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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 21st day of Eating, Yr 26
The Neopian Times Week 6 > Short Stories > A Grarrl Called Harry

A Grarrl Called Harry

by Shidi

Truly great Grarrls are known by their deeds.

Rain fell softly over the panes of broken glass that hung in jagged pieces from the windows of the rotting remnants of a building where the Grarrl was caged. His captors, two scientists with hard hearts and heavy hands, worked feverishly through the night, preparing the elixir that would make them famous--more famous than even the mighty Dr. Sloth, whom pets everywhere regarded with terror and awestruck dread.

Perhaps the Grarrl had been born from an egg here, hatched right on the cold stone of the floor, without knowing the life he was destined to lead as he emerged from his safe shell, and into a harsh world. He could have been brought here as a small Grarrl, small enough to retain no memories now of brighter days. The Grarrl never questioned these things, for he knew no more of his world than to fear the light that meant the door to his cage was opening, for then the scientists would give him more tests with harsh punishments for his failures.

He had no measure of passing time, other than to watch the fading light from the window he could half see if he craned his head just right. Food he was given was at irregular times, and consisted only of scraps, barely enough to stay alive. Still, as time passed, the Grarrl had grown larger, until he no longer fit well into his cage. His large feet and tail protruded through the bars, and the scientists had a hard time this night in particular getting him out for the testing.

"Push!" cried One, who was a stocky fellow with thick glasses and a pumpkin-shaped head.

"Pull!" shouted Two, a skinny rat-faced man. With much shoving, pulling, and far more physical labor than evil scientists usually do, they forced the Grarrl out of his cage and into the rain outside the leaky building.

"We need minions," One said, wiping the rain from his glasses.

"Yeah... why don't we have minions?" Two grumbled in return.

If the Grarrl had known more about the evil scientist business, he could have told them why. One and Two lacked the charisma needed to have minions. They couldn't attract a Buzz if they were two large dung heaps.

Grarrl had never learned their names, of course, and they only referred to him as "Experiment dsaf654dsaf899". The Grarrl stood for Doctors Smedley and Franco, the 645 and 899 being the numerical designations of the very, very secret compounds the scientists had made and were planning on combining to turn Grarrl into a mutated battle-hungry weapon of destruction. Grarrl didn't know this either, mostly for three reasons. One, he could not read. Two, he couldn't rightly see way down to his toe in the cramped cage. Three, the scientists never talked to him unless it was to yell instructions for their test. All in all, it wasn't a very cordial relationship.

"Why couldn't you have gotten an Acara?" Two grumbled. "They're small and manageable."

"Who would fear the end of Neopia at the hands of an Acara?" One muttered. "Next you'll say we should have gotten a Poogle. Oh, look at me... I'm the Poogle of the apocalypse! Fear my mighty...cuteness!"

Grarrl was confused for a great long while as no tests were ensuing. He was just... standing there, in the rain, with no restraints, and no poking, prodding, or measuring, or best of all yelling. Well, at least no yelling at him. One and Two seemed to be doing plenty of yelling at each other. In fact, they looked quite busy with that...

"I've seen some scary Poogles down at the racetrack, man. All hyped up on triple chocolate strawberry cake and vitamins... It's pretty frightening...!" Two shouted, looking angry.

"Oh, yeah... the racetrack.... isn't that where you happened to 'misplace' all the Neopoints that were going towards renting a decent evil hideout? One without a leaky roof!" One yelled back.

Grarrl considered reminding them that he was rather unrestrained and no one was poking him with anything. He didn't like tests, however, or pain... and instead... he figured the best thing he could do was wait. The yelling was getting louder, and the lightning flashing was making Grarrl very afraid. Though he'd not had much experience with using his brain for higher thought, a instinct for shelter lit up like a beacon through fog.

Experiment dsaf654dsaf899

"What about your smoothie cravings? Every day, four times a day at least, you're slurping them down, along with those irritating slushies and the nachos....!" Two countered.

"... let's not bring the slushies into this. Those slushies are good. You don't know what you're missing!" One looked agitated.

Grarrl lifted one large foot from the sodden ground, and set it down in front of him. A flash of light illuminated his toe tag, "Experiment dsaf654dsaf899", in the darkness. He put down the other foot in front of that one, making a large print in the fresh mud. Then the other foot... and the other... before he knew it, the sounds of arguing were growing fainter, and more distant...

This was a bad day for two budding evil scientists. Being without a Grarrl meant that they would either have to capture another pet and start all over from scratch, get a new evil plan, or far worse--go back to their pre-evil scientist profession of selling used Tiki Tack merchandise door to door on the Mystery Island. Palm fans never do well on an island full of palm trees.

Grarrl was both frightened and fascinated by the new sights, sounds and smells he encountered on his journey. When the rain stopped, he rested for a while under a tree, and was surprised to see so many beautiful flowers blooming in a Neogarden nearby. A little creature shaped like an impossibly happy blue ball with ruddy spots and leaves on it's head was running about through the flowers. Grarrl had no idea what the blue ball was... but he was hungry, and it looked a bit like food, only mobile, so he approached.

"Hellooooo!" called the impossibly happy blue ball as he approached. "What a big Grarrl you are! I'm Chianinnya!"

"Grarrrrl!" he replied, a bit shocked that the happy blue ball was talking to him. Must not be food, after all. "What... are you?"

"I'm a Chokato Chia!" the blue ball , who was apparently named Chianinnya, intoned with boundless enthusiasm. "And your name can't be Grarrl, that's your species!"

"" Name... he had heard One and Two referring to this mysterious word sometimes, in such phrases as 'That's my name, don't wear it out' and ' Name your price!'.

"You doooo have a name, don't you?" The happy blue ball of a Chokato Chia bounced around him, pondering. Her eyes lit upon the the tag attached to his toe, and though it was muddy, she managed to read..."dsaf654dsaf899... That's not really a name... that's more of a number. Poor guy. I know! I'll take you home and my owner will help you! She knows a whole lot of things! Follow meeeeee!"

Chianinnya bounced off through the grass, leaving Grarrl stunned for a moment. He didn't know what to do... but he figured at the very least, maybe the Chia would know where to find food. So he followed her, albeit with less enthusiasm, and more stomp than bounce.

The Chia lead Grarrl to a building which looked whole, and inviting. A sign with some letters proclaimed "Wayside Wanderer Tavern", though to Grarrl, it looked like some interesting squiggles, perhaps this was food. He opened his cavernous mouth, and sunk his sharp teeth into it for a preliminary chew.

"Tiarrrra! Come and meet my new friend!" the Chia called, not noticing that about 6 feet above her little head, much munching of the inn's signpost was going on. The sawdust falling on her leaves might have been a more definite clue, but before she could look up to see what was amiss, a small eleven woman stepped out onto the porch, drying her hands on an apron.

"Your new... oh... my... goodness!" Tiara looked up... wayyyy up... at Grarrl. Grarrl was surprised to see Tiara--she looked like the scientists, only without pimples and wearing different clothing! Afraid that she might try to poke him with something, he backed up, dropping the W from the sign out of his gaping mouth, right smack onto his toe!

"Owwrrrr!" he cried, and lifted his hurt foot into the air. The motion put him off balance, and he landed smack onto his posterior, which, unfortunately, dislodged the "vern" (the only part of the sign that had been precariously clinging to life after the chomp). Vern got its revenge by hitting Grarrl right on the noggin.

Tiara couldn't be angry at Grarrl for eating the inn's sign when she saw his sad eyes, glancing about warily at the mess he'd made. She decided right there and then to adopt him, and make the lonely Grarrl a part of her family.

"He doesn't have a name..." Chinanniny said quietly for once, not looking quite over-enthused.

"We'll call him... Harry," Tiara said with a smile, and headed to help the Grarrl to his feet.

"Harrry," the Grarrl repeated. He had a Name... and a place to belong.

In time, Harry would come to learn many things; how to read, not to eat parts of the building that were rather being used by its occupants, and that Chias are almost always enthused. He made a great many friends, and gave rides to all the children and pets who came by. Harry had a heart as big as his size. But he never forgot that he had came from a little cold shack, with only a number for a name.

One day, during a contemplative moment, he asked Tiara...

"Am I really a Grarrl called Harry... or am I just dsaf654dsaf899?"

She answered back, "In your heart, and in ours... you are Harry, the Grarrl with a heart of gold. Your deeds matter far more than the circumstances of your birth. You're my Grarrl, and I love you."

He knew then that he was Harry. And Harry was Home.

The End

The Grarrl who appears in this story, "Harry", was born dsafd654dsaf899 . He was adopted from the pound by Tiara_Tearsong. Remember - a pet deserves to be loved, no matter what his name.

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