Lost: White Weewoo
Responds to the name Kiwi. Very noisy. Likes head scratches and stealing your cheese wheels. He won't even eat them.
Reward: One hug.
That was what had been written on the flyer that they were posting up around Meridell. There was also a wobbly drawing of the little guy that Bluestar had painstakingly drew on each and every one. She had made sure to include the way his feathers stuck up at his forehead, like the little Weewoo was constantly walking around with a bad case of bedhead. They had only made twenty flyers but were hoping it would be enough. Meridell wasn't a super big city, and so long as they had enough around the Castle, which was the busiest area and where the most people would see it, they figured they'd be okay.
The little baby Kougra was only a little bit scared for her sister's Petpet, but mostly she was excited because now she would be going on an adventure to find him, just like in a storybook. She was sure Kiwi wouldn't get into too much trouble before they found him, because she was a master detective, after all, no matter how much her brother Redtail said she wasn't. She'd find him in no time, she was sure of it. Plus, with all the flyers they were putting up she was sure if anyone saw him they'd immediately recognize him from the spot-on drawings she'd done of him.
So together her and her sister Faith, who owned the poor lost Weewoo, were padding towards the town, half an armful of flyers in her arms. Their brothers had the other ten and had decided that splitting up would be the best way to get them all posted. So they would be starting around the Shapeshifting game and working their way up, while the others would start at the castle and then go towards the farms.
It was a nice Friday, the sun warm on their backs and a gentle breeze to ruffle their fur. Noon was just coming around and when they made it into town they found it already quite lively. Bluestar always loved Meridell and how busy it always seemed, so many people around and so many fun things to do, but Faith only found it all unnerving. Not because of all that, she did love cities and crowds had never bothered her, but today it only set her teeth on edge. So many people around meant her poor little Kiwi could into some big trouble if he decided to mess with someone who turned out to be a big meanie. They might yell at him or, Fyora forbid, someone might try to steal him. White Weewoos were expensive; they would fetch a good price for someone who wanted to make some money and they were great little pets, always so kind and smart. Plus they were the mascot for the Neopian Times, and some would like that. Faith just really hoped nothing happened to the little guy, she loved him dearly. She had had him as her pet almost six years now, ever since she was a young kid, and he was one of her best friends. He had never run away before, so she didn't understand why he would all of a sudden.
But Bluestar was happy. She didn't notice Faith's worry, nor would she really understand it if she had. The baby had utmost faith in the kindness of others, especially here in Meridell. People were simply nicer here, that's what she'd always believed, and always would because this was her home and she loved it.
"Give me a flyer!" Bluestar said suddenly, holding her hand open as she looked back at her sister.
Faith handed her one along with the roll of tape without question, watching as the little baby ran off towards a nearby tree. She placed it against the bark, took a few moments making sure it was absolutely straight, then used her teeth to rip off a long piece of tape and place it down. Faith didn't bother to tell her she had put it entirely too low to the ground, all the way down at baby height, and just smiled wide and with her usual cheer in her voice said, "Good job!" because how in the world could she say anything else when Bluestar turned back with that ear-to-ear grin, eyes bright and so happy to be of help.
The two of them made their way slowly along their route, putting up flyers where they felt was good and stopping to ask passersby every so often if they'd seen the little Petpet. Nobody had any information, not even a glimpse of his pretty white feathers. And as the day wore on with still nothing, Faith was beginning to get really worried. Kiwi wasn't like her siblings Petpets, the Lutra who always disappeared to play in the river or the Hermiteese who liked to wander out into the woods to sing. Kiwi always stayed by Faith's side, and only when they were in the safety of their own house did he wander away. But he wasn't in the house, no matter how much she wished he was. The four of them had dove into every nook and cranny, every single possible hiding place, and he had been nowhere to be found.
When they wandered towards the sleeping Turmaculus Faith had a sudden and horrible thought that her Weewoo had gotten too close and been eaten. She would never know what had happened to him, he would just be lost forever. Well no, they would know, wouldn't they? They'd be given a nice shiny avatar, and as far as Faith knew they didn't have anything like that just yet.
The Halloween Kougra was so lost in those thoughts that she didn't notice at first that Bluestar wasn't at her side. No, that dumb little baby was creeping straight towards that sleeping behemoth, the last of their flyers in her hand.
"Bluestar!" she hissed in as quiet a whisper as she could manage. The little baby turned around but instead of trotting back to her she placed a finger over her lips, telling her big sister to be quiet.
And though Faith knew she was the older sibling and was meant to stop her little baby sister from doing this kind of stupid stuff, she found the whole thing kind of exciting. And honestly, Faith was never the strict, rulesy type, and that was definitely part of the reason she never drew babysitting duty.
She knew that her brothers would have such a fit, especially Kaiouzu, but oh well. She crept forward, reaching the baby's side as they both made it to the sleeping Turmaculus. Faith grabbed the flyer, positioning it high on the creature's side while Bluestar ripped some tape as quietly as possible. And just like that they were creeping away, the big white paper with their lost Weewoo scribbled on it taped to the sleeping Turmac's side. People were definitely going to see that.
The duo continued to search around the city, stopping at as many places as they could. They dropped by Illusen's Glade, though the faerie hadn't seen any lost White Weewoos. They had gone to Ye Olde Petpets to see if maybe Kiwi had gotten mistakenly put there with the others, and even asked the owner if he had seen or sold any Petpet that looked like him, but he hadn't. They had gone to the Shapeshifter stand and asked Sinsi if she had seen anything, but she said the only Weewoos she had seen had been the basic brown. Bluestar stopped to play a few rounds then, though she hadn't been quite able to figure out how to get past level 3.
They had then walked up and got something to eat at Merifoods, and it was there they'd gotten their first clue. A Lupe and his three friends were having dinner just past the stand, and he said that this afternoon a White Weewoo had stolen his red balloon and ran away. He said he remembered the feathers stuck up at the forehead, and Faith felt her heart leap. This was Kiwi, all right.
The Lupe said that the Petpet had looked like he was going towards the farms, though he hadn't stopped to watch him or anything because he was too busy buying another balloon. They apologized for their Weewoo, Faith even offered to repay him for the balloon, but the Lupe just shook his head. "Ah, it didn't cost much of anything, and he really seemed to want it, so I don't mind."
When they were on their way towards Meri Acre they ran into their two brothers, Kaiouzu and Redtail, by the Round Table Poker. Kaiouzu looked glad to see them, and the small group of them moved a ways off from the rowdy shouting that had gone up as someone won a big hand.
But before Kaiouzu could speak Bluestar piped up, her voice bright, "Kai, Kai, you'll never guess what we did! We put one of our flyers on the sleeping Turmac, he didn't even move! I made sure to be really sneaky, and Faith helped me put it up high so more people could see it. Lots go by there, so lots of people will see it!"
"You what?" he asked, aghast. Faith grimaced, wishing the baby hadn't said anything, cause they were both going to get yelled at now, but more especially her. Thankfully Bluestar didn't let him talk just yet, she had more story to tell.
"Also we met this guy at the food place, I had some really nice bread it was really yummy, but he said a White Weewoo had stolen his balloon earlier and that he had flown off towards the farms! Did anyone there see a Weewoo? Someone must have! I wonder what Kiwi was doing?"
"Well, that's actually what I was going to tell you about. That potato counter guy says that a White Weewoo had come to him and was trying to sell a balloon to him, but he wasn't budging. So they traded, and Kiwi got two potatoes for it."
"What would he do with potatoes?" Faith asked, confused. It wasn't like he didn't get fed, that jerk ate half the food in the house.
"Apparently it was something about the Turdle Races," Redtail said.
"Well how do you know that?" Faith asked, raising an eyebrow.
"He signed it to him."
"The potato counter guy knows sign language?" Bluestar asked curiously.
"My Weewoo knows sign language?" Faith asked, eyebrow raised. She had never taught it to him.
"Doesn't matter. Let's go see what they know down there," Redtail said gruffly, pushing past everyone and taking the lead, cape swirling behind him.
The rest followed, and when they made it there they found the betting for the next race was coming to a close. Bluestar turned towards her siblings, a hopeful glimmer in her eyes. "Hey, hey! Can I have a few Neopoints!"
"You're too young to gamble," Kaiouzu said sternly.
"Not in Meridell!" she argued, pouting angrily.
"Ah just give her something or we won't hear the end of it," Redtail grumbled.
Kaiouzu let out a huff but didn't press the matter as Faith reached into her coinpurse and pulled out 5 Neopoints, handing it to the baby. She rushed ahead, yipping happily as she placed that meager amount of money on the Turdle with the worst odds. As the Scorchio was taking the coin Faith asked if the man had seen a White Weewoo around.
"Ah, you're the ones putting that flyer up everywhere? Yeah, I saw the little guy. Sold those two potatoes to one of my customers, then used the money to place a bet on our boy with the lowest chance of winning. It was 10:1, and wouldn't you know it, he won. I've never had to hand over so much money to a Petpet in all my days working here, but he'd won fair and square."
"You're kidding! What in the world would Kiwi be doing going through all this hassle to bet on Turdles?" Faith asked incredulously.
"And winning? What a joke," Redtail growled.
"Sir, you didn't happen to see where he'd gone, did you?" Kaiouzu said.
"Sure did. I was so shocked I watched him run almost all the way to the Cheese Roller."
"Come on, let's go!" Faith exclaimed, jumping to hover in the air, too full of energy to stand still.
"My bet!" Bluestar whined.
"Ah, he wasn't going to win anyway. We can't waste time here," Redtail said, giving the baby's ear a pinch.
"You owe me 5 Neopoints!" Bluestar yelled as they all began to run towards that high hill in the distance.
The plodding footsteps of four Kougras sounded across the plains of Meridell as they made their way towards the game at the top of that hill, all of them hoping to Fyora that when they reached the summit they'd find a noisy White Weewoo. People stopped to watch them as they passed, wondering at the strangeness of four Kougras racing by before remembering that this was Meridell, and that sight wasn't such a strange one after all.
Bluestar had to step twice as much as her siblings with her stubby legs, and Redtail's mutant cape made tripping an always scary possibility (though he refused to take it off, even just for the run.) Kaiouzu's suit and tie that he liked to wear certainly slowed him down, and Faith was the only one with no real troubles since she was an athlete and had wings. But they were Kougras, and every so often you really needed to get a good run in, so despite all their issues and how tired they were getting from keeping up the pace they were having fun just running. Though none but Faith would admit that.
They all slowed at the base of the hill, staring silently up at the long way ahead. So close but so far, and Faith with her cheating cheater wings wouldn't understand. So they all took a big breath and began the climb, knowing that it would all be worth it in the end if they would find Kiwi at the top.
Up and up and finally, it seemed, they were pulling themselves over that last curve. The setting sun cast an orange glow over the green fields of Meridell, and for a moment Bluestar was lost in the beauty of that pretty horizon, knowing that their long and busy day was coming to a close.
But then a raised voice came to her ears, and when they turned they saw the blue Techo who owned the place arguing with one of his customers. "If you roll your cheese down the hill you may have it, but you cannot simply purchase it and leave!"
An annoyed chirp followed, and there he was. Kiwi the White Weewoo standing protectively in front of a slice of Darkberry Cheese, an angry look on his face and those feathers of his as ruffled as ever.
"Kiwi!" Faith shouted, running forward and scooping the little Petpet up in her arms, hugging him to her chest as he chirped in confusion, wriggling hard to escape her grasp.
"You found our Weewoo! Thank you Mister!" Bluestar said happily, trotting right up to the Techo and smiling big at him.
"He's been missing all day, thanks so much for finding him!" she continued.
"You're very welcome, I guess."
"The reward was a hug. Come on everybody, let's give his guy his hug," Faith said, one arm holding Kiwi close and the other outstretched as she wrapped the confused Techo in a hug. Bluestar happily joined in, though she was so short she was mostly just hugging his legs, but that was still a hug. Kaiouzu laughed as he joined in, but Redtail just looked away and grumbled, "I don't give hugs."
"He needs to get his proper reward since he found Kiwi! If you don't hug him no one will ever believe us again," Bluestar said.
"Ugh, fine," Redtail said, slowly walking up and joining in the group hug, having kept up his image by refusing at first even though he'd decided he was always going to join in the hug anyways.
The Techo was very confused, it could be heard in his voice as he said, "I didn't do much of anything," but that didn't stop anyone from giving him his hug.
Finally the four Kougras pulled away, turning back to begin their walk home. As she passed the cheese wheel laying on the ground she kneeled over to pick it up, holding it up to her little Weewoo's face as he gave a happy chirp.
"Um, wait just a moment, you can't just take that! You may keep it if you play the game, but-"
"Thanks again, Mister!" Bluestar called back as she followed her siblings down the hill, that wide grin on her face as she unknowingly spoke over his voice.
"Sirs!" he called after them one last time, but they were already well on their way down the hill by then.
"You know what I realized after we'd put down our last flyer?" Kaiouzu said as they walked.
"Huh?" Faith asked. "What's that?"
"Well, we never put any contact info on that thing. If anyone had found Kiwi, they wouldn't have had any way to get him back to us."
And with that Faith burst out laughing, sides shaking with merriment. And though Bluestar only half understood exactly what he meant by that she started laughing too, if only to fit in.
"That's the last time we make lost pet flyers, eh, Bluestar? Next time we'll leave it to our good brothers here."
"Yeah! It's their turn next anyway."
Redtail grumbled in that 'I'm absolutely not doing that' way and Kaiouzu just said, "Well, let's hope we don't lose any more of our Petpets, hm?"
And then they all broke into laughter, except for Redtail who only smiled. With that the four siblings headed home, the setting sun warm on their backs, all tired from such a long day running around Meridell.