Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 115,191,906 Issue: 230 | 9th day of Running, Y8
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An Unlikely Pair


by glyke

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Fyasko firmly planted both hooves on the book I was attempting to read, and looked me directly in the eye.

     "I've found her," he said softly.

     "Whom?" I asked, trying to turn the page despite the difficulties.

     "The petpet I want to adopt," he replied.

     "Ah yes, of course. Where…and what…is she?"

     Then, with a cringe, "And how much?"

     "She's in the Trading Post."

     "Bad sign," I thought, "Definitely over 100k."

     "And she's a Seti."

     "Bless you, dear."

     "No, she is a Seti."

     I had never heard of these, but a little research led me to one question:

     "A desert petpet?"

     "Yes!"

     "May I remind you that you are a Maraquan Kau?"

     "So?"

     "Indeed. Well, let's go have a look then."

     We made our way around the Trading Post, searching for this little creature amid the bustling sounds of Neopians persuasively offering Old Rotten Left Shoes for Swords of Skardsen. Eventually, Fyasko led me into a small, tidy stall which was partially shielded from the noise outside by a thick curtain. Cages of all sizes and types were stacked in neat rows along the sides, filled with a variety of small creatures. A brown Zomutt stared vacantly over my left shoulder from within his cosy enclosure, and a trio of happy Surzards splashed around in their aquarium, chasing each other through the castle sitting buried in the gravel. A young boy near the back snapped the gate shut on a pen containing a small herd of grazing Vacanas and came forward to greet us.

     "Welcome back," he greeted Fyasko. "And a first welcome to you." He smiled as he turned to me.

     "Why thank you," I replied. "We'd like to have a look at the Seeta, if we may?"

     "Seti!" murmured Fyasko urgently, nudging me in the back.

     "Of course, Seti," I said with confidence, recovering magnificently.

     The little boy looked at me gravely for a moment, then reached towards the top of a stack of cages on his left, gently lifting down the top one and placing it on the counter. He opened the cage door and the small creature inside stepped out proudly, nickering happily as it began to explore the countertop. The little Seti pranced around, snuffling the cash register, the boy's hands, and the nose of a spellbound Fyasko.

     "Alright," I said softly, looking at my captivated Kau. "We'll take her."

     In one swift movement, the boy picked up the Seti and gently deposited her back into her enclosure. "I'm sorry," he said firmly, "but I'm afraid I can't let you."

     Fyasko and I looked at each other, surprised.

     "Why not?" I asked, feeling a little hurt.

     "Because I won't sell a petpet to someone that doesn't know anything about them. It is your responsibility to thoroughly research the petpet before you decide to purchase one. What do you know about Setis?" he inquired.

     "Nothing," I confessed, "Except they're desert petpets."

     "You need to know about their diet, grooming, behavioural habits and training before you even consider taking one home," he explained, "I'd love to recommend a book, but at the moment there is no book available in Neopia about Seti Care. I'm thinking about writing one myself, but in the meantime, let me give you a few names of Neopets that currently own Setis. You can talk to them to learn everything you need."

     Thoroughly chastened, and armed with the list of names, we made our way out of the Trading Post. We had asked the stall owner to keep the little Seti on hold while we set out to learn more about them, and he had assured us that he would.

     A week later, having spoken with every Neopet on the list except one, we had made a devastating discovery. Each of the Seti owners confirmed that their Setis hated water. It was becoming pretty apparent that the Seti was the last petpet that a Maraquan Kau should think about getting, and Fyasko was looking decidedly downcast as we made our way to Mystery Island to visit the home of the last Seti owner listed. To our surprise, when we rang the doorbell, we were greeted and enthusiastically ushered inside by a dripping wet Tyrannian Peophin. Her equally soaked Seti was perched on her back, looking at us curiously.

     Fyasko pointed to the little creature, "Your Seti likes water? And…she has wings?"

     "Mika is a Faerie Seti," the Peophin explained. "Ordinary Setis have long thin legs, and swimming is very difficult for them, so they never feel safe in the water and won't go near it. Mika has wings that work very effectively as flippers; in fact, she can usually even keep up with me under water! Faerie Setis are so streamlined, they slice through the water very well once they learn how to do it. I've had Mika for several months now, and she typically spends even more time in the water than I do!" She laughed, "One of her favorite snacks is the Mystery Island water skimmers that stick close to shore. You should see her when she's going after those!"

     We sat with Mika's owner for several hours, taking notes as she told us everything she knew about Setis, particularly the Faerie variety. We learned about diet (small insects! who knew?), grooming (they are fastidious about keeping themselves well groomed, but appreciate a thorough brushing about once a week), behavioural habits (Setis are only comfortable sleeping in a sand nest they've arranged themselves), and lots of training tips (small bits of well dried Grackle Bug Steak make the best training rewards for Setis). Our Tyrannian friend gave us a detailed list of the best stores to head to for bargains on petpet supplies, so we set out to buy the odds and ends necessary for owning a Seti. Though we were able to stock up on Grackle bug steak and find a sturdy litter box, a soft brush and some Seti sized towels, we were dismayed to learn that pre-made Seti sand nests were not sold anywhere in Neopia! We ended up building one ourselves, a sturdy round enclosure, filled two thirds full of sand and open at the top. "Setis are used to sleeping under the sky," Fyasko reminded me, "No need to cover the top." Then we scoured the Trading Post for the best deal on a Faerie Petpet Paint Brush and happily added that to our loot.

     We returned to the Trading Post, armed with our knowledge, the list of supplies we had obtained, and most importantly,the Faerie petpet paint brush. Jimmy was delighted to greet us again. He brought out the tiny Seti once more, and as she gamboled happily around the counter, he grilled us about what we had learned. We confidently answered every question he fired at us until, finally satisfied, he picked up the Seti and handed her to Fyasko.

     "She's yours now," he said kindly, "I know you'll take good care of her…and I'm thrilled that she'll be painted Faerie. This little one has the spirit to match the wings! What are you going to call her?" he asked.

     "Skye," said Fyasko softly, as she nuzzled into his arms.

     "A perfect name." He smiled.

The End

 
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