One bright summer day in the month of Hunting, Queen Fyora sat in the highest tower of Faerie City, staring glumly out at the scene playing out far below. All of Faerieland was busy preparing for the festivities which were to take place on Fyora Day, two days hence. Faeries flitted about busily hanging bright streamers in a myriad of colors; industriously they swept the clouds clean of any specks of dust that dared show themselves and polished every piece of glass and metal within the city so vigorously it gleamed. In Faerie Foods the cooks were preparing a dizzying array of delicacies to feed the celebrants; as they worked the tantalizing aromas of their creations wafted in through the open window of the tower, tickling Fyora’s nose most pleasantly.
Everything taking place should have prompted some airiness in the Queen, but it failed to elicit even the faintest of smiles. Restless, she finally stood and summoned her attendant who was waiting on the other side of the door.
“Fimbria, I’m going for a walk,” said Queen Fyora abruptly. “There is no need for you to accompany me.”
Fimbria peered closely at the Queen, alarmed by the gloomy expression on her face.
“Is something wrong, Majesty?” she inquired, voice trembling. “You look as though something weighs heavy upon your heart.”
Fyora was startled by Fimbria's perception. She nodded reluctantly and sighed.
“Yes, I am troubled,” she replied, and turned to the window. Fimbria waited patiently for her to continue, and after a moment she did so.
“Look outside,” said Fyora, gesturing at the vista below. “What do you see?”
The slight, blonde haired faerie approached the window and obediently looked over the ledge, her blue eyes narrowed slightly in concentration.
“The only thing I see is everyone preparing for your celebration, Majesty,” she said after a minute. She glanced at the Queen, confused. “Is that what bothers you so?”
Fyora nodded almost imperceptibly. “It distresses me greatly,” she answered. “These last few days I have become acutely aware of the fact that this festival is taking place to celebrate me. I am the Faerie Queen, to be sure, but I am only one individual. The more I think about it, the more egotistical it seems. Go into the shops of Faerieland and Neopia and what do you find? Queen Fyora sinks and bathtubs, Chocolate Fyora crowns and Fyora yoyos. A neopet can sit at his or her Fyora Vanity table, eating a Fyora lollyswirl and listening to a Fyora music box! This rampant commercialization of my image makes me feel as if I’m almost a parody of a monarch.” She sighed again, absentmindedly running a hand through her long tresses. “When I assumed rule of Faerieland I did not anticipate any of this,” she continued. “It trivializes me and all I stand for.”
Abruptly she turned from the window and left the room, closing the door behind her. Fimbria was stunned. Unsure of what to do, she stood for a moment, gazing out of the window. As she watched the hustle and bustle below, she gradually became aware of something that obviously hadn’t occurred to the Queen. The more she thought about it, the more she knew it was just the thing to help pull Fyora out of her funk. Smiling broadly, Fimbria ran to the door and jerked it open. Spying one of the palace guards, she called to him.
“Which way did the Queen go?”
The guard pointed down the hallway to his left, and Fimbria scurried in that direction. Hurrying as fast as she could, she made her way to the castle entrance.
“Did you see the Queen?” she asked the guard at the gate.
“She said she was going to the woods of Neopia for a walk,” he replied, shrugging. “I don’t know when she’ll be back.”
Fimbria thanked him, and then flexed her wings resolutely in preparation for what promised to be a long flight. Pushing off firmly from the ground, she launched herself into the air and headed in the direction of Neopia.
After a relatively uneventful but ultimately tiring flight, Fimbria finally arrived on the outskirts of the Neopian woods. The growth was far too dense for her to even consider flying, so she alit lightly on the edge of the forest and started walking along a clearly defined trail. As she trudged along the path, it led her deeper and deeper into the woods, and eventually her ears picked up on the sound of a waterfall. She hurried in that direction, and as she neared the falls, the path opened up onto a small clearing. There, sitting on a large rock near the riverbank, was Queen Fyora. She was apparently deep in thought, and consequently unaware of Fimbria’s presence until the small blonde faerie plopped down next to her on the grass. Fimbria kicked off her slippers and gratefully eased her aching feet into the cool waters of the stream, hissing through her teeth in relief as she did so. Queen Fyora raised an eyebrow, slightly amused.
“So, Fimbria,” she inquired dryly, “to what do I owe the honor of your presence? I seem to remember telling you I did not need to be accompanied.”
Fimbria nodded. “I know, your majesty,” she replied politely. “However, I thought of something after you left that I knew might make you feel better, so I followed you.” Fyora inclined her head slightly to indicate Fimbria should continue.
“When I was in your chamber, I noticed you had a picture of King Hagan on your wall. Why is that?”
Fyora shrugged lightly. “King Hagan is an intelligent man and a noble ruler. He is generous with his subjects and merciful with his enemies. His intellect and wisdom are admirable traits.”
“I don’t understand, though,” said Fimbria with feigned innocence, “why you have his picture on your wall?”
Fyora sighed. “His picture serves to remind me on a daily basis what I admire about him. He has many of the qualities I aspire to. It’s not that I am taken with King Hagan himself, but rather the image he projects.”
Fimbria smiled. “Oh, I see. The same reason Neopians everywhere put up images of you.” Earnestly she turned to look at the Queen. “Your Majesty, you represent an ideal. Truth. Nobility, fairness –the things everyone admires. However, it’s hard to put a picture of an ideal up on the wall. It’s easier to celebrate them if we can put a face to them. Sometimes people can get a little carried away with the way they show it, but the reasons are the same. They need a banner to rally around, and it happens to be you.”
Fyora sat silently for a minute and Fimbria was deeply afraid she had overstepped her bounds. At last, to her profound relief, Fyora smiled.
“Fimbria, you are clever beyond your years. Perhaps I should hang a picture of you up on my wall also, to remind me that sometimes the biggest ideas can come from the littlest of faeries.”
The tiny faerie grinned. “Thank you, your Majesty. Now, if we’re going to get back in time for the celebration, we’d better start for home.”
Fyora nodded. “You’re right. We’d better start walking.”