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Chapter 11. Hoppy
Where , oh, where has my little puppy gone? Where, oh, where can he be? While the other pets (not Cee_For - he has been "grounded") are out looking for the puppy, I will tell you about the second last of my pets.
Living in a room of his own (he refuses to share) is
Hopalong J. Tiger the Third (affectionately known as Hoppy)
Hoppy was born the runt of the litter. He could not run or stalk prey - he could only hop. His Ancestor's Spirit revealed that the "hopping" thing was a trait that surfaced every so often in the family; (Hoppy's great-uncle actually used this "hopping" on his way to stardom - you remember Tigger of Winnie-the-Pooh fame!). But this did not help Hoppy - it only made him the brunt of sibling bullying. One day Mrs Tiger up & left - taking her brood with her. All except Hoppy whom she abandoned on my doorstep. I adopted Hoppy.
Hoppy is a delight - he is also a pain in the ****. He can be sooo stubborn & he does not like sharing. Due to his early childhood trauma, Hoppy developed an obsessive-compulsive disorder. His room is meticulous in its tidiness & no-one (not even me) can enter his room without an invite. In his world everything has a place & everything MUST be in its place. He is like a Roaring Lion/ tiger if you touch his things. He is just as fastidious in his grooming - several times a day he uses the Golden Comb to clean his coat. His manners are impeccable. When visiting, he listens patiently & answers quietly (no, Piercing Shriek from Hoppy). Salty (in the Tavern) was so impressed -"such a polite young fella" - he gave him a gold chest. So did Henry (at the Ice Rock). Arabella (in the Underground Grotto) loves having a conversation with Hoppy - together they sit on the Pedestal of Wit. Arabella always calls when he leaves - "Come back soon!" and his gold chests from her are mounting. Several others have given him silver chests - no rusty chests for this tiger.
Hoppy believes the Card of Destiny dealt him a winning hand when he ended up in our motley crew. All's well that ends well & all that stuff!
Now if we could only find that puppy!
A Horrible Thought
" Talking of Cee_For, have I told you he has given up being a cat burglar? He has joined a hunting group known as Fangs And Claws run by that charismatic chappie, Celestial Hunter. To get into the group, Cee_For had to go find a Harpy's Feather. I believe they were nesting in the Crypt at the Castle Vicinity. Currently, there is a Hunting Trophy up-for-grabs. Cee_For is busy working on a Hunting Trap using a Rusty Cage he has found.
I have just had a thought (horrible thought). "Cee_For, you had better not be hunting dogs!"
Introducing My Pets (continued)
Chapter 12. Pup
Now where is that dratted puppy?
Cee_FOR, you are in big, BIG trouble!" With a disdainful flick of his tail, Cee_For diasappeared out the window. Apparently Cee_For used the Forged Key to lock the puppy in the Prison Cell. As for that idiot puppy..... When we found him - was he yelping for help....No, he was gnawing on the leg bone of the skeleton therein. He does love his bones! (Looking around) Now where did the puppy go?
Sleeping on my bed (exhausted after his adventure) is
I was very tired (after chasing all those Pet Medallions) the night Pup finally showed up - a wet nose, bright black eyes, long flappy ears & the biggest, goofiest grin. Hoarsely I said "pup" (meaning puppy but the puppy took it for his name). He yipped & tried to run over to me; tripped on his long ears, tumbled, righted himself, sat back on his haunches & grinned. That was the moment I realised Pup was a klutz!
A happy one - I am sure he has swallowed the Ring of Irrepressibility for nothing seems to keep him down. His exuberance & tumbling antics have amused both Salty & the Wise Dragon so much, they both gave him gold chests. Others have given him silver chests.
When Pup hears the Call of Adventure, off he goes - digging holes looking for treasure! He has found rusty chests in the Winter Garden, near the Road Sign, under the Carnivorous Lily & beside the Crocodile Bush. Sometimes he drops the chest at my feet & sits back looking 'Oh! so pleased' with himself! Sometimes he buries his 'goodies'. However!! The Keeper of the Castle is 'not at all pleased' (in fact, he is downright annoyed!) with all the holes being dug over his domain so it is off to puppy obedience classes for Pup.
I felt Pup was doing OK so took him to visit the Mountain Troll 'Rustle'. Pup ran up to Rustle, sniffed, cocked his leg & whizzed on Rustle's leg. Rustle shoved a rusty chest at Pup & shooed him away. Oh, well back to school. For Rustle, it was the last straw & he went & had a facelift. He morphed into Henry! Thinking Henry was more forgiving I took Pup back to Ice Rock. However, Rustle/Henry's trunk-like legs remained so Pup ran up, cocked his leg...That's when Henry shooed Pup away. Now there is a big sign at Ice Rock "NO DOGS ALLOWED - unless on a leash!!!"
Some days Pup's joie-de-vie gets him into so much trouble.
One Fine Day
Exercise has been added to Cuddles weight-loss programme. We have started slowly - just a gentle jog around Midnight Castle. This morning, we had a slight mishap. Going into the Throne Room, Cuddles didn't see the Lord Chamberlain/Bat thing down on the floor & fell over him. The Lord Chamberlain was very rude & called Cuddles some bad names. Poor Cuddles was terrified. But that Lord hadn't reckoned on this mama's protective instincts. I gave him 'whatfor' - a tongue-lashing all around the Throne Room - up the walls, across the ceiling. Last I saw of the Lord Chamberlain he was hiding behind the Armor & Banners.
Then I took Cuddles home. I gave him a nice cold glass of bamboo juice & let him go sit on the lounger on the patio. Mandy came out & sat beside him, put her head on his shoulder & started purring. ALRIGHT! Sorry, didn't mean to startle you. BUT Mandy is purring again.
When the other pets heard what had happened......... Petunia & Heather are out looking for the ingredients for the Harmful Poison. I have had to "ground" Fireball to his room when he got that 'Murderer's Eye' look. And I have had to tell Cee_For (several times) "No! We are not having bat stew for tea!"
Oh! No! NO! NO! Pup, what have you done?" I had just dug up one of Pup's 'goodies' stashes - to find a leg bone. Uncovering more stashes revealed, arm bones, hands, etc.
This haul sent me racing madly around the Castle looking for skeletons that were missing bits. To date: I have returned the Elephant's Bone to the Stone Gargoyle. At the Crypt, I carefully re-attached the finger bones to the Vampire's Palm. In the Throne Room, I did not have to worry about the Dead Ambassador, he still had a death grip on that chest but I had to pick up the Book of Evil (in the Tower) from the floor because Pup had snitched the fingers of the hands holding it on the back of the gargoyle. I gave the skeleton warrior at Ice Rock back his hand & then I went to see The Three Prisoners in the Dungeon. To 2 of them I returned arm bones while to the third I gave several rib bones. He groused that "that puppy could have taken my arm, then I might have escaped these manacles". You just can't please some skeletons!
Salty is not at all happy with Pup - the damage to some of Salty's customers has earned Pup a black mark. When I returned the leg bone to the Drunken Skeleton, he said "I wondered why I kept falling over when I stood up!" The gentlemen at the Gaming Table both got their hands back - they checked their cards & went back to doing what they had been doing when I disturbed them - being dead. Currently we are still searching high & low & in the ground for the legs of the skeleton in the Battle Pit as well as the skeleton in the Belfry.
Some days I need Almighty Luck (plus Ever Awake Eyes) to keep up with some of my pets.
Recently I took some of the girls shopping (well window shopping!) in the City Square.
Steffany thought she saw a squirrel in the Antique Shop so she was off to check.
Gabbi Griffin saw some strange-looking animals on top of the Glass Painting so she flew off to investigate.
Petunia Pig & Heather Hippo, liking all things girly, went to look in the Doll Showcase.
I took Perdita Pegasus to meet Christian the Bard. He took one look - another one (male) bites the dust!! He exclaimed that she inspired him to compose a song
"Give me a head with hair.. ...Long, beautiful hair... ..Flowing, gleaming..." . While Perdita gazed enthralled at a singing Christian, I went to check the others.
Steffany was a tad bewildered. There WAS a squirrel in there but it kept disappearing each time there was a "clicking " sound. So Steffany explored the shop. She found a lovely silver chest filled with coins which she bought back to me. I looked at Steffany & said "What else!" She showed me the Golden Flower (bling!). "Put it back, Steffany!" Reluctantly she did. That girl!
Gabbi returned with a wooden chest. I tried to warn her about 'stranger-danger' but to Gabbi, 'a stranger is a friend she had not met yet. Besides a secret agent loves danger!'. I gave up.
That's when I heard the tinkling of glass. Looking over to the Doll Showcase, I saw the front window broken. Just then an officer of the Unified Law arrived & proceeded to question the girls. Amid much eyelash batting & coy smiles, the girls said innocently that it was like that when they found it & that they saw something fleeing over towards the City Clock. Thanking the girls, the officer chased the gargoyles on the roof. Both Petunia & Heather handed me silver chests. "Where?" Giggling they replied "From the Doll Showcase!" Then trotted off home.
Just then Christian finished singing so I went over. For such an appreciative audience, Christian gave Perdita a gold chest.
It was time to go home. As we trudged off wearily, I hoped Christian watched where he put his feet. Perdita still wasn't toilet-trained.
Prickles’s First Gold Chest
I went to see Anabel at the Castle Gates about an item she was requesting for a quest of hers. Snazzy, Happy & Prickles came along. While I talked to Anabel.......
Snazzy Snail took part in the Broken Well Relay. Being a sprinter, Snazzy was to run the final leg of the relay. All spruced up in her best colours, Snazzy waited to be handed the baton. Then there was a wolf whistle!! Snazzy's eyes went right & then left before she spotted a good-looking male snail, also waiting to be handed a baton. He smiled & winked at Snazzy. She started to preen, completely forgetting about the relay race. When the Baton of Swiftness was handed to her, she dropped it. With a laugh the male snail took off & poor Snazzy was unable to catch him. While the other team got the Winner's Reward, Snazzy's team had to settle for a rusty chest. Currently the other team members are not talking to Snazzy.
Happy & Prickles played 'hide & seek' in the Rock Garden. Much laughter could be heard. Then Happy cut his foot on the Grave Blade. While I was tending to Happy, Prickles went up to Anabel. Blushing furiously, he handed her a gold chest & stammered "Y-Y-You- your Gar-ar- den!" Thanking him for his honesty, Anabel let him keep the gold chest. He was chuffed - his first GOLD chest!
Waving to Anabel, we headed home - me carrying Happy with Snazzy hiding in my pocket & Prickles floating on his euphoric cloud. What a day!
Yesterday Cuddles Panda went for his regular morning jog around the Castle. Mandy Manticore & Fireball Phoenix went with him. Emerald Dragon was supposed to go with them but she was a little "hungover" from a party she went to the night before. When Cuddles, Mandy & Fireball reached the Castle Entry, they stopped for a 'breather'.
Mandy noticed that the Werewolf (Iron) Knight appeared in distress so she went over & asked what the problem was. "It's this Infernal Armour! My back is itchy & I can't reach it to scratch it." Mandy offered to scratch it for him.
Meanwhile Cuddles & Fireball went over to talk to the Keeper of the Castle. He said how pleased he was that the boys had filled in all the holes that "that dratted puppy had dug around his domain". For services to Midnight Castle, the Keeper gave both of them a gold chest.
Mandy finished scratching the Werewolf Knight's back. He was so grateful that he gave her a silver chest containing 2 unique stamps & some coin. Mandy felt her breath hitch, all she had done was scratch an itch. "Any time!" she said.
The threesome decided not to continue with the jog. Instead they headed for home to show off their surprise treasures.
Sebastian Discovers His Green Thumb
You may remember that Sebastian Seal was out on bail. Well he has had his day in court. He pleaded guilty to growing a prohibited substance. The Crown of Justice sternly lectured Sebastian & warned him if he came before the court again, he would be handed a Prison Baton, not a suspended sentence.
Contrite for all the trouble he had caused, Sebastian has remained close to home. In fact he has been labouring in the backyard - out under the Burning Sun where he has become a regular Solar Seal. Sebastian has been transforming the Overgrown Pond into a Blooming Pond with the help of Pauly Parrot.
"B***** weeds! Bl**** weeds!! Hell. more B***** weeds!!!"
"Pauly!" I called "If you keep swearing, I am going to wash your mouth out with soap!"
"ACK! BUBBLES! ACK! BUBBLES!" Pauly squarked.
Next I could hear "Bubbles, WEEDS!" BUBBLES WEEDS!!" You gotta love them sometimes.
Sebastian has used the Stone of Wild Nature to create a floral haven. Around it he has cultivated the Life Flower, the Midnight Rose & the Sun Rose. He planted bulbs in another area & waits for the Ashen Lily & the Black Lily to grow. Using a Fancy Ornament, Sebastian has made a shady spot to grow the Night Orchid. If the Seed of Life sprouts, he may even get a Lucky Clover. Sebastian is turning out to have a green thumb (Nope! make that flipper!). Sebastian is certainly making amends.
Ahh! Good Intentions! Hope they last a long while.
An Outing to the Mystery Chamber
"Psst!! Have you heard there is an assassin in Town?" I have sent Fireball to investigate & while I wait for him to return I will keep the pets close to the Castle. Had a family outing in the Mystery Chamber recently - Steffany, Bright Eyes, Hooter, Emerald & I.
Hooter headed off to speak to the Wise Owl that lived in the Tree of Knowledge. Hooter had discovered that colour blindness can run in families so he wanted to trace his family tree & needed advice why to start. Wise Owl told him to consult the Horn of Ancestry. They were talking when a furry bundle (make that 2 furry bundles) bounded up the Tree of Knowledge & jumped from branch to branch, then disappeared. "Who Whoo Whoo!" said the Wise Owl. "Oh, it's just Bright Eyes & Steffany." replied Hooter. As a parting gift, Wise Owl unearthed a rusty chest & gave it to Hooter. Maybe he is colour blind too!
Steffany & Bright Eyes were having lots of fun scampering around the Chamber. Up & down the Column of the Fallen they went. "Steady!" groused the statue. Over to check out the funny-looking birds. As they neared the Chained Eagles, its legs (or was it?) began to scissor with a clacking sound. Steffany got such a fright, she raced back to the Column of the Fallen, up it she went & hid at the top. It took much coaxing & a gift of a gold chest from the Column of the Fallen to get her to come down. Bright Eyes, on the other hand, was intrigued. She investigated further & found a silver chest.
Emerald was pouting. I had insisted she come with us. It was family time. Emerald preferred party time. Suddenly Emerald belched - a Fireball flew out of her mouth & hit the Heart of the Chamber. It burst into flames. No! No! Oh, dear, no! I thought. The Keeper of Wishes sighed in relief & smiled. "Thank you," she said. "It was getting a little chilly in here but you have ignited the heater so things will warm up now." In appreciation, she gave Emerald a silver chest containing 3 diamonds & some coin.
I thought it prudent we leave before we wore out our welcome - after all we had a rusty chest, 2 silver chests & a gold chest plus a happy Keeper of Wishes. Time to go!