Faragonda! Faragonda! Faragonda!
Forty days have passed since the ceremony during which all said their final farewells to Miss Faragonda, the late Headmistress of Alfea College. The atmosphere about Alfea College is still sombre and many, including Bloom and the other Winx Club girls, continue to wear their mourning attire of dark-blue.
On this particular day, Bloom is flying leisurely down the hallway towards a conference room when she hears a call of “Headmistress, Headmistress!” in thickly accented High Alfean from someone running quickly to her on padded feet from behind.
Bloom hovers to allow the tiny Margay Cat-Witch named Rosemary to catch up to her. She is a member of a Trix of Margay Cat-Witches made up of her and her two sisters Parsley and Sage. They are part of an exchange program that allows students from Cloud Tower to attend classes at Alfea College for a year and an equal number of students from Alfea College to study for a year at Cloud Tower.
“We will never stop the feuding between Faeries and Witches,” Bloom recalls Flora saying, “until we learn to be open and honest with each other. The settling of the feud over the Dragon’s Fire has created the necessary momentum for each side to realize that the bickering, feuding and warring among us has to be dealt with and resolved in a peaceful and equitable manner. I say that we should be the first by offering the Witches an olive branch in the form of a student exchange program before the momentum is lost and both sides slide back into old patterns.”
“I think that is an excellent idea, Flora,” Bloom tells her, “and, because it is your idea, I think you should be the one in charge of managing it. Write me up an outline on how many Witches we can allow to come to Alfea at a time, a curriculum and a list of accommodations we will need to make for them.”
“Thank you, Headmistress,” replies Flora to Bloom, addressing her by her official title, “I will get started on it right away and I’ll have it on your desk within two days,” and flies off obviously overjoyed to be given this assignment without having to present to Bloom a long-winded and detailed verbal justification for the program.
“Good!” thinks Bloom to herself. “This is indeed a worthwhile endeavour and it will keep Flora busy for most of the day and her mind off her constant mourning over the loss of both her fiancé, Helia, and Miss Faragonda whom she loved like a mother. I’m glad she came up with this idea.”
“Headmistress?” asks a cattish voice bringing Bloom back to the Margay Cat-Witch and the reality at hand. “You have to come quickly to see this beautiful bird that has perched outside your office window,” says Rosemary, trying hard not to lick her chops and salivate.
Bloom is about to refuse and then decides to exercise her prerogative as headmistress to be late for meetings to follow Rosemary back to her office. During her first forty days in office, Bloom has rearranged the old headmistress’ office to her liking adding her own artefacts and removing some which were just too painful a reminder of Miss Faragonda and her own feelings of loss.
“There!” exclaims Rosemary, approaching the window and pointing to the highest branches. Bloom looks into the high branches where a beautiful blue-feathered bird with a white crest sings in melodious strains holding her mesmerized by its song and Rosemary involuntarily licking her chops and drooling over her chin.
“I could catch it and pluck it,” offers Rosemary cheerfully, “then we could truss it and roast it for our supper.”
“Don’t you dare!” scolds Bloom. “Besides, I’m not interested in eating birds. I’m a vegetarian,” she adds, while Rosemary looks at her as if thinking that there must be something slightly crackers about someone who would pass up on a nice warm gobbet of chair saignante for a plateful of leaves, flower petals and boiled roots and tubers (“Yuck!”). “And I don’t want to catch you or your sisters chasing or molesting it, do you hear?” Bloom admonishes this certain Margay Cat-Witch who is wearing the sheepish expression of one caught with her paws already in the fishbowl.
The bird continues to sing its bitter-sweet song and then, coming down to the lower branches in front of the office windows, it locks eyes with Bloom and cries, “Faragonda! Faragonda! Faragonda!” and then takes off soaring high as if in flight beyond the Alfean skies leaving Bloom looking on teary-eyed.
“Aww!” sulks Rosemary, her ears canted sideways and her tail and whiskers drooping. “There goes my supper!”