The Tale of the Fountain
One night an old red Blumaroo in ragged, patched clothing stopped by our gypsy camp for a night. He was the sort of neopet that you immediately start to like, as soon as you meet them. We settled down around the campfire as usual, and after we finished our meal we sat back to relax.
"If you're proper gypsies at all," he said with a smile, "you enjoy a good story. I do love storytelling. I've got a whole library full o' stories memorized."
"Let's hear some, then," I said.
This story isn't about me, but I will say that I love a good story. This may surprise you, but most Lupes I know do. Well, this Blumaroo said he had heard it from his mother, who had worked in Fyora's palace and heard it from the great faerie queen herself. But I'm not absolutely sure whether this is true. Anyhow, read on to hear a tale of magic from long ago. Here it is, just as he said it, save the interruptions from other gypsies.
Has anybody every told you the story of the Rainbow Fountain? Well, it is a very interesting one, and it is rarely told. So sit tight and listen to me for a little while, because it is not often you'll get this opportunity. Well, here's how it begins, like any other good story. One day, long ago, before the Rainbow Fountain was around, Queen Fyora was feeling down. The faeries all tried to cheer her up, but she wouldn't be cheered. They asked her why she was so sad.
"The trouble is, the neopets out there think I do not help them out enough," she said, not knowing that one day a speckled Xweetok would decide to destroy Faerieland because of this. "I try my best, but if I start trying to use my greatest abilities to help all of them, I'll soon get sick with fatigue. I don't know what to do about it."
"How can we solve this problem, your majesty?" asked a young fire faerie named Taefa. "What can we do?"
"I do not know," answered the queen.
But the faeries wanted to help their queen, so they searched around for a faerie that could help them with what they needed. A kind young water faerie named Naia said she could help. The other faeries knew she was very talented and loved the plan she had to cheer up the queen, so they flew off to put their plan into action. But unknown to Naia and the other faeries, two unhappy air faeries were lurking in the shadows. They had very much wanted to help with cheering up the faerie queen, mostly to show off their abilities to her and the other faeries. They drifted away unhappily, plotting their revenge on young Naia, for she had stolen their glory away.
Two days later, Naia was very tired, but very happy. The plan was ready to show the queen. She walked a little in front of the group of faeries, heading to the throne room in the palace. Fyora was there, staring glumly at the ground.
"Your majesty, I have made something—with the help of the other faeries, of course—that may help you with your problem," said Naia. "Of course, it may not solve it completely—but it will certainly make the neopets very happy."
The queen raised her head hopefully.
"What is it?" she asked.
"If you come with us, you will find out," said Naia happily.
The queen stood up and prepared to leave.
"I love it! This is a wonderful solution," said Fyora about an hour later. "How beautiful it is!"
The group of faeries stood gazing at a beautiful, sparkling fountain. But it wasn't just any fountain. It sparkled with the colors of the rainbow, and it shimmered with mysterious magic. Naia stood in front of it, beaming.
"I'm so glad you like it," she told the queen. "It won't, of course, solve all our problems, but I think the neopets out there will certainly be very happy to be different colors, without even paying a thing!"
"There will be long lines, of course, Naia," said the queen after a moment. "You will have to select only the good-hearted neopets. But as faeries, it is easy for us to do that."
Naia nodded. Then a light faerie stepped up from the crowd of faeries.
"Your majesty, Naia said that you will need somebody to be the faerie of the fountain," she said. "Shouldn't you choose now?"
The queen nodded and opened her mouth to speak, just as two air faeries stepped forward. The faeries were confused. They weren't part of their group. They were, in fact, the very faeries that had been plotting revenge on Naia.
"I'm Csettai," said the first.
"I'm Tsettai," said the second.
"Your names are pronounced exactly the same way," said Naia.
"But they're spelled differently," said Csettai smugly.
The faeries were twins, but Tsettai had shorter, spikier hair than Csettai.
"Yes, of course, they're spelled differently," agreed Tsettai.
"We want to be the protectors of the fountain," they said together. "We're perfect for the job."
The queen gave them a look that seemed to see everything in them. Then she shook her head sadly.
"You're not right for the job," she said. "However you, Naia, would be perfect."
"Me?" asked Naia, surprised. "Well, alright. I'd be honored to assist you."
Fyora touched Naia on the head with her scepter.
"Now go into the water," said the queen.
Naia stepped into the beautiful fountain, and she immediately became covered in beautiful, vibrant colors. Tsettai and Csettai glared at her, and then stomped away.
All throughout the next day, neopets from all over the world traveled to Faerieland. They thanked the faeries again and again, and the good, kind ones got to bathe in the fountain's waters and become whatever color they wished. That night, when the final few neopets had finished bathing in the fountain, Naia slept as many water faeries do, floating on top of the water in her fountain. As soon as she was fast asleep, Tsettai and Csettai fluttered down to the fountain's edge. They each pulled out a long scepter. They had stolen the scepter from the Faerie Weapon Shop in the city. They touched the very surface of the water with their scepters and each muttered the same magic word. Suddenly, all the water from the fountain began to change. It became like the regular water in Faerieland. And Naia, who had before been covered in gorgeous rainbows, became her ordinary self again. Magic from the water flowed into the two scepters, and made the scepters rainbow-colored, as the water had once been. The two faeries flew home and hid their rainbow-colored scepters, satisfied with the cruel work they had done that night. In the morning, when Naia woke up, she cried out as she realized what had happened. She ran to the palace as soon as she collected her wits about her.
"Queen Fyora!" she called as she rushed into the throne room. "Oh, your majesty, something terrible has happened! The magic is drained from the fountain!"
Queen Fyora was alarmed. Naia went on to explain that she had woken up and the fountain had been simply a regular fountain.
"Oh, this is awful, Naia," said the queen sadly. "I am so sorry."
This is almost the end of the story, but there are a few things to fill you in on. First of all, the two air faeries were never caught, but Fyora did discover they were behind it when she discovered their scepters in their empty house. However, if she poured the magic back into the fountain it wouldn't work properly. Naia needed magical items to activate the fountain's powers again. So she will occasionally pop in on a good-hearted Neopian and ask for a rare, expensive item in return for a bathe in her magical fountain. That is the tale as my mother told it to me, word for word.
The old Blumaroo smiled as he finished the tale.
"I'm off fer Faerieland tomorrow," he said, "to visit me mum and start a new life there. If any of you happen to visit there someday, be sure to pay me a visit."
I haven't seen the old Blumaroo since. But he was a fine storyteller, and I hope, one day, to listen to another fine tale of his.