There are ants in my Lucky Green Boots Circulation: 169,514,968 Issue: 293 | 25th day of Hunting, Y9
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Quinton's Quest for the Golden Carrot


by lassie_nikki

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It was a hot, cheery day for tourists gathering in Neopia Central. Citizens haggled handfuls of Neopoints for greasy burgers and tasty ice creams in the Food Shop. Excited pets took leisurely swims in the Rainbow Pool and lazy Neopians checked their pets into flea-bitten Neolodges. However, in the Neopian Bazaar, the atmosphere particularly surrounding the Health Food Shop seemed much quieter. The air had a hint of gloom to it and for a good reason, at that. Inside the Neopian Health Food store, Quinton the Green, usually happy, Quiggle sat on a dusty stool in front of his Neopoint Register. He’d just gone through the day’s earnings and found that the sales of his shop that he cherished so much were decreasing greatly. Close to tears, he sniffled a few times and ran his webbed fingers across the dusty counter that he stood at so often.

      “What am I going to do?” he talked to himself, glancing around the abandoned, dim-lit shop. “This place used to be so popular... and now people make fun of the few who shop here.” He reminisced about the past days in his hip, groovy shop. He recalled the numerous shoppers chatting and dancing to Herbert and the Health Nuts’ album. Advertisements were posted in the Bazaar giving directions to the asparagus-shaped building and the sales of his healthy foods could not have been greater! Quite a few years passed and now he sat there, depressed and alone.

      Then, Quinton remembered something that might be of assistance to his shop. Naturally, Quinton mostly grew his foods in his personal garden outside his shop. Every once in a while, however, a traveling salesman named Dervinn would stop by the Health Foods store and barter with Quinton. He’d given him quite a few bargains on rarer foods, vegetables or medicinal plants that, in return, gave Quinton an immense profit. After quite a bit of thoughtful chin-rubbing, Quinton came to a conclusion. Instead of relying on Dervinn’s rare items, he would go on his own and search for rare items of his own. After a few weeks of this plan, he’d been able to find quite a bit of rare, healthy foods and helpful plants. This helped his sales increase slightly, and more people began wandering into the Health Food Store. However, Quinton felt that his goal was not yet complete, and that he could accomplish much more.

      After carefully considering the pros and cons of his decision, he decided to go in search of the ultimate health food, the Golden Carrot. This health food was the rarest of all expensive veggies and anyone that could spot one was immediately envied by all Health Food experts. He was immensely nervous about this lengthy quest but he didn’t let his feelings slow him. He woke up earlier than the Beekadoodles and set out, packed lunch and all.

      Quinton recalled that Dervinn had once discussed finding a Golden Carrot or two near a cave east of Kiko Lake. At that time, Quinton hadn’t paid the information a second thought. Now, however, Quinton had wished he’d paid a bit more attention during Dervinn’s long rants. After a hot, treacherous journey, Quinton came to a quaint village centered around the cool, shining Lake. Despite the moisture in the air from Kiko Lake, Quinton was quite dehydrated. As anyone else would do with a lake in front of them, he knelt to get a drink from the body of water. Rather than seeing his green, scaly features, a stunned Quinton saw the enormous face of a Jetsam swimming towards the surface right at him! As the Jetsam dove for Quinton, his massive fangs snapping open and closing rapidly, Quinton leaped from the dry ground he had knelt on and just barely missed becoming victim to the Jetsam’s daggers. If he had leapt away just seconds later, Quinton would have most definitely been that Jetsam’s tasty lunch.

      After this near-death experience, Quinton was shaken to say the least. He was shivering and felt like crying just thinking about what he’d look like after being munched and crunched by the Jetsam. Needless to say, Quinton would probably taste like a mix of veggies and greenery. Lost in thought, Quinton had failed to notice the rumbling, thunderous roar that had erupted from the mountains surrounding Kiko Lake. The growl became so loud that it broke into Quinton’s fearful thoughts and forced him to look towards the source of the noise. Glancing upwards to the mountain tops, Quinton gasped as he saw the rock-filled cliffs slipping downward! He realized that he was about to be caught in a terrible rockslide. Looking left and right in hopes of safety, he distinguished a small cave that would surely be the only way to stay safe. He stood up quickly, brushed off his dirty green knees and ran as quickly as possible towards the savior-cave. Unfortunately, there happened to be a Moach directly in front of Quinton, causing him to trip and crash to the ground. He panicked as he saw the rocks and dirt sliding quicker and quicker down the hills. He got up yet again and ran as fast as his Quiggle legs would carry him. Finally, he managed to plunge into the cave just as the boulders pummeled and damaged the ground that he had just stood on.

      He realized he’d been so scared he’d been clutching rocks and soil between his now filthy hands. His breathing was difficult due to all the dust leftover from the rocks hitting the ground. Once he could breathe well again, he raised his head and gradually opened his eyes. It was then that he saw the ultimate, glowing aura of the Golden Carrot.

      “Aaah! My eyes!” he cried, clutching his sensitive eyes. He’d never seen anything quite so unbelievably shiny and high in Vitamin C! After a few minutes of the shining light, his eyes adjusted to the brightness and he could finally open his eyes and feast them on the Golden Carrot. He’d dreamed of this moment ever since he’d heard of the infamous vegetable. The Golden Carrot was at least twenty feet high and wider than a large wall of Meepits. Quinton couldn’t believe that he’d finally achieved what numerous Health Nuts had failed to complete so many times in the past. Now, he thought to himself, this leaves only one problem. How do I get the carrot out of the ground and back to the shop? Quinton rubbed his chin and his eyes glazed over with a thoughtful look. The Golden Carrot was so huge, he had no clue how to handle it. He walked over to the gleaming veggie and looked it up and down. He bent down, and began to dig away at the dirt and mud that encased the Carrot in the ground. After a few simple moments of this, Quinton stopped and decided that that plan would take hours or even days. Many ideas swept through his head: making a shovel out of sticks and rope, although there was no rope or even blowing up the dirt and mud that held it in place with his non-existent dynamite. In other words, Quinton could think of no reasonable or possible idea that would help him with carrying the Carrot back to his shop. Standing beside the giant Carrot, he patted it solemnly.

      “Maybe... maybe some great things should just be left untouched. Of course, none of the shopkeepers at the Shopkeeping Convention will believe my story, but as long as I know that I found it, I’ll be alright,” Quinton said to himself.

      With this, Quinton made his way from the cave leaving the massive, shimmering Carrot behind and taking his memories of this eventful venture with him. Quinton was quite correct; many did not believe a word he said. One of the few that did believe him was Dervinn, naturally. Other than that, Quinton tells his tale solely to small children who visit his shop and offers them Cube-Shaped Melons just for listening! His tales of adventure and tasty free samples brought tons of extra business to his store and the sales increased greatly. From then on, Quinton promised to himself that he would no longer toy with fake advertising or changing his shop to please others. After all, great things are better left untouched.

The End

 
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