Petpet Talk: The Petpetsitter
Another Petpet Talk story. And if you’re new to these, read Petpet Talk: The Daycare, the story that started it all!
Arnold sniffed the new Snowbunny Bath Puff his owner had bought him earlier that day, and he tried not to gag. The blue bath puff smelled like perfume. Arnold silently reminded himself to inform his owner next time to not buy from the Gift Shop in Neopia Central anymore.
It was a lazy afternoon. The sun shone lazily in the pale blue sky, and Arnold felt like taking a long, long nap. Everything was so peaceful. And the best part was that there would be no more daycare till next week! Even Ms. Finkle, the old Chia in charge of Ms. Finkle’s Sunshine Daycare for Petpets, had to take a vacation sometime.
“You know,” Arnold said to his Mootix Max as the two lay on the back porch, “I’m beginning to get a little bored.” The Mootix just blinked lazily, so Arnold continued—mostly to himself, “I mean, every day I spend time at that daycare. And every time I’m there, I wish I were home. But now that I will be home for a week...” Arnold sighed. “At least I wouldn’t have to see the Meepit brothers for a while,” he said, thinking of the three infamous Meepit pranksters at the daycare.
At that moment, Karl the Kacheek stepped outside with a tray of Ghost Marshmallows in his arms. “Arnold, blah blah blab blab petpetsitter,” Karl said, placing the tray down beside Arnold. “Blabbity blah blah tomorrow blab best behavior.”
Arnold only understood one word the clearest: petpetsitter. He groaned as Karl went back inside. Petpetsitters were the worst—they were a petpet’s greatest nightmare! The last time Arnold had been stuck with one, he’d been forced to stay in a corner all day. He had not been allowed to go outside, and he had not been allowed to play with his Mootix—all day long, the only thing Arnold could think of to do was sleep. It had been the third most boring day of his life. Besides that, Arnold had never trusted petpetsitters—something about them smelled like Butterfish, and Arnold hated Butterfish.
“Oh, Max,” Arnold sighed, petting his Mootix gently. “I’ll get locked inside all day again!” He blinked, a bright idea flashing in his mind. “Or... I could organize a little get-together with my friends... this way I won’t be bored.” Arnold jumped up, hurried inside, and dove under the sofa. He found that he could think best when under there, in the dark.
“Okay, who should I invite?” Arnold made a mental list. “Stacy the Mazzew, definitely... Chucky the Polarchuck, yes, but he’ll eat our kitchen clean! Oh well... hmm... Henry the Harris is way too snooty. He probably has never had a petpetsitter in his life, living in that huge house with all those servants and butlers...” Arnold cringed as another thought formed. “Much as I’d hate to admit it... much as I’d hate to even say it, the Meepit brothers are a good candidate for preventing boredom.” But Arnold tossed that idea out quickly; Meepits in his home? Never!
It was settled, then. With a little persuasive mewing (and pointing to Ms. Finkle’s Sunshine Daycare for Petpets’s class directory), Karl invited all of Arnold’s friends over for a get-together the next day. “Blah blah great! Blah blah blab company blah blah!” Karl had said.
Little did Arnold know that his owner Karl had unwittingly invited the Meepit brothers as well.
The petpetsitter was a crabby green Mynci. She threw a glare at the petpets before retreating to the living room, where she began reading an issue of the Neopian Times. She hadn’t said a single word since she arrived, but Arnold didn’t mind. Something about her seemed suspicious, but then again, Arnold always assumed petpetsitters seemed suspicious.
He, Stacy, Chucky, and Mallory the Mallard sat in the kitchen, wondering what would happen if they managed to open the refrigerator.
“I can climb to the top,” Chucky was boasting. “Once at my home, I hid inside the freezer for two days! And my owners still don’t know what happened to the Slushies they’d just bought before then!”
Just then the doorbell rang. Arnold scratched his white head. “Who else is coming?” he wondered aloud as he raced to answer the door. As soon as he opened it, Arnold regretted it deeply.
The Meepit brothers stood on the porch, grinning wildly. “Our owner dropped us off,” Mark said, barging inside.
“We do not apologize for being late,” added Moe, examining a painting in the foyer.
“Because that’s what we’re famous for,” Millicent explained, almost knocking over a priceless vase.
No! No! No! Arnold silently shouted at all three remarks. Before he could utter a response, the crabby Mynci appeared. She grouchily leered at the four petpets and demanded, “Blah blah blah blab here?”
Luckily, Stacy the brilliant Mazzew arrived just then, and she hastily translated to the petpets, “She wants to know who the three Meepits are.” She rolled her large purple eyes and added under her breath, “Why do you three come when we least expect you?”
At that moment, Moe managed to knock the painting out of its place on the wall. It flew and hit the green Mynci right on her forehead. To make matters worse, Millicent managed to knock over the Purple Christmas Tree Karl had bought for over ten thousand neopoints.
Stacy and Arnold held their breath while the Meepits inched backwards slowly, nervously eyeing the Mynci. The Mynci’s green fur was now a shade of magenta. Her cheeks puffed out, and she boomed, “BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAB BLAB GO BLAH!”
At that moment, Arnold was thankful he couldn’t understand neopets, because hearing gibberish being shouted isn’t as intimidating as you’d think. Still, the petpetsitter’s expression was dangerous, and Arnold felt a bit uneasy.
Out of nowhere, the Mynci’s arms shot out, and Arnold was instantly picked up through the air. He closed his eyes in alarm. Beside him, he heard the Meepit brothers protesting. He also heard Stacy squeal in fright. When Arnold had the courage to open his eyes again, he found himself completely surrounded by darkness.
“Blah blah blah TIME OUT blah!” the Mynci shouted from somewhere above, her voice muffled. Arnold then realized where they were—they were in the basement!
“Time out?” Arnold heard Stacy sigh. “Come on, we’re on spring break! Why does this feel like Ms. Finkle’s Sunshine Daycare for Petpets?”
“Besides, what did we do?” Mark’s voice asked innocently in the darkness.
“Oh, hold it, guys,” Stacy said. “I forgot. We Mazzews see clearly in the dark.” There were a few thumps, and then the sound of a rattling doorknob. “Oh, darn! The door’s locked. We can’t get out.”
Arnold thought. “Well, Chucky and Mallory are still upstairs... perhaps we can call for help?”
Mark snickered. “Don’t you know your own house, Arnold? Surely there has to be another way out. My brothers and I know all the secret exits in our home.”
“Sorry I’m just a lazy Angelpuss, then?” retorted Arnold. “If you guys hadn’t come, none of this would’ve happened!”
“Arnold, you can’t just blame them,” Stacy said. “That petpetsitter’s wacko. But Mark, Moe, Millicent—I thought Meepits could see in the dark, too?”
“We can,” laughed Moe.
Arnold rubbed his eyes. All he could see in front of him was a black sheet of darkness. I’d give to be a Meepit or a Mazzew right now, he thought.
Stacy rattled the doorknob again, to no avail. “Well... Arnold, when is Karl returning?”
“I don’t know,” Arnold answered, feeling dumb. Then he panicked. “Oh no! What if Max escapes, and the petpetsitter finds him?”
“We could call the Warf Rescue Team,” suggested Millicent.
“We’re not Kadoaties, mate,” Mark snapped.
Arnold heard shuffling and rummaging. “What are you doing?” he addressed the darkness. He hated feeling left out—especially now in the big, dark basement with three Meepits known for their pranks and shenanigans.
“Hey, look at this,” Stacy said, crinkling what sounded like paper. “It’s an old issue of that newspaper, what’s it called? The Neopets Times, I think something like that. Anyway... why don’t we make a paper plane and slide it under the door?”
“This is no time for fun and games, Stacy!” Arnold was appalled. How could his friend think of games now?
“No, Arnold, listen,” continued Stacy. “We scribble a message inside! Like we can draw a picture of us locked in the basement, and... oh wait, I don’t have a pen.”
“Just use dirt,” suggested Mark. “There is plenty on the ground.”
“Good idea—for once,” Stacy replied.
Meanwhile, up in the kitchen, Chucky and Mallory had hidden themselves under the sink.
“I think the coast is clear,” squawked Mallory. They carefully stepped out and looked around. The angry green Mynci was nowhere to be found. Unfortunately, neither were their friends.
“Okay, what do we do now?” asked Chucky, hungrily eyeing the refrigerator. He quickly shook his head and said sternly, “No, Chucky! Bad Chucky! No ice cream till bedtime!”
“Whoa, look at this!” Mallory urged the Polarchuck over. “Look! That petpetsitter—she’s stealing Arnold’s stuff!”
Sure enough, the Mynci was rummaging through Arnold’s household, placing valuable-looking items inside a large potato sack. Chucky stifled a gasp and whispered, “Where’s Arnold? And where’s Stacy?”
The two petpets looked everywhere, making sure to stay clear of the robber. They looked high and low, they looked beneath the furniture, and they checked inside the refrigerator just in case. But neither could find Stacy or Arnold anywhere.
“I give up,” the Polarchuck finally sighed, panting. “I say we stop the robber ourselves.”
“Wouldn’t it be nice if the Meepit brothers were here now?” asked Mallory, thinking of Mark, Moe, and Millicent from the daycare.
“Yeah, they’d know how to stop the robber,” agreed Chucky. “Unfortunately, we just aren’t Meepits.” He rubbed his stomach. “And I’m still hungry.”
They walked down the hallway and stopped just beside the basement door—not because they heard Stacy and the others, but because they heard the petpetsitter/robber.
“Blah blah blah priceless blab blab,” the Mynci was saying. “Blah blah! Today blah blah lucky blah!” Her voice was getting louder and louder; frantically, Chucky and Mallory tried to hide in the empty hallway.
“Here!” Chucky pounded on the basement door. “Ugh! It’s locked!”
“Chucky, is that you?” a voice from the other side of the door said. “It’s me, Stacy! And Arnold, too, and Mark, Moe—”
“No time to talk!” Chucky shushed. “I have to hide! That sitter is a bandit!”
“And crazy,” added Mallory, diving under a tiny stool and banging her head.
Footsteps echoed down the hallway, and the petpetsitter seemed about to appear any second. With one last grunt, Chucky pushed on the door with all his weight—and it opened. However, the force which Chucky used reciprocated, and he tumbled down the stairs into the darkness below. A thump and a bump later, he called out hoarsely, “I’m okay! Close the door!”
Stacy pulled the door closed but left it slightly ajar. She watched quietly as the Mynci walked past, pulling a large sack of items behind her.
“Hey, that's your stuff, Arnold!” Stacy hissed.
“What?” On hearing this, Arnold fumed with anger. “Why is she stealing my stuff? And Karl’s stuff? And Karl’s parents’ stuff? That's ours!” Blindly, he rushed toward what he thought was the stairs—and smacked into one of the Meepits.
“Ouch,” grunted Moe, shoving Arnold aside. “Listen now. If there is anyone who can handle a crazy bandit, it is I.”
“And we,” added Mark and Millicent in a bored tone.
Before Arnold could contemplate on the Meepits’ strange grammar, he heard Stacy say, “We have to stop her! She’s taking that vase—and those paintings!”
Slowly, silently, the petpets exited the basement and into the brightly lit hallway. They managed to catch a glimpse of the bandit/sitter stuffing more items into her potato sack.
Mark urged the others in for a tight huddle. “Okay, gang, here’s the plan...”
Arnold stepped backwards instinctively. “Sorry, but you? We follow one of your plans?”
“Do you want to stop the bandit or not?” growled Mark.
“Well—” Arnold thought about the pranks the Meepits frequently played at the daycare, and he snapped, “We don’t have time for chokato bombs, Mark!”
A sharp knock rapped at the front door. The petpets fell silent. The Mynci had opened the door, and they heard her exclaim, “Blah blah goods blah! Blab blab blah petpets blab blah! Go blah!” This was followed by another gruff voice replying, “Blah blah blah caught blah. Blah blah?”
Simultaneously, the petpets turned to Stacy expectantly. Stacy translated, “Apparently, our petpetsitter slash robber has an accomplice—who is here this very minute. The accomplice wanted to know when the two of them should go, since it would obviously be unwise for Arnold’s owners to catch them in the act—”
“Wait, they’re escaping?” interrupted Arnold.
Before Stacy could answer, the Mynci said, “Blah blah blah petpets locked blab. Blah blah blah Meepits blah?” and the Mynci and the accomplice both burst into loud laughter.
“Oh, Butterfish!” said Stacy heatedly. “They just said that we’re a bunch of useless petpets, and if anything, Arnold’s owners will probably blame the Meepits!”
Mark chuckled. “At least we’re living up to our reputation,” he said proudly.
“Even though the Doglefoxes are trying to copy us,” added Moe grudgingly.
“Oh yeah, and the Spyders as well; remember at the daycare?” said Millicent.
Arnold cleared his throat. “Uh, excuse me, guys, but the main problem we have right now is what in Fyora’s name do we do, and how do we do it?!”
Mallory, who had been peeking around the corner at the bandits, squawked quietly, “They’re ready to climb out the window!”
“Whatever, at least we’re safe,” Chucky said, already heading to the kitchen. “I’m dying for a frozen negg right now...”
Arnold knew he had to do something. Karl would be so upset to find his neohome raided by a bandit who pretended to be a petpetsitter! After one last exasperated look at the debating Meepits, the hungry Polarchuck, and the Mazzew arguing with the Mallard on a plan, he left them and headed straight for the two bandits.
The bandits were shocked. Then the Mynci sneered as she said to her accomplice, a burly Quiggle, “Blah all right! Blab blab blah blah Angelpuss blah!” Then she cooed to Arnold, “Ooh, blah blah cute? Blah blah blah blab blab?”
Arnold didn’t need Stacy’s IQ to figure out that the petpetsitter thought he was just an innocent, adorable Angelpuss. And was he going to prove her wrong! Opening his eyes as large as possible, Arnold whimpered and smiled at the two neopets. He mewed for effect.
“What blab blah saying?” the Quiggle asked the Mynci.
“Blah blah hungry? Blah blah blah cute! Blab blab blah right back.” The Mynci headed for the kitchen, obviously thinking Arnold was hungry.
As soon as the supposed petpetsitter left, the Quiggle looked at Arnold skeptically and demanded, “Blah blah up to?”
“I’m using my charm to fool you both and to keep you here until my owner gets home with his family, but you don’t understand petpets so I will just pretend I’m mewing for no reason,” Arnold replied coolly, licking his paw.
After a few more of his best charming and pleading expressions, Arnold had the Quiggle hooked, too. While the Mynci read from a book to Arnold, the only thing Arnold could do now was hope Karl would return—as soon as possible!
Around the corner, however, the other petpets were formulating a different plan.
“Okay, so I see Arnold’s tactic,” Stacy was saying to the others. “He’s using the old Charm Brings No Harm plan. However, when dealing with bandits, we must use the Fight or Fight plan, no exceptions.”
“The Fight or Fight?” Mark grinned at his brothers. “Excellent!”
“Okay, Mark, you direct your brothers to trap the Mynci somehow. Like, go find a rope or something to tie around him. Mallory—where’s Chucky?” Stacy noticed that the Polarchuck was absent.
“He’s eating ice cream in the kitchen,” answered the Mallard in disgust.
“Never mind him,” sighed Stacy. “We have to distract the Quiggle, because even though he looks less tough than the Mynci, he still is dangerous.”
“Wait a minute,” spoke a voice behind them. They whipped around to find Chucky standing there, grinning with five melting ice cream cones in his arms. “I just realized these would make for great ice cream fights.”
“We don’t have time for food fights, Chuck,” began Stacy.
“No, we throw them at the bandits, right?” Chucky held up a droopy strawberry flavored ice cream ball that had been sitting on a crumbling cone. “Trust me—I’ve had a lot of experience with these, and they make pretty big messes. They’re sticky, too, and they’re especially hard to get off your eyes.”
“Petpet versus Petpetsitter, take one,” cackled Moe.
“Blah blah good day, blah?” Karl’s voice echoed through the foyer as he and his family entered the home. “Blah blah—BLAH?” He froze at the sight before him.
The Mynci who’d been hired as the petpetsitter lay on the floor, covered head-to-toe with splattered ice cream. A thick jump rope wound around her vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry splattered body. Beside her slumped a frightened looking Quiggle. All he could utter was, “Meepits.”
“Arnold...? ” Karl called nervously.
On hearing his name, Arnold padded lightly over to greet his owner. He smiled innocently and licked his paw. Behind him, Stacy and Mallory pulled a large potato sack of Karl’s family’s belongings. (They’d decided to let Stacy and Mallory present it instead of the Meepits, for obvious reasons.)
“Blah blah robbers? Blah! Blah blah!” Karl stared at the Mynci and Quiggle. “Blah blah true? Are blah blah robbers?”
The Mynci cracked open a droopy eye. She glared at the three petpets and was about to shake her head and speak when she caught sight of the Meepit brothers crouching behind a sofa, glaring at her. She quickly nodded and answered, “Yes, blah blah robbers.”
Later, after all the petpets had gone home (with fascinating stories to share about their spring break so far), Karl tried to apologize and to reward Arnold by presenting him another Snowbunny bath puff. Arnold didn’t even sniff it this time; he promptly tossed it underneath the sofa, where he hid all his disliked toys.
“Blah blah petpetsitter blah blah,” Karl said. “Blah blah well done blah! Blah blab!” With that, he hugged the Angelpuss and went upstairs to bed.
Arnold, meanwhile, just smiled to himself. What a day it had been! He’d never trusted petpetsitters, and that day’s adventures proved his point. However, he had to admit it had been a little exciting. After all, he’d trapped a bandit—no, make that two bandits! He yawned and fell asleep, eager to share his spring break with the daycare next week.
Let this be a lesson to all: never underestimate a Meepit.