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Define Happiness: a (Possible) History

by spaiirow


Once upon a time, in a place far, far away (or rather, high, high above), there was a beautiful young light faerie. She was the envy of all who set eyes upon her. The visual attraction she was gifted with from birth was none other than her stunning pearly wings. It was rumored that not even the greatest of faeries, say, Queen Fyora herself, possessed such glamour to behold. It would be assumed that one of such physical riches would be the happiest of all, but in the case of young Baelia, that was not so.

     "Faerie, why do you not smile?" a curious blue Kacheek once asked quietly, staring up at Baelia with intense black eyes. "You are the most beautiful in all of Neopia, surely you are happy."

     Baelia raised a thin eyebrow, glancing down at the little Neopet, milky blue eyes glittering in annoyance. Smoothing out her elegant blue gown, she replied smoothly, "I will be happy if you bring to me a Blueberry Faerie Bubble."

     Eager to please, the Kacheek smiled widely, nodding vigorously. "Yes, yes! I will bring you one." With those words, the small Neopet waddled off in search of the item, determined to bring it back to the Faerie, if only to bring her happiness. After all, it should not be so hard to make her smile.

     Baelia watched the Kacheek go, scoffing to herself. Surely the Neopet would forget the given quest. With that thought in mind, she made herself comfortable on the lush green lawn below her feet, raising her mirror to eyelevel to inspect herself.

     Not but an hour later the Kacheek came scurrying back, clutching a small round object in his paws. "Faerie! Faerie!" he cried, panting slightly as he approached Baelia. "Here, for you. This is what you requested, was it not?" He held out the humble offering in hope that it would light the Faerie's face.

     Eyeing the object for a moment, Baelia simply shook her head. "This does not make me happy," she replied, bored, tossing her silky white hair over her shoulder with little effort. "Bring to me a Faerie Snowglobe. Then I will be happy."

     Needless to say this continued for a handful of hours. Each time the poor Kacheek would return with an item at Baelia's request, the Faerie would reject the object, sending the Neopet on yet another hunt for her happiness. Gradually, the Kacheek grew weary of serving the Faerie, and realization began to dawn upon him.

     "Faerie, I have brought you many items," the Kacheek began, growing angry as he gestured to the growing pile that lay beside Baelia. "Each you have said would bring you happiness, yet I have not received so much as a thank you! You may be the most beautiful in Neopia as far as your outside, but on the inside you are hideous." With that, he turned away, leaving Baelia to ponder his words.

     The Faerie held a shocked expression for the moment. How dare he! He knew nothing, that much was clear. After all, he was just a pathetic Neopet, what did he know? Rolling her eyes, Baelia tossed the thought from her mind.

     The next afternoon, Baelia was lounging lazily upon a particularly fluffy white cloud, admiring herself as usual when a commanding voice drew her attention to the ground below.

     "Baelia! I wish to speak with you concerning an important matter," Fyora, the Faerie Queen, called up, her tone demanding respect and obedience. Beside her the Kacheek from the previous day stood solemnly.

     Sighing, Baelia reluctantly lowered herself to the ground. "Yes, your highness?" she muttered miserably. Why was Fyora the Queen, anyways? Baelia was infinitely more beautiful than her. Surely it was her who should rule over the Faeries. Perhaps she would later see to that…

     "It has come to my attention, from a reliable source," Fyora began, offering a slight smile to the small Kacheek, who in return smiled back, "that you, despite yourself, can find no happiness. Is this true?"

     Baelia merely shrugged, glancing up at the sun. "Will this take long? I'm due at the Beauty Parlor in an hour," she informed her Queen in a rude tone.

     Fyora shook her head in disgust, clutching her staff tightly. "Baelia, you are a selfish and ungrateful Faerie. For this you will never be happy, and so let you be a visual reminder to all of this fact. You have brought this upon yourself." With those sentencing words, the Faerie Queen took an ominous step towards Baelia.

     Baelia watched in horror as the tips of her envied pearly wings floated miserably to the floor one after the other, each proceeded by a sharp click of scissors. The Faerie quickly snatched up a mirror, examining her new appearance. "What have you done to me?!" she shrieked, falling to her knees. There was no reply, for Fyora had gone, leaving Baelia to sulk and mourn over her newly clipped wings.

     And so for the next week the miserable young Faerie grew more and more depressed. Her physical appearance also seemed to decline over the days. Her once elegant blue gown had come to be a tattered and faded blue dress of rags. Her once silky ivory hair was now unkempt and dull, hanging lifelessly around her upper-body. Her skin grew pale, losing its healthy peach glow. And with these changes, she became the first of a new race of Faerie… the Grey Faerie.

     "I've seen her, I have. The Grey Faerie!" many young Neopets around Neopia proudly claimed to their friends. It wasn't as if it wasn't believable, for Baelia had been sulking childishly in the shadows outside the great walls of Faerie City for many days since the horrible 'curse' had been cast upon her.

     One particularly gloomy day, Baelia began to think. "Why should I be the only one to suffer this dreaded depression?" she wondered aloud, an idea growing in her mind. "If I cannot be happy, then I will not suffer alone."

     And so, shortly after, the first Grey Neopets appeared around Neopia. Many owners thought it to be a new illness, when their generally perky pets would return in a flood of self-pity. But if that was so, then why was a cure not available in the Hospitals? Perhaps something greater was at hand, and indeed, this was so, for alas, it was none other than Baelia's doing.

     Even to this very day you can hear her sobbing. If only at the quietest time of night you listen carefully, you will hear her soft crying drifting from high above in the clouds, for the most beautiful Faerie in Neopia is now a repelling reminder of all things brought by selfish thoughts and ingratitude.

     And so when you might feel that what you have does not make you happy, remember the Grey Faerie, and put a smile on your face. It's probably not as bad as it seems. Think of those less fortunate; to them, you may have the greatest riches of all. Whether it be in appearance, or in what really counts, the heart. Judge a person not by what they look like on the outside, but what they look like on the inside. You won't be disappointed.

The End

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