My Little Pony Monthly Issue 23 (February 1, 1999)

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

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

Issue 23
February 1999

Letters to the Editor HI! I just wanted to thank you for your great newsletter and for running all the want ads in it, too. I just got my blue bow shoes that I have been wanting for so long. It seems like I have gotten a lot of my hardest to find things from people who have seen my ad in your newsletter. I know it must take a lot of your time to put it all together and I want you to know how much it is appreciated. So, I guess I have to think up a new ad before the end of the month :)

Thanks again,

Li'l Tot ~:)


All The Pretty Little Ponies
(A Revisionist Interpretation of the MLP Mythos)
Chapter 12


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 have discovered that the ponies are the enchanted daughters of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere, turned into ponies by Arthur's evil half-sister Morgan. Megan is now taking the ponies back to their parents through the Wood of the World that can take them to any time and any place on Earth. Megan and the ponies are accompanied by Madra, an Irish Wolfhound; Spike, a baby dragon; Aunt Constance; and Sarah, a distant granddaughter of Morgan. In an encounter with a bumbling trio of Morgan's henchmen, Medley was left with a broken leg. Comments and constructive criticism may be sent to

The next morning, Starlight and Bowtie took their turn in the traces and pulled the wagon as Medley winced at each small bump in the road. Aunt Constance kept an alert ear out for the start of coughing in the wounded pony, and jumped when Medley so much as cleared her throat.

Once again, Spike insisted on riding in the wagon with Medley, curled up alongside her. The dragon didn't sleep or talk, but simply sat keeping an alert eye for nobody knew what.

Toward early evening as the light began to dim, they all sighed with relief when they noticed that the wood was changing once again. The air had a distinct chill and the leaves had just begun to change colors. The trees were thinning out. Hurrying to reach whatever destination the Wood had taken them to, they eventually found themselves on a windswept moor.

Worried, Megan looked around. "We won't be able to see anything in a few minutes. Does anybody see any shelter at all?"

Sarah and Aunt Constance both pointed toward a distant hill at the same time. "There's something over on that hilltop," Aunt Constance said. "I can't make it out, but it'll be shelter from this cold breeze."

Starlight and Bowtie pulled at the harnesses as the wheels of the cart began to become mired in the soft ground. With the ponies unable to lend a helping hand, Megan, Sarah, and Aunt Constance were soon adding their strength as they pushed the cart and the other two ponies pulled. Just as the last fading light disappeared, they reached the circle of massive gray stones that stood like silent sentries on the hilltop. A lone rook, its black eyes matching the shade of its black feathers, stared at them, croaked once, and flew off into the night sky.

Ember stood close to Megan and shook. "This is a scary place," she said.

"There, there," Starlight said. "Nothing that a little light can't make better." After a few moments of concentration, her tiny horn shone like a candle in the darkness. It did very little against the whole of the night sky, but it glowed with a comforting light.

"Well, we'll have to make the best of things." Aunt Constance patted the side of one of the massive megaliths. "These big rocks can shield us from the breeze; and though those of us who can't eat grass will go to bed a little hungry, tomorrow we'll be able to see where we are.

"Strange," she said, looking about her," but I'm sure I've seen a picture somewhere of these rocks."

Sarah's face suddenly brightened. "I thought so, too, and I know what they are. This looks like a place called Stonehenge. We read about it in school. It's in England."

Megan and Aunt Constance brightened. "England?" Megan said, clapping her hands in delight. "We're where we're supposed to be. If we're in the right time, we can get the ponies back to where they belong."

A combined chorus of delight from the ponies drowned out the sudden noise Megan heard at her feet. Looking down, she could see Madra sitting at her feet, his hackles raised and growling while looking toward the top of one of the ancient monoliths.

"Hush," Megan ordered. Except for Madra's growling and the whistling of the breeze through the standing stones, the place became quickly silent.

A woman's voice, cold and distant, broke the quiet. "I welcome the seven daughters of Arthur and Guinevere back to their island home of Britain. I see that regardless of the bumbling efforts of my great-granddaughter and that old woman and her silly daughters, you have been able to come so close. A pity. You will come no closer."

"That voice!" Sarah whispered to Megan. "That's Morgan!"

A small spark flickered to life and suddenly Morgan's staff burned with a yellow flame, illuminating her where she stood on top of one of the stones.

With cries of alarm and shouts of warning, the ponies, Megan, Sarah and Aunt Constance clustered around the cart as they stood staring up at the enchantress whose robes blew around her in the strong breeze. Madra, growling, stood his ground. Megan's heart sank when she saw Spike slink off the cart and crawl underneath it, presumably to hide. Maybe, she thought, I had placed too much faith in a baby dragon.

Morgan waved her flaming staff, and muttered some words that were answered by the sound of distant howling.

"Wolves!" Twilight whispered to the surrounding ponies. "If Morgan is sending wolves, we must stand with our backs to them. We may be able to keep them away with our hooves."

Madra began to growl even more, but the distant howling of the wolves called to his blood and his breeding. He was, after all, an Irish Wolfhound trained to deal with his wilder cousins. With a deep rumbling snarl, Madra bolted outside the stone ring into the darkness.

Morgan laughed and clicked her tongue. "A shame that mutt is so easily distracted. One hindrance down; now for the rest." Again, she waved her staff and every stone in the circle began to glow with an unearthly red radiance.

But the ponies and the women never discovered what evil surprise Morgan may have had up her sleeve. With a roar, Spike bolted from underneath the cart and, with a leap, easily reached the top of the monolith where Morgan stood. Without a moment's hesitation, he threw himself upon the enchantress and, with a scream from Morgan, they both tumbled off toward the far side of the stone.

"Quickly," Megan yelled, "Help Spike!"

Having been the first to run, Megan reached the enchantress first where she wrestled with the dragon on the ground. Her staff continued to glow and Megan, knowing she was no physical match for the enchantress, did the first thing that came to mind. She picked up Morgan's staff, the touch of it horribly cold. With a shout, ignoring the outraged screams of the enchantress, with all her might Megan brought the staff down on one of the standing stones. With a silent explosion of blazing light, the staff shattered and Megan fell to the ground in a faint.

With a cry of alarm, Aunt Constance ran to where her niece lay motionless on the cold grass. Holding her closely, she heard distant trumpets.

"Look," Sarah cried, and the ponies cried out with her. Coming closer, the flickering torches held by men on horseback illuminated the standard bearing the symbol of the Pendragon.

King Arthur had come for his children.


Chapter 1:
The Arrival
by Merry Treat

Serena, Raye, Lita, Mina, and Amy were having a scout meeting at Raye's temple.

"No way!" Lita said. "The Negaverse hasn't done anything in weeks. How can they be planning another attack?"

Everyone looked at Luna, expecting an explanation. "Trust me; I know what they're up to," Luna told them.

"Well, yeah, but they have left us alone for a while... what are the odds of that?" Mina added.

"Well, I say we listen to Luna!" Amy said. "After all, she could be right."

"Can we please stop arguing and get on with the meeting?" Raye asked, pushing back her long, black hair.

* * *
"Ha! I beat you! I beat you!" Baby Cuddles shouted in a sing-song voice as she raced through the door.

"Well, that's not fair! You have four legs and I only have two!" Spike panted as he caught up with his friend.

Baby Cuddles was no longer a little baby pony who often skipped words when she spoke. She was now at what would be about seven in human years, and one of the fastest runners in the Estate! Baby Cuddles laughed. "Well, maybe if you were a pony, you'd run faster!"

Spike rolled his eyes. It was useless to argue with her; after all, she was half right.

Baby Cuddles smiled as she went back out the door. "Let's try it again, Spike," she said.

"No thanks," Spike answered. "I'm gonna take a nap; maybe later we can race some more."

Baby Cuddles started walking around the area when something caught her eye.

It looked like some kind of an animal was sneaking around in the bushes. She trotted over to investigate.

What she found surprised it more then it surprised her!

It was a small black cat with a white chin, chest, and paws. She noticed a yellow asterisk on its forehead.

"Oh, hello, kitty. Where did you come from?" she asked.

To her surprise, it spoke. "My name is Athena, and I have been watching you," it said.

Baby Cuddles stared at it in amazement. "Y-you can talk!" she stammered.

The cat, which appeared to be a kitten, cleared her throat. "Ahem, I believe you are Sailor Asteroid! Sailor Scout of the Asteroid Belt!"

Baby Cuddles blinked. "Uh... that's great; but, uh... may I, by chance, ask you who Sailor Asteroid is?"

Athena simply smiled. "Why, Baby Cuddles, YOU are Sailor Asteroid, sweety!"

Baby Cuddles's eyes grew wide.

Athena jumped in the air, and did something that looked like a triple axle. When she landed, a dark violet pen appeared right where she had just spun. It fell to the grass in front of Baby Cuddles, who looked dumbfounded.

"Wow! I've never seen anyone do that!" she exclaimed as she picked up the pen to examine it. "Athena, what does it do?"

Athena smiled. "That's your special transformation pen. You use it to help you fight the evil forces."

"What evil forces?"

"The ones invading this planet. You must fight them with the help of the rest of the Sailor Scouts, Baby Cuddles."

"Oh, you mean like the witches?"

"Not exactly. Though the witches are a pretty big threat, the evil I'm talking about poses a greater threat."

"You're kidding, right?"

"I'm afraid not, Baby Cuddles. This is a big responsibility. You can't tell anyone who you really are. Not even your best friend."

"But that's not fair! Me and Spike tell each other everything! We never keep secrets from one another."

"What would you rather have: a good friend who is loyal and true, even if it means keeping secrets; or evil forces coming to destroy you both?"

Baby Cuddles sighed. "Oh, okay. You've got a point... I guess. Now, how does this thingamagigy work anyway?" She picked up the pen again.

"Hold it up and shout ‘Asteroid power transform!' "

"Ooookay! Ahem... here it goes..." Baby Cuddles took a breath. "Asteroid power transform!"

The symbol on the lid glowed brightly and began to spin. It came off the lid and spiraled around her. Baby Cuddles spun with the spiral as a white leotard formed on her body. A dark violet bow with a black button appeared on her chest. A black bandana burst out of the button, and went around her neck. She raised her right hind-leg as she brought her forelegs over her head. Long white gloves appeared on her forelegs with three black folds on the ends. Knee-high dark violet boots appeared on her legs. She stopped herself from spinning by stamping her hoof. A black skirt appeared around her waist; a dark violet bow was in the back of it. She opened her eyes as a tiara with a black gem in it appeared on her forehead. A dark violet collar and a cool mask finished the outfit. She posed proudly.

"I must be dreaming..." she said slowly as she realized that she'd also turned completely white.

"Aha! I knew I was right! Baby Cuddles, you are Sailor Asteroid!" Athena said happily. "You'll soon begin to remember."

"Remember what?"

"The Silver Millennium."

"The Silver what?"

"The Silver Millennium. Oh, I do have quite a bit of explaining to do, don't I?"

"Yeah. Ummmm... how do I turn normal again?"

"Just think about yourself; the uniform will disappear."

Baby Cuddles closed her eyes, and the outfit began to fade. When she opened them, she was normal again.

"Athena, do you have anywhere to stay?"

"Actually, no. You see, I'm officially your guardian. Only because I happened to find you first. I'll help you train."

"In that case, you're coming with me!" Baby Cuddles scooped up Athena, and went inside.

* * *
"Oh, Lita, I'm never gonna get this right!" Serena whined.

"Oh, come on, Serena; just try it again," Lita laughed.

Lita was trying to teach Serena some cooking tips, but it really wasn't going very well.

"Here's another can; now try again," Lita ordered, handing Serena another can of tomato soup.

Suddenly, Serena's communicator beeped. She picked it up, and pushed the blinking button. "Mina, what is it?"

"Luna was right; the Negaverse is attacking!" Mina panted; she sounded as if she was trying to catch her breath. "I need your help now!"

Lita leaned over to see what was going on. "Mina, where are you?"

"Uh... I think I'm right outside the drugstore. But please hurry!"

"We're on our way!" Serena said quickly; then she and Lita were off.

When they got to Mina, she had already transformed. "Good, you're here! Now transform, you guys!"

Serena held up her hand and Lita held up her pen.

"Moon Prism Power!" Serena shouted.

"Jupiter Power!" Lita cried.

"Now hurry! This way!" Sailor Venus shouted.

When they got to the scene, Sailor Mars and Sailor Mercury were already there. The two were standing and looking around in confusion.

Sailor Mars turned around. "Did you guys see where he went?" she asked.

"Where who went?" Sailor Moon asked.

"Malachite, of course!" Sailor Mars stated.

"Girls, wait!" Luna and Artemis called to them as they came running up. "Artemis and I were getting a bad feeling here," Luna panted.

"I don't like the sound of that," Sailor Mars commented.

Suddenly the wind picked up.

"What's going on?" Sailor Venus gasped.

A big black hole appeared in the sky.

"Yikes!" shrieked Sailor Jupiter.

A strong force came from the hole, lifting the five girls and two cats off their feet.

* * *
Sky Skimmer and Dancing Butterflies were chasing their butterfly friends in the meadow when they heard a noise.

"What's that?" Sky Skimmer asked.

"I don't kn-- AIIEEEE!" Dancing Butterflies screamed. "Look up!"

Sky Skimmer gave her a funny look, thinking, Either she's been around Paradise too much, or she's lost it.

She looked up, skeptically, and screamed as a big black hole appeared in the sky above. "AAAAA! It's an alien!" Sky Skimmer shrieked.

"Let's get out of here!" Dancing Butterflies yelled, dropping her net and running.

This is my first fan-fiction. I have written up to chapter four already, but I am stuck on future chapters. Any advice would be wonderful (e-mail to! Your help will not go un-noticed; trust me. Thank you so much!



The Killer Duck
by Tabby

Tabby was hanging out at the receptionist desk in the vet clinic, between visits. "...really, Sugarberry! Can you believe that?" she was telling her friend, who was also the receptionist at the clinic.

Sugarberry was busy consulting the appointment book. "Slugger should be bringing in his pet duck any time now."

"Oh, he has a duck?" Tabby questioned. "I hadn't heard of that before."

"He must have just got it recently," Sugarberry said. "Oh, look, there they are now!"

So it was. Slugger had just walked through the doors, carrying an old, beat-up cat carrier. Tabby looked into it and saw a mallard duck pacing around inside, with his head shining a brilliant green. The animal stared at Tabby. This made her feel slightly uneasy.

"Here's Quackers," Slugger said as he followed Tabby into the appointment room and set the carrier up on the counter. "Not a very creative name, but it does the job."

Tabby opened the carrier door and the duck slowly walked out. Quackers glanced around the room.

"What's wrong with him?" Tabby asked as she stroked Quackers' soft feathers.

"Well, nothing, really," Slugger said. "I just found him in the Dark Forest, and wanted him checked over to make sure he's not sick or anything."

"The Dark Forest?" Tabby quickly drew her hoof away from Quackers and opened her eyes wide.

"Yeah." Slugger shrugged.

Tabby was much more cautious now as she checked over Quackers. "Well, he looks all ri--" she started but was cut off as the duck suddenly flew off the counter and onto the floor. Tabby stared at him in shock and wasn't quite prepared when Quackers lowered his head and came charging at her.

"AIEEE!" Tabby shrieked and backed up against the door to get as far away from this crazed animal as she could. Quackers ran right up to her and began pecking at her hooves.

Slugger watched, somewhat amused, as Tabby swiftly opened the door and dashed out into the hallway. Quackers followed, close behind her.

"NOOO! He's after me!" Tabby streaked into the waiting room where Sugarberry looked up in surprise from her deskwork.

Tabby whirled around to face the insane duck. And, as suddenly as he had come after her, he stopped. Dead in his tracks. He stared at Tabby.

Slugger came out into the room after the two, laughing. "You should have seen the look on your face when--" He stopped when Tabby cast an evil look in his direction.

"Look at the cute duck," Sugarberry cooed. "What a beautiful creature."

"But, Sugarberry!" Tabby argued. "He was--"

"What'd you do to him that made him chase you like that?" Sugarberry prodded.

"I didn't do anything! He just suddenly--"

Sugarberry laughed, too. "Oh, Tabby! I'm sure he's not capable of chasing you for no reason."

Tabby looked at her friend, furious. "I'm telling you! He's--"

"What's going on here?" Thomas said as he entered the room.

"That thing--" Tabby pointed her hoof at Quackers and glared at the animal, "was chasing me."

"Come on, Tabby! It's just a duck!" Thomas looked down at Quackers, who was looking rather innocent.

Munchy also came out into the room after Thomas, holding her pet poodle. "Really, Tabby!" she giggled. "You think that a duck would run after you without being provoked?"

Tabby glared around at them all. They were making her out to be a fool! "He's evil!" she cried out.

The gathered group just laughed.

Tabby stared into the duck's eyes, which seemed to say, "What, you scared a' me? I'm just an innocent little duck." But she knew that behind the look there was vicious intent.

* * *
It was a few days after the incident with Quackers, and Tabby was spending the evening at home. Suddenly, she heard knocking on her door. She jumped up from her chair and trotted over to her front door. The sound continued, but Tabby stopped in her tracks. Something wasn't right about the knocking... it didn't sound quite like a hoof; it was almost like a woodpecker pecking at a tree. And it sounded like the noise was at the bottom of the door... yes, something was wrong here.

Tabby cautiously peered out the window on the door and choked back a gasp when she saw what was down there. Why, it was-- Quackers!

Her eyes opened wide with fear. What was she going to do? This mad duck was after her; she was sure of it. Quickly she made sure the door was still locked, and then ran towards the phone.

The pecking, or knocking continued. That duck was going to break down her door! Tabby dialed a number on her phone.

"Look, Slugger!" she said into the receiver. "Quackers is trying to break down my door."

"Quackers is over by your house? Oh, that's good! He escaped from his pen and I was getting worried about him--" Slugger started.

"But he's breaking down my door!" Tabby insisted.

Slugger laughed again. "Breaking it down, huh? How's he doing that?"

"He's pecking at it from the outside persistently!" Tabby explained. "He's after me; I tell ya!"

"Well, I'll just come over and pick him up... would you mind letting him inside? I don't want him to run off again," Slugger said.

"Let him inside?" Tabby echoed. "I'm not letting that crazed duck take one step inside my house!"

"You're exaggerating; I'm sure he's not after you," Slugger said.

"But he is!" Tabby went on. "Just get over here; quick!"

"All right; I'll just pick up his carrier and come over for him." With that, Slugger hung up the phone.

Tabby waited in breathless suspense for Slugger to arrive to take this dreaded duck away. When a hoof knocked on her door, she breathed a sigh of relief.

She peered out the window again. There was Slugger; good, Quackers was already in the carrier. She opened the door.

"Okay, I've got Quackers in the carrier," Slugger said, pointing at the duck.

"Good!" Tabby exclaimed. "Now get him out of here!"

"I don't know why you're so scared of him," Slugger said. "He's a perfectly nice duck."

"That's what he wants you to believe! But underneath it all, he's pure evil!" Tabby said venomously.

Chuckling, Slugger went off.

* * *
It was the middle of the night, and Tabby was peacefully sleeping. She was suddenly awoken to the sound of... knocking. Yes, every few seconds, there was a knocking sound on her bedroom window.

Tabby leapt out of bed and ran over to her window. "Oh no!" she exclaimed out loud. There was Quackers again. He was flying up to the window and pecking at it.

Tabby fled from the room and locked herself in the bathroom for the rest of the night.

* * *
In the morning, as soon as Tabby woke up from her restless night in the bathroom, she called up Sugarberry (who was also her nextdoor neighbor). "Sugarberry!" she cried into the receiver.

"What is it, Tabby?" Sugarberry questioned.

"I had two more run-ins with Quackers in the past night!" Tabby quickly explained.

Sugarberry smiled. "Oh, really? What happened this time?"

"First, he was pecking at my door early on in the evening-- nearly broke it down, I tell ya! Slugger came to pick him up, but in the middle of the night that duck was back pecking on my window!" Tabby exclaimed in outrage.

"Sounds like he just really likes you," Sugarberry laughed. "He's following you everywhere."

"Hey, can you see him around my house now?" Tabby asked.

Sugarberry was silent while checking out her windows. She came back to the phone. "Yeah... he's sitting right outside your front door."

"Great! Just great!" Tabby said sarcastically. "Now I'll have to call Slugger again to pick him up."

"You'll survive," Sugarberry said gleefully.

* * *
Early the next evening, Tabby and Sugarberry were having a snack at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe, like they did most nights. Tiffany was usually with them, but today she couldn't make it.

Tabby was just beginning to enjoy her strawberry sundae when suddenly she saw someone come in. Her spoon went clattering into her dish.

"Sugarberry," she whispered, "Quackers just came in."

Sugarberry looked up, "Why, you're right!" she said. "Isn't he so cute?"

"He's evil-- pure evil!" Tabby said dramatically as Quackers came charging straight towards their table.

"I think he's just having fun," Sugarberry commented. Quackers began pecking at Tabby's hooves.

"Oh, no!" Tabby exclaimed. "Get him away!" She kicked at the duck.

"Better call Slugger again," Sugarberry advised.

Tabby kicked off Quackers again, and ran for the phone, quickly dialing Slugger's number. "Get over here to the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe and take your duck away!"

"But I was just heading out for baseball practice," Slugger complained. "Can't it wait?"

"No! No! You're not leaving me here with this insane duck!"

Slugger sighed. "All right, I guess I can come, in a little while. Just fight him off." With that, he hung up.

Tabby turned back to Sugarberry. "All right, I'm supposed to fight him off while I wait for Slugger. How'm I supposed to do that?"

"Get up on the chair," Sugarberry suggested.

"Okay." Tabby shrugged, pulled out a chair, and placed all four hooves on it. "Quackers can't get at me now!"

But this couldn't keep Quackers off. He flew up onto the table, and puffed up his feathers, looking tough.

"There's no way to get away from him!" Tabby groaned.

Sugarberry looked at her sympathetically. "Maybe you are right about him. Why does he only go after you, though?"

"Because I'm the only one who knows of his true, evil nature," Tabby explained. "He must eliminate me."

Sugarberry grinned. "Whatever, Tabby."

"Tabby!" Scoops called. "Could you get that duck off the table, please?"

"But he'll come after me!" Tabby called back.

"I'm sure he wouldn't hurt you," Scoops giggled. "He is an awfully cute duck. Look, he's smiling!" It did, indeed, look like Quackers was smiling.

At that point, Slugger came into the shop with the old cat carrier. "Quackers is beginning to become a nuisance," he grumbled.

"Get rid of him," Tabby suggested.

"Hmm..." Slugger considered this.

"Hi, everybody!" said Sundance as she entered the shop as well. "I'm just back from the Dark Forest; I was visiting my brother, Butch."

"How's Butch doing?" Sugarberry questioned.

"He's doing fine," Sundance said.

"How would he like a pet duck?" Tabby asked brightly.

"A pet duck?" Sundance echoed. "He's never mentioned wanting one before."

"Come on, anybody'd want a pet duck!" Tabby exclaimed. "I mean, wouldn't you just love to have a pet duck?"

"Well..." Sundance thought about it. "Like this duck right here?" She pointed at Quackers.

"The exact same," Tabby said.

"He is pretty cute," Sundance admitted. At that moment, Quackers puffed up and began to preen himself. "Oh, look! Isn't that adorable!"

"So what do you think? Why not take him over to Butch?" Tabby prodded.

"I suppose that might not be a bad idea," Sundance said. "How would I get a duck over to his shack?"

"In that carrier there." Tabby pointed to the old cat carrier Slugger was holding on to. "Why not take him over now?"

"Well, I just came back from the Dark Forest," Sundance said. "I'm not sure I'd want to go again in the same day-- and it'd be dark by the time I got back."

"Get someone else to do it, then," Tabby suggested.

"Slugger, why don't you take Quackers over to Butch?" Sugarberry asked.

"I don't know how to get there!" Slugger said.

"Aw, come on, it's easy," Tabby said. "All you do is go to the Dark Forest, and wander around until you find his shack. Simple!"

"I'm not so sure about that," Slugger said slowly. "Why don't I wait until morning when Sundance can show me the way?"

Tabby sighed. "I suppose that'll have to do..."

"Okay, then." Slugger pushed Quackers into the carrier. "Then it's settled. We take Quackers over to Butch in the morning."

And so, they all headed off in their separate directions.

* * *
The next morning, Tabby woke up. Hmm, she hadn't had any run-ins with Quackers over the past night. But wait... what was that? She froze in terror when she head ominous pecking noises coming from outside.

Nervously, she walked over to her window and looked out. Well, she couldn't see Quackers anywhere... but what was that pecking? Then she looked over at the large elm tree in her yard. Oh, it was just a woodpecker pecking!

Tabby sighed with relief. She knew she wouldn't have to meet up with Quackers anymore... assuming he wasn't sitting outside her front door. She ran through the rooms to check. Nope, no Quackers.

"All right!" Tabby cheered, and prepared to eat breakfast.

On her way to work at the clinic, Tabby met up with Sundance and Slugger. Slugger was carrying the carrier with Quackers in.

"Hi!" Sundance greeted Tabby.

"Taking Quackers over to Butch now?" Tabby questioned them.

"Yes," Slugger said. "It'll be good to be rid of him."

Tabby had to agree with that!


Clever Clover's Pokémon
by Clever Clover

Clever Clover walked into the new Ponyland vet clinic. "Good morning," Sugarberry greeted him.

"Hi-ho, is Thomas in?" asked Clever Clover.

"Yes, but he's in an appointment. Tabby's available, in examination room two."

"Yeah, she'll do."

Tabby had just walked into the room. "What do you mean, I'll ‘do'?"

"It's just that you're not a specialist. But there aren't any specialists in Ponyland, so you'll have to do." Clever Clover explained.

"Whatever," said Tabby. "Just bring your pet... where is your pet?"

"Right here," said Clever Clover as he held up a red and white ball the size of a large marble.

"Huh? This is a veterinary clinic, not a game store."

"C'mon, I'll show you." Clever Clover walked into the examination room; Tabby shrugged and followed. In the room, Clever Clover held up the ball, which grew from marble size to softball size and split open. A sphere of energy flashed out of the ball and to the examination table where a purple rat appeared.

Tabby's jaw dropped. "How... what is that?" she stammered.

"It's my new Pokémon, Rattata," Clever Clover explained.

"Pok-e-man?" Tabby wondered.

"Yeah, I've been training him for a couple of weeks now; but lately he's been a little sluggish. I think he might be sick," said Clever Clover.

"What are you training him for?" Tabby asked as she began to examine the Rattata.

"Fighting, tournaments; what else?" Clever Clover answered.

"You're training him to fight?" Tabby gasped. "As a pet care specialist, I must protest."

"I didn't know you cared about pets; I thought you were just in the business for the money."

"You're not gonna bring up Sugarberry's bird again?" moaned Tabby.

"Nah, but you don't have to worry about Rattata. Pokémon fighting isn't lethal. It's like a sport; just think of him as an athlete in training."

"Hm, whatever; I can't see anything wrong with him. Are you sure he's sick?"

"Of course! Any decent Pokémon trainer knows when his Pokémon isn't feeling well!"

"Well, maybe if you could tell me more about Pok-e-mans, I could do something."

"Maybe this could help," said Clever Clover as he produced a small pocket computer, his Pokédex. He opened it and handed it to Tabby.

"In the case that your Pokémon is sick or injured you should take it to a Pokémon Center for treatment," said the computer in a synthesized voice. "If no Pokémon Center is convenient, numerous medicinal herbs can be found in the wilderness." The Pokédex than began to display pictures of a number of plants, along with names and descriptions.

"Hmm," Tabby mused, "this looks promising. What did you say was wrong with him, again?"

"He's sluggish and unmotivated."

Tabby looked over the list on the Pokédex. "Here's something that might work, and I think I've seen it growing in the Dark Forest."

"Well, let's get going!" said Clever Clover. "Rattata, return." He held up the Pokéball and the Rattata disappeared in a flash of light.

" ‘Let's'? Who said I'd go with you?"

"You're the doctor; I wouldn't know what to do with the plant once I found it, and since you've seen it before, you'd have a better idea of where to start looking."

"Oh, all right. I'll go; it'll give me an excuse to get out of the office for a while."

The two ponies made their way to the Dark Forest after Tabby instructed Sugarberry to tell Thomas that she was going on a house call.

"I think it was over here in this marshy area," Tabby said.

"Cool," said Clever Clover. "I love a good swamp-hop."

"What are you talking about, Cleve Clove?"

"When you walk through a swamp you have to hop from dry spot to dry spot, so you're swamp-hopping. And my name is CLEVER CLOVER, Tabitha."

"You're strange, Cleve."

"Tabitha!" Clever Clover scowled.

"Let's just find the plant and get out of here. There are all kinds of scary monsters around," Tabby said as she began examining the plants near a small pond. Clever Clover started searching a clump of brush nearby.

A short time later, Tabby screamed in terror. Clever Clover turned to see her backing away from the pond, quaking with fear.

"What is it, Tab?"

"It... it's terrible! Behind those reeds! A vicious WILD DUCK!"

"A duck?" Clever Clover asked in disbelief. "You are terrified of a duck?"

"You don't know ducks like I do; they're evil! Pure evil!"

"I'm sure this duck's not evil, it's just a sweet little..." said Clever Clover as he peeked through the reeds at the plain, brown duck (holding a green onion?), "POKÉMON!? FARFETCH'D! I've never seen a wild Pokémon in Ponyland before! This is so cool! Too bad Rattata's sick, or else I could fight it and catch it."

"Why would you want to catch that?"

"So I could train it, why else? But it doesn't matter anyway, since Rattata can't fight. Let's get back to the hunt."

It was well into the afternoon when the ponies found what they were looking for, a yellow-green fern.

"Okay," said Clever Clover. "Now that we've found it, what do we do?"

"Well, I think you take one of those little curled up fronds that looks like the head of a fiddle, and feed it to him."

Clever Clover plucked one of the fiddle-heads. "That's it?" he asked.

"According to that pok-e-thingy of yours."

"In that case, I don't know why I brought you along," Clever Clover said as he got out his Pokéball. "Here you go, Rattata; eat up."

The little Pokémon tentatively nibbled the fern, then gobbled it down. "Rattata!" the critter squeaked.

"Wow!" said Clever Clover. "That worked quick. You feel like takin' on a Farfetch'd, little buddy?"

"Rattata!" the Pokémon replied.

"Alright, let's go!"

"You're not going back after that duck, are you?" Tabby whined, but Clever Clover and Rattata were already on their way. "Hey guys, wait up! Don't leave me here all alone!"

When they got back to the pond, they found the Farfetch'd right where they had left it.

"Okay, Rattata, you've got the element of surprise. Go in there quick and tackle it," Clever Clover instructed his Pokémon. "Now GO!"

The purple rat charged through the reeds, "Rattata!" It jumped on the duck, knocking it off balance but not taking it down. The Farfetch'd pecked at Rattata, but the little Pokémon clamped onto the duck's wing with its powerful teeth.

"Keep it away from the shore so it can't use its sandstorm attack," Clever Clover called to Rattata. "Now use your tail whip to take it out!"

Rattata swung his tail for the Farfetch'd's head, but it blocked it with its onion. "Try again!" Clever Clover cried. "Keep trying!"

Tabby arrived as the two Pokémon were engaged in their odd fencing match, tail against onion. "That duck looks pretty evil to me," she said.

"Don't worry; I've got everything under control," Clever Clover reassured her. "Rattata, bite the onion and finish it off with a tail whip!"

The Rattata followed its trainer's instructions and landed a solid blow with its tail on the side of Farfetch'd's head.

"Now you're mine," said Clever Clover as he threw a Pokéball at the Farfetch'd, which disappeared in a flash of light. Rattata jumped to shore before the other Pokémon disappeared into the ball. "Yes, I've got Farfetch'd!" Clever Clover cried triumphantly.

"Rattata!" squeaked his other Pokémon.

"Okay, you've got it, but why would you want it?" asked Tabby. "And if that pok-e-duck ever gets sick, you're NOT bringing it to me!"


You Might be a My Little Pony Fanatic if...
by Merry Treat

--you refuse to call your teacher anything but "Miss Hackney".

--you buy a red heart-shaped locket in a hopeful attempt that the Rainbow of Light might be inside.

--you see a rainbow and eagerly try to run to it in hopes that a MLP might walk over it.

--you reach the rainbow and are furious that you can't climb it, but are even angrier that no ponies are coming over it.

--you teach your flesh-and-blood pony to talk.

--you yell, frustrated, at the TV-- "Why don't you show more MLP!?", alienating the family pets and everyone else in the house.

--you write a letter to your favorite author, requesting that they start writing more MLP stories.

--you have memorized at least twenty MLP sites and their addresses.

--you can always find time to write your MLP fan-fiction, but you can't find time to study for your upcoming finals.

--you have an MLP site/fan-fiction.

--your friends wouldn't recognize you without your hair up in a pony-tail that was held in place with a pink bow, or pigtails being held up with pink bows.

--you think that the school bully is actually Teddy in disguise.

--you start to notice a remarkable resemblance between the way the MLPs act, and the way you and your friends act.

--you think you are Megan, but the MLPs just haven't found you yet.

--every time you see a volcano erupt, you shout, "Look out! Smooze!" (even if it's just on TV or in a magazine).

--you do the above, but this time it's when the cafeteria lady serves something gross.

--your dream home is Paradise Estate or Dream Castle.


The Ice Sculpture Contest
by Sugarberry

Sugarberry, Spike, and Tabby met outside the vet clinic on the morning of the Bushwoolie's ice sculpture contest. All of Ponyland was in a festive mood as the day dawned sunny and bright following days of bitter cold temperatures. It was perfect weather for ice sculpting.

Every entrant in the contest was supplied with a block of ice delivered by Tiny, the Bigfoot of the Dark Forest. The Bushwoolies, as sponsors of the event, couldn't participate in the actual sculpting; they were, however, responsible for maintaining lists of entrants, ensuring availability of ice blocks at the proper locations, and the actual judging of the sculptures at the end of the day.

On this particular morning, Ponyland appeared to be bedecked with jewels as the blocks of ice glittered in the sunlight, awaiting the talents of the ponies to transform them into works of art.

"Oh, my," frowned Sugarberry as she approached one of the three giant ice cubes that she, Tabby, and Spike had optimistically signed-up to sculpt. Their plan was to carve them into the soft, furry shapes of Ponyland's most admired felines: Fluff, Fuzz, and Callie. "Where does one begin?"

Tabby tentatively tapped her hoof against the hard, smooth surface of her ice block. She, too, frowned and groaned. "I've just got a bad feeling that this isn't gonna work out."

Of the three, only Spike remained up-beat. "We can do it!" he urged his co-designers. "Just start chipping away anything that doesn't belong on a cat."

"Yeah, sure," responded Tabby.

"Oh, my," repeated Sugarberry once again.

Luckily, Spike had rounded-up various chisels, knives, hammers, and other appropriate utensils that could be used to shape the forbidding ice blocks into, hopefully, three magnificent cats.

"Choose your weapons!" he declared dragonishly as he held up a large chisel and began to tap away at his ice block. Sugarberry and Tabby cautiously picked out items that might work for them, and then they both stood staring at the ice.

"Maybe if we close our eyes and envision the cats, we'll be able to get started," suggested Sugarberry as she took her own advice, closed her eyes, and imagined Fluff sitting before her. She opened her eyes, and shivered. "Well, here goes!" she exclaimed as she began hammering the chisel into the ice.

Meanwhile, Tabby eyed the knife in her hoof and thought of Callie curled up asleep at home on a warm, soft cushion. "Typical," she thought. "The cat always gets the best of life while the owner gets the dirty work." Feeling just a bit frusterated, she began cutting away at the ice.

Once started, the three sculptors got into the swing of things and ice chips began to fly. Thomas came out of the clinic and surveyed the progress of the three with amusement. He, for one, had refrained from signing-up to carve a sculpture, opting instead to be in charge of supplying hot chocolate and sandwiches to slightly frozen and terribly hungry workers. After circling the three diligent artists, he raised his eyebrows and questioned, "Weren't you going to sculpt three cats?"

Sugarberry had the good sense to ignore the remark, but Tabby resented the implication that their work wasn't shaping-up quite as planned. "I'd like to see you do any better," she spat.

Laughing, Thomas held his hooves aloft and shook his head. "No thanks! I know where my talents lies, and that's in caring for cats, not in creating them." That said, he took off down the street to see how the other contestants were doing.

Various other ponies who had chosen not to actively participate in the contest took it upon themselves to critique and supervise the work in progress, so the concentration of the three sculptors was often shattered by such remarks as "Which one is Curly?", "Are these supposed to be trees or mountains?", and "Take a little off the left side, Sugarberry, and it'll be a perfect likeness of Hydia."

Spike was beginning to fume a bit when, fortunately, Thomas returned and declared, "It's lunchtime, you guys! Time for a break!"

Sugarberry looked at Thomas thankfully and laid-down her chisel; Tabby and Spike quickly followed. They collapsed into chairs in the clinic, and hugged steaming mugs of hot chocolate in their near-frozen hooves.

"You know, that ice is cold!" complained Tabby. She blew on her hooves to restore a vestige of warmth to them.

Spike gulped down several cookies and three mugs of chocolate before he added, "Ice sculpting is tricky business!"

Staring rather blankly ahead of her, Sugarberry sighed, "I suppose we'll have to finish them," and she closed her eyes and sank more deeply into her chair.

Thomas was gentlepony enough to know when to keep quiet, so he simply refilled mugs as needed and passed the sandwich tray. If any of the three numb ponies would have had the energy to notice, they'd have seen a cynical sparkle in Thomas' eyes and a certain "I told you so" attitude in his movements. But even Tabby was too discouraged to notice.

The three were just mustering up the courage to continue their seemingly ill-fated project when Snuzzle entered the clinic. "Hi gang," she cheerfully called. "How's it going?"

Sugarberry managed a bleak smile and tried to sound optimistic. "We're just going out to put the finishing touches on our work now."

"Oh, good for you!" Snuzzle bubbled. "Your three monkeys that see no evil, hear no evil, and say no evil are coming along superbly!"

Tabby was just about to chide Snuzzle for mistaking their cats for monkeys, when she received a sharp kick from Sugarberry. So instead of hurting the feelings of a sincere but uninformed pony, Tabby simply glared at Sugarberry and said, "Whatever."

The sun had passed its zenith by now, and the air temperature kept dropping as the ponies and dragon worked frantically to salvage some bit of their pride in this very public demonstration of their artistic ability. And surprisingly, the three of them began to see a certain amount of feline dignity begin to emerge from their once stark ice blocks. Sugarberry's worried expression was beginning to relax, Tabby was beginning to hum softly to herself, and Spike had the old bounce back in his step. Things were looking up!

"Where's Goldilocks?" asked a brusque voice from behind the craftsponies. No one took notice at first because of their concentration on the work at hand. But again came the curt question, "Where is Goldilocks?"

Tabby's humming ended quickly as recognition of that voice pierced her brain. She swung around to face Tex. "How should we know where Goldilocks is, for Pete's sake!" she shrieked. "We're kinda busy here!"

"Well, I was just wondering," teased Tex. "I see Mama Bear, Papa Bear, and Baby Bear... where's Goldilocks?"

Tabby's eyes shot arrows and even mild Sugarberry poured-out a venomous look at Tex; how dare he taunt them after the hard day of effort they had put into this contest? Both girls in a single motion ran to a snowbank nearby to batter Tex with a volley of snowballs.

But Spike had his feelings hurt, too, and he was beyond the point of good manners. He was bristling with animosity over this last jeer that came when he and his friends were just beginning to regain their self-confidence. Furthermore, nobody could make fun of his friends and get away with it! And for a dragon, all that rage had only one outlet... he breathed fire!

Tex, Tabby, and Sugarberry gaped in surprise as dragon-fire enveloped the three sculptures. As quickly as it began, the fire was squelched as Spike realized his error and covered his mouth with his hands. All his anger melted into penitence. And the sculptures, too, melted. The sharp, pointed cat ears drained away; the defined faced dissolved; paws and tails vanished. But the arctic cold encompassed them immediately, and the thawing was halted as suddenly as it had began.

Thomas had come out of the clinic when he heard the commotion, and he stared in wonder at the three would-be cat sculptures. A smile spread across his face, and he turned his gaze to take in Tabby's and Sugarberry's reaction. Both ponies were staring in wide-eyed fascination at what now stood before them, luminous and glowing from the last rays of the setting sun in the clear western sky. Even Tex was speechless.

At that moment, the six flocculent Bushwoolies appeared on the scene. As official judges for the ice sculpture contest, the Bushwoolies were in the process of rating each entry on the merits of essence, naturalness, and artistic beauty. Tabby, Sugarberry, and Spike's attempt was the last display they had to tally. The exuberant Bushwoolies gathered before the sculptures.

"Ooh!" "Aah." "Wonderful." "Swell." "Cool."

"It's us, yah, yah," exclaimed Friendly gleefully.

And so it was. By whatever miracle or quirk of nature, Spike's blast of flame had succeeded in softening the sculptures' cat lines into the rounded, shaggy outlines of the Bushwoolies, and a quick-freeze has preserved them perfectly for all to behold.

After a quick conference in a disarrayed and bouncy huddle, the Bushwoolies proclaimed this entry as the winner of the Special Merit Award. Only after that announcement did Tabby, Sugarberry, and Spike find their voices once again.

"Oh, yeah! We got the big one!" Tabby cheered.

She and Sugarberry high-hooved it, and both rushed to embrace Spike in an enormous bear-hug that caused him to turn beet-red. "You were wonderful!" exclaimed Sugarberry.

"Aww... it was nothing," modestly murmured Spike, suddenly feeling very shy.

Thomas shook hooves with Tabby, Sugarberry, and Spike in turn and congratulated them on a job well done... even if it was by accident. Crowds of ponies swarmed around the sculptures, enjoying the last minutes of daylight before the darkness swallowed-up the creativity of those who had worked so hard on this exceptional day.

"You three deserve a treat," stated Thomas jubilantly. "Anyone for the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe?"

"I thought you'd never ask!" quipped Tabby as she set off her for favorite hang-out.

Sugarberry wearily agreed. "I need more hot chocolate!" she muttered as the frigid night air crept through her body.

Spike grabbed Sugarberry's hoof and gaily led her off to some peace and relaxation at Scoop's haven for cold, tired, and hungry beings.

Thomas invited the Bushwoolies to join them, and they all readily agreed. So it was a lively and happy bunch that marched through the doors a few minutes later. After Tabby, Sugarberry, and Spike were enthroned at their favorite table, Scoops came to take their order.

"I hear congratulations are due you three," she greeted them. "Your orders are on the house tonight."

Tabby's eyes lit up. "Make mine a strawberry sundae!" Everyone giggled. Even after a day in the cold air, leave it to Tabby to stick with her favorite ice cream confection.

"I'll have hot chocolate, please," smiled Sugarberry. Just being able to sit down had made her feel rejuvenated.

Spike decided on hot apple cider with cinnamon. "Thanks, Scoops!"

The Bushwoolies all had apple cider, too. "Good, good," they chattered noisily.

Sugarberry sighed happily as she glanced over the merry group gathered together. She accepted a refill of hot chocolate, and rested her head on her hoof. It had been a hard day, yet a fulfilling day. Just then, her eyes met Tabby's and she winked at her friend; at the same moment, Spike turned and grinned at them both. Yes, it had been a very fulfilling day. Nothing better than a day spent with best friends, Sugarberry thought happily, then yawned and fell asleep.


Invento Ponies

Valentine's Day Pony Couples Invento Ponies

by Applejack

They come with Valentine cards for each other

Love and Lovey

Breed: Earth, Male and Female

Body: White

Hair: Red

Symbol: Hearts

Hugs and Kisses

Breed: Earth, Male and Female

Body: Pink

Hair: Very Light Pink

Symbol: X's and O's

Sugar Pie and Honey Bunch

Breed: Earth, Male and Female

Body: Light Tan

Hair: Light Pink

Symbol: a Hugging Pony Couple


by Berry Bright

I am a new member. My e-mail is limited, so if you want to e-mail me, send your message to Tabby ( or Merry Treat ( and they will send it to me.

(All of these are girls unless otherwise indicated.)

Type: ‘98

Name: Olympia

Body: White

Symbol: Olympic Rings

Hair: Red, White, and Blue

Breed: Earth

Type: ‘98

Name: Thunder

Body: Navy Blue

Symbol: The Bronco's Logo

Hair: Orange

Breed: Earth

Type: Adult

Name: Pam

Body: Light Pink

Symbol: A Picture of Pam Tillis

Hair: Yellow

Breed: Pegasus

Type: Little Brother Pony (Boy)

Name: Rainduck

Body: Deep Blue

Symbol: A Duck Holding an Umbrella

Hair: Lavender

Breed: Earth

Type: Sweetheart Sister

Name: Moonprancer

Body: Midnight Blue

Symbol: Moon and Three Stars

Hair: Lavender and Dark Purple

Breed: Unicorn


Brilliant Brothers

by Sugarberry

These are lean, young male Little Ponies who attend Ponyland Pride University. They have a slender build and are slightly larger than the Sweetheart Sisters.

Field of Study: Engineering

Name: Sparky

Symbol: Electrical Spark

Body Color: Bright Burnt Orange

Hair Color: Light Persian Green

Field of Study: Computer Science

Name: Chip

Symbol: Computer Monitor

Body Color: Dark Silver

Hair Color: Medium Country Peach

Field of Study: Paleontology

Name: Digger

Symbol: Dinosaur Skull (Triceratops)

Body Color: Hazel Nut Brown

Hair Color: Scarlet

Field of Study: Geology

Name: Rocky

Symbol: Rocks

Body Color: Medium Copper

Hair Color: Darkest Emerald

Field of Study: Chemistry

Name: Atom

Symbol: Periodic Table

Body Color: Deep Blueberry

Hair Color: Burgundy

Field of Study: Pre-Med

Name: Bones

Symbol: Stethoscope

Body Color: Medium Ecru

Hair Color: Very Dark Antique Blue

Field of Study: History

Name: Ages

Symbol: Scroll

Body Color: Pale Azure Blue

Hair Color: Pale Mauve

Field of Study: Accounting

Name: Booky

Symbol: Ledger

Body Color: Light Seafoam Green

Hair Color: Cream Beige

Field of Study: Mathematician

Name: Prime

Symbol: Array of Prime Numbers

Body Color: Dark Lemon

Hair Color: Light Green

Field of Study: Physics

Name: Vector

Symbol: Diagram of Vectors

Body Color: Poppy Red

Hair Color: Darkest Silver

Field of Study: Biology

Name: Gene

Symbol: Microscope

Body Color: Light Pecan

Hair Color: Dark Watermelon Pink

Field of Study: Geography

Name: Atlas

Symbol: Globe

Body Color: Light Flamingo

Hair Color: Dark Fuschia

Field of Study: Journalism

Name: Ed

Symbol: Newspaper

Body Color: Medium Antique Violet

Hair Color: Dark Electric Blue

Field of Study: Economics

Name: Fiscal

Symbol: Dollar Sign

Body Color: Light Mauve

Hair Color: Dark Purple

Field of Study: Astronomy

Name: Cosmic

Symbol: Telescope

Body Color: Light Plum

Hair Color: Dark Kelly Green

Field of Study: Oceonography

Name: Current

Symbol: Squid

Body Color: Aqua Marine

Hair Color: Pale Sage Green


La De Da
by Tabby

Tabby yawned and stretched as she tossed her covers off. Sunlight streamed through her bedroom windows. Then something struck her. "It's my birthday!" she cried out, and scooped up Callie, her pet cat, who was curled up at the foot of the bed. Tabby squeezed the fluffy ball of fur extremely tight.

Callie growled and squirmed to release herself from her owner's grip. The feline succeeded, and jumped gracefully to the floor. Then she trotted out the door and ran away into the next room.

"Some cat you are!" Tabby exclaimed. Then she jumped out of bed and trotted over to her dresser. She picked up her brush and carefully ran it through her mane and tail. Then she ran out of the room for breakfast.

After she was done with that, she merrily skipped out of the door to get to the new really-ultra-modern-professional veterinarian clinic where she had recently gotten a job.

On Tabby's way over, she ran into Spike, who was waving his arms around frantically. "Tabby, Tabby!" he cried out. "I've lost the manual to my new computer game, and I can't play without it!"

Tabby paused in thought. "Talk to Friendly; maybe he borrowed it," she suggested.

"Thanks!" Spike ran off again, this time in the direction of the Bushwoolie holes.

"He didn't even say anything about my birthday," Tabby sighed, slightly miffed. "Ah well."

She made her way on to the clinic, and as she pushed through the main doors (which she could just barely open under her own power-- hmm, maybe she was a bit too weak), she glanced up at the clock on the wall. She was her customary five minutes late.

"Hey, Sugarberry," Tabby greeted her friend, who was now the receptionist and secretary at the clinic.

Sugarberry, who was sitting at the main desk, looked up from her paperwork. "Hello," she said cheerfully.

Tabby tapped her hoof on the desk. "Who's up first for today?" she questioned.

Sugarberry consulted the record book. "You've got Tex bringing Emilio in at 8:15."

Tabby groaned. "For Pete's sake! How much more trouble can that tarantula get into?"

"He says that Emilio has a cold," Sugarberry supplied.

"That should be easy enough to fix." Tabby tossed her mane in annoyance. Sugarberry hadn't mentioned her birthday, either. And this year Tabby had even gone through the trouble of not talking constantly about the occasion days beforehand, as it annoyed her friends so!

At that point, Thomas entered the room. He was the veterinarian that had started up this new clinic. "Hi, Tabby. Sugarberry, did you find those records yet?"

Tabby clenched her jaw. What was with everyone today?

And then Tex entered the building. Tabby snatched Emilio from his hoof and took him into the appointment room. Tex followed behind.

"All right, so what're his symptoms?" Tabby sighed as she poked around the tarantula.

"He's been sneezing a lot," Tex explained.

Tabby inspected Emilio further. "Yep. Looks like a cold," she said after awhile. She handed him a small bottle. "Mix some of this with his food every day and he should get better," she instructed. "Don't mess up."

"Okay, Tabby, I'm much obliged," Tex said gratefully.

"Yeah, yeah, whatever," Tabby mumbled as he walked out of the room. She sniffed. "Hmm. No mention of my birthday," she noted.

* * *
Later that morning, Tabby sat in the appointment room between visits, thinking.

"Not a single word about my birthday yet!" she said aloud. Most of the clients so far weren't good friends with her, so they might not have thought to say anything. Tex was her arch-enemy, so he might not have bothered. Thomas was fairly new in Dream Valley, so he might not have found out yet. Sugarberry might have been too busy with her work. Spike had been awfully distraught over his lost manual. Callie, of course, probably didn't know any better. But all of them together? No, that was rather fishy.

She tapped her hoof on the counter. It wasn't quite right... something had to be up...

All of a sudden it hit her. Of course! They're planning a surprise party for me, only pretending to have forgotten! Really, you'd think they could have come up with something more imaginative than that!

With this in mind, Tabby had a smile on her face when her next client walked into the room. It was Princess Tiffany, clutching a cat carrier in her hooves.

Tiffany lifted the carrier up on to the counter and opened the carrier's door. Her face fell when she saw Tabby. "Oh, it's just you," she sighed.

Tabby smirked. "Hoping for Thomas, eh?" She sighed. "Really, I'm under-appreciated working here. Cleve Clove says ‘She'll do' and you say ‘It's just you'!"

Tiffany's face brightened. "Oh, Clever Clover said that?"

"Sure, Tiff, whatever," Tabby muttered as she watched the black Bombay cat creep out of the carrier. "Anyway, what's wrong with Theodora?"

Tiffany paused in thought. "Uh... she threw up last night!" she said after a spell.

Tabby rolled her eyes. "Tiffany," she sighed. "That doesn't necessarily mean she's sick."

"I thought I'd bring her in just to be sure," Tiffany said haughtily.

Tabby checked her over quickly. "She's in perfect health, Tiffany."

"Well, then." Tiffany pushed Theodora back into the carrier and snapped shut the door. "How about going with me to lunch at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe? It's nearly 12:00 lunch break," she invited.

"Sure!" Tabby exclaimed. "Let's go." Tiffany left the carrier under Sugarberry's watch at the main desk, and the two strolled off towards the shop. They got there, ordered, and sat down.

"Oh, look, Clever Clover just came in," Tiffany sighed dreamily. "He's such a dashing pony, isn't he?"

Tabby nodded slowly. "Yeah... he is always dashing off somewhere."

Tiffany wasn't listening, however. She had stood up in her seat and waved her hoof madly in the air in the direction of Clever Clover. "Clever Clover! Oh, Clever Clover! Over here!"

Clever Clover saw and waved back. He started towards the table with his food tray.

"I've been simply dying to talk to you about your work," Tiffany said once Clever Clover had sat down. "I've always been fascinated with archaeology."

"You have not, Tiffany," Tabby interjected.

Tiffany frowned.

"Yes, it is an interesting field," Clever Clover said.

"And I heard you discovered Atlantis. What a daring adventure!" Tiffany went on.

"I was with him," Tabby said.

"Yes, but I'm sure he did most of the work." Tiffany batted her eyelashes furiously.

Tabby was about to burst out laughing at Tiffany's act.

Clever Clover went on with the conversation. "...yeah, the oricalcum machine was a really unique find..."

"You're lucky to have made it out alive," Tiffany said with admiration.

"It wasn't that dangerous." Tabby swallowed down the last bite of her hamburger and choked back laughter. "I'd better be getting back to the clinic now; see you later," she said as she stood up from her seat. Then she wandered back over to the clinic. When she got there, she saw a cart parked outside. Why, it was the flower cart! Tabby's spirits lifted immensely. Had someone remembered her birthday after all?

A mysterious cloaked figure dashed out of the clinic and started pushing the flower cart away. Tabby trotted back into the building. Thomas was just setting the long white flower box on the counter.

"Who're they for?" Tabby asked anxiously.

"The driver said they were for Sugarberry," Thomas said.

"Oh," Tabby said flatly.

"For me?" Sugarberry said with delight. She quickly opened the box to reveal a bouquet of brightly colored tulips. "Aren't they pretty?"

"Yeah," Tabby sighed.

"They're from Quarterback," Sugarberry said dreamily after reading the card.

Somehow, Tabby managed to make it through the rest of the day. Not very un-surprisingly at this point, there was no mention of her birthday from anyone. Her only hope was that they were planning a surprise party.

When the work day was through, she headed over to the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe, where she went every afternoon. She walked in and ordered her usual strawberry sundae.

The shop was fairly empty, but Tabby spotted Quarterback and Sugarberry just sitting down at one table. She trotted over to join her friends.

"Oh, hi, Tabby," Sugarberry said, looking up from her banana split.

"Hey," Quarterback greeted her as Tabby sat down. "Big day in Ponyland, ain't it?"

Tabby could not help but grin. It slowly spread across her face. Did she even dare hope... that Quarterback of all ponies had remembered?

Quarterback continued. "Yep. I'm showing my film of the highlights of the past football season tonight at my house!"

The grin quickly left Tabby's face. "Did Tiffany ever come back for Theodora after lunch?" she asked suddenly.

Sugarberry smiled. "No, I had to call her to get her to come back in."

"Figures she's forget... anyway, what are you doing tonight?" Tabby stared at Sugarberry.

Sugarberry shrugged. "I'll probably sit around at home and write in my latest novel," she said after a pause.

Now, is that the truth, or are you planning something? Tabby thought. "I'll most likely do nothing," she sighed. "I'd better be going home. Maybe the mail went by now."

"Okay, see you," Sugarberry said. She and Quarterback waved as Tabby left the shop. On her way home, Tabby made a detour by the Bushwoolie holes. The Bushwoolies were outside, working on building a snow-Bushwoolie.

"Hi, guys!" Tabby greeted them.

"Hi, yeah, yeah, hi," the Bushwoolies all said.

"Did Spike find his manual here?" Tabby questioned Friendly.

Friendly nodded. "Yeah, yeah, got it back! Borrowed it I did!"

"Well, that's good," Tabby said.

"Yep, yep!" the Bushwoolies echoed.

Tabby waved as she headed off again. When she reached her mailbox, she pulled down the door. A large pile of letters sat inside.

"Yes!" Tabby exclaimed. Oh, there had to be some birthday cards in here! She sifted through the pile as she walked inside. "They just want money... a bill... that's only a catalog... more money wanters... junk mail... what, another bill?... yet another who wants money..." Tabby went through the entire pile and tossed things on her kitchen table as she went along. "What is this?!" she cried out as she neared the bottom of the stack. "Not a single personal letter! This is so cheap!" She hit her hoof on the table. "Oh, but what, what's this?" Between the last two catalogs was a glass bottle. It was addressed to Tabby, and it looked like it was from Barnacle! "He had to have remembered!" she exclaimed as she hastily pulled the cork out of the bottle and slipped out the paper inside:

ARR, Tabby!

Just a note to be sayin' that I'm fine and I be headin' back to Dream Valley soon.


"What?" she shrieked. "Barnacle didn't even remember!" Tabby set the note and bottle down, crushed. She sniffled.

So she silently ate her supper and then sat down on the couch in her living room and took out her latest Cat Who mystery novel, which had just come out in paperback. Perhaps if she read, she could get her mind off of the awfulness of the day.

And so, she passed the evening away like that, without a single visitor or phone call.

Tabby mournfully got ready for bed. "They really did forget," she realized as she crawled under the covers.

* * *
The next morning, Tabby stormed off towards the clinic. "They're not going to forget my birthday and get away with it!" She banged through the doors and stood to face Sugarberry.

"You look a bit frustrated," Sugarberry said, wide-eyed.

"Frustrated! Frustrated!" Tabby hissed. "Have you any idea what yesterday was?"

Sugarberry looked slightly fearful. "Err... not really..."

"Think, Sugarberry! Think!"

"It was the sixth of February..." Sugarberry said slowly.

"Exactly! And what happens every year on February sixth?" Tabby said wrathfully.

Sugarberry's eyes suddenly opened wider and if she could have turned paler than her usual milky-white color, she would have. "It was your birthday," she said, shrinking back.

"That's right!" Tabby said menacingly. "And what do you know? Not a single pony, Bushwoolie, or dragon in all of Ponyland remembered!"

"Umm... I'm really sorry..." was all Sugarberry could say. "You weren't bugging us about it like you did other years..."

Tabby turned on her heel and stomped into the back room.

"Her birthday was yesterday, huh?" Thomas said as he entered the room.

"That's right," Sugarberry said as she frantically picked up the phone receiver. She had plotting to do.

* * *
When it was time to get off work late in the afternoon, Tabby frowned. She was still annoyed over having her birthday forgotten, and she wasn't about to forgive everyone quite yet.

As she once again struggled with the door so she could get outside and head home, Thomas came up from behind and held it open for her. "Thanks," she commented and started on her way.

"Just a second!" Thomas called after her. "Why don't you come to the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe with me?"

Tabby narrowed her eyes. "If you think that'll make up for forgetting my birthday, then you're dead wrong!"

"Aw, come on," Thomas prodded.

"Ah ha!" Something dawned on Tabby. "Because there's a surprise get-together planned there for my birthday. Am I right?"

"Err... you might be..."

Tabby sighed. "Clever. Then I suppose I'll have to go; otherwise it'll be ruined." And so, she headed off in the direction of the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe, with Thomas following behind.

When the two arrived at the shop, Tabby's suspicion was confirmed. There was a large group of all her friends gathered at one of the tables: Sugarberry, Quarterback, Spike, Clever Clover, Friendly, Tiffany, and-- Tex? What was he doing here? Ah well, she'd take that up with Sugarberry later.

"Well, here I am!" Tabby announced.

"You don't sound very surprised," Sugarberry said, slightly disappointed.

"Really, Sugarberry! It wasn't that hard to guess what was going on," Tabby said.

"Hey, let's eat!" Clever Clover exclaimed and dashed up to the ordering counter. Laughing, the rest of the group followed.

After they were all seated, Spike presented Tabby with a small, thin, wrapped box. "A present!" Tabby exclaimed with delight. She quickly pulled the ribbons and ripped the paper off, tossing them carelessly on the table. Then she lifted the lid of the box. She saw a white bean-bag cat. "It's Flip!" Tabby beamed. "The last Beanie Baby cat I need."

"We had to pay ninety jangles from a shop downtown to get her," Clever Clover explained, "but we all pooled our money."

"Yeah, yeah. Pretty cat!" Friendly said.

"I could have easily payed the full amount myself," Tiffany said haughtily.

"Quick, quick! I need a scissors!" Tabby suddenly exclaimed, realizing the ear tag was still on the cat. "Anybody got one?" In the end she just snatched up a knife that was sitting on the table and murderously hacked at the plastic strip connecting the small heart-shaped tag.

After a while of hacking, the tag fell to the table. "She's free!" Tabby exclaimed.

"Hooray!" Spike cheered.

"I would have left it on," Quarterback commented.

"She's a million times better this way!" Tabby said. "And hey, she's really great! Thanks everybody! I might even consent to forgive you all now for forgetting yesterday!"

"Lucky us," Tex said.

After the party was over, Tabby merrily skipped home carrying Flip, the cute little cat. Hmm, I ended up with a surprise party in the end anyway. That's cheap. Ah well.


Welcome to Ponyland!
by Sugarberry

It was unusual for Sugarberry to be entering the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe alone, for she was nearly always in the company of Tabby when at this favorite hang-out. But Tabby had taken Tiffany up on a dare to see which one of them could become the best cook, and both of them were busy with a cooking class that met three evenings a week. Sugarberry shuddered to think of it-- Tabby and Tiffany in the kitchen? No good would ever come from that!

"Hi, Scoops," Sugarberry greeted the manager of the shop. "I need a banana split, please!"

"Sure thing!" responded Scoops cheerily. "I hear Tab and Tiff are going all out on this cooking dare!"

"Yes. And I feel sorry for Snuzzle, who is teaching the class!" Sugarberry handed Scoops payment for the ice cream. "I'm afraid that her patience will be sorely tested!"

Taking her banana split to a quiet corner table, Sugarberry surveyed the room. A number of the Sweetheart Sisters were at a table; and from the snippets of their conversation, Sugarberry found that they were planning a Valentine party. Sugarberry absently wondered how they could eat so much ice cream and stay so disgustingly thin. (Editor's note-- This is not meant as a derogatory remark to all thin ponies; Sugarberry is simply wishing she could be more like them.)

Across the room in front of the main window was the Apple Delight family. Sugarberry giggled as the top scoop of Baby Apple Delight's chocolate ice cream cone fell with a plop to the floor. Good thing Tabby's not here; she'd probably call her a nasty baby pony, thought Sugarberry. Suddenly, she sighed. It was boring at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shope without Tabby.

Just then Sugarberry caught sight of someone else sitting a couple of tables away from hers. Who is that, wondered Sugarberry. She's definitely not of the Dream Valley ponies. And she looks lost and lonesome.

The unknown pony was sitting alone with her head resting on her left roof as she absently stirred a cup of hot cocoa with the spoon in her right hoof. What set her apart was that fact that her body color and mane were brown, unlike the garden of pastel shades adorning the Little Ponies. Sugarberry watched the new pony with interest. Who was she? Why was she in Ponyland?

Sugarberry took a few more bites of her banana split and then glanced at the brown pony again, just in time to see several large tears drop from her eyes. Unable to sit still while some pony was so obviously in need of a friend, Sugarberry picked-up her dessert and headed to the unknown pony's table.

"Excuse me, but you look like you could use someone to talk with," Sugarberry cheerfully announced as she slid into the chair next to the pony. "My name's Sugarberry. What's yours?"

The glossy brown pony with a Sweetheart Sister build looked up at Sugarberry in surprise, but managed a weak smile. "I'm called Chocolate Chip," she murmured quietly. "Dull, brown, boring Chocolate Chip." Another tear dripped poignantly into her hot cocoa.

"Sweet, scrumptious, and everypony's favorite Chocolate Chip would seem more precise, around here, anyway," calmly replied Sugarberry. Her heart reached out to this forlorn young adult who was burdened with such sadness.

"Well, my parents weren't pleased when their darling foal was born so ordinary; Mom is a deep purple and Dad is a bright yellow; they expected a baby with more pizazz that brown." Chocolate Chip sighed deeply, and rubbed her hoof across her forehead as if to wipe away unpleasant memories. "Why couldn't I have been born beautiful like those ponies?" she asked tremulously as she looked toward the vivacious group of Sweetheart Sisters still absorbed in party planning.

"And who is to say you aren't just as beautiful?" questioned Sugarberry. "You are young and graceful and your color is perfectly wonderful. In all of Ponyland, there is no pony to match you!"

"That's the problem, isn't it? I stand out like some kind of freak!" Chocolate Chip moaned in despair.

Sugarberry couldn't comprehend what this pony must have lived through to make her feel so bitter while still so young. Soothingly she asked, "What makes you say such a thing?"

Chocolate Chip looked deeply at Sugarberry, weighing her honesty and trustworthiness. Finding what she searched for, Chocolate Chip poured out her story of loneliness, belittlement, and frustration. She came from the town of Neighberry, where no brown pony had ever been welcome. When she had been newborn, her dad had exclaimed in disgust at his tiny daughter, "She looks more like a chocolate chip than a pony!" And the name had stuck. Her parents couldn't relate to their child and Chocolate Chip had grown-up feeling ashamed and worthless.

"I finally got up the courage to go off on my own," Chocolate Chip confided, "but it's an awfully scary world by myself."

Sugarberry patted Chocolate Chip's hoof. "Well, you've come to the right place if you are looking for a place to settle down. You'll be welcome here!"

A tremble went through Chocolate Chip's body; she looked at Sugarberry demurely. "Do you really think so?" she asked a bit disbelievingly.

At that moment, Baby Apple Delight, who had been playing with a wind-up My Little People token that Scoops gave to the under-five crowd, released the toy in Chocolate Chip's direction. The My Little People tottered unevenly across the tiled floor, and came to rest against Chocolate Chip's back hoof.

Baby Apple Delight ran over as Chocolate Chip stooped to recover the toy, and she handed it back to the baby pony. Baby Apple Delight grinned sweetly up at Chocolate Chip and lisped a baby-sized, "Thank you!"

When Baby Apple Delight returned to her parents, Sugarberry and Chocolate Chip overheard her say to her parents, "Dat pretty pony rescued dolly." Daddy Apple Delight and Mommy Apple Delight smiled and waved in Chocolate Chip's direction.

"See," stated Sugarberry. "You are accepted already!"

With the beginning of confidence building in her eyes, Chocolate Chip visibly relaxed and appeared more at ease than Sugarberry had yet seen her.

"Ah, excuse me, Sugarberry," a voice came at Sugarberry's shoulder. Looking up, Sugarberry was surprised to see Dainty, one of the Sweetheart Sisters, standing at her side. "Excuse me," Dainty repeated, "but could I ask a favor of you?"

"Sure," responded Sugarberry. "But first, let me introduce you to my new friend, Chocolate Chip. She's new in Dream Valley from Neighberry. Chocolate Chip, this is Dainty, who attends Pony Pride University."

By this time, Dainty had been joined by Wild Flower, Spring Song, and Flowerburst. After everyone had been properly introduced, the Sweetheart Sisters, all talking at once, invited Chocolate Chip to attend their Valentine party.

"Don't worry about a date," Dainty assured her.

"There'll be plenty of Brilliant Brothers to go around!" teased Wild Flower.

"You'd mentioned a favor you needed?" interrupted Sugarberry, suddenly feeling like an ancient one surrounded by all these young, energetic ponies.

"Oh, that," recalled Dainty. "Could you ask Thomas if he'd sponsor some of our advertising for the party? Scoops is chipping in, as well as Fifi."

"I'll certainly ask him and let you know," assured Sugarberry.

"Great! Thanks," bubbled Dainty as she and the others bid farewell and turned to leave the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe.

When it was quiet again, Sugarberry smiled motherly at Chocolate Chip. "You are off to an excellent start!" But Sugarberry was surprised to see tears begin to pour down Chocolate Chip's cheeks.

"What's wrong," Sugarberry asked in dismay.

"I've got no place to spend the night, and I'm nearly out of jangles," wailed Chocolate Chip despairingly.

Sugarberry shook her head and patted Chocolate Chip. "Don't worry. For now, you can stay at my house until we get you settled."

"You'd let me do that?" sniffed Chocolate Chip, using a napkin to dab at her eyes and nose.

"Of course. And we should be going now. You must be exhausted after your long journey." With that, Sugarberry and Chocolate Chip stood up and wished Scoops a "Good night." Chocolate Chip's satchel had been stashed along the wall behind the door, and was easily retrieved before the two set off into the night. The air was crisp and cold as they stepped outside, but the sky was alive with the glitter of a myriad of stars.

When they arrived home, Sugarberry gave Chocolate Chip a quick tour so she'd be comfortable with her surroundings.

"This is really a swell place, Sugarberry," Chocolate Chip yawned as Sugarberry placed her suitcase in the spare bedroom.

"And it sounds like you should get yourself ready for bed," advised Sugarberry, herself yawning.

At that moment, Fluff, Sugarberry's large, plump orange and white long-hair cat, came streaking into the bedroom and jumped onto Chocolate Chip's bed; purring noisily, he rounded-out a cozy nest in the bedspread and curled-up contentedly.

"Umm, how do you feel about cats?" questioned Sugarberry concernedly. "Fluff's slightly spoiled, and sleeps where he will."

Chocolate Chip dropped herself on the bed and hugged Fluff close. "I love cats," she confessed. "Mom and Dad would never let me have one, though."

"Well, Fluff certainly approves of you, so you'll be seeing a lot of him. Now, get to bed and get a good night's sleep!" Sugarberry stooped and kissed Chocolate Chip gently on the forehead before turning to leave the room. "Sweet dreams!"

"Good night, Sugarberry, and thanks for everything!"

Chocolate Chip got ready for bed and threw back the covers. She was crawling in when she suddenly remember something she had to take care of. She slid to her knees at the side of the bed and whispered a heartfelt prayer in thanksgiving for finding a haven offering her acceptance and happiness. Then, she crawled under the covers, and drew Fluff up to her chin where his gentle purring put her to sleep almost immediately.

Chocolate Chip slept long and hard; off in the distance she could hear a motor running; she tried to block out the noise, and rolled over. But then, someone began rubbing her left cheek with sandpaper. Chocolate Chip opened her eyes wide and found herself staring face to face with Fluff, who was purring like an engine, and licking her face rhythmically.

"Oh, Fluff!" Chocolate Chip squealed. "Stop that, you stilly cat!" Fluff sat back, feeling very proud that he had succeeded in waking the sleepy pony. He was hungry and, who knows, maybe this new pony would share her breakfast with him. So he turned to washing his own face while he waited for her to get up.

"Oh my gosh!" Chocolate Chip groaned when she saw the time. It was ten o' clock. "I haven't slept that late in ages!" She was out of bed in no time, dumping Fluff unceremoniously on the floor in the effort.

Once she was cleaned-up, she headed for the kitchen with Fluff leading the way. On the table lay a note from Sugarberry:

I didn't want to wake you; make yourself to home; read books, use the computer, bake something. I'll be at work until four o' clock; meet me at that time at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe. I have some friends I want you to meet.



Chocolate Chip made the most of her time; she fixed herself and Fluff a healthy breakfast, then baked a strawberry cake to surprise Sugarberry with. She and Fluff sat by the window and watched as cardinals, blue jays, and chickadees and other birds she couldn't identify feasted out of well-stocked feeders scattered about Sugarberry's lawn. And while Fluff slept curled in her lap, she read one of Sugarberry's mystery novels. She had no sooner finished the cliff-hanger ending when she noticed the clock-- almost four o' clock. Fluff was again dumped on the floor as she scurried to meet Sugarberry on time.

The timing was perfect. Upon entering the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe, Chocolate Chip saw Sugarberry and several other ponies ordering at the counter. Suddenly, Chocolate Chip felt very awkward and timid. Would all of these ponies be as open-hearted as the ones she'd already met here in Ponyland?

Sugarberry caught sight of Chocolate Chip and rushed to pull her forward to meet a gorgeous pink unicorn. "Chocolate Chip, I'd like to introduce you to my very best friend, Tabby. And Tabby, this is my houseguest I told you about." Sugarberry cringed inwardly as Tabby could be rather unpredictable at times.

Tabby's eyes sparkled, and she looked long and deliberately at Chocolate Chip. "Chocolate Chip, huh?" she finally said with an insane smile on her face. "Yes, well, you'll do."

"I'll do?" Chocolate Chip said in obvious alarm.

Tabby burst out laughing. "No, no, never mind. I was just thinking that I had a sudden craving for a chocolate chip cookie... anyway..."

The three ponies joined a classical white pegasus at a table. As they sat down, Sugarberry went through the introductions again. "...and this is Tiffany."

Tiffany visibly stiffened as the introduction was made, which shattered Chocolate Chip's new-found assurance. She was perceptive enough to notice a definite chill in the air directed at her from Tiffany. "Hi," was all Chocolate Chip could stammer.

After a cold stare encompassing the brown body, brown mane, brown tail, and deep dark chocolate chip symbol, a light grimace came and went on Tiffany's face that might have been an attempt at a smile. But she turned to Tabby and whispered something private after which Tabby just shrugged nonchalantly and whispered something back. Tiffany appeared pouty after that.

"What kind of a cook are you, Chocolate Chip?" asked Tabby suddenly. "Tiff and I are taking a cooking class; we made toasted cheese sandwiches at last night's class!" Tabby rolled her eyes and continued. "Burnt them! We both did! But once we cut the crusts off, they weren't half-bad. Never could stand those crusts, anyway!"

Tiffany began giggling at the memory and seemed to forget her grudge again this plain new pony. "Yes, and our fruit salad turned out all runny and gooey. Snuzzle said no one ever ruined a fruit salad before. I guess we stirred it too much." And both she and Tabby broke out in laughter at the thought of their disastrous attempt.

"Have you had any interesting experiences with food, Chocolate Chip?" asked Sugarberry in an attempt to draw her into the conversation.

Chocolate Chip blushed at the thought. "Well, there was my first pasta salad. No one mentioned that the pasta should be cooked first. So my dad nearly broke his teeth out when he tasted it!"

Through their merrymaking, Tabby admitted that she rather liked uncooked pasta; it was nice and crunchy. That made everyone laugh even harder.

They were still sharing cooking stories when Friendly, the Bushwoolie, entered the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe. As if she'd been expecting him, Sugarberry stood-up, motioned to Friendly, and moved an extra chair into the circle of the table.

Friendly bounced over, crawled into the chair, and greeted every pony with a typical Bushwoolie greeting, "Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi!"

"Chocolate Chip," began Sugarberry, "this is Friendly, one of the owners of Bushwoolie Bargain Books at the mall. I took it upon myself, since you need employment, to invite Friendly to talk with you about an opening the Bushwoolies have at their store."

"Ya! Ya! Too much work. Need help," added Friendly.

Chocolate Chip stared in delight at the furry little creature; she'd never seen a Bushwoolie before and was utterly captivated by his innocent nature. In no time at all Friendly had welcomed Chocolate Chip as a full-time employee at the mall store, starting Monday morning.

"Good deal!" exclaimed Friendly as they closed the interview with a hoof-shake. And as it was getting late, the group broke-up and headed homeward. Tabby lived next-door to Sugarberry so she walked along with Sugarberry and Chocolate Chip.

"Remember, whenever any of the new Cat Who books by Lillian Jackson Braun come in, two copies are automatically set aside for Sugarberry and me," instructed Tabby.

"I'll be sure to remember," responded Chocolate Chip. "Oh, I don't know when I've ever been so happy!" she added contentedly. "Thanks so much, Sugarberry, for all you've done!"

Sugarberry tossed her mane back unconcernedly. "No problem, Chocolate Chip. Always glad to help a friend."

"Speaking of which," interjected Tabby, "I'm supposed to make a batch of cookies for my cooking class tomorrow night. I was thinking that you two could come over now and help me!"

"Sure, Tabby!" grinned Sugarberry.

"Let me guess," pondered Chocolate Chip. "Chocolate chip cookies?"

"Works for me," snickered Tabby. "Last one to my front porch is a rotten egg!"

And the three took off in a whirl of legs, manes, and tails, ending in a giggling heap on Tabby's front porch. As they unwound themselves, Tabby suddenly gasped-- "Oh, no!"

"What is it?" asked Sugarberry.

"I don't have any... chocolate chips!"


The Tabby and Sugarberry Gossip Hour!
by Tabby and Sugarberry

Sugarberry: We have sad news for you this time.

Tabby: That's right! We have absolutely nothing to gossip about.

Sugarberry: Sorry to disappoint you all.

Tabby: But we came up with something much more exciting to do, anyway! Instead of gossiping, we're going to use this time to come up with Package Back Stories for the Brilliant Brothers.

Sugarberry: Just like the Package Back Stories Hasbro came up with for us.

Tabby: I really hate the one they wrote for me.

Sugarberry: Anyway... on with it. The first on the list is Sparky.

Tabby: What's he do?

Sugarberry: He's studying to be an engineer.

Tabby: Oh... what's an engineer do?

Sugarberry: Umm... well...

Tabby: Hmm...

Sugarberry: That is a good question.

Tabby: Wait, I've got something! Okay, now write this down, Sugarberry. "One day, Sparky was pondering what engineers do."

Sugarberry: All right! Good start.

Tabby: Now what...

Sugarberry: I know! "Suddenly, a bolt of lightning shot out of the sky and struck him."

Tabby: "In that instant, her knew what it was all about!" The end!

Sugarberry: Okay... that's kinda...

Tabby: Pitiful, I know. But so was the one written for me... Wait! I have something more!

Sugarberry: What?

Tabby: " ‘Yes!' Sparky exclaimed. ‘Now I know! Engineers are meant to sit around in their cubicles and play solitaire on Windows 95!' "

Sugarberry: Works for me.

Tabby: Who's next on the list?

Sugarberry: Chip, who's in computer science.

Tabby: Let me handle this one. "Chip was working on his computer when it..." Umm... "...when it performed an illegal operation and shut down his program." There!

Sugarberry: Good start...

Tabby: " ‘Oh no,' he cried out. ‘All the information I worked so long on will be lost!' Just then a... a..." What could come out of a computer?

Sugarberry: Like what? A bug?

Tabby: No, no... just something that's inside a computer.

Sugarberry: Like an energy flow?

Tabby: Yes! An energy flow! Perfect! "Just then an energy flow surged out of the computer. ‘I'll get it back,' it exclaimed cheerfully."

Sugarberry: Keep going...

Tabby: And here's the end: "The energy flow went to work and soon Chip's program and the file he had been working on was back on the screen."

Sugarberry: You're good at this.

Tabby: Thanks. Next?

Sugarberry: Digger. Paleontologist.

Tabby: We can bring some bones to life or something... okay: "Digger was hot on the trail of digging up the bones of a..." What dinosaur should it be?

Sugarberry: Go with a Triceratops.

Tabby: "Digger was hot on the trail of digging up the bones of a Triceratops. After hours of digging, he had managed to uncover the mangled skeleton; the bones were not in their proper places at all."

Sugarberry: Sounds cool so far!

Tabby: " ‘This is terrible,' Digger complained. How was he ever going to get the bones together?"

Sugarberry: Go on...

Tabby: Okay! "Just then some..." Uhh... "...some rocks came to life!"

Sugarberry: Ancient rocks.

Tabby: Right. "Just then some ancient rocks came to life. ‘We can do it in no time,' they cried out and busily went to work putting the bones in their proper positions." There!

Sugarberry: Wonderful!

Tabby: You try one now, Sugarberry.

Sugarberry: If you want me to... that would be for Rocky, the geologist.

Tabby: Go for it!

Sugarberry: Let me think a second. This might not be very good... anyway: "Hiking through the stone-littered valley, Rocky came upon some unusual rock formations that sparkled in the sunlight. When he attempted to break-off a sample for his backpack..."

Tabby: Way too much description.

Sugarberry: Description is good, Tabby... "...the formation seemed to flinch in pain. Rocky stepped back in wonder as the rock questioned him. ‘Why are you hurting me?' ‘I'm sorry,' replied Rocky--"

Tabby: That's, like, getting really weird, Sugarberry.

Sugarberry: Yeah, you're right. I'll just erase that last line. Let me try again... "...he found it was way too hard."

Tabby: You just don't have the hang of it. I, however, am an expert at writing lame Package Back Stories...

Sugarberry: Just give me one more chance!

Tabby: All right.

Sugarberry: "Hiking through the barren ravine, Rocky searched for unusual rock samples. Suddenly, the clatter of stones falling down the steep sides of the ravine warned Rocky of an avalanche."

Tabby: Okay...

Sugarberry: "Scrambling for cover, he met a coyote who told him, ‘Follow me to safety.' Rocky clamored after the swift-footed coyote, and soon found himself at the top of the ravine, out of harm's way."

Tabby: You can't do it, Sugarberry. Let's face it; I'm the only one who can write Truly Excellent lame Package Back Stories.

Sugarberry: I've discovered that.

Tabby: Yours are too lame even for lame stories. Just let me do the rest. Now, let's see. I'll keep the first two sentences from your feeble attempt. "Rocky stared up in alarm at the avalanche coming straight for him." La de da... "Suddenly, in a flash of light, all the rocks disappeared!"

Sugarberry: Cool!

Tabby: "He looked around in bewilderment. What had happened? A coyote crawled out of a nearby cave. ‘I saved you from the avalanche with my magical rock key,' the coyote said.

Sugarberry: Good, but the rock key is boring.

Tabby: Yeah, I agree with you. Anyway, we can come up with something else later. " ‘Thank you!' said Rocky." And end it there.

Sugarberry: It needs something more. " ‘You saved my life!' Rocky added."

Tabby: " ‘No problem,' responded the coyote." End it there!

Sugarberry: Better... now, what could we use in place of the rock key?

Tabby: A magical crystal!

Sugarberry: Okay! Good story. Next is Atom, the chemist.

Tabby: Fun! What would a chemist do? You're good for providing details, at least.

Sugarberry: He could be doing lab work, with chemicals.

Tabby: Okay! "Atom was doing lab work with his chemicals." What do you do with chemicals?

Sugarberry: Through a microscope, you study them down to their basic parts, their protons and neutrons.

Tabby: "He inspected them through his microscope. He studied them down to their basic parts."

Sugarberry: Let's just says protons and neutrons instead of "basic parts".

Tabby: Well, that's what they are! Basic parts! Anyway... "He hoped he'd remember all this information for his test the next day."

Sugarberry: Good...

Tabby: "Suddenly, some of the..." There would be electrons there, wouldn't there? I simply love electrons! There was an illustrated picture of one in my science book way back in seventh grade, and I'll never forget how cute that was!

Sugarberry: Really, Tabby... yes, there'd be electron.

Tabby: Great! Excellent! "Suddenly, some of the electrons jumped up, doing a little dance." Can't you just imagine those electrons doing a little dance?

Sugarberry: Whatever you say.

Tabby: " ‘We'll help you remember,' they cried. They taught Atom all there was to be learned, and Atom was confident he'd excel on his test." How'd I do?

Sugarberry: Wonderful, Tabby. Wonderful.

Tabby: You said that before... but then, we repeat ourselves a lot. How many times have we said "Great," "All right," "Wonderful," "Okay," and "Anyway" in this whole session?

Sugarberry: Anyway, Bones in pre med is next.

Tabby: Bones! What kind of a stupid name is that?

Sugarberry: That is interesting; Bones is from Star Trek. And there's a name from Transformers coming up soon.

Tabby: We hang around Friendly and Cleve Clove and Spike too much... so, anyway: "Studying late into the night, Bones was becoming tired."

Sugarberry: He was becoming very sleepy.

Tabby: Have it your way... "...Bones was becoming very sleepy. He wished he could go to bed, but he didn't want to fail his test the next day."

Sugarberry: Good.

Tabby: "Just then some..." Some... "...some stars bounced through his window!"

Sugarberry: Stars?

Tabby: Well, he's staying up late. There'd be stars out.

Sugarberry: Stars would better fit Cosmic.

Tabby: Okay... so... what else would there be? Bones? Dancing bones?

Sugarberry: Umm... well... how about... germs?

Tabby: Germs! I love it! "Just then, some germs bounced through his window."

Sugarberry: All right!

Tabby: " ‘Need some help?' they questioned."

Sugarberry: " ‘You guys are so little, can you really help me?' Bones said."

Tabby: " ‘Certainly!' the germs said cheerfully." Now what?

Sugarberry: They can sprinkle him with pixie dust!

Tabby: Yes! Just like in those Godzilla movies of Spike's! "They sprinkled Bones and his textbook with sparkling pixie dust."

Sugarberry: " ‘Hey! I feel smarter already,' smiled Bones intelligently. ‘You guys are great!' "

Tabby: Ah, one more out of the way.

Sugarberry: Now we have Ages.

Tabby: He's like a historian? What's a historian?

Sugarberry: They research history.

Tabby: "Ages was in the library researching history."

Sugarberry: "Ages was in the library researching the history of the ancient pony kings."

Tabby: All right, all right...

Sugarberry: "Flipping through one crumbling and dusty manuscript, Ages found a drawing of a magical scepter."

Tabby: Cool.

Sugarberry: "As Ages read the words under the scepter, the spirit of King-- uh-- somebody appeared at his side." Oh, what's a name?

Tabby: We just got a call from Cleve Clove. He says to call the king "Louie."

Sugarberry: Okay! "...the spirit of King Louie appeared at his side."

Tabby: Wait! No! Scratch that... that ol' Cleve Clove was only joking. Cleve Clove! You'd better come up with a real name or I'm gonna--

Sugarberry: Let's call the king Equine. Isn't that Latin for horse or something?

Tabby: Sounds right. Use it.

Sugarberry: "...the spirit of King Equine I appeared at his side and transported him to a kingdom of early Ponyland where Ages could experience firsthand the history that so enraptured him."

Tabby: Cleve Clove's on the line again. Now he says to change it to "King Equinus."

Sugarberry: Whatever he says...

Tabby: SUGARBERRY! It's only five minutes until three!

Sugarberry: What's so important about three?

Tabby: Pokèmon comes on then, of course! Oh, man, I've really gotta run. I'll be back in half an hour, okay?

Sugarberry: Tabby--!

Half an hour later...

Tabby: Ha! I told you I'd be back in half an hour!

Sugarberry: How strange; you kept your word.

Tabby: Anyway, where were we?

Sugarberry: Now we have to come up with a story for Booky, the accountant.

Tabby: Cool. What's an accountant do?

Sugarberry: They work with numbers.

Tabby: "One day Booky was pondering what accountants do..."

Sugarberry: No, you've got to come up with something better than that! Let me think about this for a few minutes...

Tabby: I'm waiting...

Ten minutes later...

Sugarberry: I've got something! "Slumped over his ledger book, Booky was searching for an error that kept his columns of numbers from tallying up correctly. ‘What am I missing?' he groaned. ‘The numbers should add up, but they don't.' He leaned back in his chair to try to clear his mind. A soft breath of air came in through the window as Booky watched in wide-eyed wonder. He gasped as the breeze dropped a page flat to show him where the error had occurred. The waft of air then encircled Booky with its soothing touch before drifting back out the window on its magical way."

Tabby: Took you long enough. It's okay, but not as good as mine.

Sugarberry: And next is Prime, the mathematician.

Tabby: And there's the one named after a Transformer.

Sugarberry: I doubt his parents had Transformers in mind when they named him, Tabby.

Tabby: You never know... man, I can't come up with any ideas anymore.

Sugarberry: Let me think again...

Twelve minutes later...

Tabby: For Pete's sake, Sugarberry! How long does it take to write a Package Back Story?

Sugarberry: Just finishing up... there's nothing magical in it, but it'll do.

Tabby: So let's have it!

Sugarberry: "As Prime walked through the park on a mild and sunny spring afternoon, a noisy group of three baby ponies ran toward him. ‘Prime! Help us divide the cookies so we all get the same number!' Prime sat down in the soft, green grass--"

Tabby: OH!!! Description! It hurts to hear it read!

Sugarberry: Anyway... "Prime sat down in the soft, green grass and had the baby ponies show him the cookies... seven cookies. ‘Hmm...' Prime frowned, ‘this doesn't look good.' He gazed seriously at the three hungry baby ponies, and suddenly snapped his fingers--"

Tabby: Fingers?!?! You've been thinking too much about My Little People, Sugarberry!

Sugarberry: Well, anyway... ‘...he looked at the three hungry baby ponies. ‘I've got it! You each take two cookies and give me one cookie to thank me for helping you out!' The baby ponies thought that was a great idea, and went on their way fully satisfied. For his part, Prime thoroughly enjoyed his cookie."

Tabby: Hooray. One more out of the way. I can't wait until we have this boring assignment done.

Sugarberry: We'll get there in time. Next is the physics guy, Vector.

Tabby: That sounds confusing.

Sugarberry: Since neither of us know a thing about physics, we'll have to leave that stuff out.

Tabby: Fine with me! Let me try coming up with something! "Vector was walking along one day and found a--"

Sugarberry: He was walking along one day "contemplating magnitude and direction." There, we'll have some physics stuff in there.

Tabby: "Suddenly, he stumbled over something. He looked back. There in the grass sat an arrow with a strange green glow emanating from it."

Sugarberry: All right...

Tabby: He does have arrows for his symbol, you know.

Sugarberry: Not that kind of arrow...

Tabby: Anyway! " ‘How odd,' Vector said. He touched the arrow. It filled him with knowledge of physics. ‘Wow! This will help me a lot in my studies!' Vector exclaimed." There!

Sugarberry: It needs something on the end...

Five minutes later...

Sugarberry: I have it: " ‘Wow! This will help me a lot in my studies!' Vector exclaimed, and whistled cheerfully as he continued on his way."

Tabby: I just want to get this stupid thing over with! Which one's next?

Sugarberry: Gene. Biologist.

Tabby: Oh! Oh! I know what I want to use in this one! I've been planning it ever since I first looked over the list of all their names!

Sugarberry: What's this?

Tabby: It comes from a math problem I had in seventh grade... now, write this down: "One day, Gene was wandering through one of the forests in Ponyland. As he was peaking around a bush, he spotted a happy-faced gnome."

Sugarberry: This is going to be interesting; that's for sure.

Tabby: " ‘What are you?' Gene asked in disbelief. ‘I'm one of many of the happy-faced gnomes in the Magic Forest!' the gnome exclaimed. "Alas, there are many sad-faced gnomes as well.' The gnome went on to say that there were exactly eight hundred forty happy-faced gnomes, but there were still five hundred four that did not have happy faces. ‘That's too bad,' Gene said, ‘but I'm here to study plant life, not to worry about happy-faced gnomes.' "

Sugarberry: Stop! I've got to write all this.

Ten minutes later...

Tabby: Can I continue?

Sugarberry: Yes, it's all written down.

Tabby: " ‘What have you studied so far?' asked the gnome. ‘I've actually found some highly unusual flowers,' Gene said. ‘They are a brilliant aqua with black trim.' ‘That's the plant I've read about,' cried out the gnome gleefully. ‘Please, can you get me some of it? It will make all of us gnomes happy again.' ‘Sure,' Gene said. He pulled some of the flowers from his backpack and handed them to the gnome who ran off waving them wildly in the air."

Sugarberry: Okay... I think I've got all that down.

Tabby: Wonderful!

Sugarberry: You got all that from a math problem, huh?

Tabby: Yep. It was something like five-eighths of the gnomes in the Magic Forest had happy faces, and I had to figure out how many didn't have happy faces.

Sugarberry: Very interesting. Next is Atlas.

Tabby: Atlas? What's he do?

Sugarberry: He's the geographer.

Tabby: What's a geographer do?

Sugarberry: Let me look it up in the dictionary.

Two minutes later...

Tabby: That definition you read off didn't make a bit of sense.

Sugarberry: Sorry.

Tabby: Wait! I'm getting something!

Sugarberry: You're waving your forelegs in the air, Tabby.

Tabby: I'm getting signals... yes! "Atlas read over the definition of ‘geographer' in the dictionary. ‘That's the worst definition I ever read,' he said out loud. ‘I didn't know being a geographer meant all that. I thought it was simpler.' "

Sugarberry: Okay...

Tabby: "Atlas tossed down the dictionary in disgust. ‘What a stupid book,' he said. But at that moment, the dictionary sprouted legs and arms and jumped up on the table. ‘You don't like my definition, do you?' it screamed. ‘You will pay dearly for your mistake!' "

Sugarberry: Uh... Tabby...

Tabby: What?

Sugarberry: Are you sure you want to go on with this one?

Tabby: Why wouldn't I? It's one of the best ones yet! "The dictionary swatted Atlas across the cheek. ‘Stupid dictionary,' Atlas mumbled. ‘You'll not get away with calling me stupid!' the dictionary shrieked. ‘Oh yeah?' Atlas challenged, and in one fell swoop, tossed the dictionary into the trash basket under his desk. ‘Nooooooooooo!!!!!' the dictionary howled."

Sugarberry: All right... that was... weird.

Tabby: Well, let's get on with it, Sugarberry! We haven't got all day!

Sugarberry: You're the one that took off half an hour to watch that Poke-show of yours.

Tabby: It's not my fault. Cleve Clove wouldn't record it for me.

Sugarberry: The next on the list is Edit-- Ed for short. He's into journalism.

Tabby: "Ed was..." Umm...

Sugarberry: "Ed was working on a deadline for the Pony Pride Prattle newsletter."

Tabby: Right. "Ed was working on a deadline for the Pony Pride Prattle newsletter. He typed and typed and typed and typed, long into the night, until his hooves were sore. He was working on an article about the deadline he had to meet--"

Sugarberry: Tabby!

Tabby: "He was working on an article about how to meet deadlines. He looked on in wonder as the letters on his keyboard flew off the keys and landed on top of his computer monitor. They jumped around wildly, forming the correct words for Ed to type. Ed smiled. ‘This makes my job a lot easier,' he said as he continued to work long into the night."

Sugarberry: Yep, you sure know how to do this.

Tabby: We have to be done by now, Sugarberry! We have to be!

Sugarberry: There's only three left.

Tabby: THREE? THREE?!?!?! You expect me to sit through coming up with three more of these stories?

Sugarberry: Maybe I can do these last three.

Tabby: Yes, do that! I'll call Tiffany while you're writing and talk to her a bit.

Fifteen minutes later...

Sugarberry: I have it!

Tabby: Okay, Tiff, I gotta go. Bye!!! Okay, Sugarberry! So who's it for? Huh? Huh?

Sugarberry: Fiscal, who's into economics.

Tabby: Read!

Sugarberry: "A brilliant rainbow appeared in the sky as Fiscal was returning home from school. ‘I wonder if it ends in a pot of gold?' he wondered to himself. Immediately, a leprechaun materialized at his side. ‘Let's go see!' the little elf prompted. So Fiscal and the leprechaun hurried to the end of the rainbow. Sure enough, there sat a pot of sparkling gold! Fiscal no sooner reached out a hoof to it, however, when the gold disappeared; and the leprechaun, too. ‘Figures,' mumbled Fiscal. ‘Easy come... easy go.' "

Tabby: Perfect. Now write the next one.

Twelve minutes later...

Sugarberry: Here's one for Cosmic, the astrologist!

Tabby: Oh, let me read it! Please!! I'll use my cool dramatic voice.

Sugarberry: If you want to...

Tabby: Okay! Great! "Cosmic stood on top of the highest point in Ponyland, gazing at the immense expanse of the universe stretching untold light-years in all directions." NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! The description is positively killing me, Sugarberry! You read the rest.

Sugarberry: Very well. "As he watched, a shooting star streaked across the sky. Then another, and another. Soon the air around Cosmic was alive with tiny twinkling stars. ‘Come play with us!' they cried. Cosmic climbed aboard a comet's tail and rode through space in the magical care of the stars. When the morning star made its appearance, the comet returned Cosmic safely to earth."

Tabby: Why must you use description?

Sugarberry: Good news! We're on the last story now, for Current, in oceanography!

Tabby: Go to it, Sug.

Thirteen minutes later...

Tabby: You took an unlucky number a minutes to finish it. It's gonna be really bad.

Sugarberry: Just let me read it. "Watching the waves of the ocean one twilit evening, Current was pleasantly surprised when a school of squid swam silently by. ‘Hello!' he called to the squiggling squid. Hearing Current's voice, the squid gathered before him and invited him to come swimming with them. Current was delight to do so, and spent the rest of the night frolicking in the water of the bay. When the morning light broke over the horizon, the squid bid Current a fond farewell. ‘See you again soon,' the squid shouted as they dove deep into the swelling waves. ‘Yes, soon,' replied Current as he watched his friends disappear."

Tabby: YES!!!!!! WE'RE DONE WITH THIS BORING TASK!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sugarberry: You've still got to sit through one more story.

Tabby: Whad'ya mean? You said that was the last one!

Sugarberry: I wrote one for Chocolate Chip, who recently moved to Dream Valley. Here it is: "Dancing the night away at the Valentine Party, Chocolate Chip was having the time of her life. She was enjoying the company of the Sweetheart Sisters and the Brilliant Brothers when Dainty came to inform her that they'd run out of food! Chocolate Chip picked up a Valentine cut-out and tossed it into the air over the table. As the Valentine floated down, it changed and multiplied itself into heart-shaped chocolate chip cookies. Then she and all her friends continued their evening of fun."

Tabby: Oh, yeah! I helped you with that one, didn't I?

Sugarberry: Yes. You made me put in the part about the chocolate chip cookies.

Tabby: Hey, it works. But anyway, we'll be signing off... finally.

Sugarberry: We can't come up with a thing to gossip about.

Tabby: I even talked it over with Tiffany, and she couldn't come up with anything, either.

Sugarberry: Hopefully we'll be here next month... if anything happens in March.

Tabby: Maybe everyone would be happier if we didn't show up.

Sugarberry: We'll just see what happens. Goodbye, everyone! We'll be back!

Tabby: But maybe not...


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 March 1st.


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