A Kadtacular Christmas
Vinny pressed his nose into the glass, a fine mist clouding the window as he breathed. It was a mild day in Neopia Central, they don’t feel the same chill that comes to the residents of Happy Valley, but he was still sporting a light blue jacket. Vinny was out with owner looking at the Neopian shops for Christmas gifts when a particular establishment caught his eye. On the other side of the window were rows of cages filled with restless Kadoaties, mewling for a specific Neopian delicacy. Kind people from all over would come bearing tasty treats for these demanding petpets. Vinny had been watching them for weeks, tracking the items requested by the hungry Kadoaties and watching people rush into the Kadoatery to fulfill the requests. It was mildly amusing for the young Scorchio, he couldn’t understand why people would compete for the chance to feed these demanding creatures. As a gesture of kindness? To have their names displayed for all to see?
Although Vinny didn’t quite understand the allure of feeding the mewling Kadoaties he did find the petpets themselves to be quite adorable. For many years now Vinny had been fascinated with them, he longed to have one of his very own one day. His owner had presented him with a menagerie of various petpets but, as cute as they were, he still politely declined. Vinny signed deeply as he recalled his latest conversation with his owner…
“It’s all I want… I would take any colour. Please?”
“I’m sorry Vinny, they are simply too expensive. It would cost all of our Neopoints to buy one and then your brother and sisters would not have any presents this year.”
Vinny could never deny gifts for his siblings in order to satisfy his own desire. It seemed that his dream of owning a Kadoatie would never be fulfilled. Just as Vinny was about to turn away a chilling cry echoed through the street. Vinny winced at the shrill sound and quickly looked around. He couldn’t see anything and the Neopians around him continued on their way without hesitation. Vinny shrugged and began to turn away from the Kadoatery when he heard the sound again. This time he noticed a small dash of green move into the alley across the street. Vinny cautiously crossed the street and peered into the alley.
“Hello?” he called out. Two yellow eyes peered out from behind a garbage bag leaning against the brick wall. “It’s alright”, Vinny stated, “I won’t hurt you. C’mon out…” He stretched his palm out in a show of good faith and to his surprised a petpet emerged. This tiny creature almost appeared to be a Kadoatie but, it was not one that Vinny had ever seen. It’s fur was a greyish green colour with dark spots and was terribly matted. Vinny reached out to pet the strange Kadoatie but as it rubbed against his hand he pulled away.
“Ouch!” he cried. He had not noticed the sharp spikes along it’s spine. With a saddened look the Kadoatie slinked back behind the garbage bags. “No, I’m sorry!” Vinny said, “I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings…” But, his plea could not coax the petpet back out. With another heavy sigh Vinny turned away from the alley and started to walk down the street. He began to wonder why that Kadoatie was hiding there in the alley. Had someone abandoned it? Kadoaties were very sought after petpets and many Neopians coveted them. Why not this one?
“Vinny!” his owner cried from across the street. “We have to hurry, the shops will be closing soon and you haven’t found anything for your siblings!”
“I’m almost done!” Vinny replied, his cheeks burning red. What would he get for his silbings? Again, his thoughts drifted back to the lonely Kadoatie. He felt bad that the poor petpet would spend Christmas alone in that alley, warming himself in a bag of discarded items. But, how would he ever convince the little creature to come out? Suddenly, it hit him. “Of course!” he exclaimed as he darted towards the Neopian Foods shop. A tiny bell chimed as he pushed the front door open, bending over to catch his breath. The shopkeeper eyed Vinny with curiosity, “In a bit of a hurry are we?” he asked before smiling warmly. “You still have a few minutes before we close, what can I help you with today?”
Vinny leaned against the counter breathing heavily, “Food… please” he asked. “Well, of course!” the yellow Chia exclaimed, “but what kind?” Vinny thought carefully, he knew that there were a variety of foods that the Kadoaties would ask for but he needed to pick the right one for this very particular petpet. There was one type of food that he often saw the Kadoaties asking for. “Do you have any Neggs?” Vinny asked. The shopkeeper furrowed his brow as he turned towards the back wall, “Let me see here…” The Chia ruffled through the rows of shelves behind the counter mumbling about as he searched. “Here we go!” he exclaimed, placing an Orange and Purple Negg on the counter. “How about these ones? Only 1,500 Neopoints today!” the Chia smiled sweetly as he waited for the customer to answer. Carefully Vinny checked his pockets to see how much his owner had given him. He could safely purchase the neggs but, it wouldn’t leave him much for his siblings gifts. He would have to pick only one of the neggs, but which one? Vinny sighed as he pondered which negg to take with him when suddenly the shopkeeper disappeared behind the counter once again.
“Excuse me, sir?” Vinny called out, leaning onto the counter. “Ah ha!” the Chia blurted as he popped up from behind the counter. Vinny tumbled backwards onto the floor but quickly looked up as something shiny caught his eye. “What is that?” he asked, pointing to the glistening purple negg that the shopkeeper had placed on the counter. “Why, this is a Happy Anniversary Negg! The only one we have and for a special price! Only 5,000 Neopoints today!” Vinny pushed himself up and moved over to inspect this delicacy, he had never seen such a beautiful negg. Something this tantalizing would sure coax the shy Kadoatie out from his hiding spot but, that would take all of his Neopoints to buy it. Vinny swallowed and lowered his head, “That’s a bit too much for me… Thank you for showing it to me, I will take the Purple Negg instead.” The shopkeeper eyed the young Scorchio curiously, he could see the sadness in his eyes. Typically, he wouldn’t be one for generosity but it was just about Christmas after all. “Ah, I’ll make you a special deal today” he stated, “How about 1,500 for the Happy Anniversay Negg?” Vinny couldn’t believe his luck, “Wow, yes, of course! I’ll take it!” A grin crept onto Vinny’s face, stretching from ear to ear as he passed his Neopoints to the shopkeeper and stuffed the negg into his jacket. “Thank you so much!” he called as he walked out of the shop, darting back down the street towards the alley where he had seen the strange Kadoatie.
He stopped abruptly as he turned into the alley, a confused look on his face. The garbage bags were gone and there was no sign of the Kadoatie. The colour slowly drained from Vinny’s face as he searched frantically for any sign of the Kadoatie when, out of the corner of his eye he spotted two Grundos pushing a cart filled with garbage bags. “Wait!” he called after the Grundos as he ran towards them. They slowed to a stop and turned to give the young Scorchio a bewildered look. “Did you need something?” one of the Grundos inquired. “Please, can I look in those bags?” The Grundos chuckled before the other one bellowed, “Go right ahead!” Vinny climbed into the cart and began to open the bags but, the Kadoatie was nowhere to be found. “Thanks…” Vinny stated as he jumped down off the cart with defeat weighing heavy. The Kadoatie was surely gone, he would never see it again and had wasted his Neopoints on that negg. What would he tell his owner now?
Tears slowly filled Vinny’s eyes as he began walking down the street, trying to think of what excuse he might be able to use regarding the Neopoints he had spent. Suddenly, Vinny heard that chilling cry once again. He jumped and turned quickly to see the strange Kadoatie sitting right before him, licking it’s lips and eyeing his jacket intently. “Oh!” Vinny exclaimed, grabbing the negg out of his jacket and bending down towards the petpet. “You want this, don’t you?” he asked, stretching the negg out. The Kadoatie hesitated but, his tummy growled and it was obvious that the poor thing hadn’t eaten in days. Finally, the Kadoatie moved forward and took a large bite out of the negg. Vinny smiled as he watched the petpet devour his negg and once it had finished the Kadoatie moved towards Vinny and began rubbing against his legs. Vinny winced as the sharp spikes brushed against him but, he dared not startle the Kadoatie once again. When it had stopped he looked down at the tiny petpet and said “Would you like to come home with me?”
“Mew!” the petpet exclaimed as it leapt into Vinny’s arms, a gruff purr coming from the tiny creature. Vinny smiled as he cuddled the prickly Kadoatie in his arms, he couldn’t believe that he finally had one to call his own. Now he would have to figure out just how he would explain to his owner how he came to have such a coveted petpet. It certainly was going to be a Kadtacular Christmas!