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Freedom


by star_29791

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Freedom. What every Neopian craves. Think about it…the babies want to be free to do what they want instead of always being strapped up in their highchairs or locked in their playpens. The Neopet children want to be free to stay up all night and have no bedtime. The owners want to, for once, be able to do what they want instead of always putting their pets first.

      Who doesn't want freedom?

      Freedom means the ability to do what you want. But is doing what we want always good?

     *

      "I'm tired now; let's stop."

      Shine the yellow Wocky panted as she sat down on the springy, green grass in her best friend, Daisy's very large garden. Daisy, a rainbow Acara laughed.

      "Come on, Shine! We're just getting started! You're 'it'!"

      Shine groaned. "Daisy, I'm not accustomed to living in such a large house. Therefore, I do not have such a large garden to practice my running in."

      Daisy giggled. "Sometimes I think we should swap places. You're much more well mannered than me and you're what my ladies-in-waiting would call a 'proper young lady'."

      Shine laughed delicately. "I would much rather be like you. You are so carefree."

      Daisy sat herself down beside her best friend and then lay back, staring at the clouds. Shine lay down beside her.

      "Wouldn't it be amazing to swap lives for a day?"

      "I read somewhere about two pets who did that. They ended up wanting their own lives back," Shine said.

      "I don't think I would. Imagine no ladies-in-waiting, no owner bugging me to be painted royal, no annoyingly smart and perfect older brother to be compared to, no home schooling and no curfews. Instead, I'd play in my garden for as long as I liked and be able to visit my best friend's house. I just want my freedom. I want to be set free from this prison," Daisy said, dreamily.

      Shine laughed and sat up slightly.

      "Your life seems pretty cool to me and your owner is lovely."

      Daisy was silent. Then she said, "I know it's wrong to think this but sometimes she suffocates me. She never lets me do what I like. Only when you're around."

      Shine started to say something but Daisy interrupted.

      "She likes you much more than she likes me."

      Shine, startled, sat up properly. "No way! Your owner loves you!"

      "Hmmm…" Daisy said. Then, almost as if nothing had been said, she jumped up and said, "Come on! Enough of a break! Try and find me!" Then she raced off into the bushes surrounding the garden's lawn.

      Shine smiled to herself and then sped off after her.

     *

      Daisy giggled to herself as she sat, crouched behind what she could only call a large, bushy…bush. Shine had been searching for her for ages. She had even passed the bush she was sitting behind but luckily had not seen her. She grew bored after a while and decided to climb up the tree behind her so she could see where Shine was searching.

      She sat comfortably on a branch and put her paw up to her forehead to shield her eyes from the sun. She could see Shine quite far away, looking strained and bored of searching.

      "I better let her find me," Daisy murmured. She started to climb down the tree but then she heard a voice.

      "Help me!" the voice called.

      Daisy looked around her. She caught sight of a blue flutter of wings. She climbed up a branch and saw, to her surprise, a tiny Air faerie.

      The faerie stared at her with pleading eyes. "Help me please," she said. "My wing appears to be stuck."

      Daisy smiled her winning smile and said, brightly, "Of course!"

      She carefully freed the Faerie's wings from the branch. She stared down at her, smiling. "Does it hurt?"

      The faerie shook her wings slightly and then, turning back to Daisy, said, "Not really. I'm sure the Water Faerie can heal them at the Healing Springs. Thank you so much! You have no idea how long I've been here."

      Daisy shook off her gratitude casually.

      "May I reward you?" the faerie said. "Money? Health? Hit points?"

      Daisy thought for a moment. What should she choose? What did she crave for?

      "Well if you insist…Freedom, please. So I can do what I want."

     *

      "Bye Shine!" Daisy called. "Thanks for letting me win even though I turned myself in!"

      She had returned back to the house and Shine had just started off home. She walked up the steps to the back door when she heard her owner come up in front of her.

      Daisy immediately cowered. She remembered she had promised to tidy her room before coming out to play with Shine.

      "Oops, sorry. I'll do it right now."

      Her owner smiled.

      Triumphant music played in Daisy's ears.

      HER OWNER NEVER SMILED!

      "That is quite alright, Daisy. I do not mind if you do not tidy up your room."

      With that her owner walked away. Daisy stared after her in disbelief. Her wish had come true! She had freedom!

      She jumped up in the air and whooped loudly.

          *

      The next morning, Daisy came downstairs tired, having spent the night exploring fearlessly through the dark jungle that was her garden in the morning.

      Her owner and brother were sitting at the breakfast table drinking glasses of orange juice and eating hot pancakes for breakfast.

      "Why didn't you wake me? I'll be late for lessons," Daisy muttered.

      "You do not have to go to your lessons if you do not want to. You are free to do what you want."

      Begrudged, Daisy plonked herself down and poured a glass of orange juice, which she sipped, silently celebrating that she didn't have to go to lessons if she didn't want to.

      "OK. Can I play in the garden instead?"

      "Fine. Whatever. Do what you like," her owner said, fetching her jacket and putting on her smart shoes. "I am going to work. Bye."

      There was just Daisy and her brother left in the kitchen (well there were various maids, ladies-in-waiting and a cook hanging around but they're not significant to the story).

      "So…how's life?" Daisy asked conversationally.

      "I'm off."

      So there was just her. A maid kindly told her she was going to be late for her lesson. But she decided that she was too tired to attend her lessons with her private tutor.

      "Of course, mistress. You can play your favourite game of sliding down the main corridor."

      "Yes. Because I can do what I like."

      So she indulged in a rather fun game of sliding down the polished floor of the hallway.

      This freedom business was much better than she had ever imagined.

     *

      After a week of going to bed whenever she wanted, playing what she wanted, eating what she wanted, visiting Shine (when she was never allowed to before) whenever she wanted, going where she wanted - anything she wanted, she was very tired, ill and bored.

      It was boring not having her brother to fight with, her owner to hide from, her maids to make her brush her fur, Shine to argue with who was to win. Everyone agreed with her all the time and she was rather ill from lack of sleep.

      But that's not to say she wasn't having any fun and enjoying it.

      She was free. She was let out of her prison. No longer did she feel suffocated. No longer was she unhappy. She had freedom.

      One morning, when she should have been at her lessons, she decided to go to the Haunted Woods. She was happily strolling along, not the least bit scared, when she heard a wailing. She looked to her left and to her right but all she could see were gnarly old trees. She hurried forward a few more paces and saw a mutant Kacheek sitting on a tree root, wailing.

      She hurried to the Kacheek.

      "What is the matter?" she asked.

      The Kacheek looked up, tears wet on his cheeks. "You wouldn't understand. You're free to do what you like. I'm not. I can't do anything but bring food for that greedy and selfish and mean and HORRIBLE Esophagor!"

      She suddenly realised who this Kacheek was. Why, it was none other than Albert the Kacheek whom the Esophagor had turned into his slave.

      "All I want is to be like I used to be. All I want is some time for me to do what I like, some time to enjoy myself. To see my friends again."

      A roaring noise sounded in Daisy's ears and her heart sank when she realised. Realised with every word Albert said that she was wrong. She wasn't in a prison, never had been. She did have freedom; freedom to see her friends, to play, to see things she wanted to. Her owner didn't suffocate her; after all she let her go to bed late on the weekends. She wasn't ALWAYS compared to her brother; she was much better at art than he was.

      No. Freedom she had always had. But Albert didn't and probably never would have.

          *

      "I'm tired."

      Daisy sat down on the springy grass in her large garden. Her best friend, Shine sat down beside her and laughed.

      "Haven't caught up with your sleep?"

      Daisy shook her head but smiled.

      "Tell me again about it. I can't believe I let you win that game! I didn't even realise."

      Daisy laughed.

      "I'm glad the faerie just happened to be at the Healing Springs when I visited. She took my wish back and everything's back to normal."

      "Not really," Shine said. "I mean you're much closer to Jenny."

      Daisy smiled. Jenny, her owner, and she had a talk when Jenny saw Daisy's room looking like it had just been demolished. And Daisy realised that Jenny was only so strict to protect her. After all, early bedtimes got her enough sleep, unlike late bedtimes, which only gave her bags under her eyes. And her brother, Charlie wasn't so bad after all. He might be perfect and smart but he was very good at Hide and Seek.

      "Well it's changed for the better," Daisy said.

      "Poor Albert, though."

      "I felt bad, so guess what?"

      "What?"

      "I'm going to help him find food. And have a chat now and again."

      "That's brilliant, Daisy!"

      There was a pause as each pet stared at the fluffy white clouds.

      "I'm getting a petpet!" Daisy suddenly said. "Jenny's buying me a Doglefox!"

      "Wow! What you going to call it?"

      "Freedom, of course."

The End

 
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