The icy ocean waves lapped upon the sandy shore, and Happiness,
a young rainbow Cybunny, jumped back and forth in front of them, giggling playfully
whenever they splashed against her soft paws.
The Cybunny ran back up the beach to a green
Kougra, her older brother Neofaerie, who was chasing a flock of Mallards and
kicking up sand as he hurdled across the shore. Happiness hopped onto his back
and asked, "Neofaerie, where are we going today?"
The Kougra pounced at one last Mallard, which
flew away as he crashed into the sand before answering, "We need to go to the
Tombola, and NSQ wanted us to go buy some fresh fruit from the Mystery Island
"I love Mystery Island," Happiness said cheerfully.
"So do I," replied Neofaerie with a smile. He
looked out upon the warm, sunlit beaches and green jungles, his place of birth,
and let out a contented sigh. "Well, we'd better get going," he reminded himself,
stepping over a few jagged rocks, "NSQ doesn't want us to stay too long."
Happiness held onto the fur on his neck as he
took a few steps back and leaped onto the ledge above them. They walked along
the grassy ridge for a while, stopping for a quick visit to the Haiku Kougra,
and soon Neofaerie was stepping up to the rickety old Tombola stand, as the
Tombola man waved. Happiness hopped on top of Neofaerie's head and drew out
"Oh dear, that's not a winning ticket," said
the Tombola man.
"And you don't even get a booby prize," chanted
Neofaerie dully, who knew these words by heart. "Alright, let's go to the market
The Kougra squinted, trying to make out the market,
which was not too far away. "It looks bigger than usual," he commented.
"Oh yes, come and see," said the Tombola man,
sounding more enthusiastic than usual, "we've expanded the market! We thought
it needed to be a bit bigger, see, and there was so much empty space beside
it… well, follow me and see for yourself!"
Neofaerie shrugged and followed the Tombola man
through the thick green bushes that lined the dirt, while Happiness hummed Yes
Boy Ice-Cream's latest song. Neofaerie brushed aside the long leaves of drooping
tree and blinked in surprise. Quite a few extra huts had been added, crowded
around on the west side, and spilling into the jungle.
"We'll have to cut a few of those trees down
later," beamed the Tombola man, "since they're getting in the way. But it should
be great, eh?"
"Yeah, pretty cool," said Neofaerie, but Happiness
frowned (which was rather rare for her) and asked, "Does anyone live in that
jungle?" She pointed over to the cluster of trees that the huts had entered.
"Nope," said the Tombola man, "it's been checked,
and we haven't found any signs of anyone or anything living there. A few scattered
petpets, of course, but we can give them to the Petpet Shop in Neopia Central,
and that'll be fine."
"They'll be alright," Neofaerie told Happiness
convincingly. "Petpets need owner anyway."
"It's also an excellent source of supplies,"
said the Tombola man, looking happier than Neofaerie had ever seen him, even
at the Gadgadsbogen festival. "We've found some rare plants, and that sort of
thing… but you know, we've found something very extraordinary indeed! Come,
I'll show you."
He led them over to a makeshift blue tent, disappeared
inside it for a second, and then came out with a large plate of some sort of
odd food. He held the plate out to them and said excitedly, "Doughnutfruit!
It looks like a doughnut, but it's really a fruit! It's delicious, here, try
Both pets reached out to take a piece of the
new fruit, and they agreed that it was very tasty. "Well, NSQ wanted us to bring
some fruit home," said Neofaerie, licking Doughnutfruit off his paws, "and she
didn't specify what kind. Here, we'll take 10. Choose some different flavours
The Cybunny hopped onto the ground and did as
she was told, picking out many different colours (including rainbow and Fishberry).
The Tombola man dumped the fruit into a brown paper bag and handed it to Neofaerie,
"Thanks," said the Kougra, dropping a few neopoints
into the Tombola mans hand. He reached out to take the bag, but before he touched
it a purple blur whizzed in front of him and grabbed it, shooting away.
"What in Neopia…?" started Neofaerie, turning
around to see who had stolen his fruit. The culprit, a small purple Hasee, stuck
its tongue out and sped off with surprising, uncharacteristically fast speed
towards the jungle, where Neofaerie saw that 5 more Hasees were peeking out
from behind the sheltering trees.
The Tombola man shouted as 2 more Hasees dashed
out of the tent on stubby legs, carrying a large silver plate piled high with
Doughnutfruit over their heads. Neofaerie raised a paw to strike them, but Happiness
squealed, "Don't hurt them, Faer!" and the Kougra watched helplessly as the
Hasees ran back towards the trees, stopping only to stick their tongues out
at the group.
"Thieves!" roared the Tombola man. "What an outrage!
Those Hasees can't just steal from me like that! Argh! So many neopoints wasted!"
Neofaerie groaned and rubbed one of his green
ears with a large paw. "Agh, and I spent all the neopoints we brought on those
Happiness stared quietly at the spot where the
Hasees had vanished, her ears high in the air and twitching every few seconds.
Another rare thing for her, to be quiet. Finally she jumped back onto her brothers
back and said, "Well, not much we can do, Neofaerie. Let's go home. Nesqu won't
mind if we don't bring fruit back."
"Tell me if you need help catching those thieves,"
said Neofaerie, and he trotted off, headed for the Harbour.
"What do you mean, you didn't bring back the fruit?" asked NSQ, their owner,
in a panicked voice. "I have important guests coming over, and they specifically
asked for fruit! What am I going to do, feed them Bitten Apples? Ahhh!"
"Well, we had a bit of a problem," sighed Neofaerie,
"see, the fruit we bought was stolen."
"Stolen?" asked NSQ blankly. "Who would steal
fruit? Why didn't you get them, Neofaerie?"
"Well, I was going to!" said Neofaerie irritably.
"But they were just these tiny Hasees, and Happiness said not to hurt them…"
"Hmm," said NSQ, tapping her chin, "why would
Hasees want to steal fruit?"
"Dunno," replied Neofaerie, shrugging. "Don't
ask me. They probably think they can get away with it since they're so small
and innocent. How annoying…"
"I've got some time left," said NSQ feverishly,
glancing at a Mad Clock sitting on the Dried Bamboo Shelf, "I can probably go
to Mystery Island and pick something up myself. And if anything tries to steal
it from me I'll… whack them with a stick." She quickly pulled on her shoes and
ran out the door without so much as a, "don't let strangers in!"
Neofaerie sank onto a Blue Bean Bag Chair and
began to read The Grarrl Who Crushed Tyrannia over again glumly. He was halfway
through the second paragraph when the sound of gentle footsteps caused him to
"You look rather upset, Neofaerie," observed
a Christmas Zafara who was wearing a tattered brown traveler's cloak. "Why is
"Aww, it's these annoying Hasee thieves, Neoangel,"
answered Neofaerie, "they're stealing the Doughnutfruit that the Tombola man
found. I wish I could do something about it."
The Zafara watched him thoughtfully for a second
before saying, "I understand. That's a terrible thing to do."
"I know!" raged Neofaerie. "What do you suggest
"Me? I suggest you apologize to them."
"Huh?" said Neofaerie, at a complete loss. "What
are you talking about?"
"Let me see," said Neoangel, somewhat matter-of-factly
(yet another rare thing). "You invaded their home, and you're planning to wreck
it. You also plan to sell them off to a shop. You took all of their food supply,
which, not only did they find first, you did not ask if you could have. Now…"
her deep, navy blue eyes met Neofaerie's chocolate-brown ones. "Who are the
"Well… when you put it that way," said
Neofaerie guiltily. He groaned and threw down his book. "Happiness was right
"She usually is," said Neoangel, smiling. "She's
wiser than we give her credit for."
"Right, I have to go to Mystery Island now,"
said Neofaerie. "Thanks, Neoangel!" he called, as he ran off through the door.
"Where did Neofaerie go?" asked Happiness curiously,
as she bounced into the room.
"You were right all along," repeated Neoangel,
smiling down at her younger sister.
Happiness tilted her head obliviously. "That
doesn't answer my question, I don't think. You know, sometimes you don't make
lots of sense, Neoangel." She grinned and buried herself in the Blue Bean Bag
Chair. "Oh well." She picked up the book that Neofaerie had left lying on the
floor. "Read me this?"
"Well, just let me check something first." Neoangel
closed her eyes, her brow slightly furrowed. The fingers on one slender, paw-like
hand tapped the air. In her mind, she saw a blurry picture of Neofaerie, far
away on Mystery Island, bowing his head down to a small purple Hasee. The Hasee
paused before stepping forward warmly and holding up a silver Doughnutfruit.
Neoangel smiled and opened her eyes. She picked up the book, and began to read.