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Collecting Cabbages, a JubJub's Gallery


by betti666

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Currently, in a small area on the outskirts of Brightvale (not far from the Motery), there stands a modest building, a gallery named, if you take the main sign as read, "Cabbages!." Also known to its patrons as The Cabbage Gallery, it sits in a well-tended area of farmland, and from a distance is most unassuming. When you get close you find that it is an enchanting place that holds a peculiar and unique collection of objects centred around the humble cabbage. Additional signs have been added around the doorway that let visitors know that it also contains rooms, displays and space for kale, sprouts and other leafy greens. Perhaps the overall name and sign should be updated to something more majestic. Regardless, it’s what, and who, can be found inside that find themselves the topic of our story today.

     The gallery is owned by a spirited and eccentric Strawberry JubJub named Colin Greenfield. He inherited the building and the surrounding allotment space from his grandparents, who had a deep passion for both art and gardening but had previously used the building as merely a big shed for keeping their equipment in, doubling as a painting studio on occasion. Colin's grandmother believed that cabbages possessed a mystical quality that could inspire creativity and bring people together. With this legacy in mind, Colin is determined to make this a gallery like no other. He’s recently even been considering taking commissions from local artists who could create additional cabbage art to go in there alongside the collection of other items that he’s built up over the years and the few remaining works of his Grandad’s that depict his favourite vegetables too.

     As visitors step through the doors of the Cabbage Gallery, they are immediately captivated by the verdant greenery within. So too are they impressed by the neatness and care put into the displays and labels that accompany each item. Almost every inch of the main gallery space is dedicated to cabbage. Some are realistic representations, while others are more ingredient centric. Although most items in the collection are real food kept in stasis for ongoing observation, the little gallery also has a cafe area where visitors can eat a slice of freshly baked Luxury Cabbage Cake or sip on a Mega Cabpru Smoothie for refreshment as they browse the collection. The cafe, as it happens, is run by Colin’s twin sister, April, who has a most remarkable way with food. Some have been heard to say they only visited for her culinary skill. Though they say it quietly as no one is being malicious when they do so. Honestly, they work well together to run the whole of ‘Cabbages!’ and they revel in the fact that they have been able to put their grandparent’s inheritance to such use.

     One of the most remarkable pieces in the whole display is the ‘Mega Cabbage’, the sign below reading ‘Behold the absolute perfection of the cabbage kingdom!’. This glistening cabbage stands proudly in the centre of the room, a symbol of Colin’s true dedication to the theme. This cabbage had been difficult to locate and he had spent many weeks at a time scouring the local auction house and trading post to get hold of his very own precious collectable. With determination, some very fancy letter writing, and maybe a small amount of luck, eventually he was able to find a seller. He was eager to spend all his hard-earned Neopoints on the one sparkling ‘Mega Cabbage’ that sits on the very plinth in the centre of the room - a plinth his Aunt had hand carved for him as a birthday present nonetheless.

      Over the years many of his friends have contributed to the collection too, and this has only made the gallery mean even more. A true reflection of his many years in Neopia. When people get to know him, it makes sense that they find a green, cabbage-y leafy gift for any gestures of thanks or celebration. Something that makes Colin glow inside every time he reads the neatly written labels he has given his gifted items.

     The ‘Cabbages!’ gallery has recently gained recognition far and wide, attracting other collection enthusiasts, gardeners, and curious visitors from all lands. Colin's unique vision and unwavering dedication to cabbages can be observed as a magnet for those seeking inspiration and a touch of whimsy. There’s just something about the big bright green-ness of it all that really draws people in. Colin is even thinking of getting someone to write up an article about his gallery for the Neopian Times, and because you are reading this, you know that that bit of the chronicle is true. His passion for his work, and the joy he takes in sharing it are evident from a distance and even more so close up.

     That said, the one remaining challenge he seeks is the rumoured ‘Cabbage of Mystery’ - something that has eluded every curious buyer in Neopia since it was first spoken of. Even a recent resurgence in the hush-hush Smuggler’s Cove is still yet to surface even a whiff of this precious item. Although this mystery may just remain both a rumour and a dream for Colin, he has plenty more collecting to do. When he finally opens up the Lettuce wing of the gallery, to which nearly every salad item or sandwich with lettuce could be deemed worthy, he may be distracted enough for a while to move on, albeit temporarily, from the mystery.

     He has a plan though, with the equipment left behind by his grandparents, and the land around his gallery, he is going to grow some of his very own cabbages too. Perhaps with these, he will be able to sell and trade and work upon other cabbage concoctions and creations. He knows that you only need to start small, make a bit of a profit here and there and invest it wisely, share finds with friends and sprinkles everything with a bit of creativity and a cheery smile. Selling his first batch of cabbage, and working with April to expand her kitchen’s output too, will allow Colin to seek out rarer seeds perhaps. Having a wider variety and bigger collection will bring more visitors, more collectors and artists and enthusiasts. His gallery will keep growing and become an even more exciting place to spend time. Then, maybe by talking to all his visitors, he will hear more hints and clues to help solve the mystery of the ‘Cabbage of Mystery’. If he could just see one for himself… And if he sees it, maybe, just maybe, he will be able to give it a place in his palace of cabbage one day with the right bit of trade know-how and enthusiasm?

     To this day, when visitors remark on the great and ever-expanding collection inside Colin’s gallery walls he beams with pride and gratitude. With the validation of his peers, Colin continues to curate exhibitions, grow the gallery's collection and collaborate with artists from around Neopia to make it truly the place to go for a wonderful day out. Have you ever visited ‘Cabbages!’? Now that you know about it, I hope it’s on your list for the next time you are in the Brightvale area. Colin and April would be happy to see you soon, I’m sure!

     The End.

 
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