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- Today's Pet Spotlight -

Pet Name: x_Lil_Meeko_x
Owner: sandibabe
Breed: Chomby

About x_Lil_Meeko_x:
As I stared down into the beautiful, wondrous body of water that stood in front of me, only one word popped into my mind. Wow! I had waited so long for this moment to happen, and now my dream had come true. I was finally going to learn how to swim. But while I was excited, I was also scared. There was so much water in that pool. As I walked along the edge, I noticed how the pool got deeper and deeper, so deep at the other side, even when I squinted, I still couldn’t see the bottom. The pool was so…frightening. I couldn’t imagine myself swimming in this water. Swim Lessons would be so nerve racking.

And they were. There are no better words to describe how I felt. Before my class met, I took a look at the other swimmers in the pool. On one of the sides, a group of friends played. The Baby Flotsam leaped into the air, did a flip, and landed in the pool perfectly. The Baby Koi showed off her trick by doing a handstand in the pool. Her fins stuck out of the water. The Baby Peophin accomplished a great trick. He climbed out of the pool and waddled to the deep end. He then made a perfect dive into the pool. Not too much of a splash formed, but not too little either. He then reappeared moments later with a toy ring in hand. I watched the friends play and do their nifty tricks with envy. They might be the same age as me, but they were born swimmers, unlike me.

All of a sudden, Mommy grabbed my hand. “Meeko, it’s time for your lesson!” I glanced up at her, only to see a huge grin on her face. I knew she was proud of me. Mommy has always supported my dreams. She took me to a small gathering of Neopets. A White Flotsam was trying to catch everyone’s attention. “Welcome! My name is Flower, and I will be your teacher. I will be teaching you the basics of swimming. Now let’s step into the pool and get started!” As I stepped into the pool, an instant chill ran through my body. I was finally going to swim. This was really happening. My dream was coming true! Flower handed out a piece of hose to everyone that was about 6 inches long. We were supposed to blow into it, making bubbles in the water. My swim instructor explained how this is what we’re supposed to do while under the water.

While we practiced breathing under water through our tubes, I studied my fellow classmates. There were 7 students in my class. 3 of them were babies, including me. One was a little Baby Gelert, named Marley, who was so scared she barely touched the water. Her Mommy had to coax her to just barely touch her toes to the bottom step. Poor thing. The other baby was a Lenny. He was so excited about the water he nearly fell off the first step! After that, when ever he felt he was in danger, he flapped his wings, trying to fly. His name was Flaz. The other four Neopets were a Spotted Kougra, Rainbow Kacheek, Sponge Aisha, and Cloud Chia. The Kougra, Cheetah was his name, was having fun blowing the bubbles, and then popping them with his claws. The Kacheek complained about how the blue matched in with the water too well. Her name was Slush. The unfortunate Aisha, named Spunk, was having a terrible time not trying to absorb water. The Chia was doing her bubbles and minding her own business, not making a fuss of anything. I admired her patience, because when she messed up, she kept on trying. The Chia’s name was Chloe.

After about 5 minutes of water breathing, as she calls it, we practiced kicking. Flower demonstrated our next lesson. She held onto the side of the pool and pushed her fins back and forth. Marley instantly started crying once she understood that your tummy would need to get wet. No amount of persuading could change this little Gelert’s mind. After all of Marley’s tears had rushed out of her face, her Mommy took her out of class. Spunk laid down to start her kicking, but she immediately blew up into a giant, water-filled, sponge. After that, Spunk realized she was not meant for swimming and slowly walked home. Now there were only 5 left in our group. I knew these pets were having a hard time, and I felt sincerely sorry for them. But I really enjoyed kicking. Maneuvering each leg, back and forth, back and forth, it was sort of like walking, except on your tummy. I wasn’t exactly going anywhere, but that is because the wall of the pool was in my way. Making big splashes were very pleasuring.

Flower instructed what we would be doing next. For the first time in my little life, I would be going UNDER WATER! I can’t exactly describe what it felt like. But going under water made me feel happy, like something good was happening. When you are totally surrounded by water, it feels like you are bouncing on the moon. I felt lightweight, as if I could do anything. At first my eyes were closed. But after a second, I found enough courage to pop open my eyes and survey my surroundings. Everything was blue, yet clear. I was amazed at how good my vision was under the water. I could get perfect details of the pool’s floor, even though so much water was between the bottom and my eyes. I was touching the water all over my body with out noticing it. My swim shorts bulged out, making me look like a clown.

Every good thing has an end, but unfortunately when you’re under water, things go by too quickly. I couldn’t hold my breath any longer. I had to get air. My little head emerged from the water, gasping for air. I took giant gulps of air one by one, getting used to breathing again. Flower came over to make sure I was okay. I was about to dive in the water again when Flower announced, “All right, everyone! That’s it for today’s lesson. Come back tomorrow to learn more!” Flower waved as all the other pets slowly got out of the pool. But I still couldn’t believe my ears. “It’s OVER?” I cried in shock, as Mommy pulled me out of the water, drying me off with a towel. “I was having so much fun!” Mommy smiled. “I know! You were doing so well. Tomorrow we’ll have another lesson, kay?” I pouted. “Can’t we stay longer?” “No Meeko. Let’s go home.” I wanted to cry and scream, start a tantrum, but I resented. Making a scene over swim lessons seemed unreasonable. I could come the next day to swim class and go under water again. In fact, I’d probably learn more too! So what was the big deal?

The big deal was I would have to wail a whole day until swim lessons arrived. I wanted to go extra early, just so I could practice more. “Meeko, I don’t think you should practice swimming without your teacher there, or at least until you’re more proficient,” Mommy said once I announced my idea at breakfast. I tried my best to sound hurt. “Mm-kay. If you say so…” I looked up at Mommy with big, sad eyes. Unfortunately she wasn’t looking at me. “Great. Thanks for being obedient.”

I paced ahead of Mommy all the way to the pool, sometimes so fast she had to race to catch up. At my first glance of water, I dropped my towel and plunged into the air, making a nice splash as I hit. Jumping into the water wasn’t what I expected. Little bubbles twirled around me, causing me to twist like a ballerina. I guess I looked funny, if not ridiculous, because when I popped up for a breath, many Neopets were giggling – at me! Even Flower, my own swim instructor, had to cover her mouth to keep from bursting out with chuckles. I blushed, and my yellow skin turned orange. Oh, how embarrassing! I wanted to sink down and crawl out unnoticed. Once the laughing calmed down, Flower showed me to the steps where we were starting.

“…one arm up and reach to the sky, other arm…” Flower was calling. But I wasn’t paying attention. She just kept drifting out. I was busy thinking about my embarrassing moment. I was probably the “Laughing Chomby of the Year”. Someone was probably making a plaque for me, with a goofy picture, and labeling it “Meeko the Dancer…or Swimmer?” Then they would hang it up in the Hall of Embarrassment. I can see it now. All of a sudden, Flower shouted “Ready?”

I finally came back to Neopia. We were practicing swimming – around the pool! I wished I had concentrated on what Flower was talking about, not when I made a fool of myself. I watched the other students in my class to see how to swim like we were supposed to. After a couple of strokes, I quickly got the hang of it. The stroke was called Freestyle, but I don’t know why. Freestyle obviously had to be done a certain way. Flower taught us two other strokes; Back Stroke and Nimmo Stroke. My favorite was Nimmo Stroke because I got to swim like a Nimmo!

After swim lesson, no one made any comments on my ballerina jump. I was surprised. I asked Mommy why, and she said, “Oh Meeko. They probably already forgot about it.” But I sure didn’t. I felt happier though, being reassured that everyone forgot.

The rest of my swim lessons were fun and educational. I learned how to dive, two more strokes, fun ways to jump into the pool, and some neat tricks, like flips and handstands. I graduated from Swim Class an excellent swimmer, top of my class. I put so much effort into my goal. I would like to encourage you to pursue your goal, no matter what it is. You can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it. Hey, if a Baby Chomby can learn to swim, you can achieve whatever it is you want.

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