How A Uni Gets Its Horn
There is an ancient legend that circulates around Neopia every year as Uni Day draws closer. It is said that a Uni is not really born with its horn, but no one is ever around to confirm the story. The legend goes that a Uni must be given the unconditional love of both of its parents before it can grow its horn. For the most part, there is no issue when it comes to this, as Unis are known to be one of the most loving and family oriented Neopets around. From baby Unis to grey Unis who feel unloved in their current state, most of these wonderful creatures have their horns from a very, very young age (usually around the age of 2 months old). This is a tale of one Uni in particular who was not so fortunate as to have the unconditional love from his parents at the beginning, but who managed to find parents who would not only love and support him, but ensure that his horn grew to its fullest.
The night was young, as the sun was just beginning to set over Neopia. A young Uni was just being born at the hospital, but unfortunately his mother left him shortly after and his dad was never around. Like all abandoned Unis, this one in particular was given a name by one of the nurses and sent to the newborn ward on the third floor of the hospital. The nurse decided to name him Theodore, since she would be the one taking care of him around the clock. Every hour, on the hour, she came to check on little Theodore. It wasn’t very hard to pick him out amongst all of the Neopets, as he was the only Uni without his horn. To others, Theodore may not be their first choice when coming to adopt, but to Nurse Kayla, he was the most beautiful little boy she had ever laid her eyes on. She smiled down at him and stroked the top of his head until he fell asleep with his blanket and his hoof in his mouth. Nurse Kayla giggled, as she loved when the babies did this, since it portrayed their innocence. She sighed, wishing she had a baby of her own, and left. She knew it would be almost impossible to care for a child, since she was almost always at work. It wasn’t that she hadn’t thought about it before; she really had. She even had a nursey already set up at home in case the opportunity ever came up where she would be able to care for a child.
As the weeks went by, many of the Neopets in the adoption ward had already been adopted and there were only a handful left, Theodore included. Nurse Kayla still spent her time with him every day and they became closer. Weeks…months...a year went by. Neopet children came and went but Theodore was still there. At the age of 1, he could walk and talk a small amount. You could often find him and Nurse Kayla sitting on the floor playing games with blocks or outside getting exercise. Nurse Kayla was getting more tired as she got older and did not know how much longer she would be able to work at the hospital. This made her extremely sad, but she also knew that it meant she could have the time to adopt and care for a child and, not surprisingly, she had her eyes on Theodore. She sighed a happy sigh out loud as she glanced at Theodore out of the corner of her eye. He was playing with some of the other children and they were all tickling each other and rolling around on the floor. This, she thought… this is what she had been waiting for her entire life.
Nurse Kayla heard herself being paged to the head office over the intercom. She felt like this was going to be the moment her whole life would turn itself around. She walked slowly down the hallway towards Mr. Kacheek’s office. She smiled to the ground and a tear welled up in her eye. She had had some wonderful times in the Neopian hospital and she would miss working with her colleagues and getting to change the lives of the young Neopets until they were adopted. As she got closer to the office door, she got more and more nervous, but also had a slight sense of relief wash over her. She knocked on the door and Mr. Kacheek lifted his head. He smiled warmly at her and beckoned for her to come in and have a seat. Nurse Kayla walked through the doorway and closed the large, brown wooden door shut behind her.
“Hello, Nurse Kayla!” boomed Mr. Kacheek. He had always had such a loud but friendly voice.
“How’s it going, Mr. Kacheek? Keeping yourself busy as a bee, I presume.” Nurse Kayla crossed her legs and twiddled her thumbs, wanting Mr. Kacheek to get to the point, but not wanting to be rude.
“So… you’ve been here for what, 23 years? Do you feel like you’ve had a good run?” he asked.
“Of course! Honestly, this is the best hospital I have ever worked for and it was a privilege to be taken under your wing at such a young age. I feel like every day I learn something new, but I must admit that lately I’ve noticed myself getting tired” replied Nurse Kayla.
“Well that’s actually what I wanted to talk to you about. We have a whole new bunch of nurses flooding our halls starting next week and we were wondering if you’d like to end your time with us to relax and maybe start a family?” He stared at her with wide eyes, awaiting her response. She smiled to herself before she responded.
“Now that you mention it… I could use the time to myself. I’ve always wanted to adopt a child of my own and I was maybe thinking that I could adopt Theodore…” she stared at him and he stared back with his intense gaze. She gulped, trying her best to handle the suspense.
“I don’t see why that would be a problem. With proper love and care, I am more than sure that Theodore with thrive in a home like yours with such a friendly woman. I’ll get the paperwork ready at once.” Mr. Kacheek stood up from his desk and began to get the paperwork ready as Nurse Kayla began to cry with tears of joy. She could not help herself, so she got up and flung herself at Mr. Kacheek, giving him the biggest hug she could muster. He chuckled and patted her on the head.
After signing all of her paperwork, Nurse Kayla practically skipped down the hallway towards the adoption ward, where Theodore was sitting alone, reading a book. Nurse Kayla walked into the room and knelt down beside him.
“Theodore, how would you like to come home and live with me from now on? I promise to bring you back here and you can play with your friends all you want.” She watched him with hopeful eyes. He brought his gaze up to look at her and let out the loudest squeal she had ever heard from any of the children. When he said yes, they spent several minutes hugging and getting a bag ready with all of his clothes and toys that he had collected over his time spent here (not surprisingly, almost all of it had been gifts from Nurse Kayla).
As they made their way towards the exit and to the car, they waved goodbye to all of the staff and other children. They did not know why, but they were all clapping and cheering them on. It wasn’t until Nurse Kayla glanced down at Theodore that she noticed his horn had begun to grow in. He had never felt such love and joy as in this moment. He was so used to watching other Neopet children get adopted that he had no idea what it felt like to be wanted. Nurse Kayla knew at that moment that the ancient legend was true and that as he felt more and more loved, the horn would grow to its fullest. She scooped Theodore up in her arms and kissed the top of his head as she began to cry. He looked up at her and said: “Mommy, don’t cry! I love you and you love me. We’ll make each other happy forever!” All Nurse Kayla could manage to do in that moment was smile through her tears and nod her head, because she knew he was right. She would love him for the rest of her life like he was her own son.