Where Neggs Come From
I clutched my small bag of Neopoints tightly as I battled the chill wind that threatened to blow me back down the mountain path into Happy Valley. Pulling my coat closer around me, I squinted ahead. A tall and rather out of place candy cane held up a sign that read, “Ice Caves.” Scurrying as quickly as I could through the deep snow, I spotted the entrance carved into the gray stone.
As soon as I stepped in out of the snow, the wind vanished. Behind me, the icy breeze continued to howl, but now I had safely arrived at my destination. “Open your eyes, Sordin,” I muttered to myself, “and prepare to be amazed.” Lifting my frosted eyelids, I glanced around. A dark corridor carved in the ice on one side bore a sign that said, “The Snowager.” Although I had come for neggs, that certainly wasn’t the route I wanted to take. On the opposite side, however, I spotted the sign for the Neggery. Hurrying as quickly as I could across the slippery floor of the cavern, I made my way over to the building.
“Sorry, closed for an afternoon nap! Come back soon!” read a sign on the outside of the negg-shaped structure.
I had sailed from Neopia Central to Happy Valley, then climbed up a treacherous mountain pass, and the Negg Faerie expected me to respect her naptime? I knocked on the door loudly.
At first, there was no response, and I began to wonder if the Negg Faerie took her naps somewhere else. I wouldn’t have been surprised—the Ice Caves were frigid and any building would need spectacular insulation to stay warm, not to mention a large fireplace. My eyes traveled up to the top of the building, where the stem of the negg was puffing out black smoke.
“You can’t fool me, I know you’re in there,” I muttered, pounding on the door.
Finally, I heard a thump inside and the door opened to reveal the Negg Faerie, dressed in her regular torn clothing. It was truly a wonder that her bare skin hadn’t succumbed to frostbite. “Can’t you read?” she asked irritably, pointing to the sign.
“I’m a paying customer!” I said, holding up my small bag of Neopoints. “I’m here to buy neggs!”
The Faerie scowled at me. It was clear that she did not want to spend her naptime waiting on a small yellow Kacheek. I shook my moneybag, letting the coins clink against each other. Apparently, as I had hoped, the Faerie was as greedy as she was grumpy, and she said, “All right, come on in.”
I was very glad to step out of the cold. As the Faerie shut the door behind me, I could see an astounding array of neggs lining the curved walls. Rows upon rows of them filled the room, each unique in their fantastic patterns of color. I was eager to purchase one, but as I glanced at the nearest price tag, I realized that most were far beyond my budget.
The Negg Faerie had noticed the meagerness of my funds as well, and she said, “Our cheapest neggs are in the back.” I followed her past an unmade bed to the other end of the building, where monochromatic neggs were lined up on the floor.
Every feature of the Negg Faerie’s face read, “Hurry up,” but I wasn’t about to rush my decision. I’d waited for a long time to finally visit this place, and I wasn’t going to purchase anything without extensive research.
“Tell me about this one here,” I said, as if I was in an expensive jewelry store.
“That’s a pink negg,” said the Negg Faerie, frowning.
“I see,” I said, rubbing my chin. I took off my coat—the fireplace heated the room quite well, as I had expected—and tossed it onto the faerie’s bed. “And that one?”
“That’s a blue negg.”
“Are you sure?” I asked, bending down to squint at the negg in question. “It looks a tad purple to me.”
“It’s a blue negg,” repeated the Negg Faerie. “Read the tag.”
I lifted the small white tag that was attached to the stem of the negg. It read, “Blue Negg: 25,000 NP.”
“Twenty-five thousand?” I cried, jumping back. “For a blue negg? You must be joking.”
“Nope,” said the Negg Faerie. “That’s fair market price. Buy it or leave it.”
Fortunately, I had extensively read the book Guide to Haggling before making my journey to the Ice Caves, and I knew exactly what to do in such a situation. “Perhaps I will leave it,” I said, glancing at the Faerie out of the corner of my eye. “I could probably find a better deal elsewhere anyway.”
I took a step toward the door. “Don’t forget your coat,” said the Faerie.
I turned back around with a frown. “On second thought,” I said, “Maybe I don’t need to buy my neggs at all. I’m sure I could find them myself.” A sudden thought struck me. “Say,” I said, “where do neggs come from anyway?”
“All neggs come from my shop,” said the Negg Faerie firmly, her nonchalance gone. “So if you want a negg, you’ll have to buy it here.”
“Oh really?” I asked, feigning curiosity. “Do you grow them yourself?”
“Well,” began the faerie, biting her lip. She glared at me. “Do you honestly think I could grow neggs in this climate? Don’t be ridiculous.”
“But they do grow, then?” I said. Now that I had been thinking about it, I really had no idea where neggs came from, nor did I particularly care. However, I seemed to have found the Negg Faerie’s sensitive spot, because her face was beginning to flush.
“Of course neggs grow,” she said. “Did you think they just fell from the sky?”
“So where do they grow then, if not here?” I asked. “Do neggs grow on Mystery Island? Maybe I should make that my next vacation destination.”
“Mystery Island has fruit, not neggs,” said the Negg Faerie.
“I thought neggs were a fruit,” I said.
“They’re different,” said the faerie quickly. “And they don’t grow on Mystery Island.”
“No, I suppose they don’t,” I replied, glancing around at the hundreds of colorful neggs lining the walls. “Well, then,” I said, “why don’t you tell me where they do grow?”
“I’m not telling you, buddy, so you can either buy your neggs from me or go home hungry.”
“I think you’re running quite a risky business here, if I do say so myself,” I mused, running my paw over a green negg. “What if someone were to discover where the neggs grow? What would you do then?”
“I’d laugh,” said the Negg Faerie, “because no one knows where the neggs grow, and no one ever will.”
“Does Fyora know?” I asked, bringing up the name of the Faerie Queen at—apparently—the perfect moment.
The Negg Faerie flinched. “The Queen and I,” she said slowly, “well, we haven’t really kept in touch, with all the blizzards around here, you know how it is, hard to deliver mail...” Her worried gaze fell upon me once more. “Why do you care so much about Fyora anyway?” she asked. “Are you a spy from Faerieland?”
“Perhaps,” I said, picking up a purple negg from the floor and polishing it. “Now, will you or won’t you tell me where neggs really grow?”
The Negg Faerie paused, furrowing her brow. I could feel my plan nearing fruition. Either she would tell me where to find neggs myself—an amazing discovery—or she would have to make some other compromise.
It would be the latter. “Say, I have an idea,” said the faerie, her face brightening into an obviously-false smile. “Wouldn’t you like to try a negg for yourself? Maybe if you have a taste and see how delicious they are, you won’t care where they grow.”
Success! “All right,” I said. “I’ll try this one.” I lifted the purple negg to my mouth.
“Not that one!” cried the faerie, sweeping the item out of my hands and placing it back on the floor. “Wouldn’t you like to try a more expensive one?” She walked over to one of the shelves. “Maybe, this one, perhaps?” She reached up and pulled a shaking red negg from its place.
She handed it to me, and I looked cautiously into its squinty face. “What kind of negg is this?” I asked.
“It’s a Confusionegg,” said the Negg Faerie with a bright smile. “I mean—a Kung Fu Sun Negg. If you eat it after sunset, you can learn Kung Fu.”
I had always wanted to become a martial artist. “Interesting,” I said, turning over the negg in my hands. “And this is free of charge?”
“Certainly,” said the faerie, seemingly relieved that I had given up my probing to find out where she grew her neggs.
“Well, all right then,” I said, rejoicing in the success of my brilliant scheme to get a free negg. I took a big bite out of the shuddering negg.
The Negg Faerie’s plastered smile widened, and she watched me carefully. “It’s delish-ungh,” I said, just as I began to grow dizzy. My vision swam, and I felt like I was spinning rapidly in circles. The image of the faerie faded into darkness as I drifted into wonderland...
* * * * *
I opened my eyes. I was sitting on the floor of a strange room filled with colorful blobs of some sort. A kind-looking faerie stood over me. I tried to gather my thoughts, but I could not remember where I was, or what I was doing there.
“Excuse me,” I said to the faerie, “I seem to have forgotten what I’m doing.”
“That’s quite all right,” she replied with an odd, wide smile. “You were just here to purchase some neggs from me, that’s all.”
Neggs. That’s what all of those blobs were. My mind started fitting the scattered pieces back together. “Oh, all right,” I said, looking around. “But I don’t have any Neopoints.”
“Yes you do,” said the faerie, pointing to a small bag sitting next to me.
“Oh, that’s right, I do,” I said, picking up the bag. “Well, I guess I should buy some neggs then.”
“Good idea,” said the faerie. “Now, if you’re looking to spend all of your Neopoints, I’m sure I can find a basic negg for you...” She turned to look at one of the many shelves that encircled the building.
“Say,” I said, looking around curiously, “I wonder where neggs come from anyway?”