My Little Pony Monthly Issue 17 (August 1, 1998)

My Little Pony Monthly
Established June 1997
This Newsletter is Child-Friendly

E-mail Tabby ( to be removed from the mailing list.


Issue 17
August 1998

Editor's note: Thanks to all of you who submit such wonderful stories, puzzles, and tidbits each month! You are a creative herd of pony lovers! If anyone else has good ideas for future issues, please e-mail them to me at


All The Pretty Little Ponies
(A Revisionist Interpretation of the MLP Mythos)
Chapter 6


C. Alan Loewen


For Candice and Allison

Synopsis: Megan, an eleven-year-old orphan who lives with her Aunt Constance has been given guardianship over seven magical ponies also known as the Seven Sisters. Megan and the seven ponies, accompanied by a great Irish Wolfhound named Madra, are now following a path through the magical Wood of the Worlds which has led them to Dubricius' Sanctuary where they not only discover that the ponies are the enchanted seven daughters of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere, but they have also found a baby dragon. Making matters worse, they are not aware that they are being pursued by Sarah, a young girl around Megan's age, who claims the ponies belong to her and has already trapped Medley and Firefly on a tiny magic carousel. Comments and constructive criticism may be sent to

Megan turned and ran, running directly into Madra. With a yell of surprise, Megan went sprawling on the floor as Twilight, Starlight, Bowtie, Applejack, and Ember galloped for the far door.

"Megan's fallen!" Twilight cried and spun around to assist her. Starlight, Bowtie, and Applejack skidded to a halt on the shiny tile floor and also turned to help when suddenly, in a scrabble of claws, the newly-hatched dragon leaped out of the open stairwell.

Madra barked. Megan screamed and covered her face with her hands, but the little dragon ran right by her without even a pause. Twilight whinnied in surprise, but the dragon ignored her as well as the other three ponies and ran straight for Ember who was still running for the far door, her jet-black mane and tail streaming behind her.

Ember's speed was no match for the little dragon who latched its tiny jaws on her tail before anybody could call out a warning. With a wail of terror, Ember turned sharply; and like a catapult, her momentum flung the dragon toward a column, a few strands of jet-black pony hair still in its teeth.

It struck the column with a thud, but the infant dragon was back on its feet immediately looking around wildly for Ember. Instead, it saw Applejack. With a screech, it ran with incredible speed at the chestnut-colored pony who never had a chance to turn and flee. It caught Applejack's tail in its mouth, preventing her from running.

"Let go, or I'll kick!" Applejack yelled in warning, but the little dragon was on its back playing with the pony's dark chestnut tail, a mouthful of hair in its bright green jaws.

Megan started to laugh. "Twilight!" she called. "Flick your tail a few times. Applejack, stay perfectly still."

"I think I understand, Megan," Twilight said. She cantered over to the dragon, still playing with Applejack's tail, and flicked her tail a few times where the dragon could see it. It froze and eyed Twilight's blazing-white tail. She flicked it again.

Claws scrambling and screeching, it ran to Twilight, its total focus on her tail, when Madra barked. The dragon stopped and looked for the source of this new interesting sound.

Finally seeing the dog, the dragon scrambled for its new target. Within moments the dragon and Madra were vigorously wrestling on the tile floor.

"They're fighting!" yelled Starlight.

"No," Megan said. "They're playing."

And they were. In spite of the horrendous growls and screeches the dragon's claws remained sheathed and the wolfhound did not truly bite.

Megan got to her knees. "Madra!" she said and clapped her hands. The great dog stopped its wrestling, its paw pinning the dragon to the floor; the dragon was too out of breath to protest or continue.

Carefully, she approached the baby dragon. "It didn't want to attack you," Megan said. "It's like a big kitten. It went for your tails like a kitten goes after a ball of yarn, just like my neighbor's kitten, Spike."

The dragon looked at Megan with its bright green eyes. "Ssshhpike," it hissed.

Megan's jaw dropped. "It talks!"

" ‘alks," the dragon hissed again. It scurried to its feet and blinked owlishly at the ponies.

"I don't know, Megan," Twilight said. "It might just be repeating what it hears, just like a parrot."

" ‘arrot," the dragon hissed. "Ssshhpike ‘arrot." Suddenly, it spied its own tail and began running in circles in an unfruitful attempt to catch this new tempting plaything.

"And this is what Mother Ellen wants us to take with us on the rest of our quest?" Twilight asked. "How are we going to get a baby dragon to follow us? We'll have no tails left by the time we get to wherever we're going."

"I don't have much of a tail now," Ember wailed. She had come out of hiding and was trying to glimpse her ravaged rear end. "It's all a tattertail now," she cried.

"It's okay, Ember," Megan said consolingly. "I'll bet I could brush it out as good as new. Why don't you all go outside and somebody bring me the pouch that we carried Mother Ellen's bread in? There's some still left and I think the dragon might follow us if we feed it."

"Good idea, Megan," Twilight said. "And we'll remove the temptation of our tails." By this time, the dragon had slumped to the floor out of breath from trying to catch its own tail. Madra simply sat and yawned.

The five ponies walked out the door while the dragon, its sides heaving as it tried to catch its breath, looked longingly at the five glorious tails disappearing through the front door.

Megan carefully approached the baby dragon. She had read a lot about dragons in her story books, but never a baby one that had an undue attraction for pony hair. "Now what are we going to do with you?" she asked.

"Ssshhpike," it hissed. "Ssshhpike ‘arrot."

"No," Megan said gently. "Spike's a dragon; a baby dragon."

The dragon blinked at her. "Ssshhpike ‘aby ‘agon."

"We're making some progress," Megan giggled. Gently she reached out her hand. The scales on the dragon's head were dry and smooth as silk and Spike closed his eyes in pleasure as Megan rubbed the crest above his eyes. Incredibly, it started to purr.

"I think there's a little bit of cat in dragons," Megan said, unable to stop giggling again at the novelty of petting a mythical beast. "Or maybe there's a little dragon in most cats."

Suddenly, Madra jumped to his feet, totally alert as a deep bass growl rumbled in his chest. Simultaneously, Megan heard the ponies cry out in alarm and fear.

With a deep bark of fury, Madra sprinted for the door. Megan got to her feet and tried to catch up, but Madra was by far the faster.

The sight that met Megan at the door to Dubricious' Sanctuary was five ponies tangled in circular nets. Just as Megan reached the door, she saw a blonde-headed girl wearing a travel-stained shirt and shorts toss something in the air as Madra charged toward her. It grew and expanded into another net and soon, the great dog was also tangled up in its folds.

"What are you doing?" Megan yelled. She ran to Ember, the nearest pony and desperately tried to free her from the winding folds of webbing.

"Oh, no you don't," the strange girl warned. Again, she tossed a small circle in the air where it magically expanded into another net trapping Megan within it. Desperately, Megan tried to free herself, but it seemed the net simply became more twisted the more she tried to escape.

The strange girl quickly took something out of her backpack and ran to where Bowtie lay struggling on the ground. Megan could not see what it was, but the object began to hum strangely. Suddenly, there was a burst of light and the net where Bowtie lay fell limply to the ground. Megan and the other ponies gasped in astonishment at the mysterious disappearance of their friend. The girl then ran to Starlight who tried desperately to avoid the same fate. Again, the mysterious object hummed; again, the flash of light; and again, the empty net.

Megan saw that the object was, surprisingly, a carousel; a toy carousel that contained four tiny figures. The girl turned to Ember. "No!" yelled Megan. There was a flash of light and Megan saw the carousel now held five tiny figures.

"Why are you doing this?" cried Megan. "Leave them alone."

"No," the girl said. "They're mine. Great-grandmother Morgan said they were mine. And now I'll have them forever." She turned toward Twilight and Applejack, who still struggled against the nets.

Desperately, Megan turned toward the Sanctuary door as much as the binding net would allow. "Spike!" she screamed. "Spike!"

The little dragon appeared at the doorway.

The strange, blonde-headed girl gasped at the sight of the iridescent lizard whose scales glittered in the sunlight.

"It's a dragon, a baby dragon," Megan yelled at the girl, hoping she would fall for the trick. "Run for your life!"

With a cry of fear, the girl ran toward the woods, the carousel clutched tightly in her arms. It was too much for Spike to resist those long fair tresses flowing in the breeze. With a squeal of joy, he sped toward those inviting blonde locks.

Spike and Sarah tumbled together in the thick forest mould while Sarah screamed in mortal terror. Pinned under the baby dragon's bulk, Sarah lost her grip on the carousel. Spike, eyeing the toy as it rolled away, attracted by its flashing colors and tinkling music, leaped on the new attraction. Freed, Sarah struggled to her feet and ran off crying into the woods.

"Spike!" Megan called. "Come here, boy." Megan was terrified that Spike would break whatever it was that had trapped five of the ponies. She patted the ground and Spike waddled over to investigate. "Good boy," she said, scratching the dragon's head.

"Ssshhpike ‘ood ‘oy," he hissed in agreement.

It took some time, but Megan eventually freed herself from the enfolding net. The three empty nets that had held Starlight, Bowtie, and Ember had shrunk back to tiny circles of webbing; and after freeing herself, that net, too, shrunk in size.

After placing the carousel in a safe spot where Spike could not molest it, she eventually freed Twilight and Applejack. Madra still wrestled in the confines of the net that entrapped him; but at a command from Megan, he lay still long enough for her to free him also. By this time, the sun was setting and Spike napped in the shade of one of the large trees.

In the fading sunlight, Megan and the two ponies inspected the carousel. There, frozen in place, Medley, Firefly, Starlight, Bowtie, and Ember stood, their faces frozen in looks of immense sadness.

"How do we free them?" Megan asked, bravely trying not to cry.

"I don't know," Twilight said sadly. "This is a spell far beyond what I read in any of the books at the castle, but I'm sure there's a solution. We will free them eventually."

Megan, Twilight, Applejack, and Madra lay down on the soft forest floor in the last dying rays of the setting sun. Clutching the carousel protectively to her chest, Megan drifted off to a troubled sleep to the sound of Spike's gentle rumbling snores.

Sarah sat by the side of the small stream, weeping openly at her failure. Somehow having made her way back to the Wood of the Worlds, she now waited for her Great-grandmother Morgan. Sarah sniffled and wiped her nose. Great-grandmother would be furious, simply furious. She shuddered to think of what Morgan might say or do.

"Child? Why are you weeping?"

Sarah squealed in surprise, but instead of Great-grandmother Morgan, it was only the woman from the house where Morgan had originally told her she would find the ponies.

Sarah once again burst into tears, expecting only punishment and rebuke from this woman she had left trapped in one of her magical nets.

"I've lost the ponies," she blubbered. "And I was almost eaten by a dragon, and now I'm lost and Great-grandmother Morgan is going to be so angry when she finds me. I can't do anything right."

Aunt Constance sighed. "Come, come, child. Don't fret so." She knelt down where Sarah sat huddled in her misery and gently squeezed her shoulder in friendly assurance.

She took a pack that she had slung over her shoulder, a gift from Mother Ellen. From inside, she took out a small rag which she wetted in the stream. "I think there might be a child under all that dirt," she said and tried to clean up Sarah's tear-stained face.

It took a while, but eventually, Sarah almost looked clean again. Next, Aunt Constance took out a small loaf of bread and, breaking it, gave half to Sarah who ate it ravenously.

"The sun is setting," Aunt Constance said. "I think we'll be safe here for the night. Now, tell me how you know about the ponies and what has happened to them."

"You'll yell at me," Sarah said, tears once again welling up in her eyes. "You'll yell at me just like Great-grandmother Morgan will and be just as angry."

"No, I won't," Aunt Constance assured her. "I need to know all that's happened. I need you to tell me the truth and I promise that I won't yell."

With that promise, Sarah unburdened her heart long into the night.


Mystery Pony

This month's--

yellow pegasus with blue hair; two pink giraffes symbol

E-mail your answer to Tabby (; results will be in the next issue!

Last month's--

The correct answer was Cloud Dreamer! Winners are:

The answer is easy! It's Cloud Dreamer!

Is it Cloud Dreamer??


The Tabby and Sugarberry Gossip Hour!
by Tabby and Sugarberry

Tabby: So, Sugarberry. What's been going on... other than the baby ponies getting into poison ivy?

Sugarberry: Oh, those poor little ponies!

Tabby: And you won't let me say what I originally said on the subject.

Sugarberry: Tabby, you should show some sympathy for the itchy little dears.

Tabby: Why?

Sugarberry: Let's move on, Tabby!

Tabby: Very well.

Sugarberry: There was, of course, the grand opening of the new Bushwoolie Bargain Books store in Friendship Gardens.

Tabby: Who won the raffle, anyway?

Sugarberry: The winner of the autographed copy of "A Life of a Bushwoolie" book was... Sky Skimmer!

Tabby: Okay.

Sugarberry: Just "okay"?

Tabby: Yeah, why not?

Sugarberry: I suppose you wanted to win the book.

Tabby: Well, it would've been nice but I'm not going to feel bad about it.

Sugarberry: Anyway, what's next?

Tabby: Nothing exciting is happening, Sugarberry.

Sugarberry: There was the sea ponies' "Save the Sea Turtles" campaign.

Tabby: How much money did they end up raising?

Sugarberry: Their total beat all expectations, Tabby.

Tabby: All because I donated that ten jangles for not going to the dance, which is five more than the admission was, huh?

Sugarberry: Well, Tabby, I'm sure your donation helped. But nearly every pony in Dream Valley turned out on behalf of the sea turtles.

Tabby: You never told me how boring the thing was, anyway.

Sugarberry: It was actually quite fun. Dancing in the sand is rather an art, you know.

Tabby: And ART? I highly doubt that. I'm glad I didn't go.

Sugarberry: Well, I'm glad I went. I danced every dance with Quarterback.

Tabby: Great. Now you're going to get all mushy on me.

Sugarberry: You should have been there, Tabby.

Tabby: Stop going on and on and on and on and on about it! There's nothing you can do about it now, is there?

Sugarberry: Cliff was looking for you.

Tabby: Now I'm REALLY glad I wasn't there. Come on, let's just get off this topic. We have better things to talk about... or at least I do.

Sugarberry: Such as?

Tabby: Like... hmm... well, I don't know. But talking about the dance is so BORING.

Sugarberry: Well, what's the cue card say?

Tabby: The cue card? Hmm... what cue card?

Sugarberry: The one sitting about two feet in front of us.

Tabby: Oh, that one! Looks pretty blank to me... or I'm not seeing straight.

Sugarberry: The Rockin' Beats performed last week at Ponyland Thunder, the big outdoor music festival.

Tabby: Oh, I remember that. Isn't that the night the big thunder storm went through?

Sugarberry: Yes. But the Rockin' Beats had already left the stage.

Tabby: Well, the festival was fittingly named.

Sugarberry: Speaking of names, what name did Tiffany give her new pet Bombay cat?

Tabby: Theodora. Horribly snobby, don't you think? But it fits Tiffany's personality. And she had her first visit to my vet clinic yesterday-- Theodora, that is.

Sugarberry: Oh, dear. I hope the cat's okay.

Tabby: It was actually the first time Tiffany had been there, too... Theodora's fine; it was just her annual check-up.

Sugarberry: Will Tiffany know how to care for a cat?

Tabby: Most likely not. That's why Friendly is in charge of Theodora-- feeding her, watering her, and cleaning her litter box.

Sugarberry: Figures.

Tabby: And then of course Tiffany got a whole ton of big fancy accessories for Theodora-- like this big magenta throne complete with a gold-plated swing-out food tray, and a silver tiara with a ruby in it, and a crystal food dish, and a gold collar with a diamond--

Sugarberry: WOW. Lucky cat. By the way, what color is she?

Tabby: Black. All Bombays are black, Sugarberry.

Sugarberry: Sorry, didn't know that.

Tabby: Tsk, tsk, tsk...

Sugarberry: But I do know that Pina Colada threw a fabulous summer party last Saturday.

Tabby: Oh, that. It wasn't all that great. As all parties are.

Sugarberry: She had one of your favorite foods, though-- chicken!

Tabby: There was some disguising sauce on it that absolutely ruined it.

Sugarberry: That's mango salsa you're talking about, Tabby!

Tabby: Sounds sickening. No wonder it tasted so awful.

Sugarberry: Well, what'd you think of Pina Colada's special-recipe shake?

Tabby: That was disguising, too. What in the world was IN that thing?

Sugarberry: Oh, didn't you enjoy the tropical blend of bananas, lemons, mangos, pineapple, oranges, and coconut?

Tabby: It sounds even worse now. Bananas are only good in their natural state, and mangos and coconut are gross no matter what you do to them.

Sugarberry: You must learn to appreciate new foods, Tabby.

Tabby: Not if they don't taste good.

Sugarberry: A diet of chicken, potatoes, and ice cream is not very nutritious.

Tabby: Hey, I eat other things!

Sugarberry: Okay... could you share a recipe with us?

Tabby: Let me think... okay, I've got one! First, fry-up some chicken. And leave the chicken be, for Pete's sake! Add nothing. Serve with mashed potatoes. Have ice cream for dessert. Any flavor'll work unless of course it's something really disguising.

Sugarberry: Thanks, Tabby.

Tabby: No problem. Hey, want to come to my house for dinner tomorrow?

Sugarberry: Can I bring Quarterback?

Tabby: If you want to, I guess. But three for dinner is my limit.

Sugarberry: I'm sure Cliff would like an invitation.

Tabby: And that's exactly why I said three's my limit. Don't push it, Sugarberry.

Sugarberry: Yes, Tabby.

Tabby: Oh, I forgot the cherry-picking episode!

Sugarberry: See, Daisy Sweet and Floater went to the Cherry Valley Orchard to pick enough cherries to bake two pies.

Tabby: That was all? What about the fiasco I heard about?

Sugarberry: I was getting to that. Unfortunately, on the way there, Floater bragged to Daisy Sweet that she'd pick more cherries. That led to a dare to see who could pick the most.

Tabby: They picked like ten zillion buckets full--

Sugarberry: Not quite that many, Tabby.

Tabby: Well, anyway. It was a lot.

Sugarberry: And Daisy Sweet fell out of the tree she was in.

Tabby: Floater probably pushed her.

Sugarberry: They both came back with sore, bruised bodies--

Tabby: And beestings. Lots of beestings. They upset a beehive.

Sugarberry: Did they ever determine who picked the most?

Tabby: No. They were too much in misery to care anymore.

Sugarberry: And that just goes to show--

Tabby: That you shouldn't bother picking cherries fresh. Just go and buy ‘em at the store; it's tons easier.

Sugarberry: Actually, Tabby, I was going to say that you shouldn't start dares like that.

Tabby: Oh.

Sugarberry: And, I think that's all we have to say for this month.

Tabby: But we'll be back next time with all the latest gossip!

Sugarberry: Don't forget!


The Babies' Special Friend
by Steamer

One night it was Ivy's turn to put the baby ponies to bed. But no matter what she did, she could not get them to go to sleep.

Ivy then came upon an idea; she knew that Pillow Talk's specialty was getting ponies to sleep. So she called Pillow Talk into the nursery and told her about her problem.

"Do not fret, Ivy; I will get the babies to sleep," said Pillow Talk after Ivy had finished her explanation.

"Oh, thank you, Pillow Talk; I knew I could count on you to get them to sleep," said Ivy.

"Not a problem," said Pillow Talk and she went into the nursery to do her magic.

Now, Pillow Talk isn't a unicorn; she isn't even a pegasus. She's only an earth pony, but somehow she has some sort of magic power that makes ponies go to sleep.

Ivy was wondering, How does she do it? So she decided to find out. She went over to one of the open windows of the nursery and sat down quietly, listening.

What she heard was the sweetest, most soothing singing voice she had ever heard. Wow! thought Ivy. She has such a soothing singing voice. In fact, it was so soothing that even Ivy found herself falling asleep.

Ivy had to fight herself to stay awake, but pretty soon she had lost and was in a deep sleep right outside the nursery window.

So if you ever have a night where you cannot fall asleep, just think of the sweetest, most soothing voice that you can, like the one Pillow Talk has; and you'll fall asleep.


Coco Berry
(light blue Sundae Best unicorn with pale pink hair and a raised ice cream cone symbol)

Adventures with Babies
by Sugarberry

Coco Berry smoothed the wrinkles out of the pale blue sheets covering her bed and pulled the smokey blue crocheted rosette coverlet over the top, carefully straightening it so that it lay perfectly centered with exactly six inches of the white bed skirt showing from each side. With a sigh of satisfaction, she took one last look at her own reflection in the mirror of her white wicker vanity and smoothed a stray strand of light pink mane into perfect harmony with the rest of her lustrous locks.

Smiling contentedly at the picture-perfect beginning to this sunny, summer day, Coco Berry noticed the ivory clock on her bedside table. Only one hour until Wild Blueberry brings the twins over for a day of babysitting, she thought to herself. Plenty of time for breakfast and cleaning.

Coco Berry hurried to the kitchen and whipped-up a scrambled egg and toast. As she sipped her orange juice, she frowned distastefully at the toast crumbs scattered on the table. "Such a mess," she muttered to the empty room. She quickly washed the dishes, dried each piece, set it neatly in the cupboard, and cleaned the counter to a lustrous shine.

Next, she swept the tiled kitchen floor and scrubbed it briskly. Only then did the room appear spotlessly clean the way Coco Berry liked it.

Turning next to the living room, Coco Berry took a second to breathe in the fresh morning air as it gently caressed the dazzling white lace curtains at the open window. "This will be a gorgeous day!" she exclaimed as she energetically set to work dusting each piece of furniture and straightening each magazine to its perfect seventy-degree angle. Still not sufficiently tidy, she ran the vacuum over the ivory carpeting and the matching sofa.

For a finishing touch, Coco Berry went out to her glorious flower garden and picked a fresh bouquet of brilliant red roses which she artistically arranged in a crystal vase which she then displayed on the maple end table. She had no sooner stood back to admire the effect when the doorbell softly chimed.

Opening the door expectantly, Coco Berry smiled warmly at Wild Blueberry and her two cherub-like youngsters. "Come in, Wild Blueberry. And Nipper and Napper, I'm so pleased to have the chance to watch you this morning!"

Wild Blueberry, Nipper, and Napper, all in shades of blue, entered the living room. Nipper and Napper stood silently next to their mother, shyly eying Coco Berry.

Wild Blueberry gave Coco Berry a list of instructions and handed her the bulging diaper bag. "Everything you will need is in here," she assured Coco Berry. "I'll be back by two o' clock." With a hug and a kiss for each of her twins, Wild Blueberry was soon out the door.

"Well, you two, what would you like to do first?"

Both foals stood silently, a tear dropping pathetically from Napper's blue eyes.

For a second, Coco Berry felt a twinge of apprehension. What do I know about taking care of baby ponies? And what is it that Tabby always says? But she quickly shoved that concern aside and gently guided Nipper and Napper to the comfortable sofa. "Let's see what Mommy has for you to play with!" She opened the diaper bag and pulled out two teddy bears, two sets of building blocks, two story books, and a wooden ring toss game with red rings. "Won't we have fun?" Coco Berry encouraged the silent twosome.

Nipper slowly slid from the couch, grabbed a teddy bear, and returned to his spot. Following his brother's lead, Napper proceeded to do the same. Both twins sat clutching their bears as if for protection.

"Maybe you two need a nap," suggested Coco Berry. "Mommy must have had to get you up early this morning." She found two pastel blankets patterned with playful kittens and gently tucked one around each pony where he sat, statue-like, on the couch. "There now, sweeties, close those beautiful eyes and sleep well." She lightly kissed each precious little one, and silently left the room. She decided this quiet time would be well spent in catching up on some correspondence with the ponies in Friendship Gardens, so she went to her Victorian-styled desk in the den and began writing.

Coco Berry was lost in thought when a harsh ripping sound tore through the room. Quickly, she jumped up and ran to the living room. There she found Nipper and Napper on the floor surrounded by her slick magazines; they were gleefully tearing the covers off, one by one.

"Nipper! Napper!" called Coco Berry. "What are you doing?"

"Readn' books," Nipper enlightened her.

"Books," echoed Napper.

Coco Berry grimaced as she surveyed the ruined magazines. "These books aren't your kind of books. Mommy sent along your books here." And she handed The Three Little Pigs to Nipper and Little Red Riding Hood to Napper. "You two sit down and look at the pictures while I clean-up this mess."

Dropping to her knees, Coco Berry gathered the magazines into a pile and picked up every stray piece of the once-whole publications. Rising stiffly, she carried the pile to the kitchen for recycling after a glance at the twins now completely engrossed in their books.

It only took a few minutes for Coco Berry to put the destroyed magazines in the recycling container on the back porch off the kitchen. Then she returned to the living room.

Coco Berry stopped several feet into the room and put her hooves on her hips. "Nipper? Napper?" she called tentatively. For there wasn't a sign of the twins in the room. Two open story books lay deserted on the floor. Everything was quiet.

Feeling her heart beating rapidly, Coco Berry hurried into the bedroom-- but no baby ponies. She rushed into the bathroom-- empty. She darted into the den-- only unfinished letters waited there. She ran back to the living room and faced the eerie silence. "Oh my gosh, I've lost the twins!" she exclaimed out loud.

Just then a tiny giggle emerged from the far side of the room. Coco Berry followed the sound hopefully to a round decorator table covered in a peach floor-length tablecloth topped with floral lace. She slowly lifted the cloth to peer underneath. There sat the two lost babes, now completely engulfed in laughter as they shared the effect of their adventure.

"We hide-seek," explained Nipper.

"Hide-seek," repeated Napper.

"You should have told me you were going to play hide-and-go-seek so I would have known to look for you," Coco Berry observed sternly. "You disappeared and I was worried!"

"We sorry."


Coco Berry felt tired all over, but smiled weakly at the contrite twins. "Let's have a snack," she offered.

She helped Nipper and Napper onto chairs at the table and made sure they were safely seated before serving them each a bowl of chocolate pudding and a glass of strawberry Kool-aid. Seeing them happily eating their pudding, Coco Berry took the opportunity to fix herself a cup of strong, hot tea.

Pouring a cupful of the aromatic brew, she leaned against the counter and watched the twins.

Nipper was nearly finished with his pudding but Napper was eating slowly. Coco Berry watched as he lifted a big spoonful of chocolate to his mouth, and she groaned as the spoon slipped from his hoof and clattered to the floor, sending chocolate gobs in every direction.

"Patience, Coco Berry," she whispered to herself. To the twins she wearily said, "Let me clean you up." She had to grin, though, because Napper looked somewhat like a dalmatian pup with his chocolate spots. "Go into the living room while I clean up the table and the floor," she instructed when the babies were clean again. Coco Berry turned and walked to the sink; Nipper reached over the edge of the table and grabbed his glass of Kool-aid; he and Napper disappeared obediently into the living room.

As Coco Berry set the chairs neatly around the table, Napper appeared in the kitchen doorway. His eyes were big, round, and misty with a far-away look about them. "Poo-poo," was all he said.

Carefully arranging the changing pad on her bed, Coco Berry prepared to clean-up Napper. Nipper wandered around the bedroom, looking at the framed pictures on the wall. A print of a herd of buffalo crossing a prairie led by a white buffalo seemed to intrigue him, so Coco Berry concentrated on the matter at hand.

As she finished up the messy job, she found herself smiling sweetly at the pleasant-smelling little pony before her. "Your baby powder smells just like my Honeysuckle Cologne," she remarked to Napper. "I just bought a new bottle yester..." Her voice trailed off as reality dawned bright-- she turned to see Nipper smothering himself in Honeysuckle Cologne. The bottle was already half empty when she grabbed it away from him and set it down sharply on the vanity.

Taking both little ones by the hooves, she led them back to the living room. "We will sit down and be quiet for awhile," she suggested.

Coco Berry's stomach lurched as she headed for the sofa. On one of the cushions lay an empty Kool-aid glass, the contents flared into the pale velour creating a Monet-like flower pattern. She stood silently, still clutching at the twins.

After some electric moments, Coco Berry managed to squeak out, "Who brought their Kool-aid in here?"

"Him did," both twins said simultaneously, pointing hooves at each other.

Coco Berry squelched the desire to scream, and simply led the two ponies to a corner of the room and told them to sit quietly. She placed their building blocks ahead of them and suggested that they build a castle. Then she went to get an armload of towels to attempt to get the Kool-aid out of the sofa cushion.

What awaited Coco Berry's eyes when she returned took her breath away. Nipper had scampered up the lace curtain at the window and Napper held him at bay from beneath.

"Nipper!" she shrieked. "Get down from there!"

Startled, Nipper turned to look at Coco Berry, lost his grip, fell from the curtain, and landed on Napper; both ponies tumbled into the end table causing the vase of roses to totter and fall, spreading water across the wood top and over the edge like a sparkling waterfall, soaking into the carpet. Roses cascaded onto the floor and both of the twins trampled them in an effort to gain distance from the disaster. "Ouch!" cried Napper as a rose thorn pierced his leg. Blood began dripping from the wound, leaving a trail of red droplets across the carpeting. Nipper and Napper hid wide-eyed behind Coco Berry who was staring at the room in shock and disbelief. Tabby's words came back to haunt her: "Baby ponies are nasty!"

As time went on and Coco Berry remained silent, Nipper and Napper edged around to face her.

"You okay, Co-bare-ee?" the subdued Nipper questioned.

"Co-bare-ee?" urged Napper.

Many more tense moments passed before Coco Berry finally responded, "Why did you climb the curtain in the first place, Nipper?"

"Scalin' castle wall," enlightened Nipper.

"Big wall," offered Napper.

"I should have known," Coco Berry replied. She sighed deeply. "Come. Let's sit down."

The three of them walked to the rocking chair (still in pristine condition, unlike the couch); Coco Berry sat down; Nipper and Napper climbed onto her lap. Coco Berry rested her head on the cushioned chair and began rocking slowly back and forth. The twins snuggled tight, and Coco Berry enjoyed their closeness. She began to feel very relaxed, and soon she was fast asleep.

Coco Berry was in a flower-drenched meadow resting in the shade against a spreading willow tree, the breeze wafting through the slender leaves. In the distance, baby ponies were playing, their tinkling laughter floating across the fragrant air. The soft wings of butterflies caressed her face, bumping into her cheeks and her forehead. Gentle music began to chime through the endless expanse of time and space. Suddenly, one especially large butterfly landed on her unicorn horn, and Coco Berry opened her eyes.

"Ringer!" Nipper yelled in delight.

Napper bounded to the rocking chair and climbed onto Coco Berry's lap and reached up to her horn to remove a vibrant red plastic ring. "You win!" he grudgingly deferred to his brother.

Coco Berry's senses returned as she realized that the twins had used her horn as their ring-toss target while she slept. And the music was the doorbell. Coco Berry eased out of the rocker and opened the door.

At the sight of their mom, Nipper and Napper came rushing to the door. "Mommy! Mommy!"

Wild Blueberry hugged the two bouncy foals in unison. "Did you have fun with Coco Berry, guys?" she enquired.

"Yes, Mommy," nodded Nipper. "We come again soon?"

"Soon?" agreed Napper.

Both ponies bounded over to Coco Berry and hugged her around her legs. She bent over to pat them each on the head; and they impulsively kissed her, one on each cheek. Coco Berry blushed.

"Thanks for watching them, Coco Berry," Wild Blueberry sincerely stated. "I was able to accomplish so much without them along. You could never imagine!"

In Coco Berry's mind, the events of the past hours flashed by like pictures from an adventure film. She looked Wild Blueberry in the eye and stated simply, "Oh, I think I could!"


Invento Ponies

by Applejack:

Name: Wishes

Breed: Pegasus

Symbol: Shooting Star

Body: Blue

Hair: Dark Pink

Name: Chef

Breed: Earth (Twice as Fancy)

Symbols: Chef Hats

Body: Cream

Hair: White

Series: Sweet Smelling Bean Ponies!

Name: Jean Coffee Bean

Breed: Earth

Symbol: Coffee Beans

Body: Brown

Hair: Light Brown

Special Feature: Smells Like Coffee

Name: Keen Vanilla Bean

Breed: Earth

Symbol: Vanilla Bean

Body: White

Hair: Lightest Cream

Special Feature: Smells Like Vanilla

Name: Pinto Bean

Breed: Earth

Symbol: Pinto Bean

Body: Pink

Hair: Lightest Orange

Special Feature: Smells Like Mexican Food

Name: String Bean

Breed: Earth

Symbol: String Bean

Body: Green

Hair: Lime Green

Special Feature: None

Series: Yankees Ponies (Male Earth Ponies)

Name: Chuck Knoblauch

Symbol: NY

Body: White

Hair: Navy Blue

Name : Derek Jeter

Symbol: NY

Body: White

Hair: Navy Blue

Name: Paul O'Neil

Symbol: NY

Body: White

Hair: Navy Blue

Name: Tino Martinez

Symbol: NY

Body: White

Hair: Navy Blue

All the above would come in a team pack along with a Joe Torre MLP and the rest of the team. A Yankee Playset would also be available.


by Blu Flyer and Tic-Tac-Toe

Episode 1: An Introduction

Captain Flyer paced her ready room. Its sleek, modern walls were a comfort and seemed to cool her nerves. Her door chimed, signaling her.

"Come in," she said, trying to sound calm and collected.

Her first officer, Tic-Tac-Toe, walked in the door, her eyes twinkling.

"Commander Tic-Tac-Toe, signing on for duty, sir."

"At ease, Commander. Welcome aboard the Lollypop. Have you found the ship suitable?" Blu Flyer asked.

"Oh, yes. Very nice." The Commander glanced around the room, marveling at the captain's furniture and things. The door chimed again.

"Come in!" Captain Flyer called. The door opened with a satisfying swish. In walked Lieutenant Medley and Ensign Baby Ribbs.

"If I may, Captain," Tic-Tac-Toe asked quietly.

"Dismissed," Flyer said, smiling, her own eyes twinkling.

"Lt. Medley and Ensign Ribbs reporting for duty," the green-haired pegasus said.

"Ah," the Captain said. "Lieutenant, you must be our chief engineer, and Ensign, our pilot. Welcome aboard the Lollypop. Now, if you will report to your stations we will get ready for departure from Deep Space 9."

Blu Flyer walked out onto the bridge. It was streamlined silver. She walked slowly to her captain's chair, and faced the crew. The familiar face of Steamer looked at her from Tactical, and a new one from Chief at Ops. Commander Tic-Tac-Toe stood at her side.

"Welcome, crew, to the StarShip Lollypop. PonyFleet has issued us the assignment of exploring deep space. I'm sure you are a fine, fine crew, and am glad to be your captain," Blu turned to Ensign Ribbs, stationed at the conn. "Ensign, prepare for unlocking sequence. Chief, open a channel to DS9."

"Aye, Captain," said Ribbs and Chief at the same time.

"Channel Open," Chief said.

"On screen." The familiar face of Night Glider looked at her, and smiled.

"Permission to release docking locks?" the captain asked.

"Permission granted," Night Glider said. "Good luck, Blu. I hope you will come back with worthy information." The admiral smiled.

"End transmission," Blu said over her left shoulder to Chief.

"Locks disengaged, Captain," Ensign Ribbs said.

"Very well, Ensign. Set course for the Troumoba sector, warp factor 6. Engage on my mark... Mark!"

Lollypop's warp nacelles folded neatly, and it shot in a blaze of white light into deep space.

After a few days exploring space, Captain Flyer got to know her crew better. Of course there was Tic-Tac-Toe, whom she had known since she was a cadet, and Medley and Ensign Ribbs. Steamer had Tactical, controlling security; and Chief had Operations. The Lollypop's doctor was a Flutter Pony named Morning Glory, studying after the notorious Doctor Rosedust.

They were on their way.


The idea taken from the Tabby and Sugarberry gossip hour, because I loved it so-- it's the:
Gusty and Applejack's Talking Time!!!!

Gusty: Okay, so, what will we start with today, A.H?

Applejack: Let's start with... wait a minute... Who's A.H?

Gusty: That's you, of course, Applesauce Head.

Applejack: Okay, M.L.E.

Gusty: M.L.E?

Applejack: Maple Leaf Eater.

Gusty: Ha ha. Anyway...

Applejack: We want to welcome everyone to the show today.

Gusty: Yes! This show was made possible from the idea by Tabby and Sugarberry's Gossip Hour!

Applejack: That's a good show, you know.

Gusty: Yes, I do.

Applejack: So what should we talk about first?

Gusty: I hear Princess Tiffany is opening a store.

Applejack: You mean "High Queen" Tiffany.

Gusty: Yes. Of course.

Applejack: Is there such a thing as a high queen?

Gusty: No.

Applejack: Then why does she call herself that?

Gusty: I don't know. Why don't you ask her?

Applejack: Maybe I will!

Gusty: Anyway, back to the store. I hear it's going to be filled with precious diamonds and other jewels.

Applejack: Furs, too!

Gusty: Right. I got an ad she sent to me about the store.

Applejack: Read it, M.L.E!!!

Gusty: Well, I'll just give you the information instead of reading the entire ad. The store will be opening on Rainbow Avenue this Friday. There will be special sales. One special sale will be one of Ponyland's biggest diamonds. It will be only forty-five thousand dollars.Along--

Applejack: Forty-five thousand dollars!!!?!?!?!?! What are we made of-- money?

Gusty: Obviously that's what she thinks. Continuing: Along with this gorgeous diamond, there will be precious gems on a sale as well. Fur coats will be offered at an amazingly cheap pri-- Applejack: FUR coats???? She killed animals????

Gusty: No. They're FAKE furs. Now, please. Let me keep going! As I was saying: Fur coats will be offered at an amazingly cheap price. However, for those of you unable to afford these items, there will be some bargain-barn junk things for you to buy.

Applejack: Gee, that's nice.

Gusty: A.H!

Applejack: Sorry.

Gusty: And there will also be drawings for prizes. Come and have some fun at High Queen Tiffany's Gorgeous Shop for Gorgeous Ponies. And there you have it.

Applejack: I'm speechless.

Gusty: You and me both.

Applejack: Next topic!

Gusty: Cool Breeze is visiting Ponyland Island this weekend. Paradise, I hear, is going with her.

Applejack: I've always wanted to go to Ponyland Island. I've just been too busy.

Gusty: Busy doing what? Sleeping?

Applejack: You think you're funny, don't you?


Applejack: Anyhow, these two are the first two ponies to visit this island. If everything meets their approval, it will be opened to the public sometime in November.

Gusty: November!?! Who'd want to go to an island in November?

Applejack: Don't ask me, M.L.E! Talk to Magic Star about it! She's the one in charge of it.

Gusty: I just might do that.

Applejack: Fine by me.

Gusty: Next up!

Applejack: Now we have a special guest joining us this fine day. Heart Throb is here in the studio to answer some of our questions about the new play she'll be starring in-- "When the Clock Strikes Twelve." Have a seat, Heart Throb!

Heart Throb: Good day, darlings!

Gusty: Glad you could come, Heart Throb.

Heart Throb: Glad to be here, Gusty.

Applejack: So, tell us a little about the play.

Heart Throb: Well, it'll be airing next month at the Baby Bonnet School of Dance. It may be a dancing school, but it's a great place to hold plays, too! Anyway, the play itself is a thriller. I play Madam Love, one of the leading roles. Tex plays the villain, Sir Slane. Slugger plays the part of the hero, Sire Broduck. His sidekick, Baby Countdown, named Kid Remdem in the play, helps him. Sir Slane, Tex, captures me and demands a ransom of one million dollars. Sire Broduck is hired by my best friend Miss Lanceheart, played by Blossom, to save me, for she is unable to pay the amount wanted by Sir Slane.

Gusty: So the plot is how they go about saving you.

Heart Throb: Correct.

Applejack: What the does title mean, then? "When the Clock Strikes Twelve."

Heart Throb: They need to either save me or pay the money before midnight that night, or Sir Slane will kill me.

Applejack: Ouch! Major bummer! Sounds like a real thriller though!

Heart Throb: Oh, it is. It's a must see.

Gusty: Well, thank you for coming in today to tell us all about your play.

Heart Throb: Your welcome, darlings. Bye all of you out there in radio land! Tah-tah.

Applejack: Bye, H.T!

Gusty: Once again, that's "When the Clock Strikes Twelve" coming out next month. It will be showing at the baby Bonnet School of Dance. It's starring Heart Throb, Baby Countdown, Slugger, Blossom, and Tex. Go see it. It's going to be good.

Applejack: A Tex film. Tabby won't go.

Gusty: She'll go if we drag her there.

Applejack: Next up, the library book and bake sale!

Gusty: That's right, ponies. The library will be selling some of their older books tomorrow in order to raise some money for some new books!

Applejack: Also, Cupcake will be selling some homemade cookies and cakes! The profits will go to help the library.

Gusty: You'll have some of your pies being sold down there, won't you?

Applejack: Yep!

Gusty: So-- --if you want some good books and good food, head over to the Ponyland Public Library.

Applejack: Whew, I never knew this talk show thing involved so much work!

Gusty: How do Tabby and Sugarberry do it?

Applejack: The world may never know.

Gusty: Speaking of Tab and S.B, do you think one day we could have them on our show?

Applejack: Yeah! They could be our guests-- just like Heart Throb was today.

Gusty: I wrote it down so I won't forget.

Applejack: Right. Maybe we can get them on in a couple of months.

Gusty: That's right. When we broadcast our next show, we'll be having Tickle on.

Applejack: Why'd we invite Tickle? She laughs too much!

Gusty: Tickle is my good friend!

Applejack: Is she writing a new book?

Gusty: Nope.

Applejack: Is she starring in something?

Gusty: Nope.

Applejack: Is she assisting in a community project?

Gusty: Not as far as I know.

Applejack: Then why are we having her on???

Gusty: Like I told you-- she's my good friend.


Gusty: Hey, did I tell you that Bubbles will be joining her?

Applejack: Really?

Gusty: Yep! We should be in for a good time next time with two cheerful ponies. I'm sure we'll think up something to talk about!

Applejack: I'm sure we will.

Gusty: Well, that's all the time we have for today.

Applejack: Yep, we hope you've all enjoyed our first--

Gusty: And hopefully not last--

Applejack: Well, who knows…we were pretty bad--


Applejack: Show! Join us next month with guests Tickle and Bubbles!

Gusty: Once again, the overall idea of Gusty and Applejack's Talking Time was inspired by Tabby and Sugarberry's Gossip Hour.

Applejack: We thank them again.

Gusty: This radio show was sponsored today by} the Ponyland Press-- the place to go to find facts about what's happening in Ponyland.

Applejack: By} a grant from Milky Way's Star Gazing School-- reach for the stars!

Gusty: By} the Baby Bonnet School of Dance-- Want to unclutzify yourself? Classes now forming!

Applejack: By} The Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe-- the place to go on these pony days of summer!

Gusty: And by} the Ponyland Public Library-- serving the Ponyland area for over thirteen years.

Applejack: So until next month, this is Gusty and Applejack signing off!

Gusty: Good day, night, and morning to you all! I am the hockey pony!

Applejack: And I'm the basketball pony-- buh-bye!!!

Theme song: Where do you go to, get all the info, your sweet heart so gratefully wants? Where do you go to, have all the fun you, ever can possibly want? Gusty and Appy, they're normally happy, to entertain you! Gusty and Appy, Gusty and Appy, they'll know just what to do. They'll love tooooo iiinnnnform yooooou!

Any and all feedback on this new "show" is very appreciated! Please e-mail me feedback at: Thanks!!!--Katie/Gusty aka the HockeyPony <\____~



Do you have any pet animals that you've named after MLPs?

E-mail your responses to Tabby (; the results will be in the next issue.

Last month's--

The question was: If a tornado went through your house and your entire MLP collection was lost, which pony would you most regret losing?

I have an answer to the survey; I'd hate to lose Fizzy; she's my number-one favorite pony.

The ponies I'd regret losing the most: Baby Heart Throb and Pink Dreams (soft sleepy newborn). They're from my original collection from when I was little.

Hehe-- Hi Tabby!!!!!!!!! I have an easy answer to this question; definitely my Magic! Even if she/he's all dirty and has little fuzz left, and even if I do happen to have a Euro pony, Patch, too; Magic holds a ton of sentimental value for me.

Pertaining to which pony I would regret losing the most....

I would regret losing my Applejack, as she was my very first pony. I don't remember getting her (I was only three or four years old), but my brother tells me that I found her at the community lake we once belonged to, laying on the beach. She's my oldest pony, as well as the only pony I've chanced upon like that-- but, surprisingly, she's the only older pony I have that's in decent condition! She's in near-mint condition, and I'd be very sorry to lose her! ;o)

I would most regret losing my nine Flutter Ponies with wings!

*brushes the dust away from her eyes* WAHH! Bye Mimic! I hope some other kid has as much fun with you as I did!

I would miss both Baby Moondancer and Bowtie equally, I think. Bowtie was my first MLP, and Baby Moondancer was my first baby one.

I'd regret losing them all!!!!!!!!!!! But Applejack would be the most heartbreaking.


Brightblade Warpony
An Epic

Recorded by Clipper as dictated by the bard Ramon

Chapter 9

For half the day, the trio trekked through the untamed depths of the Dark Forest. By noon, they could hear the river in the distance. Epona insisted that they press on and save their midday meal until thy reached the river.

As they neared the river, the forest became thick with brush and brambles. Breeks flew ahead to see if he could find a path through the growth, but to no avail. Brightblade blazed a trail as best he could with the Warrior's Horn, but still the going was slow. From the time they had first heard the river to the time they reached its cool waters was near an hour-and-a-half.

Brightblade waded into the river, the clear water soothing his sore hooves. Epona touched her horn to a small, calm pool and gazed into the images that appeared.

"What do you see?" asked the Warpony.

"Nothing of import," Epona replied. "We are on schedule. Now let us eat and hear further of your adventures."

Ramon, Breeks, and I made our way across the valley to the Temple of Light. We climbed the steps cautiously, as we did not know what to expect inside. I peeked into the temple from behind one of the columns and saw that it was mostly empty. The floor was of polished marble, as white as fresh milk or new fallen snow. The columns that supported the domed roof surrounded about three-quarters of the area (I don't want to call it a room as there were no walls). The quarter that was without columns, which was opposite me, was dug into the hillside; and there was an arched doorway that led to some unknown inner chamber of the temple. In the center of the temple there was a statue of a unicorn carved from green stone, bathed in light from the opening in the center of the dome.

"It looks clear," I said as I stepped out from behind the column. Ramon followed me, and Breeks flew past and perched on the statue's horn.

"So, where's the Warrior's Horn?" asked Ramon.

"It must be through that doorway," I said.

"Khaar, that's obvious," kawed Breeks. "Which means that there is probably more to it than that. Something doesn't feel right here."

I walked up to the statue. "It is strange that this place is so clean, being open to the elements and all.. But we haven't got time to worry about that. We have to find the Warrior's Horn." I was about to investigate the arched doorway when Breeks squawked in terror.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"Rawwk! The statue moved!" he replied as he fluttered about my head.

"What? That's impossible," said Ramon.

"Yah," I said. "You're just imagining things." Even though I didn't believe that the statue had moved, I couldn't help but stare at it, waiting for the slightest hint of movement.

"Brightblade," said Ramon, "weren't you going to look for the Horn? Let's move."

"Huh? Yes, Breeks has just got me a little spooked, I guess," I replied. But just as I turned away from the statue, I thought I caught a slight movement, or maybe it was just the shadow of a cloud, or a high flying bird; at least, that's what I told myself at the moment.

"Halt! Trespassers! None shall enter the Temple of Light lest they have proven themselves worthy!"

The booming voice came from behind me, where only the statue stood. I turned to see the statue no longer on its pedestal, but walking towards me. It seemed unreal; it was still the same smooth green stone I had seen before, at first. Then it seemed to soften a bit only to remain stone. Its movements seemed blurred, as if the thing did not really move, but existed at a different place at each moment in time.

"You who would claim the Warrior's Horn must first face me in single combat!"


I Promise
Shining Story #6
By Shining (

"Yes!" the bay mare cried with glee as she cleared the huge brush jump. "I made it! Now all I have to do is work on my dressage." She wore a bright smile as she trotted over to the rail of the Olympic-size arena.

"I think you'll do fine, Honor," Caesar said to her when she reached the fence where he was standing. His dapple gray coat shimmered in the warm sunshine that cast over Glorified Acres, where they, with Honor's parents (Shining and Signature Required) and her twin brother (In A Moment) lived. Glorified Acres was one of the most well-known stables in the world because of Honor's parents' hard work. Shining and Signature were world famous performers. They had been part of the Global Equine Olympic Team until their manager demanded too much from them. Recently, Shining had received the Horse of the Year Award.

Honor nodded but wore a concerned expression on her face. "If only I could find a partner to perform with. Too bad you don't show, Caesar."

Caesar smiled ruefully. His dark eyes peered into Honor's. "Wish I could help you, Honor. But I don't know how to dance, and I really don't want to learn how."

"It's okay. Maybe I'll just show solo this year on the circuit," Honor dismissed quickly with a smile.

"Honor!" a voice called. "It's time to go!"

Slowly the grin that Honor had faded. "Coming, Mom!" she replied, subdued.

Caesar put his foreleg around Honor's shoulder as they headed toward the main barn. "Moment's the happiest I've ever seen him," he offered.

Moment, Honor's twin brother and best friend, was off to art school. Unlike the rest of the family, who were performers, Moment's passion was painting, drawing, and sculpting. He had been accepted to the Equus School of Art, a very prestigious school.

"Yeah," Honor smiled, "but I'm really going to miss him. I guess I'm just going to have to bug you double time."

Caesar smiled and rolled his dark eyes. "I might have to be a wanderer again," he teased. "Just to escape your pestering."

Honor stopped in midstride. She faced her friend and stared into his dark mysterious eyes. They were the most beautiful eyes she had ever seen. "You can't leave, Caesar," she said seriously.

"You're right," Caesar said, "I can't leave. You're the closest I have to family." Caesar's parents had been killed in a train accident and had left him without any place to go. He had eventually ended up at Glorified Acres. Although he could joke about it, Caesar rarely talked about his past. Honor had tried several times to make him open up, but he refused.

"Good," Honor pronounced. And with that, she planted a kiss on his cheek and galloped off to the main barn, leaving Caesar standing with a half-smile on his face.

* * *
"I can't believe you're really going!" Honor wailed. They were at the train station seeing Moment off to art school.

"I know! Isn't it great?" Moment exclaimed. He was a handsome black who looked much like his father.

Honor sniffed and hugged her twin fiercely. "I'm going to miss you! My little brother off to art school!"

Moment laughed easily. He shook his head and his dark forelock fell carelessly down his face. "Your little brother? Last time I checked, we were twins."

"Yeah, but I'm thirteen minutes older than you!" Honor reminded him. She pulled his tail teasingly like she used to do when they were little.

Signature, Moment and Honor's father, spoke up. "It's probably time to go now, Moment." He picked up Moment's suitcase and loaded it onto the train. Honor heard several sighs from young fillies gawking at her father. She giggled to herself. Her father was very handsome. Signature was jet black with a strong body and noble face.

Honor turned and glanced at Caesar. "Are you okay?" she asked, with a worried look on her face. Caesar had turned very pale and was staring at the train with glazed eyes, lost in his own nightmarish past.

Gently, Honor placed a hoof on Caesar's strong shoulder. The gray stallion jumped in surprise. "What? I'm okay. I'm fine," he said quickly. Honor wasn't sure if he was trying to convince her or himself.

The train whistle blew sharply signaling the last call for passengers. "Well, I'm off!" Moment announced cheerfully.

Honor hugged her brother again. She could feel a lump forming in her throat, but she was determined to wish her twin a happy send-off. "Take care, little bro! And write me every day!" she demanded.

"I promise," the black colt vowed. Turning to Caesar, he smiled. "Take care of her, okay?"

"I promise," Caesar echoed.

With that, Moment walked up the steps to the train. Pausing, he turned. "It's too bad Mom couldn't make it," he said sadly.

Signature nodded sympathetically. "Shining had to go take care of Baby Gusty. She's sick with a bad cold."

Moment shrugged. "Send her my love. Bye everyone!"

Honor waved good-bye as the train pulled out of the station. She sighed. Now that Moment had really gone, Honor felt deflated. It seemed like part of her had just left forever on that train with Moment. Maybe this means I finally have to grow up, Honor thought. "Now who am I going to have to pester all the time?" she wondered aloud.

"There's always me," Caesar joked.

Smiling, Honor agreed. "There's always you."

* * *
Honor sighed as she walked along the wooded trails that wandered all over Glorified Acres. "Night always seems the loneliest. Everything's quiet. I can't believe he's been gone for only four hours!" she lamented to the stars. "But he'll be a great artist, I know it," Honor countered.

Shrugging as if giving up in defeat, Honor wandered back near the barn. Stopping at the arena, she gasped. A single silver beam shone down from the full moon to the center of the ring. And in the center of the moonbeam, a graceful silhouette danced in time to the music of the night.

"Caesar," she breathed.

The light on Caesar's gray coat danced into thousands of colors as he leaped high into a perfect capriole. Then landing, he lifted himself up into a levade, balancing precariously on his hind legs.

Honor held her breath as she counted the seconds Caesar held the pose. Fifteen seconds went by before he lowered himself back to the ground.

Letting her breath out, Honor smiled. Although Caesar was deep in concentration, he flicked an ear in Honor's direction and slowly turned a dark eye toward her. His eyes were always full of mystery and understanding. The mare always felt reassured and calm when she looked into Caesar's eyes. His eyes look right down to the very soul of me, she thought.

The gray colt walked slowly toward Honor. "I thought you didn't dance," Honor said, her voice barely a whisper.

Caesar blinked. "I don't," he said softly, "I fly."

All Honor could say was a barely audible, "Oh."

Taking a step closer to Honor, Caesar smiled shyly. His dark eyes slowly searched Honor's pretty face. His eyes that usually held sadness buried deep down, now held uncertainty. Honor frowned slightly. Softly he kissed Honor. Honor smiled and closed her eyes. This seems perfectly natural, Honor mused. How funny.

As Caesar looked Honor in the eye, she found her voice. "Will you be my partner for the show season?" she inquired, her voice almost held a pleading tone.

Taking a deep breath, Caesar accepted, "I would love to be your partner."

* * *
The two young horses worked hard to perfect their routines and performances. Together, they made the perfect dressage team. And like Honor's parents, they became closer friends through the vigorous work. Honor had to admit to herself that she had helplessly fallen in love with Caesar.

To Honor, it seemed like the days whirled by her so quickly that she barely had time to anticipate the future because it was already upon her. Some days were so tiring that Honor would forget them, too occupied by the next event.

But some days she wanted to remember forever. Like the first day of autumn. The leaves had fallen all around Caesar and Honor like golden rain as they danced around the arena. Caesar had grabbed Honor and twirled her around until she was dizzy. Then together they waltzed through the shower of gold.

Months flew by and soon there was snow on the ground. "Jingle bells! Jingle bells! Jingle all the way!" Honor sang.

Caesar laughed. "What are you so happy about, Honor?" he teased. Everyone knew how excited Honor was, but he couldn't help himself.

"You must be insane!" she cried in disbelief, "It's all I've been talking about for the past month, Caesar!"

"I know," Caesar said, "I was kidding."

"Yea! Moment's coming home for Christmas today!" Honor announced in a sing-song voice.

"Honor, you and Caesar still need to practice today," Shining reminded her, walking down the barn aisle. Standing next to Honor, it was obvious that the two were mother and daughter. Honor had inherited Shining's elegant but strong frame.

"Okay," Honor agreed. She paused before heading to the arena. "But you have to promise me that you won't open presents without me."

Shining rolled her eyes. "Okay, I promise."

Satisfied, Honor nodded her approval. "Good! Now let's go to the ring, Caesar."

Walking together toward the arena, Honor shivered. "Are you cold, Honor?" Caesar asked with a look of concern on his handsome face. He put a strong foreleg around Honor.

"A little, but I think if we work really hard, I'll warm up," Honor replied. She shivered again, but this time at the fact of being in Caesar's gentle grasp.

Feeling Honor quiver, Caesar pulled her even closer. "Maybe we should jump," he suggested casually.

Honor stopped and looked at her friend in surprise. "I didn't know you jumped," she responded.

Cocking his head to the side, Caesar shrugged. "You never asked, I guess." With that, Caesar dashed off to the arena. An immense triple oxer was in the center of the ring. With ease, Caesar cleared the huge jump in perfect form.

Laughing, Honor quickly joined her companion. Soon the two were executing a complicated jumping pattern. Despite the cold and snow, the two young horses practiced their exercises in the outside arena. Honor laughed when a snowflake tickled her nose in mid-flight over a vertical.

Honor watched as Caesar cleared a brush jump easily. When he landed, he stopped abruptly and plopped down in the deep snow. Laughing, Honor joined him in the snow.

"Wow, that was great!" Honor said, still trying to catch her breath in the crisp winter air. She turned to Caesar, who was thoughtfully staring at her. "What?" Honor asked, self-consciously.

Shaking his head as if to clear his thoughts, Caesar dismissed his gaze. "Nothing," he said. Then changing the subject, he asked brightly, "Have you ever made snow angels?"

"Only when I was really little with Moment," Honor replied.

Laying flat in the snow, Caesar rotated his legs back and forth. With Honor's help, he got up, not damaging the angel's form.

"It's really pretty," Honor acknowledged.

"But not as pretty as you," Caesar challenged. Honor blushed and shuffled her hooves in the blanket of snow.

"Honor!" Shining called. "Come inside! We'll open presents. And Moment's here!"

As much as Honor didn't want the perfect moment to end, she couldn't wait to see her brother. Leaving Caesar trailing, Honor ran to the main barn.

"Moment!" Honor cried in delight. "I missed you so much! How have you been?"

"I've been fine," Moment laughed. "And I see that you haven't changed much while I've been gone."

Smiling brightly, Honor sat down near the decorated tree. "I get to open the first present," Honor decided. She picked up a colorfully wrapped package and shook it. "It sounds sounds like a gift for Honor!" she predicted.

For the better part of the morning, Honor and her family opened their gifts. By the time she was done, Honor was perched on an immense pile of presents. She leaned over and rested her head on Caesar's dark shoulder. "Whew! All that present opening made me tired."

Caesar edged away from Honor, nearly toppling her off of her mountain. But he quickly steadied Honor with his strong forelegs. Honor felt the safest she had ever felt in his embrace. "If you're tired of opening presents, I guess I'll have to open this one for you," Caesar said softly. He had the look of uncertainty on his face again.

Honor opened her mouth to speak, bur Caesar shushed her. She had to settle for a quizzical expression on her pretty face. Slowly, Caesar revealed a small parcel from behind his back.

Caesar looked deeply into Honor's eyes. And Honor stared back into his dark and mysterious ones. Gently, Caesar unwrapped the tiny package. Past the wrappings, lay a small box. He unhurriedly opened the lid to unveil a beautiful silver anklet. The jewelry was exquisitely designed, with tiny horses, running in an endless circle, separated by hearts.

Gasping, Honor stared at the anklet. She watched as Caesar put it on her right foreleg. "Honor," Caesar's voice was quiet and vague. "We've been good friends for not such a very long time, but I feel like I've know you forever," he began.

Honor felt butterflies fluttering furiously in her stomach. She had never expected anything like this, but oh, how wonderful! She smiled widely, anticipating what was next.

"What I'm trying to say, is," Caesar murmured nervously, "Honor, will you marry me?"

Although Honor had prepared herself for the question, it still shocked her to actually hear him say it. She was so happy that she couldn't respond. It took her a few moments to gather her thoughts. When she finally could assemble her words into a broken sentence, she cried, "Caesar-- yes! I will!"

She cast herself into his embrace. And as she looked into his face, she saw that his eyes held no misery. Not even mystery. All that his face showed was happiness.

* * *
"Mom! Oh no, Mom!" Honor rushed to her mother's side. Shining and Signature had been practicing, getting ready for a show the next day, the first event of the spring, when Shining had tripped and fallen.

Quickly, Signature ran over to aid his mate. "Shining-girl, just hold still," he said tensely. Several years ago, Shining had shattered her foreleg during a practice. No one had know whether or not Shining was going to survive, and Signature had been crushed. Although Shining was completely healed, save for mild arthritis, Signature still was very sensitive about performance accidents. Even more so than Shining.

Caesar ran his hoof down Shining's leg and shook his head. "It's not broken, but she strained it pretty badly," he announced grimly.

Shining sighed. "So what are we going to do about tomorrow?" she asked wearily. Although she tried to mask it, Honor could tell that her mother was uncomfortable.

"Don't worry about tomorrow, Mom. We need to get you over to Dr. Rosedust's," Honor soothed. But Honor knew her mother was right. The show was very important. Shining and Signature were expected to be there and it was too late to back out.

Gently, Signature scooped Shining into his forelegs and carried her to the main barn. Caesar came up behind Honor and hugged her as they walked up together. "I saw the entry form before Signature sent it in," he informed Honor. "Signature can't show solo on this one because he specifically wrote that it was going to be a pair performing," Caesar waited for Honor to respond. When she nodded her head, he went on. "But it didn't particularly say that the performers were Shining and Signature. It just said a pair from Glorified Acres," he finished.

Honor stopped and turned to look at Caesar. Since winter, his eyes had lost the trapped look that his eyes sometimes held. "Are you saying that we should go instead of my parents?" Honor asked incredulously.

"Why not?" Caesar shrugged. "I think we're ready. We've been practicing for over nine months."

Honor leaned over and gave Caesar a kiss. "I'll ask my dad," she resigned, smiling. Inside, she was giddy with excitement.

"I think that just might work," Signature said. Caesar and Honor had run by the plan they had. Now they were waiting for approval. "I was afraid I was going to have to call Lacey or Classy," he added sourly. Bit A Lace and Sheza Classy Jewel were two mares that had crossed Signature's path before. Both were resentful of the fact that Shining and Signature were so successful although both had quite a bit of talent themselves. Under normal circumstances, neither were welcome at Glorified Acres.

Limping up to join the conversation, Shining nodded. "You two have worked hard. I think you're ready," she resolved.

Taking a deep breath, Honor laughed nervously. "I guess if we're going to perform tomorrow, we should go over the patterns," she suggested.

* * *
"Where's my comb?" Honor asked impatiently. They had arrived at the fairgrounds and were preparing for their exhibit. "My tail's a mess and we only have an hour before we go. I need to go over the half pass with Caesar again."

Trying to mask her nervousness, Honor attempted to stay busy. She combed her tail, did limbering stretches, took a walk, and even tried to read a book. Caesar watched her, smiling. "You need to relax, Honor," Caesar chided. "This isn't a life-or-death situation."

He walked over to where Honor was trying to hold a levade as long as she could. So far, her record was twelve seconds. Caesar grabbed Honor while she was still on her hind legs and gave her a hug. He kissed her velvet nose and saw her relax slightly.

Although she couldn't perform, Shining had come along for moral support. She met the two with an apologetic smile on her pretty face. "Sorry, guys. I got a little tied up signing autographs."

Honor knew that Shining had been mobbed with horses wanting to see just a glimpse of the talented mare. Someday it might be nice to have so many horses look up to you, Honor thought.

"...I remember my first show. I was so nervous," Honor had been daydreaming, but drew her attention back to the conversation. She had heard Shining's last comment. Honor figured that Caesar had told Shining how anxious she was.

Honor was about to reply when she was interrupted by a tap on her foreleg. She looked down to see a baby pony gazing up at her. "Are you On My Honor?" the little one asked.

"Yes," Honor answered, "but you can call me Honor." She smiled down at the baby unicorn. She figured that the pony must be from Dream Valley. The baby was white with a red mane and tail. In her mane, there was a blue streak. Her symbol was a bell. "What's your name?" Honor inquired.

"Liberty Bell," the small one said, "but you can call me Libby."

"Well, Libby," Honor smiled, "it's a pleasure to meet you." She stuck out her hoof and Libby shook it happily.

Libby stared up at Honor wide-eyed in admiration. "I read about you in all the magazines and stuff. And you're getting married to Caesar, too!"

Honor beamed and unconsciously looked down at her fetlock. Her anklet shimmered in the bright sunshine. "Today's my first show. And I'm kinda nervous," she admitted.

Libby shook her small head. "I know you're going to do great," she enthused.

"Libby! It's time to go!" Libby turned around and smiled at her father, Wig Wam. "Mom's waiting in the stands," Wig Wam informed her.

Honor waved, "Bye, Libby! Wish me luck!"

Over her shoulder, Libby called, "You won't need luck! You'll be brilliant!"

* * *
Standing in the warm-up ring, Honor paced nervously. Their performance was next. Taking a deep breath, small Libby's words echoed in her head. You'll be brilliant!

Caesar turned to his fiancee and smiled crookedly. Even he was somewhat pressured by this show. "Don't worry, Honor, we're going to be great," he persuaded the beautiful bay mare.

Honor frowned and tucked herself under Caesar's foreleg. She looked up into his dark face with those puzzling eyes. "Do you promise?" she asked.

"I promise," he assured.

"Exhibit number forty-eight," the announcer's voice boomed loudly over the speaker, "the pair from Glorified Acres, Noble Caesar and On My Honor."

A polite applause rippled through the audience as the two young horses entered the large arena. Honor hoped that the spectators were applauding for them, not just because they were associated with the greatest performers in the world.

Giving Caesar a wobbly smile, Honor took her stance, poised and ready for the music to begin. When it did, she forgot all her fears. She forgot that she was Shining and Signature Required's daughter. She forgot the audience. She forgot young Libby. Nothing matters but this! she thought with joy.

Gracefully, the two leaped and glided around the dirt arena. Once, Honor caught Caesar's dark eye. She saw what she felt inside. Simply a pure love for the moment. When the music finally came to an end, she laughed out loud and was snapped back to the reality of it all.

The audience was totally silent for an instant, still mesmerized by Caesar and Honor's stellar performance. Then in one stroke, all the horses and ponies in the stands rose to their feet and deafened Honor with their cheers.

Caesar smiled and kissed Honor gently. "See? I promised that everything would go fantastically. I was right, wasn't I?"

Honor threw her forelegs around Caesar. "You were right, Caesar. You promised. I love you!"

*Shining is now on the web! Well, I guess she always was, but now she has her own homepage! Please check it out!


You're Too Slow, Baby Tic-Tac-Toe!
by Bubblefish


Baby Tic-Tac-Toe was walking with her friends Baby Lickety-Split, Baby Rainfeather, Baby Sunnybunch, Baby Fifi, and Baby Firefly when an excited voice shouted, "The summer sports day is going to be shown in three days!" It was Baby Flicker who joined them.

"We've got to tell the rest!" said Baby Fifi.

"Tell the rest what?" said a voice; the voice belonged to Lily the Flutter Pony, the nicest Flutter in Flutter Valley.

Baby Fifi told her, and Lily smiled. "I'll tell the rest of the Flutter Ponies; you babies get all the rest of the baby ponies and split into pairs; then spread out. The Flutter Ponies will take the rest of the ponies with us after we tell them and go to the middle of Ponyland at three o' clock. I'll be waiting there with all the Flutter Ponies and the others."

"Yes," the Baby Ponies chorused. They found Baby Racer and split into pairs; these were the pairs: Baby Tic-Tac-Toe and Baby Racer; Baby Fifi and Baby Firefly; Baby Lickety-Split and Baby Sunnybunch; and Baby Rainfeather and Baby Flicker.


Package Back Stories


One night, while sleeping in the clouds, Starflower had a wonderful dream. She dreamt she was standing on the edge of a rainbow with magnificent fireworks flying out in all directions. Red, green, blue, and yellow bursts fell to the ground in beautiful patterns. When she woke, Starflower blinked her eyes three times and made a magical wish. "I wish that my dream would come true," she said aloud. She searched for the rainbow and fireworks all day, but couldn't find them. By nightfall, Starflower decided to go to the waterfall. She was amazed at what she saw in the pool! "It's really happening!" she shouted with delight. There in the pool was the reflection of the waterfall, glowing with rainbow colors. Each falling drop of water turned into expanding rings of colorful circles. Red, green, blue, and yellow patterns were everywhere! "What a beautiful show," she said contentedly.

Princess Moondust

One night, as Princess Moondust admired her glittering medallion, she wished that all of Ponyland could shine like the Princess Ponies' jewels. It can shine with your magic, the night wind whispered to her. When Princess Moondust nodded her head, sparkling moondust drifted from the sky, covering trees and grass until all of Ponyland looked as if it was decorated with twinkling jewels. The ponies waltzed in the night, enjoying Princess Moondust's glistening surprise.


Pony Scramble

Each of the scrambled words below is a pony or Ponyland character name. Unscramble each one and write it in the corresponding row of blank spaces.













1. __M_______

2. _________Y

3. _L____ ______

4. __I__

5. ____T______

6. _____ ____T

7. ________L_

8. ___E____

9. _____P_____

10. _O_________

11. ___N____

12. ____Y


Quest for the Cure
by Gusty


In the one of the previous issues of MLP Monthly, Gusty, Applejack, Bubbles, Galaxy, Steamer, and Tabby went out in search for a cure. You see, a strange cloud called the Slimen Cloud had struck Honeysuckle and Night Glider and they would die within forty-eight hours if the cure was not found-- but no pony knew where it was (therefore, the ponies listed above went to look for it!). At the very end of the first chapter, Tabby had fallen into the river and was being swept away:

"OOF!" Steamer exclaimed, landing on the other side of the river. "I did it!" He had successfully jumped off the branch of the tree onto the other side of the river.

Tabby winked next to him. "I didn't have to jump!" Suddenly, her hind foot slipped on some mud, and she lost her balance. She let out a deafening scream as she fell backwards into the raging river. "HELP!!!!"

"Tabby!" Steamer exclaimed, watching his friend being swept away by the rushing water. He looked to his left. Then he looked to his right. He shook his head violently. "Hang on, Tabby! I'm coming!"

"Steamerrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!" Tabby shouted, getting farther and farther from her companion.

With that, Steamer leaped into the river. With all his might, he swam quickly after Tabby. "I'll save you!"

Now we continue with the story:

Steamer gasped for air, swimming as fast as he could. Tabby was getting farther and farther from him. "This isn't working... I'll never catch her at this rate!" he sighed, trying to swim harder.

Tabby, meanwhile, had met up with some rocks, which caused wild rapids. Jostling violently back and forth, she screamed at the top of her lungs. Her left hind foot hit a giant bolder in the water and pain shot through her foot. She shrieked again. "Get me out of heeeeeere!!!!"

* * *
"We're getting no where fast," Bubbles sighed, pausing to shoo a fly away from her.

"I know," Galaxy moaned. She hung her head. "How are we ever going to save Honeysuckle and Night Glider?"

Bubbles stared off to her left. "Maybe the others are having more luck than we are."
"We can only hope."

* * *
"Nothing, nothing, NOTHING!" Gusty grunted in disgust. "There's no map, no clues-- NOTHING!"

Applejack shuffled her feet. "I know."

All of a sudden, Gusty stopped. She pricked her ears forward and listened carefully.

"What?" Applejack asked, cocking her head.

"I hear something," Gusty replied. She started galloping to the northwest. "I hear voices this way! Come on!"

Not bothering to question Gusty, Applejack scurried after her friend. "I'm right behind you!"

* * *
Tabby continued screaming as she banged against the rocks with great force. However, she could not control the river's motions. Her eyes were wide and filled with fear. She looked to her left. She thought she heard hoof beats. "I must be mistaken," she thought. "This must be the end."

However, it wasn't the end. There, emerging from the forest flora, were Gusty and Applejack. "Tabby!" Applejack exclaimed, seeing her colleague being tossed around roughly.

Yet, they weren't able to be next to Tabby for long, for the river was moving quickly. Gusty reared up on her hind legs and dashed along the shore of the river, trying to catch up to Tabby. When she finally did, she kept running ahead. Once she had gotten twenty feet ahead of her, she stopped and turned around. She took a colossal breath of air and, with her unicorn magic, had a gust of wind blow strongly against the river.

The river reacted slightly. It slowed down at first, a great deal. But it did not stay that way for long. Hitherto, Gusty expected this. She quickly stuck out her tail for Tabby to grab onto as the waters brought her by.

Tabby reached out with her front legs and grabbed tightly onto Gusty's green tail. "Help me! Get me out of here, Gusty!" Tabby cried, struggling to keep a grip on Gusty's tail.

With a great burst of power, Gusty yanked Tabby out of the frigid water. They both collapsed abruptly on the riverbank-- exhausted. Yet, as soon as they did this, Applejack came galloping past them.

"Steamer is in the rapids! He's almost out of them, though," she explained to them.

"I'm-- too-- weak," Gusty moaned. "Can't help..."

Applejack was frantic. "What can I do?"

Gusty gazed at her with tired eyes. "Anything."

Applejack thought hastily. The only thing she could think of was a stick... but was a stick strong enough for Steamer to grab onto it without it breaking because of his speed?

* * *
At that same time, Sky Flier had gathered some of the other little ponies around Honeysuckle and Night Glider. She gently nudged Honeysuckle with her nose.

Tickle stood motionless. "I should have gone with the others to find the cure."

Sky Flier looked at her. "It's not your fault; you didn't know."

"But I've GOT to help them." She flew into the air. "Which way did they go?"

"That way," Sky Flier said, pointing. "Be careful."

Tickle nodded as she flew away. "I just know I can help." She flew swiftly over the forest until she saw three creatures that resembled ponies, by the river. Curious, she flew downward.

* * *
"What'll I do? I know a stick won't work, and I'm running out of time!" Applejack exclaimed, pacing back and forth.

"Applejack, Gusty, Tabby!" Tickle exclaimed, landing next to them. "I'm here to help you find the cure!"

"TICKLE!" Applejack screamed, sticking her face in Tickle's. "Steamer is in the river!"

"W-what?" Tickle inquired. "I don't get it. Why is Steamer swimming in the river? He's supposed to be working to find the cure! The same with Gusty and Tabby! They're just lying around! What's with you guys? Don't you care that two lives are at stake?"

"TICKLE!!! I'll explain later; just, when Steamer comes by, grab him out of the water!" Applejack blurted out.

"Ooookay then," Tickle said, rolling her eyes. She flew above the river. "Here he comes!" She swooped down and took a hold of Steamer's tail and towed him out of the water.

"Th-th-th-thaaaannnnkkkk y--" Steamer gasped, collapsing to the ground. He was sweating bullets and was too out of breath to talk.

"Now, someone tell me what's going on here!" Tickle demanded, stomping her front hoof.

* * *
"I wonder where the others are?" Bubbles moaned, climbing over a fallen tree.

Galaxy sighed. "I don't know." She stared at the ground. "But..."

"But what?" Bubbles asked immediately.

Galaxy cocked her head. "I think there was a spell in my magic book that told you how to locate certain things."

Bubbles's eyes brightened. "Do it!"

"I-- I don't remember exactly how. I mean, I think I have some idea, but..." Galaxy's voice trailed off.

"Try it! It's worth a try! You might get it right!" Bubbles encouraged her.

"I suppose you're right. Here goes nothing," Galaxy said. She closed her eyes. "Complete concentration is needed."

Bubbles stood silent.

"Unicorn magic, unicorn magic, there are things I'd like to know, and there are things I'd like to see. But most of all right now, I want to locate Tabby, please, please, help me." Suddenly, Galaxy's horn glowed a bright pink, and projected a picture on a nearby tree. Galaxy opened one eye. "It-- it worked," she smiled, gazing at the picture. It was, indeed, a map. On it was a symbol of a pink cat. "That must be where Tabby is!"

"Then that's where we have to go!" Bubbles exclaimed. She studied the map. "Okay, I know the way; follow me!" With that, the two galloped off.

* * *
"...So you see, it's a good thing you came along!" Applejack concluded, explaining all the past events.

Tickle kicked up some dirt. "Gee... I'm really sorry... I thought you guys were goofing off. I should have known better."

Applejack smiled in understanding. "It's not your fault."

Tickle thought angrily to herself, "There's that phrase again..."

Gusty struggled to her feet, only to collapse again. "I'm just too, too weak..."

Tabby lay stationary next to her. "I can't move... too tired."

Tickle felt blood rush to her cheeks, causing her to blush. "I jumped to a conclusion too soon... I'm still sorry."

"Okay!" Gusty shouted at her, raising her head. "I'm sick of hearing how sorry you are! Just be quiet."

Tickle's eyes began to water. "I'm--" she stopped herself from continuing her thought of I'm sorry.

"Tabby?" they all heard a voice. Applejack and Tickle twirled around to face two ponies-- Bubbles and Galaxy.

"You missed it!"

Bubbles and Galaxy exchanged confused looks. "What?"

* * *
Sky Flier turned to Wind Whistler. "What time is it?"

Wind Whistler replied, "I know you wanted to phrase your sentence as follows: ‘How many hours are left.' Therefore, I shall tell you that there are only thirty-four precious hours left until our friends meet their extinction."

"Unless they find the cure before then," Sky Flier added.

"How very true you are," Wind Whistler smiled.

* * *
The ponies rested for an hour on the bank of river. Finally, they were ready to press on. "But now we're back where we started-- having to cross the river!" Tabby sighed.

"There's got to be an easier way... there's just got to be," Gusty said, thinking.

"I guess I could fly you all over one by one, but that takes a lot of energy! Sure, I have lots of energy, but I don't know if I have that much. I suppose I could try. But what if it ends up that I don't have enough? Then I just might make this crossing the river longer than it would be. What do you--" Tickle said quickly-- like Whizzer sometimes does.

"TICKLE BE QUIET FOR A MINUTE!" Gusty shouted, stomping her hoof.

Tickle shushed immediately. She hung her head in embarrassment. "I'm sorry."

"I told you not to say sorry anymore!" Gusty exclaimed, her green eyes flaring.

Tickle looked away so the other ponies would not see the single tear that trickled down her beautiful purple face.

"So what do you think we should do?" Gusty asked the others.

"I think I see a fallen tree up the way," Bubbles informed them, motioning ahead.

Galaxy squinted. "Bubbles! You're right! Good going!"

"Let's move out!" Steamer said, trotting up the river bank with the other ponies not far behind.

Tickle was last. "I guess I'm just being a pest." She sighed. She took to the air and followed.

Soon, they arrived at the fallen log. "Perfect!" Applejack exclaimed. "It looks like a nice strong tree, and it's not so skinny that we have to worry about falling off!"

"Who first?" Steamer asked.

"Let me go," Bubbles said, climbing onto the fallen timber. Bubbles was a beauteously graceful pony, and easily made it across without a single wrong step.

"I'll just wink over this time," Tabby said. Galaxy and Gusty did the same.

"Your turn, Applejack!" Tickle giggled. She was feeling better now.

Applejack slowly made her way across the log. She had not had a good past with crossing rivers. Suddenly, the water grew rough. Now, the log was only about four inches from the rushing water below. Unexpectedly, the water became rougher. Without warning, a huge wave came down the river, washing on top of Applejack. "HELP ME!!!!!"

"Oh, no! Not again!" Steamer exclaimed, gazing at Applejack, flinging her arms in every direction.

Tickle flew after Applejack quickly. She grabbed onto her friend's orange tail and lifted her above the water. Then Tickle flew her to the other side.

"Are you okay, Applesauce Head?" Gusty asked.

Applejack coughed up some water she had swallowed. She looked up, her mane sopping wet, and her bangs hanging over one eye. "I think so."

"Come on now. We have a mere thirty hours left," Steamer complained.

Applejack got to her feet and turned to Tickle who was exhausted and lying on the back. "Thanks."

Tickle smiled. "No problem."

Gusty soon spotted Tickle still lying down. "Come on! Do you want to help Honeysuckle and Night Glider or not?"

Tickle jumped to her feet. "Of course I do."

Gusty's eyes narrowed. "Let's get moving." She led the ponies into the woods.

* * *
Sky Flier lay beside Honeysuckle quietly. Night was beginning to fall upon Dream Valley. Night Glider was as still as Honeysuckle.

"Come inside, Sky Flier. I'll look after those two," Masquerade volunteered.

Sky Flier shook her head. "No. I will stay with them. They need me."

"But there's nothing you can do, Sky Flier. Gusty and the others are doing all they can."

"I don't care," she replied. "I'm just doing my part."

* * *
"It's getting dark. We'll have to hit the sack soon," Steamer said.

Therefore, the ponies kept walking for about two more hours, until finally they could go no further without walking in total blackness. They bedded down under the comfort of a large oak tree.

In the morning, the sun rose over the forest, and slices of light beamed through the ceiling of leafed trees. However, none of the ponies so much as stirred. They were so tired from yesterday, they still slept.

The hours they slept ticked away... one hour... two hours... three... four... five hours... six... seven... eight hours...

Finally, Gusty awoke with a start. She glanced around and jumped to her feet. "Why, it's almost noon! Get up! Hurry!" she exclaimed.

The other ponies slowly got to their feet. "Wha-- EEK!" Galaxy said, realizing that Gusty was right. "Come on! This way!" she exclaimed, as the ponies began to canter through the forest.

They had only fifteen hours to find the cure. Bubbles ran quickly alongside of Galaxy. She couldn't believe they had slept so long. And Honeysuckle and Night Glider were counting on them!

Suddenly, Tickle skipped to a stop. "Guys, wait!"

The ponies slowed to a halt and turned around to face the pretty purple pony. "What is it, Tickle?" Applejack asked.

"Up there," she replied, motioning to the cliffs above them.

"I don't see anything," Steamer told her.

"That is because you can't fly. There's a cave up there!" Tickle responded.

"A cave?" Galaxy repeated. She looked at Bubbles. "Maybe that's where the cure is found!"

Bubbles eyes brightened. "Right! Let's try it!"

The ponies slowly made their way up the steep cliffs. Galaxy was almost there, when-- "EEEEK!" she screamed, as the rock under her left hind foot gave way. In her panic, she left go of the rocks she was holding onto with her front hooves. Suddenly, she began to fall.

"Oh, my gosh!" Applejack exclaimed, seeing her friend fall. Then she noticed something worse. There were hundreds of jagged rocks right under her. "Someone save her!"

"Galaxy!" Bubbles shrieked.

Tickle, without even thinking, flew to the rescue. Flying downward as fast as she could, she flew under Galaxy. With a plop, Galaxy landed on her back. The sudden weight on Tickle surprised her, and she couldn't quite make her wings work.

"Oh, no!" Bubbles cried out, as Tickle was only about five feet from a sharp jagged rock.

Then, with all her strength, Tickle forced herself to the left, avoiding the rock. She landed hard on the dirt ground.

Galaxy quickly jumped off Tickle's back. "Thank you so much! Are you all right?"

Tickle wheezed and puffed. "I-I-I'm f-fine. Just out of breath."

Galaxy looked back at the ponies still on the cliff. They had all reached the top. "We better catch up."

"Can't you just use your unicorn magic and wink up there?" Tickle asked, struggling to her feet.

Galaxy shook her head. "No. This is a place of great magic. The wrong kind of magic may displace the magical setting, and that could be extremely dangerous."

"Oh," Tickle replied, as Galaxy began to climb the cliff again.

After about an hour, all of the ponies were high atop the cliff at the opening to the cave. "W-who wants to lead?" Gusty stuttered.

"You normally do," Applejack replied.

Gusty took a deep breath. "Okay then. Follow me." She led the ponies into the cave. The cave was very musty. Along the walls, there were torches lit to light the way.

"It's as if someone knew we were coming," Tabby said cautiously.

"This has got to be the right place," Galaxy commented. "The magic here is so plentiful."

Suddenly, the ground began to shake fiercely. Tabby and Galaxy were knocked to their knees. "Wh-what's happening now?" Applejack exclaimed.

Gusty's jaw dropped. "Look!" she yelled, staring straight ahead. A pyramid, which wasn't there before, had emerged from the ground.

"Oh, my..." Tabby gasped. "I'm not going in there."

"But that's where the cure is! It just has got to be!" Galaxy said excitedly.

* * *
"Do you think they found the cure yet?" Locket asked Wind Whistler, as they were standing around their fallen comrades.

"It's hard to say, Locket." She stared off into the distance. "But if they haven't, they had better make haste. They only have a minor, but fragile, thirteen hours to go."

* * *
Meanwhile, the ponies had slowly made their way into the dimly lit pyramid. Tabby gasped.

"What's wrong?" Tickle asked her.

Tabby looked at Tickle. Her face was covered in cobwebs. "Does that answer you question!?" she replied harshly.

Tickle was a little taken back at the tone in Tabby's voice. Tabby never talked to anyone like that.

Tickle decided to fly beside Bubbles. "So, you think this is the place to find the cure?" she giggled.

Bubbles glared at her. "This is no laughing matter, Tickle. Two pony lives are at stake."

Tickle moved back to the last person in line. "Gee... Even Bubbles is angry with me. I guess I really am a pest."

"AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!" Steamer yelled suddenly. He had stepped on a trigger-- obviously a trap. A door opened where he was standing, and he fell into the deep hole.

"Steamer!!!!!!!" Gusty screamed, looking down into the darkness.

"I'll save him!" Tickle exclaimed, jumping down into the hole after him.

"Tickle, no! The hole is too small! You won't be able to fly!" Applejack exclaimed. But it was too late. Tickle had jumped down the narrow, deep, dark pit.

"EEEEEEEKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!" came the blood-shrieking cry from Tickle.

"TICKLE!!!!!!" Gusty cried out, yelling. "Try to fly! Please try to fly!" She placed her ear to the opening of the hole, but heard no reply. She hung her head.

Bubbles walked up next to Gusty. "I can't believe it. They're really gone."

The pyramid was deathly silent. The five remaining ponies didn't know quite what to do.

* * *
Sky Flier forced her beautiful eyes open. They were cloudy and begging for sleep. However, she would not sleep. She wanted to stay awake with Honeysuckle and Night Glider until the ponies found the cure... if they found the cure.

"Only ten hours left," Locket said, glancing at the ground. "Come on, guys. Find that cure!"

* * *
"We have to be careful for traps now," Gusty told the others. They had finally found the courage to press on.

"Hey, guys, look at this," Tabby said, stopping.

The little ponies all gathered around her. "Cool, Tabby."

"What is this stuff?" Tabby asked, cocking her head. There were several drawings on the wall.

"They're called hieroglyphics. They tell a message in pictures," Galaxy explained.

"Well, what's this one say?" Tabby questioned.

Galaxy studied the pictures. "That symbol is an arrow. It's pointing up. So I guess there's either something above us or ahead of us."

"What's something?" Gusty asked.

Galaxy squinted. "A boulder or large rock."

"What's this little symbol. It looks like a door," Bubbles said, pointing to the next sign.

"You're right, Bubbles. I think that's a character for either a door or a portal," Galaxy said.

"That's great and all," Tabby said, "but what does all of this mean?"

Galaxy read the hieroglyphics. "I think this is what is means... umm... Beware. Above... or ahead... of the ones who walk this path... or road... is a pebble."

"A pebble?" Bubbles repeated.

"Oh, wait. I mean boulder," Galaxy corrected herself.

"So we should be careful of a boulder above or ahead of us on this path," Gusty translated.

"Right," Galaxy agreed.

"Let's get going," Gusty went on, leading the way. She carefully scanned the path for traps as she went.

About fifteen minutes later, Bubbles felt something hit against her leg. "Wh-what was that?" She looked down to see. There, what she had hit, was a small flap of a kind of rubber. "Uh-oh. I think I triggered something."

Suddenly, the ground shook.

"Not again!" Tabby exclaimed, trying to keep her balance. The path shifted to a fairly steep downward slant. She looked behind them. "Oh, no!"

The ponies twirled around to see a huge boulder falling from a hole in the ceiling. "Run!" Gusty ordered, as the boulder began to roll their way.

The ponies ran as fast as they could, but the boulder was quickly coming closer, and they were getting tired. "I can't-- run-- much-- further!" Applejack wheezed, the echo of her hooves banging off the walls.

"I feel like Indiana Pony!" Gusty exclaimed, moving as fast as her legs could carry her.

Galaxy dashed up beside Gusty. "Yeah, but we don't have a hole to sink into!"

"Maybe there's some way we can stop it!" Bubbles suggested.

"How? That thing is moving very fast, and something would have to be awfully strong to stop it!" Applejack exclaimed.

"Well, we can't outrun it too much longer," Tabby gasped.

All of a sudden, Galaxy noticed something ahead. "Oh, no! A dead end!!!" The ponies skidded to a stop in front of the wall. Galaxy twirled around to face the oncoming boulder. "What are we going to do?"

* * *
"Eight precious hours left," Sky Flier murmured. Her eyes began to close, but she forced them open. "Must stay awake."

"Sky Flier. You need your rest," Masquerade urged her. "We'll wake you up if you want later on."

Sky Flier weakly shook her head. "No. I have to keep fighting the sleepy feeling. I can't leave these two alone..."

Masquerade exchanged puzzled glances with Whizzer who was nearby, also. "What do you mean? Whizzer, Wind Whistler, Locket, some others, and I are right here. They won't be left alone."

Sky Flier mumbled something that couldn't be understood by anyone.

"Sleep, Sky Flier. We'll wake you up when the ponies come back with the cure. We promise," Whizzer coaxed.

"If the ponies make it back with the cure," Masquerade whispered to her friend.

* * *
The ponies appeared to be trapped. They couldn't see the boulder, but they could hear it crashing down the path. Soon they would see it emerge from the darkness, and then they'd only have about fifteen precious seconds before they would be crushed.

"What'll we do, what'll we do, what'll we do?" Applejack repeated over and over, her eyes filled with worry.

"Galaxy, look! More of those hiero-whatits," Tabby pointed out.

"Hieroglyphics, Tabby," Galaxy sighed. "Huh? WHERE?"

"Right there," Tabby pointed out on the wall next to her.

"Let me see," Galaxy said, pushing through Gusty and Bubbles to see. She scanned the characters. "To... escape... a corner... ummm..." she began, but then stopped.

"How do we escape?" Bubbles asked excitedly. "We might be saved!"

"Ummm... uhhhh... ehhhh... I don't know!" Galaxy screamed in frustration. She kept looking over and over the symbols. "I just can't quite remember what this means!"

"Please, Galaxy! Try your hardest! We don't have much time left!" Gusty pleaded. The sound of the crashing boulder grew louder.

"AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Galaxy screamed, trying to get the frustrating feeling out of her. She closed her eyes. "I know what this means... I just can't get it now!"

"Galaxy! You have to get your mind to click!" Bubbles screamed.

"EEEK!!! The boulder-- I see it!" Applejack shrieked.

Galaxy's eyes flew open. "CLICK!!! That's it!" She glanced behind her in a dark corner filled with cobwebs. She turned and ran to it. There wasn't a second to lose.

"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!" Applejack screamed, as she closed her eyes, for the boulder was only five seconds from hitting them.

Galaxy used her two front hooves and stomped all around in the cobweb filled corner. She couldn't feel anything but the dust from the path beneath her feet.

Four seconds... three seconds...

Suddenly, with one last chance, she heard something click beneath her front right hoof. The ground the ponies were standing on quickly lowered into the ground. They were below when they heard the boulder go over where they just had been standing terrified.

They were now on a lower level of the pyramid. The ponies stood silent-- breathless and relieved. Finally Gusty spoke. "Galaxy, you did it."

"Click the button in the corner was what I couldn't remember-- the word button meant to click!" Galaxy gasped, smiling.

Bubbles looked around. "Now where are we?"

"Well, we're still in the pyramid, that's for sure," Tabby responded, as the ponies began to walk down the dimly lit aisle.

"I told you that was just like Indiana Pony," Gusty said, trying to force a chuckle.

"We only have six hours left," Bubbles noted.

Applejack sighed and hung her head. "This just all seems so hopeless."

Galaxy turned to her and said, "But we CAN'T give up our optimism-- not yet."

"Let's keep moving," Tabby said slowly. Therefore, the ponies continued their long walk through the pyramid. They were still very careful of traps, but they began to trot to make up more ground.

* * *
"Honeysuckle and Night Glider be okay?" Baby Quackers asked, walking up to Wind Whistler.

Wind Whistler sighed. "I don't know what to tell you, Baby Quackers. I really don't."

* * *
The ponies had been walking or trotting for one hour when they came to a place where they could go either left or right. "Which way should we go?" Applejack asked.

"Well, some of us could go left, and some of us could go right. Or we could all go together left. Or we could all go together right. I-I really don't know what to say," Galaxy said.

"I'm confused," Tabby said, her voice trailing off.

"I think we should stick together," Bubbles commented. "It's safer that way."

"I agree," Gusty said.

"Okay, then. But which way should we take?" Applejack questioned.

Galaxy looked to the left tunnel. Then she looked to the right tunnel. "I feel strong magic coming from the right one."

"Then we should go to the left?" Tabby asked, perplexed.

Gusty shook her head. "No. We should go to the right. Magic calls to magic."

"And magic is what we need to save our friends!" Applejack noted.

"I see," Tabby said, nodding her head slowly.

"Let's go!" Bubbles exclaimed, happily.

Therefore, the five ponies rushed to the right tunnel. As soon as they were all obviously taking the right tunnel, a huge rock slab fell down from the ceiling and covered the opening to the tunnel.

Gusty gulped. "Well, there's no going back now." She turned and continued on.

* * *
"Oh, no. Only four hours left. And they still aren't back!" Whizzer exclaimed, flying around in small circles quickly.

"Do you think they found it yet?" Locket asked.

"It's still hard to tell," Masquerade responded.

* * *
The ponies walked on quietly. Then, a giant burst of light exploded from the far side of the tunnel. The light was yellow, green, violet-- every color of the rainbow! "This has got to be it! The cure must be ahead!" Galaxy exclaimed. "We did it!"

"Well, we don't know that yet," Gusty said, trying to calm her down. The five ponies cantered to where the light was coming from.

There was a small room. The little ponies entered it cautiously. When they were inside, they could see many dusty books on shelves. Galaxy shook her head. "The cure must be in one of these books."

Applejack's jaw dropped. "But we don't have enough time to look through all these books!"

"But we have to try," Galaxy told them. "I'll need your help. Start looking; be quick, but be careful not to skip over it."

Bubbles picked up a musty old dark purple book and opened it up slowly. The pages were all crinkled, as if they had been wet. She looked up. "This might take awhile."

Tabby was about to pick up a book when her horn started to glow. "Hey, guys! My horn is lit up!" All of a sudden, a warm, pink beam of light ejected from her horn onto a nearby wall. Tabby walked over to where the beam had hit. "Look! More of those heirophysics!"

Galaxy jumped to her feet. "Good going, Tab!" she exclaimed, running over. "And that's hieroglyphics-- not heirophysics!" She studied the characters on the wall. "Tabby, you wonderful unicorn! These symbols say that there is a bright green book that is three times as big as the other books somewhere in this library. And in that book, there's an index of all the cures ever needed and the book they are in!"

"Yay!" Applejack exclaimed, dancing around.

"But how do we tell the colors of the books without dusting each and everyone one of them off with our hooves?" Bubbles brought to their attention.

"Not a problem," Gusty said, stepping up. "Cover your mouths and noses!" With that, she used her magic to form a huge gust of wind, that blew most of the dust off every single old book. "Tah--" She stopped and coughed. "-- Dah!"

"ACHOO!" Tabby sneezed. "I can't breath well! There's too much dust in the air!"

Galaxy thought for a moment. "A pro--" She coughed. "--tective bubble is what we-- ACHOO-- need!" She closed her eyes. "The air is stiff and hard to breathe in; my magic, please, give us a bubble so against this magic we can win!" Suddenly, magically breathing bubbles appeared over all of the ponies' heads so they could breathe easily.

"Good going, Galaxy!" Applejack praised. "Now let's find that book!"

"THERE IT IS!!!!!!!" Tabby exclaimed, pointing to a glowing green book.

Galaxy ran over and opened the index up. She looked up "Slimen Cloud."

"I found it!" she screamed after five minutes. "It's a book on the top shelf to our left in the very corner!" Galaxy closed the index book. It then, by itself, was placed back in the exact spot it was taken from.

"I see it!" Bubbles shouted, pointing upward.

"YAHOO!" Applejack exclaimed. "We still have time to save Honeysuckle and Night Glider!"

"Yeah, but we better hurry. We only have two hours left!" Gusty exclaimed.

"How do we get up there to get it?" Bubbles asked.

Applejack replied, "If Tickle were here, she'd fly up and get it for us." At the mention of Tickle's name, the ponies grew silent.

Gusty sighed. "I have a plan."

* * *
"Oh, me, oh, my, oh," Locket said nervously. "They sure are cutting it close, huh?"

"They certainly are, Locket," Wind Whistler said.

* * *
"So run that by me again?" Applejack said, still a tiny bit confused at Gusty's plan.

"Applesauce Head! It's not that hard! We'll simply stand on top of one another to reach the book!" Gusty exclaimed.

Applejack nodded her head. "I get it!"

"Then let's do it!" Bubbles announced.

Gusty stood firm on the ground below the book. "I'll be on the bottom."

Applejack then climbed on top of Gusty's back. "I'm next cause I don't have good enough balance to be on the top!"

Galaxy then got on top of Applejack, and Tabby climbed atop Galaxy. "Okay, Bubbles! It's up to you!" Gusty said, a look of determination across her face.

Bubbles quickly and gracefully climbed up each pony. She was almost to the top when Tabby shifted her weight, and Bubbles couldn't get on top of her. Therefore, she was caught off balance, and the pony tower came crashing to the ground.

"Sorry," Tabby moaned, getting to her feet.

"Let's try it again," Galaxy sighed, as Applejack climbed on top of Gusty.

It took the little ponies three more tries before Bubbles finally got to the top and grabbed the book from the shelf. "Got it!" she cried out, just as her foot slipped. She screamed and crashed onto the ground. The rest of the ponies managed to stay where they were.

"You okay, Bubbles?" Applejack asked.

Bubbles groaned and got to her feet. "I'll live."

The ponies undid their tower. "Yeah, but if we don't find that cure-- and fast-- Honeysuckle and Night Glider sure won't!" Gusty pointed out.

Galaxy took the book from Bubbles. "We don't have a minute to lose."

* * *
"Oh, the sun is beginning to set!" Whizzer exclaimed. "Only one hour and fifty-five minutes to go..."

* * *
Galaxy flipped through the ancient pages of the old, worn magic book. "The cure has got to be in here somewhere. It has to be! This is our last chance."

Applejack tapped her hoof nervously. "It's in there. I know it's in there. It has got to be in there!"

Gusty paced uneasily back and forth, raising up dirt as she did. "This is our last resort. If the cure isn't in here, we're out of luck... we've reached the end of the line."

Tabby looked at the hieroglyphics on the wall. She blinked three times quickly. "This is so awful and confusing!" She thought back to what had started this whole mess. But she stopped herself. Why dwell on the past? There was nothing she could do to change what had happened now. What mattered now was the present and future.

"Find anything?" Bubbles asked.

Galaxy shook her head. "No." Soon, she was to the last page. "It's either here or it's not."

The ponies gathered around Galaxy and looked over her shoulder. Galaxy turned the page. Tabby gasped. "The page is-- is blank!!"

Galaxy began to have tears swell up in her eyes. Those tears soon flowed down her rosy pink cheeks. "It's not here... I just can't believe it. This was our last chance."

Gusty continued to stare at the book. "I don't believe it either. We did all of this for... for... for nothing." Then, suddenly, something on the back cover of the book caught her eye. It was a small yellow star in the bottom right hand corner of the back cover. The star was about half an inch tall, and one third inch wide. "Hey, guys. Look at that."

Applejack wiped a tear from her eye. "Look at w-what?"

Galaxy looked where Gusty was pointing. "Big deal. It's just a star."

Tabby looked at where Gusty had pointed, too. "Wait a minute. That's not just any old star. There's something... I don't know... magical about it."

All at once, the star became a swirl of magic on the cover. "What is this magic?" Galaxy murmured. The magic soon developed into a small hexagon shaped hole.

"A hole?" Bubbles said, confused.

Applejack stared at it. "Wait a second. That's not just ANY hole! That's a keyhole!"

"A keyhole? Well, if that's a keyhole, where's the key?" Gusty questioned. None of the ponies seemed to know.

They stared at the book and keyhole for a minute. Then, without warning, out of the keyhole shot a rainbow of light. The light flew and landed on a book lying on a table on the far side of the room.

The ponies exchanged glances. "Now what do we do?" Tabby asked.

"Well, you know what those humans always say... there's a pot of gold at the other side of the rainbow!" Bubbles exclaimed.

"Why do we need gold now?" Tabby asked, still completely baffled.

"I get it!" Gusty said, jumping up. She cantered over to the book the rainbow light was hitting. She opened it up and flipped it to the last page. There, just lying there, was a pure gold key! "This is our gold!" Gusty exclaimed, holding up the key. She ran the key back over to her friends. "Put it in the hole!"

Galaxy placed the tip of the key into the keyhole, but it wouldn't turn. "What's wrong now?"

The rainbow then shifted to another object. It landed on an old globe of the planet Earth where the humans live. Applejack walked over to the globe. "It's a map of Earth. So?"

"It's not just a globe!" Bubbles exclaimed, running up next to her. She turned the top hemisphere, and after one complete turn, it popped off. Inside the globe, there was a piece of rolled up paper. "Tah-dah!"

"Open it, Bubbles!" Applejack exclaimed.

Bubbles unrolled the document. "I can't read it. It's in some ancient language!"

The rainbow then shifted to her right and landed on a sphere shaped object. Applejack picked it up. "What's this supposed to be?" The rainbow light didn't shift anymore, so the two brought the sphere and paper back to the key and keyhole.

The rainbow then shrank back into the hole. "What is with all of this?" Applejack asked.

Tabby cocked her head. "That looks like some sort of dog toy!" she exclaimed, looking at the sphere.

"I think it looks like a huge kickball," Gusty commented.

"No. It looks more like a dog toy."


"Dog toy."


"Guys, please don't fight!" Applejack pleaded.

Galaxy took the parchment from Bubbles and rolled it out on the table. "I have no idea what this means." She took the sphere and looked at it. "I don't know what this is either!" She placed the sphere on top of the paper. Then the sphere glowed, and so did the paper. The sphere next showed the document in the air. "It's a projector!" Galaxy told them.

"But that still doesn't tell us what the paper says," Applejack pointed out.

"Look! There's the same keyhole shape in the corner of the image of the paper the projector is showing!" Gusty observed. She picked up the key and placed it into the image the projector projected right into the keyhole. Instantly, the image began to magically change into a language the ponies knew. The message was as follows:

"You have come a long way, and you finally have found the cure which you seek-- the cure for the Slimen Cloud disaster. The quest has been long, but hard fought. But what has made you find this cure is something called friendship. Treasure your friends always... though I don't have to tell you this. You have fought all this way for your friends struck by the Silmen Cloud's lightening. And you have found it. Now stick the key which you used to translate this paper into your language into the book's hole. There you will find the cure. Farewell. Best of luck."

Gusty picked up the key and shoved it into the book's keyhole. She turned it-- and this time the key did, too. Inside the cover of that book, there was a small bag of something-- the cure. Gusty grabbed it. "I've got the cure!"

"But are we too late?" Tabby asked.

"We'll never make it out of this cave and back to Paradise Estate in time!" Applejack exclaimed.

"Yes, we will! Look!" Bubbles shouted, pointing to their left. There, in front of her, was a large swirling hole of magic.

"What is that thing?" Applejack asked.

"It's a portal! It'll take us back!" Bubbles explained.

"How do you know?" Tabby asked.

"Trust me!" Bubbles said. "Besides, it wasn't here before!"

"It's worth a try. We definitely won't make it the other way," Gusty told them. "This way to save our friends!" She jumped into the magical portal.

* * *
"There's only three minutes left!" Locket cried. "And there's no sign of Gusty and the others anywhere."

Wind Whistler hung her head. "I hate to correct you and be the bearer of bad news, but actually there is but a mere two minutes left, Locket."

Sky Flier began to cry. "I should have gone with them! I could've helped them!"

"There, there, Flier. You did what you could've. And you stuck with it," Masquerade soothed.

Without warning, right before them, a magical swirling hole appeared. Sky Flier and the other ponies watching jumped back. "What in all of Ponyland is that?" Whizzer asked.

Then, out of the portal, came Gusty with a sack in her mouth. She was followed by Tabby, Applejack, Galaxy, and Bubbles. After the five were through, the portal closed.

"You guys! There's only thirty seconds left! Apply the cure!" Sky Flier screamed.

Gusty handed the bag over to Galaxy. She opened it, and spread the dust out over the two ponies lying lifeless on the ground. She paused. "It's not doing anything!"

The ponies held their breath. Ten seconds... nine... eight... Suddenly, the ponies began to glow. ...Seven... six... Then, with a huge burst of rainbow light, the two ponies slowly opened their eyes.

"W-w-what happened?" Night Glider asked, getting to her feet.

"WE DID IT!!!!!!" Galaxy shrieked, jumping up and down.

"What?" Honeysuckle asked, completely perplexed.

Morning Glory had come over from Flutter Valley. "I'll explain everything later."

"Wait a moment," Wing Whistler said. The ponies grew silent. "Where're Steamer and Tickle?"

The five ponies hung their heads. They quickly explained everything that had happened-- including Steamer and Tickle falling down the pit.

Heart Throb gasped. "You mean... we saved Honeysuckle and Night Glider... but we still lost two ponies?" She began to sob.

Some ponies started to cry and sniffle, while others just hung their heads in silence and respect.

"I wasn't very nice to Tickle during this adventure," Gusty admitted to everyone. "If she wasn't there, there would have been NO way we would have gotten the cure-- or even made it back. First, Tabby and Steamer would have been drowned in the river. Applejack would have been rushed away by the river, too... probably to meet up with rocks and eventually die from all the pressure. Galaxy never would have made it, either. She would have fallen on the jagged rocks. And Bubbles and I? We wouldn't have made it either. Without Tabby to find the hieroglyphics, and Galaxy to translate them... We would have been flattened by a boulder. Tickle was the one who should have made it out... not me."

"Aw, Gusty," Morning Glory comforted. "It's not your fault she went down the hole after Steamer."

Gusty hung her head. "But still."

Then, unexpectedly, Gusty and the other ponies heard the faint giggle of Tickle.

"I can still here Tickle's laugh. She was so nice to us. I'm going to miss her," Tabby sighed.

"Wait a minute..." Locket said. She twirled around. There, emerging from a magic portal, just as Gusty, Tabby, Bubbles and the others did, was Steamer and Tickle. "What? I thought you two fell down into the pit?"

"We did!" Steamer exclaimed. "We thought we'd die from starvation down there..."

"But just about two minutes ago, a portal opened and swallowed us up!" Tickle glanced around. "You found the cure! That's why!"

"Yep," Gusty said, walking up to her. "And we couldn't have done it without you."

Tickle giggled and blushed. "It was nothing."

"No, it wasn't just ‘nothing.' I'm really sorry, Tickle," Gusty pressed on.

Tickle began to giggle hysterically. "That's okay! At least this time I'm not the one saying sorry!"


All submissions are expected to stay true to the sweet, innocent nature of the MLPs. This means nothing immoral and nothing violent. I shall reject any submissions I do not think meet these requirements.


Our next issue will be sent September 1st.


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