The day started out just like any other. Some were busy building castles in the sandbox while others were jostling for their turn at the swing and slides – summer was indeed in the air.

But for four little girls it wasn’t just another day; it was more of a routine and they were getting restless.

Etude Kingdom orphanage housed many children who had been left without family or kin after the plague that nearly wiped out the entire land. Here they were fed, nurtured and well taken care of as to not deny them of a proper and normal upbringing. All of the children seemed contented except for the four little girls. They were bored of building castles out of sand and tired of constructing sandcastles in the air.

They wished for more but little did they know that more was what they were going to get for today is THE day.

“There she goes, she won’t be back for at least another 15 minutes,” said one of the girls pointing at the orphanage matron. Indeed, everyday at exactly this time the matron would leave her post and head into the kitchen to check on the pies that would be served to the children as after playtime snack.

“Have you got the keys?” asked another girl. The third girl ruffled through her dress pockets and took out the keys to the delight of the others. The 4 of them gingerly made their way to the side entrance as to not arouse any suspicion. Though the particular entrance has not been used for years, it took a lot of effort in procuring the keys. Suffice to say, a few barter trading involving cookies and toys were made.

They held their breath as the key was slotted in unlatching the lock mechanism. Click! Unable to contain their excitement, they burst through the door and ran as fast (and far) as their tiny legs could muster. Then as if blown over by a gust of strong wind, they all fell to the ground, spent. “Oh my…” said one of them in between trying to catch her breath, “I’m tired and thirsty!” The rest of them could just sigh in agreement. “Anyone knows where we are?” she asked. One of the girls stood up and took out a hand drawn map, well as much drawing a child could do anyway.

“Hmm this is strange,” said the girl with the map. She continued, “ It seems we’re lost!” But just as hope seemed to have abandoned them, a trail of pixie dust appeared out of nowhere. The 4 of them got up and decided to follow the trail. They didn’t walk far when the trail ended at a water fountain.

“Oooooooo!” they marveled in awe. The water in the fountain was as colourful as the pixie dust! But they weren’t sure if it was safe to drink.

One of the girls, the eldest amongst them stepped forward, “Let me give it a try.” She scooped up as much as her tiny hands allowed and then something happened.

As soon as the water touched her lips, it painted them into a shade of beautiful Red! “Don’t be alarmed, the water changes the colour of your lips to reflect your unique personality,” a voice said.

The girls turned around jolted by the voice. “Oh now now, don’t be afraid. My name is Etti. I’m the pixie cat who led you to this magic fountain!” the cat-like flying creature said. “I’ve heard your wishes, you know. I spend much of my time at the orphanage listening to little children’s hopes and dreams, much like yourselves.”

Then one of the girls asked, “But why are you nice to us, Etti? And what magic does the water hold?”

Etti flew weaving in between each of them before landing on a small piece of rock. “Well, even though everyone has dreams but the 4 of you made the effort to do something about it even if your methods wasn’t becoming of a child like yourselves,” she said.

“The water changes your lips to a specific colour according to your personal traits and ambitions. For example, it turned her lips red…” as she pointed to the eldest. “Because she’s an ambitious and adventurous person who’s passionate about everything although a little hotheaded,” she said as she gave a knowing wink. “Oh. That is so true!” exclaimed the other 3. “No its not!!!” the eldest retorted ending with a whisper for she realizes it is indeed true. The pixie cat smiled, “But that is not all. You have always wanted to be a writer, a travel writer to be precise. So it is only apt that red is your colour!”

Excited by the Etti’s explanation and revelation, one by one the other 3 girls scooped the water.

“Just remember, be true to yourselves as you make your wish,” said the pixie. Pink, Orange, Beige – each of their lips took on these colours. Sure enough, each colour was a reflection of their personalities and personal ambitions. The girl with pink lips was passionate as she was a romantic and she’s always yearned to be a poet.

The one with orange lips was always filled with enthusiasm and had a knack for business. She was after all, the one who managed to barter her way to get the keys! While the girl with beige lips was the one with the map and have always had a fascination with history especially of pyramids and pharaohs. Which isn’t a surprise as she dreams about being an archeologist.

Etti took out 4 flasks and handed them to the girls. “Now fill each of your flask with the water and use them when you need. Don’t worry, your flasks will never run out,” she said as she bid goodbye to the girls. The girls made their way back to the orphanage following the trail of pixie dust.

When they reached the gates, the matron was waiting arms akimbo. “Oh no!” they exclaimed in unison. “Where have you girls been? Your parents have been waiting for you!” she said.

Indeed, the girls were so caught up in planning for their ‘get-away’ adventure that they had forgotten that today was the day that each of them was finally getting adopted! At the entrance of the orphanage, 4 lovely couples were waiting with gentle smiles on their faces.

The girls looked at each other and realized, their greatest wish had come true. They were excited with this new chapter in their lives and as they bid goodbye to one another, they gave thanks to the magical pixie. Off they went with new parents in tow, clutching their flasks close to their chest.

It is said that many moons later, each of them became what their ambitions were.

The girl with the pink lips wrote many poems that inspired peace and love throughout the land. Many discoveries were also unearthed and people all over learned many new things about the ancient Egyptian times, no doubt thanks to the girl with the beige lips. Business and trade also flourished all across Etude Kingdom

In fact, a fountain with endless stream of water was also constructed in the heart of town that provided for those in need and it was all the effort of one orange-coloured lip girl. But it didn’t stop there.

She wanted every little girl in the kingdom to have her own beautiful dreams come true. So with the help of the other 3, she set up a research lab to harness all the powers of the magical fountain and with a few drops of Sweet Almond & Sunflower Oil, she has transformed them into a liquid lipstick form with incredibly vivid colors and moisture.

They then decided to call it the Etude House Color in Liquid Lips and it was made available for every one throughout the land. There were 20 colours to choose from and till this very day, it continues to beautify, inspire and give confidence to anyone who’s looking for that little bit of encouragement to fulfill their dreams.

As for the girl with the red lips – suffice to say, she took some time off from her travels to pen a story about the adventure of 4 little orphaned girls to inspire others. The one you just read… *wink*

An original Fairy Tale written for ETUDE House.

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