed for the water – our strong arms get us where we need to go,” he told her.
“But what about out of water?” she asked, enthralled by the ease he moved through the waters.
He shrugged. “Our arms do the trick there too. We even have a solid Yooyuball team – we have high hopes for them in the Cup this year,” he told her.
“What do you like most about being a Kiko?” she asked a quiet Shadow Kiko.
That Kiko only smiled. “Everything,” she told her, and dove back beneath the water.
And not a single Kiko asked Meiau why she wasn’t happy how she was.
At the end of the day, Meiau finally recognized the feeling in her chest. It was... longing. The Kikos looked so at peace with themselves.
“Lyrithia,” she thought with a groan, “is not going to be happy with me.”
When Meiau arrived home a few days later, after an equally pleasant yet just as tedious return trip, Thia was waiting outside their Neohome. When she spotted the Nimmo, she quickly ran to embrace her.
“Mei! I missed you so much – it’s been so quiet here without you,” said the Gold Draik, hugging her sister soundly.
Hugging her sister back, Mei bit her lip. “Thia, I have something I need to tell you,” she said.
Pulling back from the hug, Lyrithia studied her sister’s worried face. After a moment, she smiled. Pulling Meiau by the hand, she shushed her and dragged her out to the back of the Neohome.
There, sparkling in the sunlight in the backyard was a brand new pool. Pristine and blue and taking up most of the yard, it looked both soothing and inviting.
“What..?” Mei asked, staring back at her sister with baffled eyes.
Lyrithia hugged the young Nimmo and handed her a small wrapped box. “I knew the answer before you did, Mei. I saw it in your eyes as you left. You gave Asellus just enough time to get this ready for you,” she told her, hugging her again.
Meiau unwrapped the box. Inside was a small corked bottle she recognized as being one of Kauvara's; in neat handwriting on the side, it read “Christmas Kiko Morphing Potion.”
“It’s from all of us,” Thia told her, smiling.
Tears pricked Meiau’s eyes as she silently hugged her sister.
Uncorking the bottle as she stared at the pool, she gulped it down. For a moment, the world seemed to turn upside down; life, she reflected, was never going to be the same again!
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