Wings of Wonder
The sun shone brightly over the meadows and woods of Neopia. Cheerful pets played and frolicked on the green grass, shouting with joy. Those who could fly did so and those who had fins swam happily in the cool water.
Pippin the Baby Shoyru stared unhappily at the sky filled with flying pets. Shoyrus, Buzzes, and pets that were lucky enough to be painted a color that included wings. He sighed. It hadn’t been too long ago when he was a contented green Shoyru. But then one night as he was heading back home after a day of flying, a Baby Bruce had accosted him.
“What’s your name?” the Baby had demanded.
“Pippin,” Pippin had answered, surprised at the little Bruce being out after dusk. The Bruce took out what looked like a toy water pistol and had fired. Pippin had tried to fly off, but then he realized he was no longer as big as he used to be.
“Boochi’s the name.” The Bruce smirked. “See ya ‘round.”
Now Pippin was sitting on a blanket with half a dozen other babies. They were surrounded by rattles, balls and sippy cups. Pippin’s owner had been delighted with the change; Pippin was not.
“I can’t even fly anymore!” he moaned, despondently gazing at the Shoyrus who were engaged in a flying contest. Flying had been his favorite thing to do, and after training at the Academy, he could beat almost everyone who challenged him. But now his tiny wings could barely support him.
A Baby Kau crawled up to him and smiled.
“Wanna pway wif me?”
“Sure.” Pippin idly picked up a ball and threw it. The Kau squealed and ran after it.
Pippin turned and saw his friend Meg. Meg was also a Baby Shoyru, but now she was... different! Her pajamas had disappeared and her baby green color was now a soft purple. But the most impressive thing was her wings. They were as large as her body!
“Meg! What happened?”
Meg smiled. “My owner took me to the lab one day and I turned Faerie! Neat, huh?”
“That’s great! I wish we could go to the lab. But Mom can’t afford it.”
Meg wrinkled her forehead. “Well... I met this Pirate Shoyru a few days ago and he said there’s another place you could go to turn into another color. It’s called the Rainbow Fountain. There’s a faerie that runs it and you can hop in and choose any color you want! It’s really neat!”
“Really?!” Pippin’s mind went wild with all of the possibilities: Halloween, Ghost, Fire, Plushie, Grey, Speckled...
“It’s in Faerieland,” continued Meg. “I flew up there and saw it myself.”
“Faerieland?” Pippin’s hopes wilted. “But I can’t fly.”
“I’ll take you-” Meg was interrupted by a Darigan Kougra who strode over.
“Meg, it’s time to go,” he growled.
“Bye, Pippin! I’ll take you tomorrow!” Meg called as they flew away.
“I can’t wait until tomorrow,” muttered Pippin as he watched them go. “I need to go now.”
* * *
Pippin crawled and crawled until he reached the spot where Faerieland was almost directly above it. He gazed up.
“How will I get up?” he wondered. Pippin tried unsuccessfully to fly, but his tiny wings refused to hold his weight. He turned to see a Uni preparing to take off.
“Excuse me,” he said politely. “May I sit on your back? I need to-”
“No way! Go drink some milk, baby!” the Uni snorted and flapped upward, disappearing into the clouds.
For the rest of the day, Pippin asked everyone who headed up to Faerieland if he could go with them. The polite ones said no. The not-so polite told him to get lost. The ones who thought he was cute handed him a bottle.
Finally, just as the sun was setting, an old Faerie Lupe agreed to take Pippin up to the city. It took quite some time, but finally they were there. Pippin thanked the Lupe and searched for the Rainbow Fountain, but as the sun had gone down, everything was closed for the night. He finally found a place to sleep by crawling through the window of a petpet shop and snuggling with all of the Flouds and Miamice.
Pippin was awakened at dawn by an angry shriek. The faerie that ran the store had come in and was terribly angry at finding a Pet in her shop.
“Get out of here!” she screamed, driving him out with a broom and slamming the door after him.
Pippin wandered about the city and asked everyone he met, but nobody seemed to know where the Fountain was. Then, he bumped into a Faerie Shoyru, who turned out to be Meg.
“Pippin!” Meg cried, “I looked for you everywhere. How did you come up?”
Pippin told her everything and Meg pointed to a rainbow in the distance. They set off together.
Finally, there it was. The Fountain. Pippin gulped nervously and walked up to the Faerie sitting in the fountain.
“Excuse me, ma’am,” Pippin said nervously. “May I... um... come into the water?”
The Faerie smiled. “Well, to do that, you must complete one of my quests.”
“Okay,” Pippin said readily. “What do you want?”
The Faerie blinked. “But I don’t need anything right now.”
“But... but... I came all the way here to change my color! Can I please come in?”
“No,” the Faerie said, her tone a little harsher.
“PLEASE?! May I just take one quick little dip?”
“Get away! You’re annoying me!” the Faerie snapped. Meg grabbed Pippin’s arm, but he shook free. He started to jump in, but the Faerie picked him up and hurled him away.
“PIPPIN!” Meg jumped up and flew down after her friend, barely catching him before hitting the ground below. They both tumbled onto the grass, Pippin ending up in Meg’s lap.
The baby Shoyru was so unhappy and disappointed, he almost started crying, something he hadn’t done in a long time. Suddenly, a dark shadow fell over them.
The shadow belonged to a tall, greenish figure wearing a dark coat. “Perhaps I can be of assistance,” he softly said. “What’s wrong?”
“I... I want to fly again!” Pippin burst out, a tear forming in his eye.
The figure fumbled around with the bag he was carrying. “Only one left... but still,” he muttered, pulling out a potion. The stench was awful and both Shoyrus wrinkled their noses.
“Drink this and you will have wings.” The person handed the bottle to Pippin with an evil smile.
“Don’t do it!” Meg cried, but Pippin uncorked the container and gulped it down. At first, he felt nothing. Then his arms began to twist and pain gripped his insides. The person in the dark coat cackled and vanished.
Then it was over. Pippin stood up and saw he had turned a sickly green. But... he had wings! He looked at Meg whose mouth had dropped open.
“Pip! Do you know what you are?”
“You’re... a Draik!”
“What? Really! Wow! Mom will be so happy!” Pippin turned around and inspected himself. Sure enough, he was a Draik. And he had wings! He could fly!
The new Draik smiled at Meg and jumped into the air. Laughing, he shouted, “Last one to the Bakery’s a rotten egg!”