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Faerie Fables - The Soup Faerie


by devotedly

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Bou sat down by the creek with her favourite mixing bowl, wooden spoon, and a small scrapbook that was filled with her recipes. These were gifted to her by her mother who had ignited her passion for 'cooking'. Initially, cooking entailed throwing whatever she could find into the bowl and pretending to feed it to the wildlife in the surrounding forests. Bou had a wild imagination. She looked around and wondered if whether her famous stone soup or the more intricate, mossy mud pie would be on the menu today. Peering into the river, she was disheartened not to see any moss moving within the current; she must have used all the moss when she had visited the previous time. She frowned at this and pushed herself back into a seated position. Stone soup it would have to be. Placing the spoon and her book carefully back into her bag, she then dipped the bowl into the cool water to get the base for her ‘soup’.

      Steadying herself, Bou rose to her feet, carefully clutching the bowl as she did so, determined not to spill any water on herself or the ground. She looked around the tree line for some stones. She had already used all the stones from around the bank and within the creek. Like the moss, none had re-appeared for her today. Bou frowned upon noticing that there were in fact, no stones as far as her young eyes could see. She kicked the dust up from the ground and tried to think about what she could do. Her mother had forbidden her from going into the forest that surrounded the creek, except for finding a tree to place her ‘food’ next to. Would anyone know if she just lingered at the entrance and tried to keep an eye out for stones? How dangerous could the forest be? It always looked so lovely in the summer.

      Bou slowly stepped towards the forest entrance, watching her footing carefully. She cleared the line of trees easily and found herself inside the forest with just a few short strides. She surveyed the oak tree next to her and her heart stopped. She gasped loudly and wished her eyes would open wider to allow her to absorb more of her surroundings. It was beautiful! There were various new flowers and berries that she had never seen grow around the edge of the forest before. Her mind opened to all the new recipes and creations she could make with these rare ingredients, maybe this time animals would come and eat them! She beamed ear to ear as she began her trail further into the forest.

      ****************************************************************

      Bou quickly ran around, collecting all of the different kinds of berries, flowers and leaves that she had spotted within the forest. She carefully placed them within her backpack,ensuring not to squash or mix anything. She was unsure of the flavours, scents and types of items she had collected, and she wanted to take them home to research. Bou knew the Library Faerie would be a dependable source of knowledge to help her work out which were safe to eat and which should be avoided.. Plus she didn’t want her mother to find out she had strayed from the path and gone into the woods. Bou cautiously placed the last berry into her backpack and took a glance back into the clearing, there was much more to explore and see but she knew she would have to analyse what she had already found and come back another day. Excitedly, she skipped out the clearing, eagerly awaiting the information the Library Faerie would share with her.

      She glanced up at the clock in Faerieland as she entered, it was just past lunch, her mother would not be expecting her home for a few more hours. Bou began the journey to Faerieland.. It was far from her home in Neopia Central but thanks to the Nimbus Taxi’s she was able to get there quickly. Very soon she had entered Faerie City, Bou was always in awe of this place, it was so beautiful and mesmerizing, she often thought about the Faeries and all the wonder and kindness they brought to the whole of Neopia. Her head filled with thoughts of Faeries and magic as she pushed her way into the Bookshop. The bell began to ring out as she entered, the Library Faerie glanced up at the young girl and smiled at her as she watched her cautiously approach the counter. ‘What can I help you with my dear?’ she smiled, peering over the top of her Glasses, her own face reflecting the curiosity of her young visitor.

      Bou cleared her throat and looked up at the Library Faerie choosing her words carefully. ‘I.. I uh, found some berries and..other things in the woods and I.. can you tell me..if they are safe..’ she asked, gulping heavily. The Library Faerie smiled down and her and held her hand out for Bou to take ‘Of course, we have lots of books on foraging..follow me’. Bou took her hand and they both approached the high bookshelves filled with knowledge. Seated at a table, looking through the books they had found, Bou found herself spilling her story and adventures to the Library Faerie, how she wanted to make soup for the animals of the forest, the wild neopets that she knew lurked there. The Library Faerie smiled a knowing smile and handed her a card ‘with this, you can take books home, you can learn all about the items you find and how to serve them, take as many as you want on loan’. Bou felt herself floating! She happily accepted the card and placed as many books as she could find into the backpack ready to take on her next trip to the forest. She waved goodbye to the Library Faerie and informed her she would be back with the books when she had mastered all the recipes, eagerly, she returned home.

      ****************************************************************

      As the days, weeks, and years went on Bou found herself in the forest more often than not. She had learned all about the wild items that grew and began to make her own food and drinks that were both safe and filling for the wild Neopets to consume. As time went on, the Neopets became less wary of the young girl that entered the forest. They would sit around her large makeshift cauldron that she had fashioned out of the inside of an old tree stump and await her recipes, often helping her forage the ingredients and fetch the water to fill her soup pot. The Scorchios would provide the fire and the Mynci and Shoyru would collect the berries on the trees that were just out of her reach. Together, Bou and the Neopets worked hard every day to keep the soup pot full so that everyone would be able to eat if they were hungry. She had even found the courage to tell her mother what she was doing, and she was fully supportive (to her surprise) and even bought her her own ceramic cooking pot, so the food would never get cold.

      Over time, Bou was even able to construct her own hut in the woods to provide some shelter for the starving animals that passed through. Her kindness was contagious, everyone that went through left feeling happy and word of her generosity soon reached all corners of Neopia. All of the Neopets, both ownerless and those with them frequently visited Bou’s hut to fill their empty tummies, but as word continued to spread, Bou found herself not being able to keep up with the demand of soup and found herself having to close the doors of the hut, leaving some pets still famished. On one of these nights, she fell to the floor exhausted, she felt a single tear leave her tired eyes and splash into the empty cooking pot.

      Suddenly, a bright flash filled the room, Bou quickly wiped her eyes and looked up to see what the cause of the light was. She gasped, and re rubbed her eyes again, making sure she wasn’t dreaming. Opposite her on the other side of the cooking pot stood Fyora, smiling widely down at her. Bou rose to her feet and began to stammer ‘Q..Queen Fyora, I thought you were a myth.. I never dreamt I would ever see you.’ she quickly bowed her head in her presence. Fyora smiled and extended her arm onto Bou’s shoulder and cleared her throat to speak. ‘Bou my dear, I have heard about all you have done for these Neopets, I have seen what you have done too..word of your kindness has travelled far’ she stated, smiling at her once again. ‘Thank you Fyora, but -’ she paused ‘I.. I have failed helping.. The winter is coming, wild food and berries are scarce.. I am turning people away.. I don’t know what to do’ she replied halfheartedly, staring down at the floor. Fyora placed her hand on Bou’s chin and pressed it upwards, ‘that is why I am here.. I have a gift for you, something for helping out everyone.’ She took Bou’s hand and together they walked out of the hut and onto a Nimbus Cloud, they travelled together to Neopia Marketplace. Bou looked up at Fyora confused ‘are we shopping for ingredients?’ she asked with a frown. Fyora began to chuckle ‘not quite, wait and see.. I have a surprise for you.’ She led her to the entrance of the Marketplace, to a bizarrely shaped structure that looked like.. A large cooking pot? Fyora noted the young girls puzzled expression ‘It is, exactly what it looks like.. This is for you. Your own Soup Kitchen.’

      Bou felt her heart catch in her throat, she didn’t know what to say, nothing had prepared her for this. She tried to string a sentence together, but it was as if Fyora read her mind. ‘Inside you will find a Soup Pot that never empties, a Food Store that never needs restocking, warm beds to sleep in for the hungriest of Neopets and now, a wonderful Faerie to run it. Bou furrowed her brow at this last statement ‘a..a Faerie to run it? But I- I am not..’ before she could finish her sentence she felt a warm light surrounding her, her ears began extending and a new rush of power was flowing through her veins. ‘My final gift to you my dear Bou, is the gift of magic. You will now be known throughout Neopia as the Soup Faerie and as long as you are in charge here, no Neopet will ever go hungry’. Bou felt her eyes fill with grateful tears, she looked up at Fyora and expressed her thanks by enveloping her into a warm hug. ‘Thank you, thank you so much for this’ she exclaimed happily. Fyora reached into her pockets and placed the old, tattered scrapbook into Bou’s hands. ‘You have come a long way from Stone Soup’ she said winking as she exited the Soup Kitchen. As the door swung behind Fyora, it re-opened with familiar Neopets excited for the comforting meal from Bou’s soup pot. As she stirred she smiled, glancing at her reflection in the Soup, noticing the kind-hearted Soup Faerie in her reflection smiling back at her.

      The End.

      Author's notes: Bou's name was taken from the two soups, bouillabaisse and bouillon

     

 
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